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BYU Football - Jaren Hall
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BYU Football Coaches Evaluate Play Of Jaren Hall In Loss To Boise State

BYU football starting QB Jaren Hall returned to action after two weeks away during a loss to Boise State. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football had a difficult setback falling to unranked Boise State last Saturday. But one of the positives for the Cougars was the return of starting quarterback Jaren Hall.

Hall had missed the previous two games due to an injury. And with backup QB Baylor Romney sidelined due to a concussion, Hall’s return took the pressure off freshman Jacob Conover from being thrown into the fire right away.

Hall ended up 22-of-37 for a career-high 302 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in his first game in nearly a month. BYU coaches were pleased with the progress they saw in the redshirt sophomore signal-caller.

Jaren Hall didn’t have a full week of reps

“His practice week was good. He took about a third of the reps on Tuesday and Wednesday and then took about half the reps on Thursday,” said BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick on the Coordinators’ Corner. “So, he didn’t get as many reps as he normally would, but it was enough that we felt like he could play, he felt good enough to play, and I felt like he deserved it. Based on how he played earlier in the season. He played a solid game. It wasn’t his best performance, but it was good.”

One of the areas where Hall wasn’t his usual self was using his legs on the ground attack. Hall, who entered the Boise game with 165 yards in three games. He finished with (-2) yards on the ground and didn’t show any intentions of running in the loss.

“Boise State’s defense does not allow for that either,” said Roderick on the lack of QB runs from Hall. “That’s something that on film, we’d noticed that they do not let the quarterback keep the ball. They’re going to make you hand it off, and very few quarterbacks run on film that was successful, leading into this game. So it wasn’t really a big part of the plan anyway.”

Outlook for BYU football, Hall going forward

BYU hasn’t faced much adversity since the start of the 2020 season. So it would be easy to think that a loss to an average Boise State team rattled the confidence of the team and coaches in the most critical position, the quarterback spot. But it goes beyond just one player. BYU had three fumbles from their top two running backs and eight penalties on the offensive side.

 

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“I thought he made some good decisions. That last throw (interception pass), I think he was just trying to create too much, and you know, looking at it, he protected the ball all up until that one moment and I still believe in him…he’s a really good player,” said BYU coach Kalani Sitake. “I don’t know if he would say that was his best game, but I think the mistakes didn’t help. From so many different places. And I think the most visible ones go right to the turnovers and the short fields.”

The miscues sentiment were echoed by Roderick in his assessment of Hall’s play in the loss to the Broncos.

“He threw some really nice deep balls; he was aggressive in the passing game. Mistakes killed us. We did not play well as a team,” Roderick said. “The turnovers and the red zone execution were poor and, you know, everybody could play better, but [Jaren]’s really the least of the worries from Saturday’s game.”

Now Jaren Hall and No. 19 BYU football shift their focus to future Big 12 rival Baylor in Waco this Saturday. Kickoff between the Cougars and Bears is set for 1:30 p.m. (MT) on ESPN and heard on KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM).

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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