There are some football games where you can point to one specific play that leads to success or failure. Sometimes is a big gain or turnover that swings the momentum one way or another. On Saturday, it wasn’t one play in particular that led to the Cougar’s demise.
It was death by a thousand paper cuts.
There were false starts, missed blocking assignments, lots of dropped passes, killer penalties and unfortunate turnovers. A couple of mistakes here and there are forgivable but when you add them all up together it’s hard to overcome.
There were two specific drives that really did the Cougars in. After trading scores, Washington was on their second offensive possession and BYU had a chance to force a punt. Instead of having Isaiah Kaufusi’s sack be the nice momentum swing, a face mask penalty extended the drive. Another penalty after that negated another nice tackle for loss. A few plays later Jacob Eason delivers a strike for a touchdown.
On the very next drive for the Cougars the mistakes continued. There was a dropped pass by the usually reliable Talon Shumway, a false-start from Matt Bushman and finally a missed blocking assignment that let to a scoop-and-score for Washington.
If the Cougars hope to get to eight or more wins this season they need to clean things up. It’s impossible to beat a good team like Washington with that many miscues but even average teams will take advantage.
That said, let’s get to the POWER RANKINGS.
WEEK 4 POWER RANKINGS
10) Max Tooley
It’s always amusing to see what players of defense do when they get the ball. There are some that look like naturals while others prove that their assignment to play defense was the right call. With Max we got to see a little bit of both on his interception. He made a great heads-up play to make the catch and then showed some nice field awareness running the ball while following his blockers. Then when he gets to about the seven yard line he reaches out with the ball as if he’s going to magically glide five more yards into the end zone. It could have been another mistake on the day for BYU but thankfully Tooley’s knee was down.
Jacob Eason finally makes an ill-advised throw and BYU makes him pay. Just like throwing a hanging slider over the middle of the plate, it’s only a disaster if the batter connects for a hit.— Jake Welch (@BYUAllBlue) September 23, 2019
Max Tooley comes up with the pick and showcases some interesting goal line awareness. pic.twitter.com/ioYdhYtRvb
9) Lopini Katoa
How about that nice kick return! For the first time this year BYU was set up with this great field position after a decent kick return from Katoa who had a wide open lane thanks to some delightful blocking from his guys up front. Do we think that there’s a chance that BYU could return a kick for a touchdown this year? Just like the odds of me qualifying for the Boston Marathon, there is always a chance but we all know it’s unlikely.
8) Tyler Allgeier
It’s never easy for a player to make a transition to the other side of the ball and ever more so when it’s in the middle of the season. There is a chance that Tyler will be heading back to running back after the injury to Ty’Son Williams but he showed that he was serviceable in his time filling in a middle linebacker. He made a great play forcing a 4th quarter fumble with a perfect form tackle. It came when the game was already out of hand but it showed his potential on that side of the ball.
Welcome to the defense Tyler Allgeier! After a few whiffs, Tyler squares up with a nice form tackle and knocks the ball loose.— Jake Welch (@BYUAllBlue) September 23, 2019
It will be curious to see if he stays at LB it moves back to RB after Ty’Son’s injury. Both positions are getting a little thinner. pic.twitter.com/NGl70sS2gC
7) Dayan Ghanwoloku
It was a tough day in coverage for Dayan and the rest of the secondary. Jacob Eason proved to live up to the hype and his receivers (who had led the conference in dropped passes) caught the ball with ease. That said I think Dayan showed up in what is becoming his specialty, that being open field tackling. We see it on defense regularly but where it really shows is special teams. He does a great job of getting low to the ground, wrapping up and then twisting to make sure the ball carrier can’t escape. If he isn’t ready to play in the secondary in the NFL I’m sure he could follow the Dan Sorensen path and wreak havoc on special teams.
6) You, the fan
Even when things started to look bleak after the dismal first quarter the fans stayed engaged and brought some energy in the second quarter when things started to look a little better. Granted it only got worse from there but hey at least our guys had amazing support from a crowd that did a pretty great job with the white-out game.
5) Emmanuel Esukpa
The injury to Ty’Son Williams is devastating. In his limited time he showcased his fantastic physical abilities paired with his ability to see the field and react accordingly. His presence on offense will be sorely missed. That said, I’m bullish on Emmanuel Esukpa and what he brings to the table. There were back-to-back plays in a second half drive where Emmanuel made great plays showing off his talents.
On the first play of said drive, Esukpa busted off a solid 23-yard run straight through the heart of the Washington defense. The offensive line cleared a great hole but it was Emmanuel’s slight change in direction to avoid a linebacker that turned what would have been a 10 yard run into a 23 yarder. The very next play he catches a quick check-down pass from Zach Wilson and makes something out of nothing.
Emmanuel Esukpa had some great moments in the second half that give us some hope for what he can do in a full time role.— Jake Welch (@BYUAllBlue) September 23, 2019
On this quick check down Emmanuel he absorbs the hit, avoids the tackle, loses his shoe and still maintains his balance for an 8 yard gain. pic.twitter.com/Z6mtMcQ5Kl
4) Payton Wilgar
After stepping up his game last week Payton showed up again vs Washington, this time leading the team in tackles with ten. What’s great to see from Payton are his natural instincts that lead him to the ball. He made a couple of great plays where he was able to free himself of the blockers and deliver a punishing hit, like the one in the video below.
He also saved BYU’s bacon when Washington decided to attempt a fake field goal down inside BYU’s 10 yard line. Wilgar read the play perfectly, shed his man and then blew up the play. It’s great to see him continue to progress as he gets more playing time.
Payton Wilgar continues to impress in his first year. He avoids the mess of offensive lineman, finds the lane to the backfield and then lowers the boom. He’s still learning but it’s hard not to see his potential. pic.twitter.com/GgQXPleSpJ— Jake Welch (@BYUAllBlue) September 23, 2019
3) Matt Bushman
After weeks of getting special attention from opposing teams, Matt Bushman finally got a chance to have a big game. Not only did he total six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown but he also forced a couple of pass interference penalties that helped BYU move the ball. It was good to see Jeff Grimes and company find different ways for Matt to line up in order to get him more opportunities. Instead of lining up as a traditional tight end, we saw him in the slot and split out as a wide receiver to help get favorable matchups. Look for his productivity to increase as BYU faces off against teams that won’t be able to cover him one on one.
2) Jake Oldroyd
When you do something that hasn’t been done at BYU for what feels like a century, you’re going to get skyrocketed to the top of the list. Yes I know Jake missed an extra point, but I think we can forgive him after he drilled this field goal from a great distance.
Even Jake Oldroyd had a first half mistake with his missed extra point.— Jake Welch (@BYUAllBlue) September 23, 2019
He more than makes up for it with this 54 yard BOMB. His range will be crucial in future close games. pic.twitter.com/ivodQnKMMH
1) The Throwback Uniform!
The fact that a uniform takes the top spot on the POWER RANKINGS should tell you everything you need to know about this game. It wasn’t exactly pretty but hey at least those uniforms were.
WELL THAT WAS WEIRD
Did anyone else notice how many times that ESPN’s Steve Levy mention that it was BYU’s Homecoming game? He probably dropped it four or five times, saying “Well BYU brought out these great uniforms for their homecoming game” and “well the BYU fans sure didn’t get to see a good game for homecoming”.
Point of information Steve. Homecoming is on October 19th vs Boise State.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
This is a very important observation and an accurate one at that.
I don’t care what anyone says, if you take away the turnovers and the dropped passes and the blown coverages and the terrible decisions and the poor execution, this is a totally different ball game— Gahoolakoo (@alaskutahn) September 21, 2019
Glad to see this warm welcome for our Heisman trophy winner. Very seldom would you see this between a coach that was fired by the other less than 2 years ago. Probably because Ty is a terrific human being and we should all love him forever.
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 an up and down week for Jake Oldroyd as he missed his first extra point but then drilled a 54-yard field goal. It’s kind of like buying an ice cream cone with one scoop, only to accidentally drop the ice cream and then the guy at the counter gives you another one for free but this one has two scoops of ice cream. It’s a bummer that you dropped the ice cream but hey now you have more ice cream.
Things couldn’t have gone much better for Jake Welch this week as he accomplished the feat of going to Costco and spending under $100. There were plenty of opportunities for him to spend big on great items such as a 72-pound wheel of cheese or a coffin called “The Mother Casket” but he held strong and only got the essentials (socks, dental floss, and mac & cheese).
Jake Oldroyd should be praised for his great kick but nothing beats successfully escaping the temptations of Costco. Nothing. ADVANTAGE: Jake Welch
UP NEXT: Toledo
Did you know that Toledo has two mascots, Rocky and Rocksy, and they are dressed up like... space people? Rocketeers? If they don’t get shot out of a cannon every time Toledo scores then I will be very disappointed.