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BYU Struggles With Utah State In Provo

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Tanner Mangum (12) looks to throw during the Utah State versus BYU football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. (Steve Griffin/Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars couldn’t overcome the first half route from Utah State, falling 45-20 at home.

Quarterback Tanner Mangum threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns, but committed two turnovers. One of the turnovers was a pick-six to USU linebacker Tipa Galeai, who returned the ball 56-yards for a touchdown.

For the second consecutive week, BYU’s running attack was non-existent, rushing for just 39 yards. Quarterback Zach Wilson led the Cougars in rushing with 25 yards on just two carries, that was on the last drive. Running back Lopini Katoa had 24 yards on eight rushes.

BYU’s defense couldn’t contain the Utah State offense, allowing 388 total yards including 223 rushing yards.

Second Consecutive Loss

Friday was a night of back-to-back losses for BYU, losing their second straight game this season after falling to Washington, 35-7 the previous week. The other is consecutive losses to Utah State for the first time in 44 years.

Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake was not pleased with his teams’ performance but gave USU credit.

“Utah State had a good plan and a good scheme, defensively they did good things up front,” he said. “We will evaluate everything and figure out who we are.”

Brigham Young Cougars running back Lopini Katoa (4) gets slips past the Aggie defense for a touchdown during the Utah State versus BYU football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. (Steve Griffin/Deseret News)

Need To Figure Things Out

In the last two games, BYU has racked up just 73 rushing yards. Coming into the Washington game last week, the Cougars had rushed for 626 yards.

Sitake sends a message to his team following two poor performances.

I still believe in our players but we are not playing our style of football,” he added. “I am open to it all being evaluated, that’s my job as the head coach,” Sitake said.

Throughout the game, BYU had 13 drives and only scored on three of them. Three drives were turnovers and one was turned over on downs.

Coach Sitake simply explained the play of his team compared to Utah State.

“They came in here and gave us a good butt whooping.”

BYU Fans See Freshman Quarterback Zach Wilson

With the game in hand for Utah State, Cougars offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes elected to go with Wilson on their last drive of the game with 3:39 left. Wilson gained the cheers of the fans on a 26-yard run, he would then hit wide receiver Talon Shumway for 20 yards. Eventually capping off the drive with an 18-yard strike to wide receiver Gunner Romney.

Sitake talked about the decision to go with Wilson late in the fourth quarter.

“Everything gets evaluated, I don’t know when the talk came about Zach,” he said. “There is a lot of things that we have to evaluate,” Sitake added.

BYU will look to snap their two game losing streak on Saturday when they host Hawaii at 8:15 p.m.