Five Takeaways From BYU Football Depth Chart Heading Into Coastal Carolina Game

Dec 4, 2020, 11:24 AM | Updated: 11:25 am
BYU Football - Lopini Katoa...
BYU football running back Lopini Katoa in action against Western Kentucky on October 31st, 2020. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
(BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – The No. 13 ranked BYU football team released another depth chart this week as they prepare to take on Coastal Carolina in the battle of undefeated teams in Conway, South Carolina.

BYU is 9-0 and continues to perform as one of the nation’s hottest teams during the 2020 college football season, despite the College Football Playoff committee’s low ranking.

Each week the BYU football coaching staff puts out a weekly depth chart heading into each game. There are usually some slight changes every week to the depth chart. With that said, here are some of my takeaways I gleaned while observing this week’s depth chart for the first-ever meeting between BYU and Coastal Carolina.

#1 No more “OR” at running back

Throughout the 2020 football season, there has been an -or- listed between running backs Tyler Allgeier and Lopini Katoa. This week, heading into the nationally-ranked showdown against the Chanticleers, that “or” is now gone.

Allgeier has emerged as the number one running back for BYU, rushing for 851 yards on 118 carries. That’s good for 7.21 yards per carry. But Katoa’s status is a question heading into Saturday afternoon.

Katoa suffered an ankle injury against Boise State on Nov. 6. Leading up to BYU’s game against North Alabama, Kalani Sitake said he was “hopeful” that Katoa could return against the Lions. Katoa didn’t play in that game as he wasn’t needed against the FCS foe.

He will be needed against a Coastal defense that features Senior Bowl invite Tarron Jackson at the defensive end spot.

If Katoa is not available on Saturday, Sione Finau, true freshman Miles Davis, and two-way player Kavika Fonua will be available to take carries.

#2 QB depth trimmed down 

BYU had sophomore quarterback Jaren Hall listed in the three-deep against North Alabama. This week, Hall has been removed from the depth chart. Last month, BYU Passing Game Coordinator Aaron Roderick said Hall was out for the season but noted a “chance” he could return later in December.

Hall has been out since fall camp due to an injury. The redshirt sophomore quarterback started in two games in 2019 and couldn’t finish either game due to multiple injuries.

During the game against North Alabama, BYU played Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters as the third quarterback after Baylor Romney. True freshman Jacob Conover enrolled during the season and has “mastered the playbook already,” according to Roderick.

#3 BYU Football secondary notes

Zayne Anderson started at free safety against North Alabama. Anderson played only 11 snaps in his first action back after suffering an ankle injury in October. This week’s depth chart has no -or- next to Anderson’s name.

Keenan Ellis is listed as the clear-cut starter at cornerback over true freshman Micah Harper. Ellis has started in the last five games, with Harper coming off the bench in the previous two games. BYU is 33rd nationally in passing yards allowed this season at 204.2 per game.

#4 Outside edge personnel

Many or’s occupy the outside edge spot right now with Alden Tofa, Uriah Leiataua, and Tyler Batty all listed there with no clear-cut starter. Tofa got the start in the North Alabama game, recording one tackle in 25 snaps played.

If BYU goes with the same depth chart as last game, Uriah Leiataua would be the backup as Tyler Batty has yet to return from a lower-body injury he suffered in October.

#5 Size in the trenches

BYU’s offensive line with Chandon Herring starting at right tackle (he’s started there the last two games) averages 303.4 lbs. The Chanticleers defensive front is 283.8. A difference of 20 pounds.

The difference between BYU’s defensive line and the Coastal offensive trench is much closer. BYU’s defensive line averages 284.5 while Coastal averages 288 lbs. Only one of Coastal’s offensive linemen is 300 pounds. That’s Trey Carter, a redshirt senior.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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Five Takeaways From BYU Football Depth Chart Heading Into Coastal Carolina Game