WEEK 1 POWER RANKINGS
10) Mitchell Juergens
I know what you’re thinking and yes, you are correct. Mitchell Juergens didn’t record a single catch in the season opener. So why exactly is he gracing the presence of this prestigious power ranking? It turns out that Juergens made a HUGE catch on Saturday, it just didn’t show up in the box score. You see, before Jake Oldroyd became that latest freshman folk hero, Mitchell did a perfect job catching a low snap and getting the placed in time for the placekicker to do his thing. After watching the kick thousands of times, the more I realize how difficult that hold was. It looks as if the snap was on a very low trajectory and the ball hit the ground right as it reached Mitchell’s hands. That didn’t phase him as he quickly placed the ball upright and the rest is history. It won’t put him in the newspapers but here on the internet, we recognize greatness in all its forms because not all heroes wear capes.
9) Butch Pau’u
If it wasn’t clear why BYU’s defensive coaches were fine moving Harvey Langi to defensive end, it should be now. Butch Pau’u is an absolute beast. Aside from two plays in the second half where he found himself a little out of position, Pau’u played one heck of a game. He led the team with nine tackles (seven solo, two assists) and two and a half tackles for a loss. If he can continue to be a stabilizing force in the middle, this defense can be very good.
Also, his name is Butch. It’s such a great name that he should start a campaign in the state of Utah to plead with people to not conjure up their own names like Markxlin (the x is pronounced like a p) or Jershuap. If you need to give a disclaimer about how to annunciate you son’s name, just do yourself a favor and name him Butch. He might be a great BYU football player someday.
8) Jonny Linehan
There are very few athletes out there that perform well in their respective sport and have a strong social media presence. Some of them are delightful to watch play but are painful to follow on Twitter. (Yes, I’m talking to you Jimmer Fredette.) Every once in a while you can find yourself an athlete that can do both, and one of them is Mr. Jonny Linehan. No only does he give us great insights into his marriage and wonderful perspective on what life is like as a punter, he also punts with dangerous precision. Just about every punt on Saturday night had a chance to be downed inside the five-yard line. A few of them ended up being touchbacks but every time the BYU gunners had a chance to down it deep in Arizona territory. It was truly a sight to behold.
7) Kai Nacua
What’s that? Kai Nacua came up with a huge interception late in the game that helped swing the momentum back in BYU’s favor?
THIS ISN’T NEWS. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. JUST GET USED TO IT ALREADY.
6) Jonah Trinnaman
I don’t use the phrase “as good as advertised” but I feel like Jonah is deserving of such praise because he showed up in a big way. A lot of fans we’re hoping to see the deep threat version of Trinnaman (we saw one such deep ball in his direction that was batted away by a defender who probably should have been flagged for interference) but it was just as important that he showed off his skills on the short-to-intermediate routes. On the last drive of the game, Jonah caught a tough pass over the middle on a slant route to help BYU convert on 3rd down. Having sure hands like that in key situations is invaluable. I’m sure this won’t be the last time we see him on this list.
5) BYU Coordinators
I’ll be the first to admit that I was a subtly skeptical of both Ty Detmer and Ilaisa Tuiaki. We knew very little about each of them as play callers and both of them would be acting in a coordinating role for the first time in their careers. Aside from the play calling in the first game (which was pleasant) I was more impressed with the overall game plan that BYU constructed. In an interview with Greg Wrubell, Ty discussed how he and Ilaisa came together to plan for Arizona and their up-tempo offense. What resulted was a much more deliberate offense from BYU that allowed them to stay on the field and limit the number of times Arizona had the ball. Now it could be that this is what BYU’s offense will look like all the time but either way, the coordinators had a game plan and they executed it perfectly.
4) Taysom Hill
I feel like I could write 2,000,000 words on Taysom Hill’s return to the field and his steady performance but I’ll just say this. Watching Taysom Hill play football is a pleasure. Dare I say, a joy beyond measure? Of course. Is he going to be the player that we saw in 2013-14? No, but he’s still mobile enough to escape the pass rush and get first downs with his legs. People have been nit-picking the fact that he’s lost a step or isn’t as aggressive. That’s not of consequence. With this new offense, we don’t need Taysom to hurdle defenders or bulldoze over linebackers. We need him to stay in control and that’s exactly what he did.
3) Francis Bernard
It’s not fair how well Francis played in his first game on defense. His interception was a thing of beauty but those of us who watched him catch passes out of the backfield last year weren’t all that surprised when he came up with the INT. Just as impressive was his sack of Anu Solomon that knocked with Wildcats out of field goal range. The expectations certainly skyrocketed for him after this last game but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t exceed them.
2) Jamaal Williams
I love Jamaal Williams more than just about any other BYU running back of the last 20+ years because he REFUSES to go down easy. The dude just fights harder than just about anyone on that field. Even when things looks bleak and the defense is stacking the box, Jamaal will find a way to get positive yards. It’s what he has been doing for years and on Saturday night he put on a display of strength and vision. If you don’t love the way Jamaal plays then we probably need to have a fight about it on Twitter.
1) Jake Oldroyd
This might sound crazy but someone wrote a song about Jake Oldroyd. OK maybe they didn’t exactly write the song FOR him but you can’t tell me that when Vulfpeck penned the words to “Game Winner” they didn’t have a vision of Jake kicking his way to football glory. Just read these lyrics.
I MEAN COME ON. Fourth quarter? It’s not over? Believe in me (and not the other kickers)???????
THIS ALL HAPPENED THIS SONG NEEDS TO BE PLAYED EVERY TIME JAKE OLDROYD WALKS INTO A ROOM. MAKE IT SO INTERNET FRIENDS.
Seriously, listen to this song right now.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
BYU fans showed up in droves to University of Phoenix Stadium and apparently we brought the noise as well.
Btw, that Arizona-BYU game was in Phoenix, not Provo, in case it sounded that way.— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) September 4, 2016
WELL THAT WAS WEIRD
Cosmo was very excited about the football season. Perhaps a little too excited.
what the hell pic.twitter.com/joi5rV4L7c— Deadspin (@Deadspin) September 4, 2016
JAKE VS JAKE
There is a football player on the team by the name of Jake Oldroyd (I think you guys might know him now) 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.
This week was a pretty big week for Jake Oldroyd. He hit his first ever field goal in a college football game. Thanks to the made kick, all of his teammates now know his name and he’ll finally get some team issued cleats. Oh, and on Sunday he submitted his mission papers.
Jake Welch had an average week. While he did survive a two-mile run in the Arizona heat (a test not for the faint of heart) he made a really poor decision on what kind of burger he ate before the BYU game which resulted in some mild heartburn that lasted until halftime. Jake also lost every single game that he played on his visit to Top Golf in Scottsdale. He tried to blame his loss on the computers like a sore loser.
It’s pretty clear who had the better week here. ADVANTAGE: JAKE OLDROYD
UP NEXT: UTAH
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”