BYU COUGARS

Three Observations From BYU’s Win Over Louisiana Tech

Oct 3, 2020, 12:21 AM | Updated: Oct 5, 2020, 9:17 am
Carter Wheat - Louisiana Tech - BYU...
BYU tight end Carter Wheat (Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars used a second quarter scoring explosion to blow past Louisiana Tech for their third straight victory to start the 2020 season.

Zach Wilson and the BYU offense rattled off 38 unanswered points after the first quarter ended tied at seven en route to a 45-14 victory. He scored five touchdowns, completed 24 of 26 passes, and threw for 325 yards.

Wilson was outstanding for a third consecutive week. It’s easy to focus on his completion percentage of 92 percent, and rightfully so, but I love that he had another week of more than 300 passing yards.

The Cougar offense is stretching the field with bigger chunk plays. Wilson and Gunner Romney have hooked up on passing play of a least 20 yards in all three games this season.

Without further delay, here are my three takeaways from the win over the Bulldogs.

BYU has options at tight end

The future is bright for the tight end position at BYU. Isaac Rex is the starting tight end, but there are promising options on the depth chart behind him.

Freshman Carter Wheat is a guy who tight end coach Steve Clark has mentioned several times as a tight end he trusts, but through the first two games he didn’t register a catch. That’s no longer the case. His first reception of the season was a fantastic touchdown grab in traffic over multiple defenders. I anticipate he will continue to see targets in the passing game.

Masen Wake has been a relevation in the hybrid tight end/fullback role. His first down reception in the third quarter included his signature hurdle followed by a broke tackle for a first down. I love how Jeff Grimes is using him in the offense. He’s becoming a real weapon.

There’s no doubt that BYU wishes Matt Bushman was healthy and playing, but whenever he decides to go pro, there is a stable of tight ends ready to take over. By the way, I haven’t even mentioned Dallin Holker, who is currently serving a mission.

Gunner Romney has arrived

Prior to this season, Gunnar Romney was a talented and highly recruited receiver who hadn’t lived up to the hype.

That’s no longer the case after his third consecutive 100 yard receiving day. It’s hard to believe he never had more than 54 receiving yards in a given game prior to this season with the way he’s played.

16 receptions for 373 yards through three games is very impressive. He probably should have two more touchdown receptions if his two outstanding catches near the goal line weren’t overturned in back-to-back weeks.

Romney is on pace to have over 50 receptions this season which would shatter his career high of 31 catches.

There’s not doubt in my mind he is the go-to receiver for Zach Wilson and his ability to go deep  is adding a much needed element to the offense.

Tyler Batty emerging on the edge

It’s been a few seasons since the Cougars have been able to apply consistent pressure on quarterbacks from the defensive end position. Bronson Kaufusi was probably the last dominant edge rusher for BYU, and even then, he played linebacker for one season.

Defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki may have found the next great defensive end. Freshman Tyler Batty was a force to be reckoned with all night long. He finished the game with three sacks and six tackles.

The Cougars have only allowed 24 points this season. Increased pressure from the defensive line has played a large role.

BYU is up to 12 sacks on the season, nine of which have come from the big fellas upfront. It shouldn’t take long for them to surpass the 17 total team sacks from a season ago.

You can hear Matt Baiamonte every Saturday on KSL Newsradio for Cougar Sports Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or you can find him on Twitter here.

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