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Stat Breakdown: BYU vs LSU

The stats weren’t pretty (for the most part) in LSU’s beatdown of BYU

BYU v LSU Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

People often only like statistics when they reinforce their worldview. Well buckle up, because I’m about to reinforce that terrible feeling you have about how that LSU game went (for the most part).


Tanner Mangum completed 12 out of 24 pass attempts for 102 yards and -19 yards rushing. Starting with the passing, Mangum’s performance was about as underwhelming as the interception was underthrown. He had a passer rating of 77.4; Completing only 50% of your passes will do that. Of the 12 incompletions, 1 was the aforementioned interception and another was a smart throwaway under pressure. 4 were “bad” throws (balls that receivers couldn’t make a play on, i.e. at the receiver’s feet or outside their wingspan). 6 passes were broken up by the defense, including 2 that were batted by LSU’s linemen.

Mangum was sacked 3 times for a loss of 25 yards. The only time he tucked the ball and ran, he had BYU’s longest run of the night-a whopping 6-yard gain. Not all of this is on Mangum, as the offensive line was manhandled all night, but the Cougars need to see improved play from under center.

The receivers, in a repeat of last week’s troubles against Portland State, had trouble getting separation. Matt Bushman is obviously Mangum’s security blanket and Talon Shumway is not far behind. Those 2 were targeted on 15 of Mangum’s 24 pass attempts. Bushman caught 4 of the 5 catchable balls (3 were at Bushman, but not near him), and had 43 of BYU’s 97 total yards of offense. The next 2 leading receivers combined for 46 yards.

Warning: if you must insist on finding positives from BYU’s offense, read the following section; if you want to stay angry, you can still read it because it’s not that positive.

For the second consecutive week, BYU’s receivers had 0 drops. Also, outside of the 3 sacks (well, 2 sacks and a horrible intentional grounding penalty) BYU did not have a play go for negative yards. Every other play (including Linehan’s botched impromptu fake punt) at least made it back to the line of scrimmage.


Overall, I feel like the defense played well. You can only be expected to do so much when you are defending for 42 minutes on short fields. They held a top-3 running back to 4.5 yards per carry. That looks bad, but when you consider he averaged 7.6 yards per carry last year, I would call that a win.

The defense combined for 4 tackles for losses (more than LSU managed, by the way). However, they also forced only 3 incompletions. BYU’s defense had 8 missed tackles for a tackling percentage of 92.7%. That is a better percentage than against Portland State. Unfortunately, LSU’s offense was just too efficient against a tired defense.

Special Teams:

BYU called 45 plays. 7 of those were punts. 15.6% of all plays called by BYU were punts (17.8% if you count the fake punt).

Jonny Linehan netted 294 yards punting. That’s more than 3 times the total offense. He was also the 3rd leading rusher with 0 yards.

Jonah Trinnaman had a total of 96 yards returning kicks, 1 yard short of tying the total offensive output.

Number of the Game:


Mo Langi has now scared 2 kickers in to missing easy chip shots.

Micah Hannemann has now missed 2 halves this season for targeting. He has 1 more to serve.

2 horrible penalties that should get the refs fired over. Seriously, KJ Hall was right there. That’s not intentional grounding. The other was a non-called pass interference that honestly could have gone either way but it still made me mad in the moment.

ESPN has also apparently licensed 2 Taylor Swift songs this season, of which, 1 is enjoyable.