Instant Takeaways From BYU’s Regular Season Finale Win Over Stanford

Nov 27, 2022, 12:37 AM


BYU tight end Isaac Rex (Courtesy of BYU Photo)

(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

STANFORD, Calif. – The BYU Cougars ended their 2022 regular season with three consecutive victories, capped by a road win over the Stanford Cardinal.

The Cardinal hosted the Cougars at Stanford Stadium on Saturday, November 26.

BYU beat Stanford, 35-26.

It was the Cougars’ last regular season contest as an FBS Independent. BYU will enter the Big 12 Conference ahead of next season.

BYU ran for 358 yards on its way to victory.

With the win, the Cougars improved their record to 7-5.

BYU will await to find out its bowl destination.

The first half was BYU’s best offensive performance since USF

BYU put up 288 total yards in the first half against the Cardinal. What’s even more impressive about that effort is that it was primarily on the ground. Out of that 288 first half offensive yards, 208 of those were rushing with Brooks leading the way with 82 yards.

It was the most impressive half of football from BYU’s offense since week one against USF. That first half against the Bulls feels like a lifetime ago.

What gives with short-yard playcalling for BYU? 

BYU’s woes in short-yardage situations reared their ugly face again on Saturday night on The Farm. The struggles dealt Jaren Hall a right ankle injury.

During the first half, BYU dialed up a wildcat play call with Puka Nacua that they haven’t called the entire season. Nacua jumped in midair when the snap came his way and the ball hit the turf on a 3rd and goal from the one-yard line. Luckily for BYU, Stanford had a player in the neutral zone, so BYU had another shot. They capitalized with a touchdown pass to Isaac Rex in the back of the endzone.

Then in the second half, BYU was stuffed on a 3rd & 1 in Stanford territory. They called a timeout and on 4th & 1, Jaren Hall kept the ball and was short. He got injured on that run call.

It’s been a problem for BYU in numerous games this season. Proved to be costly in the regular season finale.

Does this injury bring to an end Jaren Hall’s career at BYU?

With Jaren Hall being a fifth-year quarterback who will earn his diploma soon, the belief has always been that Hall will move on to the NFL after this year.

Hall has one year of eligibility remaining and he’s never announced his intentions for the 2023 season. What does this injury do? Depending on the severity of the injury, does it make him consider a return to BYU? Or does it motivate him to bolt as soon as possible to begin preparations for the NFL?

That will be a decision for him and his family.

If it was the end for Hall, it’s been an impressive tenure.

Chris Brooks was excellent

What we saw on Saturday night from Chris Brooks is what many –including myself– believed Brooks would be throughout the entire season. Coming into Saturday’s game, he didn’t have one game where he had more than 14 carries. He put together a season-high in carries reaching the 20 carry threshold against Stanford.

The former Cal Bear ran violently against the Cardinal and had the best game of his BYU career.

Tanner McKee was as good as advertised

When Tanner McKee is given time, he is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in college football. He was on fire against a BYU secondary that had no answer for the slant passes.

McKee put together a 300-yard night and had BYU fans hoping the LDS signal-caller would one day want to transfer to BYU.

He’s a perfect fit on the Farm, or he might be off to the NFL.

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.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s BYU/Stanford coverage from The Farm on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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Instant Takeaways From BYU’s Regular Season Finale Win Over Stanford