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BYU Football POWER RANKINGS WEEK 10: KJ HALL Y’ALL

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Southern Utah v BYU Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

I was going to use this space to write a clever comparison between the election and Taysom / Tanner quarterback situation but you didn’t come here to be reminded of the election. You came here to escape your Facebook feed which is full of posts from family, friends and people you met once but aren’t really sure if you remember with the initial disclaimer of “I usually don’t post about politics on here but...” or something to that effect.

That being said, I usually don’t post about politics on the power rankings and I’m going to keep it that way. Let’s get to the rankings.

WEEK 10 POWER RANKINGS

10) Eric Takenaka

It’s hard to get significant playing time when Kai Nacua and Micah Hannemann play in front of you but sweet mercy Eric Takenaka sure did make his case for an increased role with this one handed interception. The pass from SUU quarterback Patrick Tyler was terribly under thrown but Eric still made a great play to get the interception.

9) Tanner Mangum

Even though Tanner didn’t lead a single touchdown drive, I thought that he showed us everything we needed to see in order for us be optimistic that he will still be a great quarterback for BYU. It’s not like that was ever in doubt after his fantastic freshman season but it was nice to be reminded that he’s a dang good QB.

There were definitely some mistakes but you can chalk those up to not seeing the field for a significant amount of time. First there was the miscommunication between him and Kurtz on an option pass route and then there was the sack for a massive 16 yard loss. Besides those two blunders, Tanner was money. He completed 11 of his 13 passes (the two incomplete passes came in the first series) and ran, YES RAN, for 42 yards! I know some people out there had this idea that compared to Taysom, Tanner has cement boots two pulled hamstrings. Mangum will never match the physicality of Hill but he still has great pocket presence and the ability to make a play with his legs. Hopefully he’ll see the field again next week and shake off some more of that bench rust.

8) Corbin Kaufusi

IDEA: Every season BYU should offer a spot on the team to a basketball player over 6’9. Corbin Kaufusi has already blocked two kicks this season and has been very close on a few other occasions. I know that most other giant men won’t have the same physicality of Corbin (which makes him a perfect kick blocking machine) but it wouldn’t hurt to try. Just take a few moments and try to imagine what it would be like for opposing kickers to see Corbin Kaufusi AND ERIC MIKA lined up on the other side of the ball. No extra point or field goal attempt would be safe.

7) Dayan Lake

Is it too early for us to give out a Most Improved, Player award? If not, this one is easily going to our guy Dayan Lake. We’ve discussed his progress on the power rankings many times before and there were a couple of plays this last week that displayed not only his physical abilities but his awareness on the field. On a long pass completion SUU’s Raysean Pringle had broken into the secondary with Dayan giving chase from behind. Seeing an opportunity to for a turnover, Lake swung his harm down hard on the ball and forced a fumble (which really should have be recovered by Harvey Langi). In addition to the forced fumble, he had a great tackle for loss. His coverage skills will still need work but his ability to be physical and tackle in space shows us why he was a highly-touted recruit coming out of high school.

6) Mitchell Juergens

Mitchell started the day with an impressive leaping catch on the first offensive play of the game for a 31 yard gain. He finished the day with a team-high six catches for 82 yards. It has been mentioned in each of the last two games that after the trip to Boise State the wide receivers took it upon themselves to catch everything that came their way. I’ve noticed marked improvement from each of the wide outs but Mitchell has been most impressive with his ability to bring in those tougher catches. The WR core takes a lot of flack but I always appreciate the inside receivers like Mitchell who take a beating by running those routes over the middle. It’s a thankless job and Juergens does it with a smile.

5) Brayden El-Bakri

SPEAKING OF RECEIVERS, DID YOU SEE EL-BAKRI DOING HIS THING? There are few things in life that are more fulfilling than watching a fullback catch a pass and then turn up-field to lay waste to the opposing secondary. What exactly would be more fulfilling than that? I’ve never been married or had any kids so it might sound superficial when I say things like eating a really delicious lobster roll or running more than 5 miles without having to stop for a snack but hey that’s all I know at this point in my life. At any rate, I loved seeing Brayden have his moment in the sun after being the lead blocker on multiple Jamaal Williams runs and Taysom touchdown passes. He’s got some soft hands and for a bigger fella he can really move well. Here’s to hoping he’ll get a few more passes thrown his way in the coming weeks.

4) KJ Hall

Raise your hand if you thought that KJ Hall was going to be the leading rusher in a football game this season. Go ahead and keep your hands up so I can get a count of the all the liars. Thanks.

With Jamaal still getting back to full health and Squally being limited by wearing a soft cast, KJ was able to get some carries and boy howdy did he make the most of it. Of course we have to preface it with “well it was against Southern Utah” but when I saw how tentative Squally and Algie were running it was a breath of fresh air to see KJ attack the line of scrimmage with reckless abandon. He’s definitely on the light side but he makes up for it in quickness, speed and field awareness. Check out the video below where he breaks off his route to find the hole in coverage, resulting in a huge gain. I don’t think he’ll ever be a starter on offense but he has the potential to play a role similar to that of Darren Sproles. Diminutive but pretty dang good.

3) Tomasi Laulile

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: THE VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT IN THE FORM OF ABUSE TO OFFENSIVE LINEMAN. BYU DEFENSIVE TACKLE TOMASI LAULILE DOES UNSPEAKABLE THINGS TO A LEFT TACKLE AND QUARTERBACK. WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK.

2) Taysom Hill

This man will have a lasting legacy here at BYU and it will be for plays like this. He completely changed how we viewed the quarterback position and fought back even when his body failed him multiple times over. I don’t know if we’ll every see a running quarterback quite like Taysom ever again. If we do, we should thank our lucky stars.

1) Nick Kurtz

This week we got to see the Nick Kurtz that we all hoped he would be when he stepped on campus. He ran crisp routes, made tough catches (I still content that his catch out of the back of the end zone should have counted) and last but certainly not least, he did a killer job with his blocking. If you reference the clip above you will see as Taysom takes off for the sideline Nick engages with the cornerback and starts to seal him off to the sideline. He sustains the block long enough to take the DB out of the picture and make way for Taysom. It’s something small but it makes for a complete performance that will always be recognized in this corner of the internet.

Also, here is a delightful touchdown catch. Congrats Nick, you’re #1.

WELL THAT WAS WEIRD

At the beginning of the second quarter Mike Needham of SUU laid a vicious illegal hit on Garret Juregens as he was set up to field a punt. While Juergens was looking up the field the punt, Needham came flying in and took out the defenseless punt returner. After being flagged for targeting, which is always reviewed by the booth, Needham started to make his way to the locker room before the refs even made a decision. It was as if Needham was a little kid who just shaved his sisters head and lit the garage on fire. He didn’t have to have his parents tell him he was in big trouble so he went straight to time out.

Also, I had no idea this happened until a few minutes ago but apparently Cosmo broke a world record for most back handsprings in one minute by a mascot. Next week I’ll be on the field to attempt to break the record for most back handsprings by a male who has never attempted to perform a back handspring. If that doesn’t motivate you to buy a ticket to the UMass game, I don’t know what will.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

After Tanner’s first series that stalled after two incomplete passes, Jarom Jordan tapped into the mind of that one “grass is always greener” fan.

JAKE VS JAKE

There is a football player on the team by the name of Jake Oldroyd (aka the Baby-faced Assassin aka TEX aka The Dragon from Southlake) and my first name also happens to be Jake. Each week we’re going to rate the performance of each Jake and decide who had the better week.

There is very little evidence of what Jake Oldroyd was up to this last week but we do know this, Jake ate breakfast. Let’s check out the evidence.

Man. I don’t want to exaggerate the importance of eating breakfast but it’s probably the single most important meal of the day. Lunch is either a sandwich or leftover food from the night before and dinner is cool but BREAKFAST brings the heat. I should also point out how impressive it is that Jake Oldroyd, a college freshman, is eating breakfast, a meal that most his age don’t usually eat.

It’s a good thing that we’re not judging Jake Welch on his ability to eat breakfast during his freshman year in college because Jake was never awake to eat food during breakfast hours. If Jake was awake during breakfast hours it was because he had to walk back to his bed after some adventurous sleep-walking which landed him on the floor next to the vending machines wearing nothing but his boxers.

All of that is besides the point because we’re basing this on the here and now. Jake Welch had a decent week in which he was able to eat breakfast every single day. He also ate lunch and dinner, meaning that Jake Welch went a perfect 21 for 21 on his meal attempts. When you consider his previous breakfast habits as noted above, and the propensity people in their twenties have for skipping meals, it’s an impressive feat.

So who takes home the title this week? Jake Oldroyd did eat breakfast on Saturday but we have no idea what he did with the rest of his meals. ADVANTAGE: Jake Welch

UP NEXT: UMass

Things that I know about the University of Massachusetts Amherst or UMass.

  1. Amherst, Massachusetts is in the middle of nowhere.
  2. Once upon a time there was a basketball player named Marcus Camby and he played basketball at UMass.
  3. There is a terrible basketball movie called “The Sixth Man” where a college basketball player dies and his ghost is able to help his team (the Washington Huskies) win a bunch of games. They reach the championship game and what team do the Huskies + One Ghost play against? UMass.
  4. UMass has a football team, and like BYU, are independent in the sport.
  5. In the future BYU will play against UMass at Foxboro Stadium aka Tom Brady’s Fun House.