There is no preamble to the rankings this week as I am busy working with the local Provo authorities on the state-wide search for our offense. We have a few solid leads but even then it’s hard to be optimistic when something has been missing for this long. Even so, we are doing whatever it takes to find completed passes, run blocking and consistent play calling.
In the meantime, enjoy this week’s rankings.
WEEK 3 POWER RANKINGS
10) Trey Dye
First of all I would like to welcome back the offensive players after they were suspended from the POWER RANKINGS last week. Our guy Trey Dye leads off the list thanks in part to his touchdown catch in the fourth quarter that put BYU within striking distance on their final drive. He made a tough catch with a defensive back draped all over him. On that same drive he also had a nice 10 yard reception to get the team in the red zone. I’d like him to be a little more consistent in pass protection but I still really like his progress thus far.
9) Jonah Trinnamann
Our guy Jonah only had one opportunity to run back a kick against Utah and boy howdy did he make the most of it. There were some great blocks set up by the return team (Trey Dye knocked some fool into next week) but just watch this video clip of Trinnamann turn on the jets as he hits the 15 yard line. Usually it’s bad news if a return man is running laterally but he finds the gap and hits the accelerator. I’m not sure he would have taken it to the house even if he wasn’t tripped up by Utah’s kicker but still he gifted the offense some great field position.
8) Ula Tolutau
On BYU’s first touchdown drive they ran six plays, four of which were Ula running downhill for positive yards. Kalani said after the game that they think he will be the guy moving forward and based on the small sample size it should be a good choice. It was curious though that after his touchdown run Ula only had one more carry for the rest of the game. Granted the offense was in a little bit of panic mode in order to play catch up but in five drives I would have expected him to get the ball a little more.
Ula Tolutau had 4 carries for 22 yards including this 1-yard TD run on the drive! pic.twitter.com/pOAi4khd6o— BYU Football (@BYUfootball) September 10, 2017
7) Matt Bushman
Tanner’s favorite target had a rather productive day with six catches for 50 yards. The most impressive of which came in the fourth quarter on BYU’s final touchdown drive when Matt hauled in a 20-yard reception to keep the drive alive. There are a lot of things that need serious fixing with the offense but Bushman has been a bright spot. Here’s to hoping that the passing game can continue to grow around his success. It might be another year before he becomes a threat that defenses need to game plan around but for now he’s a reliable pass catcher.
6) Tevita Mo'unga / Khyiris Tonga
Outside of the delightfully massive Mo Langi, our friends Tevita Mo'unga and Khyiris Tonga are the two largest men on BYU’s roster and they played to their stature on Saturday night. There were multiple times where I saw Utah’s poor center going backwards and sure enough #50 or #95 were there causing havoc. They’re not always the guys making the tackles or racking up the sack numbers but they do a great job of plugging up things in the middle.
After those 2 plays from K. Tonga, Utah tries to run "Chevy Sneak" which they had success w/ before in gm w/out Tonga in gm. Not this time. pic.twitter.com/OVYvQ803Wf— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) September 11, 2017
5) Dayan Ghanwoloku
WHO ARE THE FIVE GREATEST OPEN FIELD TACKLERS OF ALL TIME? DAYAN, DAYAN, DAYAN, DAYAN AND DAYAN. BECAUSE HE SPITS HOT FIRE. (If you understand this reference, congratulations you are now my new favorite person.)
But seriously, Dayan should put on a clinic on how to take down players in the open field. He had six tackles against Utah and all six of them were solo tackles. Just watch as he keeps his balance, attacks quickly, and wraps up as if his life depends on it.
Dayan Ghanwoloku is a phenomenal open field tackler. pic.twitter.com/741ROkasHm— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) September 11, 2017
4) Tanner Jacobson
Micah Hannamann ended up sitting the entire game instead of just for the first half and Tanner Jacobson filled in admirably. He was the second leading tackler with seven and didn’t make any major mistakes, which is more than what you would expect from a backup. I’ll be glad to see Micah return to the starting lineup next week but I really like what Tanner brings to the table.
3) Troy Warner
Just like his brother Fred, I love that Troy is always in the mix on defense. It doesn’t matter if it’s on a sweep to his side of the field or an extend pass play that forces him to stick on his receiver a few more seconds, Troy is there to make a play. His awareness to recover the fumble in the second half was huge but my favorite play came in the first half when Utah was knocking on the door. On third-and-goal Troy made a huge pass deflection that probably saved a touchdown.
Fantastic pass rush by Corbin Kaufusi again to flush Huntley from pocket. Hadley on the force, and Troy Warner in plaster tech w/ PBU pic.twitter.com/FVnxnU4fUO— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) September 10, 2017
2) Corbin Kaufusi
In typical Kaufusi fashion, Corbin is getting better each week. In the Portland State game he nearly decapitated their quarterback and on Saturday he did a fine job putting pressure on Tyler Huntley. We’ll need him to step up this week against Wisconsin but I don’t have any doubt that he’ll be up for the challenge.
1) Fred Warner
There is a reason why Fred Warner is considered one of the best linebackers in the country. The dude just flat out makes plays. If you watch the video of his fumble recovery that led to BYU’s first touchdown, it might look like he was lucky to be at the right place at the right time. A closer look will reveal that he did exactly what he needed to do in quickly shedding the tight end, and then put himself in a position to play the zone read. Fred was ready to take down Zach Moss in the backfield if he ended up keeping the ball but he was also balanced enough to make a play on Huntley. The ball hits the ground and because Fred is in perfect position, he’s there to capitalize.
Fred Warner like KVN before him, always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Another fumble recovery for the uber athletic OLB pic.twitter.com/HKabUbzKEv— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) September 11, 2017
What’s that? You thought I was done talking about Fred? THINK AGAIN because I need you to know that he made an absolute perfect tackle in the first half that forced a fumble (which should have been recovered by Butch Pau’u). Fred puts his helmet right on the ball, popping it lose.
Corbin Kaufusi with the clothesline, Fred Warner knows how to put his helmet on the pigskin. pic.twitter.com/fTg5Vt59hZ— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) September 10, 2017
Fred might not make the big flashy plays like Kyle Van Noy before him but he consistently does all the little things right that result in the rest of the defense playing at a high level. Even if the offense continues to struggle Fred Warner will always be worth the price of admission.
WELL THAT WAS WEIRD
For those who were in attendance, you might have seen a purple Y illuminated on the mountainside just north of Y Mountain. It kept on flashing its purple lights at random points during the game and everyone in our section was very confused by its presence. It turns out it was a group of BYU and Utah students trying to raise awareness about climate change because there’s no better audience for that kind of message than a football game in Utah, a state known for its love for the environment.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
No explanation needed here. Congrats to Nick on an excellent topical tweet.
JACOB VS JACOBSON
There is a football player on the team by the name of Tanner Jacobson (subbing in this season for place kicking extraordinaire Jake Oldroyd) and my first name also happens to be Jacob. Each week we’re going to rate the performance of each Jacob and decide who had the better week.
As mentioned above Tanner Jacobson had a pretty decent week. He made some great plays on defense and also contributed on special teams. He’s going to add some nice depth to the safety position and hopefully show us something special in his punt returning duties. There was no sign of his magnificent mustache that appeared last week but based on his play alone we’ll assume that he’s still rocking it.
Before the game, Jacob Welch had the pleasure of playing golf up in Heber at Red Ledges. The weather was perfect and the course was in great shape but the play from Mr. Welch was nothing like the conditions as he sprayed his shots in just about every direction except straight. While he didn’t come away with a low score, he did dominate in the time-honored tradition of leaving with more golf balls than the thee with which he started. Just like his grandfather before him, Jacob has mastered the art of hitting his golf ball in remote locations, giving him plenty of opportunities to find other poorly hit balls. He’s still waiting to hear back if his eight found balls on hole #8 sets the course record.
WINNER: Jacob Welch - He returned home with $40 worth of golf balls and his counterpart did not. Better luck next time.
UP NEXT: Wisconsin
The state of Wisconsin is famous for... absolutely nothing. I do know that it played a big role in the presidential election but I don’t know there is any reason to ever visit the place beyond standard family or work obligations. Don’t believe me? The next time you’re in an airport look for the gate that has people flying to Milwaukee and look at their faces. Are they smiling? Of course not. They have to go to Wisconsin and that shouldn’t make anyone happy.
In contrast, here’s a video of Wisconsin students upon hearing that they’re allowed to leave the state when they’re finished with school. Such elation!