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Top Performers for BYU vs. Sam Houston

BYU pulled out the 14-0 win over Sam Houston. Which players stood out?

Sam Houston v Brigham Young Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Sure, it wasn’t pretty. BYU’s offense has some serious issues to work through. Even so, BYU earned a shutout win over Sam Houston to start the 2023 campaign. Which BYU Cougars stood out?

Many of these stats and grades are a credit to Pro Football Focus.

Tyler Batty

It feels like Batty’s entire BYU career has led to this year, in this scheme. With Jay Hill’s revamp of the defense, it feels like Batty is finally set for that breakout season. If his performance on Saturday night is any indicator, buckle up.

Per Pro Football Focus (PFF), Batty had a whopping seven total pressures against the Bearkats’ offense. That included one sack and one QB hit. Only one BYU defender earned a higher overall grade for this game than Batty, whom we will get to later.

Overall, it was a perfect start to what should be Batty’s finest season in Provo.

Weylin Lapuaho

The offensive line struggled mightily to maintain a surge, especially in the run game. Guys like Kingsley Suamataia had uncharacteristically off nights. One lineman who did not falter was Lapuaho at left guard. When his comrades were faltering, he was thriving.

He played all 69 snaps on offense and earned the top grade of any offensive player on BYU’s roster, including a sparkling 81.1 pass blocking grade and an 80.7 mark in the run attack per PFF.

Hopefully the rest of the offensive line can follow suite in the games to come.

Not bad for his BYU debut after transferring from Utah State this offseason.

LJ Martin

It would be malpractice not to mention the freshman running back Martin. In a game where yards and quality offensive performances were at a premium, Martin stood out. Even with a few more experienced and accomplished running backs on the depth chart ahead of him, the El Paso, Texas native found himself with a golden opportunity and he took full advantage.

He averaged 5.7 yards per carry on 16 attempts, resulting in a game-high 91 yards. He broke off three different runs of at least 10 yards. BYU seems to have a bevy of running backs they can rely on.

The offensive line just needs to give them a chance.

Jakob Robinson

We finish with the pièce de résistance of BYU Cougars against Sam Houston. It’s quite possible BYU loses this game, or at least has a harder time winning it, without the efforts of cornerback Jakob Robinson. He earned the top grade of any Cougar, at 90.3. His pass coverage grade was a stellar 90.5.

That certainly is aided by him coming down with two interceptions. Both picks came in BYU territory, including one in the endzone. This is now two incredible games for Robinson in a row, dating back to the New Mexico Bowl when he made a goal line stand against SMU to help BYU win the game.

Along with two interceptions, he had five tackles and another pass defended on Saturday.

He earned the sixth-best coverage grade of any player in the FBS during Week 1. He is well on his way to taking that next leap under new defensive coordinator Jay Hill.