BYU QB Jaren Hall Among Top Observations From Win Over No. 21 Utah
PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars ended a 12 year, nine game losing streak to the No. 21 Utah Utes behind stellar play from Quarterback Jaren Hall.
Cougar fans rushed the field after the final horn sounded 26 to 17.
It’s arguably the greatest sports weekend in the history of BYU athletics.
The Big 12 has to be pleased with their decision to add the Cougars into the fold after seeing BYU win on national TV on back-to-back weeks.
It wasn’t a perfect game for BYU, but they made enough plays when it mattered to get the win.
Here are my main three observations from a memorable rivalry win.
1. Jaren Hall is the real deal
Cougar fans, I hope you are enjoying the quarterback play in recent years.
Zach Wilson led BYU to a special season in 2020, which helped him become the second overall pick in the NFL draft to the New York Jets.
Following in the footsteps of Wilson is Jaren Hall. He’s an older player who saw limited action in 2019, and then missed all of 2020 with an injury.
After a heated fall camp battle, Hall won the job, but there were still unanswered questions about his game and health.
After two games, I’m sold.
I don’t have any questions about his game. Hall is the real deal.
Hall was in control all game long. He handled the Utah pressure with poise, took care of the football, and made timely plays on third down.
He finished passing 18 of 30 with three touchdowns for 149 yards. Hall added 92 yards on the ground.
I can only remember one questionable decision. It came on the final drive of the game when he put the ball in harms way on a seam route to Isaac Rex.
The ball fell to the turf and BYU ended up kicking a field goal later on the drive to make it a two score game.
After the final knee of the game, Hall held the ball high in the air while becoming a BYU legend.
2. BYU dominated third down
In my opinion, the game was won on third down.
BYU converted 58% of their opportunities on third down, whereas Utah only converted 22%.
The Cougars were 11 of 19. They had an average distance to go of 5.7 yards.
Quite simply, BYU made Utah pay on the down that matters most in football.
One of the main reasons BYU had success on third down was impressive play at the line of scrimmage.
“I would have bet my house that we would not lose the line of scrimmage,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said in the postgame. “They deserved to win.”
Jaren Hall and Tyler Allgeier heaped praise on the offensive line in postgame commentary. Well deserved.
3. BYU long scoring drives
Utah has been defined by solid defense during the Whittingham era.
It’s not often opponents put together double-digit play drives that result in touchdowns.
That happened three times tonight.
BYU scored touchdowns with drives of 14, 11, and 10 plays.
The most important drive of the game was the final drive that resulted in a field goal from Jake Oldroyd.
It was a 12 play drive that chewed up over six minutes of clock.
However, the most impressive drive of the game was at the end of the first half.
Hall marched the BYU offense 93 yards on 11 plays that resulted in a touchdown pass to former Ute Samson Nacua.
BYU was able to cash in on a fourth down stop before the end of the half and took some pressure off the defense.
There was a different vibe in Lavell Edwards Stadium after that score. There was belief.
The Cougars have beaten higher ranked teams under Kalani Sitake, but no victory was more important than the win that snapped the streak.
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