Three Observations From BYU’s Big Win Over Troy
PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars cruised to their second blowout victory of the season with a 48-7 win over the Troy Trojans. They’ve outscored their opponents 103-10.
They never trailed in the game and the convincing victory should keep BYU ranked even with the return of the Big-10 and Pac-12 conferences to the rankings.
There were many notable performances from the Cougars. Tight End Isaac Rex scored his first touchdown as a Cougar, accompanied by a questionable touchdown dance. Masen Wake scored multiple touchdowns in the red zone and Kavika Fonua played both sides of the ball.
With that being said, here are my three main observations from the Cougars win over the Trojans:
1. Zach Wilson best QB performance since bowl win over Western Michigan
Zach Wilson was outstanding in his first performance under the lights at Lavell Edwards stadium in 2020 going 23-28 for 392 yards and four touchdowns, two of which came on the ground. I was hoping he would get to 400 yards passing, but he was replaced by Baylor Romney before he could reach that mark.
He showed his full arsenal of passes in tonight’s game. He had beautiful throws downfield to Dax Milne for a touchdown to start the third quarter and another on target deep ball to Gunner Romney that set up his first rushing touchdown of the night.
There’s no doubt that Wilson is healthy and it’s making a big difference. His arm looks strong and he’s making difficult sideline passes look effortless.
You can’t help but wonder what Wilson and this BYU football team could have done with their original 2020 schedule. I’ve been critical of Wilson in the past, but there’s no doubt that he’s the best QB on the roster, and he’s shown that with improved play in the first two wins of the season.
2. The BYU defensive line was dominant
BYU finished the 2019 season ranked near the bottom of the country in sacks with 17. They weren’t able to put consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
That hasn’t been a problem in 2020 after another impressive performance from the big guys upfront. They sacked Troy quarterback Gunnar Watson four times.
All four of those sacks came from defensive lineman. Khyiris Tonga led the way with two sacks. Zac Dawe and freshman Tyler Batty added sacks as well.
More impressive than the pressure on the quarterback was the ability to completely shut down the Trojan rushing attack. Troy only gained 19 yards on the ground versus BYU after rushing for 240 yards in their season opening win against Middle Tennessee State.
3. Jake Oldroyd deserved more field goal opportunities
It’s hard to complain after a thorough victory, but BYU left points off the board. There were two situations where the BYU offense faced 4th downs just outside the 30 yard line and elected to go for it, only to turn the ball over on downs.
Before the half ended, Jake Oldroyd drilled a 54 yard field goal to give the Cougars a 24-7 lead. The kick could have been good for 60 yards out. It was an absolute bomb.
Oldroyd is a real weapon for BYU. The Cougars should take the points whenever a drive stalls inside the 35 yard line. He’s made enough long field goals to be trusted to take those longer field goal kicks.
Up next for the Cougars is Louisiana Tech on Friday night in Lavell Edwards stadium. With no power five teams on the schedule, voters will be paying attention to how the Cougars fair against lesser talented teams.
The margin of victory matters in college football when playing less talented opponents. Its always been that way. BYU will need to continue to win convincingly week in and week out if they want to remain ranked and relevant in the national conversation.
BYU Cougars Scoreboard
BYU Cougars Team Leaders
BYU Cougars Standings