For the first time this season BYU, faced a true “cupcake” team, unlike most P5 teams that get a couple of those in September. Since it’s been a while, we’ll remind everyone that there are really only two important things that need to happen in these games.
- Stay healthy
Since BYU succeeded on both fronts versus Idaho State, we can move onto next week’s game. Before before we sink out teeth into the next cupcake that is UMass, let’s get to the POWER RANKINGS.
WEEK 10 POWER RANKINGS
10) Sam Baldwin
In all honesty I know next to nothing about Sam except for the fact that he recorded 2 tackles back in 2016 and hasn’t seen the stat sheet since then. On Senior Day he got to see the field on special teams and made a nice tackle. It was something small but after years of practicing with the team and walking around the sideline during game, he finally got to get back on the field and hear his name over the loud speaker. It’s exactly what you want to see in the final home game of the season.
I have all the respect in the world for players who put in the effort to stick with the program even if they don't get a ton of playing time. Senior Sam Baldwin got his first tackle since 2016 on kickoff duty and it was great to see his teammates share his excitement. pic.twitter.com/FnLUBFUs1Q— Jake Welch (@BYUAllBlue) November 19, 2019
9) Zach Wilson
I spent way too much time on Twitter during the game watching people say really unintelligent things about Zach Wilson. Of course after two drives that were stalled by offensive line penalties, fans were calling for Baylor to come back in and take his place. There was a serious lack of patience exercised by these people and it’s bananas that they couldn’t see that this game was Zach’s opportunity to get used to playing at game speed again. Live practice reps are never the same as game reps and after being out for so long it’s going to take a minute to get in synch with the rest of the team. Did he have a great game? Nope, but he still showed us why he should be the starting quarterback. If he’s still “shaking of the rust” by San Diego State then we can talk.
Just take a quick look at this run in the second half. He puts a serious move on a defensive back to break open a long run down to the goal line. It’s not every day that you get a quarterback who can make a play like that.
Zach Wilson admitting during the post-game press conference that rust is no excuse for some of his throws or sacks. He didn't seem too pleased with his performance but he still showed his playmaking ability with this run.— Jake Welch (@BYUAllBlue) November 19, 2019
I mean good gracious just look at the move he puts on #12 pic.twitter.com/0kfD0DByqD
8) Keanu Hill
People like to complain about BYU’s softer November schedule but it’s perfect for 1) resting starters and 2) getting younger players some reps. In fall camp we heard that freshman receiver Keanu Hill was making big plays and impressing the coaching staff. Since BYU’s receiving core was fairly experienced and surprisingly healthy, he didn’t get much playing time until this last week. Granted most of his catches came in the fourth quarter of a blowout against Idaho State but the kid looked good! This spectacular sideline catch didn’t count (dang penalties) but man it was nice. Sign me up for the Keanu Hill newsletter because I am a fan.
In the second half we got to see what the future will look like at WR with Keanu Hill and Tevita Ika.— Jake Welch (@BYUAllBlue) November 19, 2019
This one didn't count because of a penalty (story of the day) but man this is one heck of a grab by Hill. Looking forward to watching him this next week as well. pic.twitter.com/f0JKxlsz9X
7) Sione Finau
This was the day for the seniors to get the glory, but Sione still put on a show going for 102 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown in which he went untouched. I’ve mentioned this about 1,000 times but it’s worth repeating that Finau has the footwork and agility to make guys miss at the second level. Linebackers don’t get many clean shots at him because he can quickly plant and change directions. In a perfect world where good things happen, Ty’Son Williams gets granted another year of eligibility and we get him and Sione as the 1-2 punch at running back, with Lopini coming in as the 3rd down back. Even if that dream scenario doesn’t happen I’m excited for a future that has Sione Finau in it.
6) Micah Simon
If you want some evidence that Micah Simon is having the best season of his career, here you go. With three games left in the season Micah has already eclipsed his career highs in yards and catches by a wide margin. He has also made an impact running the ball, averaging nine yards per carry. If you’d rather see something that can pass you eye test, just take a look at this move he makes on the sideline. And this probably wasn’t his best play of the day. High praise is in order for all of the senior receivers, along with Fesi Sitake. This group has over-delivered this year.
Micah Simon has turned it up a few notches this season and he was looking his best on Saturday.— Jake Welch (@BYUAllBlue) November 19, 2019
This fancy footwork along the sideline was **chefs kiss** magnifique. pic.twitter.com/T8t7q6i4UZ
5) Kyle Griffitts
I wasn’t sure if Kyle was going to top his best performance of the year (his lovely rendition of “Wagon Wheel” after the Utah State game) but then he came up with two big plays on special teams. The first was this beautiful blocked punt in which he hits the up-back so hard that his helmet gets in they way of the punt. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that happen before.
Check out strong man Kyle Griffitts with the classic "hit your guy so hard the he flies back and blocks his own punt with his helmet."— Jake Welch (@BYUAllBlue) November 19, 2019
Such an incredible flex. pic.twitter.com/86U5aB7V2V
4) Khyiris Tonga
There is something special about a large man scoring a touchdown and I know this because I was once a very large man who scored a touchdown. As a child, the Pop Warner leagues in my area had a rule that if you weighed more than a specific total then you had to wear a patch and only play on the offensive line. Being the giant child that I was, playing on the offensive line was my calling until one year my coach drew up a few plays that had me lined up as a tight end. On said play we would go unbalanced line to the right, fake a sweep in that direction and then I run a fly route down the left sideline. Since it looked like I was only playing left tackle, the defensive backs wouldn’t cover me. The very first time we ran this play I was so wide open that I thought the play was called dead. I caught the pass and even with no one within 20 yards of me I sprinted with all my energy to the goal line, upon which I celebrated by looking around and then placing the football back on the two yard line for the extra point. I had no idea what I was doing, and by the looks of it Khyiris felt the same way. He was usually the immoveable object that was defending the end zone, not the one dancing in it. Either way, it was a delight to see him get the score and then get mobbed by his teammates.
Large man touchdowns are the best touchdowns.— Jake Welch (@BYUAllBlue) November 19, 2019
Khyiris Tonga gets in on his second effort with the scrum package and bulldozes his way in. Shoutout to Devin Kaufusi and Austin Kafentzis for the pile control. pic.twitter.com/u8Kv3bJjRo
3) Dayan Ghanwoloku
On the very first offensive play from scrimmage for Idaho State, Dayan casually crept closer to the line of scrimmage and blitzed into the backfield for an easy tackle for loss. The play went to the opposite side of the field but Dayan chased him down from the backside to make the play. Later on he made a heck of a play to pull in an interception. And not just any kind of interception. It was a one-handed snag that made him look like a seasoned wide receiver. He does it all folks and I have a feeling that he’ll get a shot to do it at the next level.
2) Talon Shumway
I have to make a confession. About a year ago I was having a conversation with someone about the BYU receiver corps and Talon’s name came up. At the time I wasn’t the biggest fan and said that his pass-catching ability was overrated, specifically for someone who wasn’t exactly blazing fast or physically dominant. Over the course of the seasos, Talon has proved me wrong and I full accept it. His ability to high point the ball and make absurd catches look easy, like this one he snagged down on the goal line. Zach makes a nice throw to a spot where only he can catch it but it took some skilled body control to make the catch and cross the goal line.
This was the exact same play that BYU ran last week with Dax Milne that should have been called a touchdown.— Jake Welch (@BYUAllBlue) November 19, 2019
This time Dax and Talon flip spots and Shumway makes a great grab for an acrobatic score. Nice throw by Zach as well, no DB would be knocking that one away. pic.twitter.com/bqf6ZZCjYG
1) Austin Lee
There’s no better way to go out on Senior Day than a pick six, which is exactly what Austin Lee did on Saturday. In addition to a few other great plays, Lee was able to pull in his first interception of the season and was blessed with a convoy of blockers that led him to the promise land. It’s exactly what you want to see from one of your senior leaders and a player that transfered in from SLC. But the highlight of the day might have come from his son Ledger Lee who joined the team for the locker room dance party and hit that woah with ease. Here’s to hoping that in 18 years we’ll be putting Ledger at the top of the Power Rankings.
Ledger Lee joined his Dad in the locker room on Senior Day... He did NOT disappoint! pic.twitter.com/dYm7S4zEXH— BYU FOOTBALL (@BYUfootball) November 17, 2019
WELL THAT WAS WEIRD
OK this weird moment comes from the basketball game on Friday against Houston. We’ll all remember the amazing buzzer-beater from TJ Haws but did you see this kid behind the Houston bench after the game? Apparently he was so disgusted by the loss that he decided to ditch his Houston t-shirt right then and there. If anyone knows this young man we’re more than happy to provide him with a BYU shirt.
“Houston lost? Well I guess I better throw this shirt in the trash.” pic.twitter.com/s5LuXuWV51— Jake Welch (@BYUAllBlue) November 16, 2019
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Kyle Griffitts is a favorite here at the BYU Football Power Rankings and we are here to say that at 200 lbs or 300 lbs, we will support #42. BUT PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF LAVELL STAY AWAY FROM RANCHERITOS. IT IS A BAD PLACE WHERE NOTHING GOOD CAN HAPPEN. ESPECIALLY ON HALLOWEEN. Just use the drive-thru my mans.
Gotta calm down on the late night Rancheritos... https://t.co/7juOnuW1Iy— Kyle Griffitts (@kgee42) November 18, 2019
This week I’m pulling a photo from my actual family album to share with everyone. My mom went to the game this weekend with her sister and decided that she would wait in line to get a photo with Jamaal Williams. My father, who was unable to attend because of a funeral in Idaho, was jealous for multiple reasons.
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.
It was a bit of a down week for Jake Oldroyd as he missed a field goal from a shorter distance. He was kicking from a tough angle but I’m sure Jake won’t provide that excuse for himself. As always he was nails in the punting game, which is something that we shouldn’t take for granted. There is a specific art to kick the football while large humans are charging at you and Jake does a pretty decent job.
It was a big week for Jake Welch as he went on a 20 mile bike ride without crashing. Now most of you would scoff at the idea of this being a major accomplishment, seeing how most small children can ride their bikes without getting into some kind of accident, but they’re not riding around the streets of Los Angeles where riding a bike on the road is a death wish. When he first moved to LA Jake thought it was a good idea to ride his bike to work. After being hit twice in two weeks he decided that it was time to put that idea on hold. So the fact that he survived a long ride without breaking anything is a grand achievement.
Both Jakes faced grave danger this week and lived to tell the tale. We’ll call this one a draw. ADVANTAGE: Push
UP NEXT: UMass
Alright so the big beef with UMass this week is the fact that their broadcast partner, Flo Football, refused to make a deal with BYUtv to rebroadcast the came and now BYU fans will need to pay $20 to watch the game. It sounds like the folks over at Flo see this as a nice money grab but they don’t understand the supremely frugal nature of our fanbase. I am looking forward to watching the game through means that might be less than legal! Anyhow, here is a photo of the UMass mascot Sam the Minuteman at the school farm.