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Top Performers for BYU vs. Kansas

BYU fell to Kansas in Lawrence for their first loss of 2023. However, that doesn’t mean some Cougars didn’t play well.

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

BYU lost to Kansas 38-27 in their Big 12 opener. For the most part, BYU was competitive in this game and self-destruction was the main reason they lost.

Grades and stats are produced by Pro Football Focus.

Brayden Keim, OT

Brayden Keim played 27 snaps at left tackle and 48 snaps at right against Kansas and earned a 70.6 overall PFF grade and allowed just 1 pressure (but no sack or QB hit) in 56 pass blocking snaps. He helped fill in for an injured Kingsley Suamataia. He was a silver lining in BYU’s dumpster fire OL situation. Anyone who can play both tackle spots well is invaluable.

Keep an eye on him as a possible starter over Caleb Etienne soon.

Darius Lassiter, WR

The feel-good story of the game was the Lassiter family. Darius got to line up directly against his brother, Kwinton, a corner for Kansas. Not only that, but Lassiter was BYU’s most productive offensive player on Saturday. He had a team-high eight receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown.

The Eastern Michigan transfer is showing why BYU was excited to grab him in the transfer portal. He is part of the immense depth BYU has at receiver.

John Nelson, DT

While it may not show up much in the stat sheet, Nelson is having a solid start to the season. It’s hard for interior defensive linemen to get much love unless they put up ridiculous sack numbers. Nelson earned the highest defensive grade of any BYU Cougar against the Jayhawks, at 70.5.

Per Pro Football Focus, BYU pressured Kansas QB Jalon Daniels just four times. Nelson was credited with one of those pressures. He earned favorable grades in both pass rushing (66.2) and run defense (67.9).

Tanner Wall, S

BYU’s situation at safety seems to change depending on the week, even day. After getting thrust into duty against Arkansas to mixed results, Wall entered the week against Kansas as the set starter at free safety. He looked more comfortable against the Jayhawks. He earned a 67.7 coverage grade in 23 passing defense snaps and allowed zero receptions or receiving yards.