Instant Takeaways From BYU Suffering Blowout Loss To TCU

Oct 14, 2023, 5:18 PM | Updated: Oct 16, 2023, 2:05 pm

FORT WORTH, Texas BYU traveled to Texas and suffered a blowout loss to former Mountain West and new Big 12 Conference foe, TCU.

Takeaways from BYU’s blowout loss to TCU

The Horned Frogs hosted the Cougars at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday, October 14.

The Cougars lost to the Horned Frogs, 44-11.


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Here are my instant takeaways from BYU’s loss:

A loss that reshapes the outlook of the BYU football season

BYU was supposed to be the team that was refreshed and feeling good. In comparison, TCU was reeling after a two-game losing streak.

From the opening kickoff, BYU looked slow compared to TCU. All phases of the game stumbled out of the gate to put BYU in a 24-0 hole in the first half.

BYU was a 4-1 team that liked where they were at in the bye week. After Saturday’s loss to TCU, it’s a setback that recalibrates the entire season for BYU.

Where was the fight to battle adversity as they showed against Arkansas or to a lesser extent Kansas? BYU rolled over against TCU–a Horned Frogs team led by a backup QB.

When you see the rest of the schedule, you start to ask yourself, where’s the next win? BYU will likely be an underdog in the rest of the games this season.

Reaching bowl eligibility has always been the goal for this BYU team. Secure two more wins and you’re in the postseason. That would be an excellent accomplishment for this group that is navigating the rigors of Power Five life.

Kedon Slovis struggled the entire game

BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis had his first lackluster performance as a Cougar. That’s probably putting it lightly to sum up what happened on Saturday.

Slovis had an interception on the opening series that resulted in a pick-six. He only completed two of his first 10 pass attempts. After 12 pass attempts, he was at 15 passing yards. BYU OC Aaron Roderick typically wants to see his passing attack at 10 yards per attempt.

Some of the passes that Slovis attempted appeared behind receivers. There were third-down attempts that were just thrown out of bounds because receivers couldn’t create separation.

In the second half, there was a deep ball in stride to Parker Kingston for 42-yards. But then, a couple of drives later, there was a pass thrown behind and overthrown to Darius Lassiter. Consistency and rhythm were hard to come by.

It was a day that was completely off from the get-go and Slovis embodied that.

To Slovis’ credit, he bounced back after a hard hit that resulted in a fumble in the first half. There was never a doubt in his mind that he was going to return to action.

He completed a few explosive plays, but it already felt to be too little, too late.

The hope for Slovis and this BYU offense is that this performance doesn’t rattle any of the confidence that they had from the first month of the season. What happened on Saturday could quickly snowball on BYU and Slovis if they don’t get right in a hurry beginning next week against Texas Tech.

Backup QB lights up BYU football again

Add Josh Hoover to the group of QBs that includes Jeff Ballard, Cody Vaz, Brett Ratliff, Jon Hayes, etc. The redshirt freshman Hoover made a case that he needs to be the starting quarterback for TCU for the remainder of the season.

He was an excellent passer and appeared to be in complete control of Kendal Briles’ high-powered, up-tempo attack. Hoover put together a 400-yard day against BYU’s defense.

If Chandler Morris returns soon from the MCL injury he suffered, the job might not be waiting for him when he returns.

Offensive line changes lead to the same underwhelming results

Credit BYU’s coaching staff for making the decision to switch things up along the offensive. Connor Pay returned to center, Paul Maile at left guard, then Weylin Lapuaho returned from an injury and was placed at right guard.

Despite the overhaul, the results were still underwhelming.

Yes, the final stats would show you that BYU had one of its best performances on the ground today against TCU. But that was a low bar to pass. When BYU needed critical yards on first and second down in the first half to try and mount a comeback, they couldn’t generate those yards against TCU’s speed.

BYU found themselves in third and longs far too often. The game then got away from them before they could threaten TCU.

TCU consistently brought three-man pressures and they were able to generate a pass rush that had Kedon Slovis uneasy in the pocket.

If an overhaul doesn’t help the efforts, where does BYU go from here along the offensive line? Kalani Sitake needs to have that answered in a hurry.

Safety injuries are piling up at an alarming rate

BYU was without Tanner Wall due to an upper-body injury. He had a sling on his right arm during practice this week causing him to not make the trip against TCU.

That opened the door for Malik Moore to return to his starter spot. That didn’t last long as he couldn’t finish a tackle on TCU’s JP Richardson that resulted in a 42-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.

Jay Hill turned to Crew Wakley. Wakley made an impressive tackle on 3rd & 1 in TCU’s own territory forcing the Horned Frogs to punt. He had a costly unsportsmanlike penalty in the second quarter that extended a TCU drive resulting in another touchdown.

Wakley was pulled because of the penalty, but he remained on the field in special teams. During the second half, he suffered what appeared to be a left arm injury as trainers were holding that up as he was helped off the field.

Without Wakley and Wall, BYU plays Ethan Slade, Preston Rex, and Raider Damuni. Ethan Slade has a brace on his right knee that he didn’t have at the beginning of the season.

The safety spot is the one position that injuries have ravaged.

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 coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Instant Takeaways From BYU Suffering Blowout Loss To TCU