Three Observations From BYU’s First Win On The Blue Turf

Nov 6, 2020, 11:48 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2020, 3:57 am

Zach Wilson - BYU Cougars - Boise State Broncos...

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson (Courtesy of BYU Photo)

(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars blasted the Boise State Broncos 51-17 for their first win in program history on the blue turf.

Zach Wilson and the offense reeled off 38 unanswered points to cruise past Boise State after the Broncos kicked a field goal in the first quarter.

Wilson was masterful completing 21 of 27 passes for 359 yards. This performance will certainly boost his chances at winning the Heisman trophy.

It’s a bummer that Boise State wasn’t fully healthy. They lost their backup quarterback Jack Sears in the first quarter. Starter Hank Bachmeier was ruled out prior to the game for the second consecutive week. With that being said, BYU was in a similar situation a year ago and they upset the Broncos.

Boise State hadn’t lost at home by more than 20 points since 2001. Regardless of the injuries, this was an incredible performance by BYU and it should be recognized as that.

Here are my three observations from the Cougars eighth win of the season.

1. BYU Defense Forces Turnovers

Heading into the matchup, many wondered if the BYU defense could make enough plays to slow down the Bronco offense.

Kalani Sitake’s defense answered the call in the first half forcing two turnovers. Unfortunately, the offense was unable to score any points off those turnovers. Fortunately for BYU, the game was well out of reach for this to have an impact.

The first turnover was an interception by freshman Caleb Christensen off a deflected pass. The ensuring drive end on downs when Wilson tripped while trying to escape the pocket.

Khyiris Tonga stripped Cade Fennegan for the second turnover of the game. More on that in my next observation. The defensive line was a force to be reckoned with all night long. Bracken El-Bakri had nine tackles with half a

This Cougar team is tough to beat when the offense is scoring points and the defense is forcing turnovers.

2. Bad Clock Management

Late in the first half, Tonga made an incredible defensive play by stripping third string quarterback Cade Fennegan. Keenan Pili recovered the fumble in Bronco territory, putting the Cougars in prime position to extend their lead.

What ensued next was puzzling. Wilson was sacked on the first play, pushing the Cougars out of field goal range. On third down, Wilson found Romney for 16 yards putting BYU back in field goal range at the 3o yard line.

It was a tricky situation with no timeouts, but I think that the field goal unit had enough time to run onto the field and attempt a kick before the clock expired. Jake Oldroyd made a 47 yard field goal earlier in the half.

Kalani Sitake is an aggressive coach. He loves to go for it on fourth down. That’s all fine and good, but there are moments in a football game when a field goal is more valuable than the possibility of a touchdown.

Jake Oldroyd is one of the most reliable kickers in college football this season. I don’t think there should be any hesitation when BYU is in field goal range on fourth down. Take the points.

Hopefully this is a learning moment going forward. There may come a time this season where those extra three points could be the difference.

3. White Uniform Combination

BYU moved to 3-0 in the all-white uniforms with royal numbers and trim. They debuted these uniforms last season in a win at Utah State.

It’s the second time the Cougars have worn this jersey in 2020. They beat the Navy Midshipmen with those uniforms in the season opener.

The Cougars have outscored their opponents 148-34 in those uniforms. That’s insane.

I love all of the royal blue jersey combinations, but this one might be the best of them all. Hopefully it remains in the rotations for many years to come.

The 2020 season is far from over, but if BYU is able to secure a NY6 bowl game, it’s no doubt this should be uniform worn in that bowl game.

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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Three Observations From BYU’s First Win On The Blue Turf