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BYU Losing To Utah Is Business As Usual

Zack Moss #2 of the Utah Utes breaks a tackle attempt by Jared Kapisi during their game at LaVell Edwards Stadium on August 29, in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – Utah defeated BYU. No surprise. It’s happened nine straight times now.

Thursday night, well, early Friday morning’s defeat didn’t require Utah to pull out any late-game heroics. It was just a sound victory that left BYU wondering what happened.

BYU fans were energetic, excited, and ready to create a memory. The only memory they were left with was how dominant the No. 14 Utah Utes were in a 30-12 win against their Cougars.

“It’s tough man,” BYU wide receiver Micah Simon said. “You work all off-season for this game and for this first game against a great team like them. You obviously want the best and want the win. It’s gonna sting right now.”

Simon continued, “But, as leaders and as guys were saying in the locker room afterward, we have to move on. This isn’t going to define our season. We still have 11 games to play and I feel like we will be a really good team, we just have to continue to come together and continue to execute and I’m looking forward to learning from this game and continue battling with my brothers.”

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Zack Moss is the best running back BYU will face in 2019

Utah senior Zack Moss made a strong case that not only is he the best running back in the Pac-12, but he might also be the best running back in the country.

Moss ran the ball 29 times for 181 yards.

BYU’s defense had no answer for Moss and the Utes in the second half. Utah controlled 23:01 of the game clock in the second half. BYU’s offense had only one drive in the third quarter because BYU could not stop Moss.

BYU: ‘We just shot ourselves in the foot’

“I think we just shot ourselves in the foot pretty much every drive in the first half,” said BYU TE Matt Bushman. “We had a lot of opportunities but whether it was penalties or just dumb mistakes, or missed assignments, that takes momentum away.”

BYU was outclassed in this game. The better team won this football game. Do not mistake that. But, BYU’s offense did have moments in the first half where the coaching staff will look at the film and likely want some of those calls back.

The second quarter, BYU’s offense was moving down the field and had entered the red zone at Utah’s 20-yard line. Quarterback Zach Wilson left the field on 3rd & 3 and into the game was backup QB Jaren Hall. BYU then suffered a 12-yard loss on that play in a critical third down and had to settle for a Jake Oldroyd field goal.

In the third quarter, Utah’s offense was dealt a 2nd & 27. Quarterback Tyler Huntley completed a pass to Jaylon Dixon for nine yards but BYU cornerback D’Angelo Mandell was flagged for a facemask. Automatic first down.

BYU was soundly defeated, but the Cougars didn’t help their cause in any shape or form throughout the rivalry game.

Wide receivers remain a question mark for BYU

13 receptions for 139 yards. That would sound like a stat line for a number one wide receiver, but that’s the stat line for the five BYU receivers that had receptions in the 18-point loss.

Utah zeroed in on junior tight end Matt Bushman after he was targeted early and often in the first half. Bushman ended the game with six receptions for 62 yards. Once Bushman was accounted for, BYU had no threat in the receiving department to go up against Utah’s talented secondary.

The wide receiver unit has been a question mark all year, but some of the questionings subsided as reports of explosive plays from this group took place in fall camp. But now it’s time to regroup and look to bounce back in short order.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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