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Cougs on Cougs: Coaching from the Couch after BYU Football’s loss to Washington

Time to decompress after a disappointing loss, and find some silver lining, if we can.

Washington v BYU Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Here we are again, friends. We haven’t done a Coaching from the Couch post since the Utah loss because, well, when we win, what goes wrong is a lot less painful. But today, it is painful. BYU Football suffered a beat-down at the hands of no. 22 Washington at LaVell Edwards Stadium Saturday afternoon. 45-19 was the final score. Myself (Coach Blanchard) and Coach Tyler have some ideas on what went wrong and what went right during the game. As always, feel free to leave your input in the comments below. We are here to commiserate (and to look for whatever good we can find).

Coach Blanchard: For my what went right, I’ve got three things. 1. Tight End Matt Bushman in the first half. On the day, Bushman had 6 catches for 89 yards and averaged almost 15 yards per catch. That’s amazing. He also had a touchdown. (Unfortunately, that touchdown was his only reception in the second half.) 2. Jake Oldroyd’s 54-yard field goal. I’m not quite sure what happened with his missed extra point, but it’s indisputable, the kid’s got a leg on him. That leg has saved us before, and I’m willing to bet that it will save us again. Word on the street is, it’s the second longest field goal in BYU’s history. Let’s call the man whatever he’d like to be called.

3. It was kind of hard to come up with a third thing that went right, honestly, but I’m gonna say that the defense eventually showing up was... Fine? We ended up -1 in the turnover margin, which is better than I thought it was gonna be. Max Tooley’s interception set up the Bushman score at the end of the third quarter. Hayden Livingston’s fumble recovery set up a Zach Wilson interception... But, hey. The defense didn’t give up despite quite a bit of adversity, and I’m here for that. I would also like to go on the record and say that I think Washington is a very good team this year, and they deserve their top 25 ranking. That is not an excuse for losing or how we played, but it’s a little better to lose to a good team, than a bad one, right?

For what went wrong: 1. The receivers might have had their worst game of the season. Zach Wilson had 16 incomplete passes, and it’s gotta be up to half of those that bounced off of receivers’ hands. Those missed opportunities probably cost us a few points. 2. Penalties. They ended up being quite even when all was said and done. BYU was penalized 9 times for 80 yards and Washington was penalized 10 times for 79 yards. Where the disparity comes in, is the when and how of those penalties. The ones that come to my mind are from the first half. Perhaps the beginning of the end was Isaiah Herron’s personal foul on 4th and 16 when we had stopped Washington, but then basically penalized them into the end zone. There were other bad penalties, but thinking back to all of these bad things is making my brain blackout and I can’t recall them, so leave some other detrimental penalties in the comments below. 3. Points off of turnovers. They got 14 and we got 7, but timing comes in to play a huge part again. With the fumble recovery for a touchdown coming in the first, and then that “punt return for a touchdown” coming early in the third... Any chance we had for momentum was pretty much gone. The punt return brought the score to 38-12. I will say, referring back to penalties, that in my opinion, there was an EGREGIOUS missed block in the back call on that return. That’s why I put it in quotes. I’m seriously still fuming about that. Here’s the link to the video. Watch the first six seconds. The argument could be made that the contact with Dayan Ghanwoloku was incidental, but just let me be mad, okay?

Coach Tyler: For her, the receivers were also a what went wrong. “Disappointing since they’ve been pretty solid the last two games,” she said. Turnovers and penalties are her other two what went wrongs and she said, “The first quarter did not set the tone really well.” Coach Tyler also pointed out that RB Ty’Son Williams going down was very bad and said that could end up being one of the absolute worst outcomes of the game. While we haven’t seen any official word on the Williams injury, Bushman was the bearer of some good news postgame — Williams says he’s confident his injury isn’t anything major. Let’s all cross our fingers that, that is true.

Speaking of Bushman, she agrees that he was a bright spot in Saturday’s loss. BYU will regroup and be back on the field at Toledo next week, bright and early (at 10 am MT) on ESPN+.