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Jaren Hall: Preparing For Baylor Will Be Different As They Face Former Coaches

Offensive Coordinator, Jeff Grimes talks with friends and media after a walkthrough in their indoor practice facility in Provo on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – BYU gets its first taste of Big 12 action a bit earlier than the 2023 season as they head down to Waco, Texas, and will be facing the 5-1 Baylor Bears. This will be the third-ever meeting between the two schools with the last one being in 1984, which BYU won during its national championship season.

What will make this game interesting is that the Bears have a few former BYU staffers on that team which include Jeff Grimes who was the Cougars offensive coordinator from 2018-20. He coached Zach Wilson to a No. 2 overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft and BYU to an 11-1 record. The other is Eric Mateos who coached the offensive line.

Playing a team with former staff can make preparing a little bit more difficult but BYU quarterback Jaren Hall doesn’t seem too worried about that and is focusing instead on what he and the offense can do to get a road win against a future Big 12 conference member.

“You just have to tighten up everything. Things are different this year from last year,” Hall said on KSL’s UnRivaled. “It is a little different from when [Jeff] Grimes was our offensive coordinator but with a lot of similarities still. As for the defense, we are not sure… it is more talking about their personnel. They are going to be a great defense.”

Can’t Turn The Ball Over

BYU is moving past its loss to Boise State and looking forward to facing Baylor but one area of play that needs to be addressed is turning the ball over. Heading into that game against the Broncos, BYU was plus-eight in the turnover margin and only the only other game with a turnover for the Cougars was its Arizona State game where they had a pair of interceptions.

The Boise State game saw a season-high four turnovers for the offense and the defense did not earn one of their own for the first time all season. That minus-four turnover margin is a big reason that BYU lost to Boise State

“A big part of our offense is taking care of the ball, so every week we highlight the stats of turnovers or no turnovers. This week we had a lot more than any other game. The reality of it is we are not going to point fingers or blame anybody.

“Tyler [Allgeier] and Lopini [Katoa] those guys have carried the ball about 500 times at BYU and have fumbled the ball maybe each once or twice until that moment. That is crazy and unheard of to go that many years and that many carries and only have that many turnovers. So for them to both have one in the same game is unlucky. It is just an anomaly and stinks for those guys… it is not just them as I had a turnover as well as I threw a ball up there silly.”

Cleaning up those turnovers goes a long way for teams who want to go from being good to being great and if BYU can clean those up they will win a lot more games as they were doing before having bad turnover luck in the loss to Boise State.

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