BYU Football’s Mounting Injuries Highlighted By This Stat
PROVO, Utah – BYU football is going through difficulties that no one expected. Heading into a rivalry game against Boise State, BYU is 4-5 overall. A far cry from the lofty expectations the team had when they entered the season as a preseason AP Top 25 team.
BYU’s defense has been poor. Likewise, the offense has had recent struggles the past two weeks. But how much of the struggles are due to injuries?
Through the first nine weeks of the 2022 college football season, BYU is tied for third nationally for teams that have played the highest number of different starters this season. To date, BYU has played 42 different starters.
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That 42 number only ranks behind another underperforming team this season Texas A&M from the SEC (43) and lowly New Mexico out of the Mountain West Conference (47). BYU is tied with Colorado with 42 different starters. The combined record of these four teams? 10-23.
BYU football has played 23 different starters on defense
The 42 starters break down to 19 on the offensive side and 23 on defense. Four of BYU’s 11 starters in the week one win over USF are currently navigating injuries, and another starter from that opener has gone to the bench due to performance.
Here are the 23 different defensive players who have recorded at least one start this season: Chaz Ah You, Talan Alfrey, Tyler Batty, Ben Bywater, Lorenzo Fauatea, Ammon Hannemann, Micah Harper, Kaleb Hayes, Caden Haws, Gabe Jeudy-Lally, Josh Larsen, Logan Lutui, D’Angelo Mandell, Blake Mangelson, Malik Moore, John Nelson, Keenan Pili, Jakob Robinson, Gabe Summers, Pepe Tanuvasa, Max Tooley, Earl Tuioti-Mariner, and Payton Wilgar.
BYU’s starters on offense
On the offensive side, the most notable loss from the week one starters was tight end Dallin Holker due to a transfer. Holker left the team after three games and will enter the portal when the transfer window opens in December. In addition, week one starting running back Chris Brooks has dealt with a hamstring injury and is doubtful for the Boise State game on Saturday.
Quarterback Jaren Hall hasn’t missed any action this season, but he has been playing through a shoulder injury he suffered against Utah State on September 29. Ironically, BYU hasn’t won a game since Hall took that hard hit against the Aggies.
Hall and BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick said the shoulder wasn’t to blame for recent struggles, and they’ve noted he is “100 percent.”
Here are the 19 different offensive starters through the first nine weeks: Clark Barrington, Chris Brooks, Brayden Cosper, Kody Epps, Ethan Erickson, Blake Freeland, Jaren Hall, Keanu Hill, Dallin Holker, Lopini Katoa, Harris LaChance, Puka Nacua, Connor Pay, Isaac Rex, Chase Roberts, Gunner Romney, Joe Tukuafu, and Masen Wake.
We will see if BYU can overcome the weekly changes and find a way to turn the season around. If not, they could be staring at a Christmas season that doesn’t include a bowl game. They haven’t had that happen since the disastrous 4-9 season in 2017.
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 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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