Saturday’s game versus McNeese State is just around the corner, but here is one last deep-dive into BYU’s upset win over Wisconsin before we fully move onto the Cowboys.
Heisman Hopes Dashed Again
Remember how Khalil Tate was a Heisman candidate before BYU shut him down? Well, Wisconsin came into this matchup with their own candidate: Jonathan Taylor. In the first 2 games of the season, Taylor averaged 199 yards per game and 7.8 yards per carry. He also was tied for the lead in rushing touchdowns. BYU held him to only ( ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) 117 yards at a 4.5 yard per carry clip and no touchdowns (He’s now tied for 9th with BYU’s own Squally Canada). Of Taylor’s 26 carries, 13 went for fewer than 3 yards and he didn’t get a carry in Wisconsin’s final drive. Quick, start hyping Washington QB Jake Browning as another Heisman hopeful.
Air It Out
After noticing the lack of deep passes featured in the offense so far, I decided to track the depth of receivers when targeted by Tanner Mangum through the game. Mangum threw 19 passes that were not throwaways. The breakdown looks like this:
Behind the LOS: 5 passes
Between 0-5 yards: 4 passes
Between 5-10 yards: 4 passes
10+ yards: 6 passes
More than 1 out of 4 passes went to a receiver behind the line of scrimmage, and almost half didn’t travel more than 5 yards downfield. (Also of note: 5 of the 19 passes were underthrown or behind the receivers. While this is not always the quarterback’s fault, that combined with the lack of deep passes is reason for concern with Mangum’s arm strength.)
This season, the biggest hole in BYU’s offense was the lack of explosive plays (tied in part to the short passing game discussed above). Through 2 games, BYU only had 1 play of 30+ yards. Against Wisconsin, BYU had 3 such plays. BYU was consistently able to get chunks of yardage at a time. This resulted in BYU’s season Yards per Play to increase from 4.6 to 5.0 yards per play. Not a bad day for a struggling offense against a top ten defense.
Random ESPN Fascination of the Game
The ESPN booth spent 142 seconds complaining that Kalani Sitake used his timeouts to ice Wisconsin kicker Rafael Gaglianone because it meant he didn’t trust his offense and they were certain Sitake would use the third timeout. After the game Corbin Kaufusi told the media that the timeouts were to give him time to catch his breath so he could be effective with the field goal block unit.