Game Recap: Florida State Seminoles 34, Brigham Young Cougars 10

The Brigham Young Cougars had lost to the Florida State Seminoles by an average of 22.3 points in their three previous meetings. That differential was maintained Saturday as Florida State pulled away in the second half for a 24 point win. After two early turnovers, BYU was able to recover from a 13-0 deficit to make this game interesting when freshman quarterback Jake Heaps threw his first career touchdown pass with only a few seconds left before halftime. The second half was an encore performance of the second half a week before at Air Force. Florida State dominated both sides of the ball as they turned a close and competitive game into a route.

The offense and defense both looked pretty good in the second quarter. The defense was getting stops and the speed of the Seminoles didn't seem to be a problem. The offense started to move the ball effectively moving the ball, getting first downs and scoring 10 points. The momentum was squarely on BYU side when the two teams went into the locker room.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Jake Heaps' first career touchdown pass. A four-yard throw to Cody Hoffman in the back of the end zone with 14 seconds to play in the first half.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: J.J Di Luigi, 18 carries, 93 yards; 3 receptions, 36 yards

As for what I was watching, here is what I saw:
  1. How will BYU respond to losing at Air Force? BYU responded pretty well. There were no noticeable signs that BYU was lingering on that lose.
  2. Will BYU stop the run? That's an easy question. No. Florida State rolled up 278 yards with a 6.3 yards per carry average.
  3. How will the quarterback reps be managed? Riley Nelson did start, but after he threw an interception on the fourth play of the second quarter he never came back on the field. It looks like the coaches are going to tolerate fumbles a lot more than interceptions. Each time a quarterback has thrown an interception, he has missed the rest of the game. Many people are assuming that Jake Heaps is the starter now, but I wouldn't be surprised if Riley still starts next week. Heaps did not light it up, and it is possible that Nelson could have directed two scoring drives. Nelson's added speed might have helped him avoid some of the sacks that Heaps had to take. I am, actually, surprised that Nelson did not come in for one or two "situational" plays in the second half to slow down the FSU pass rush.
  4. Can BYU shut down another Heisman Trophy candidate? The good news is that Christian Ponder did not have as good of a game as he did last year. However, he still had a good game passing for 149 yards on 14 of 21 throws. He also racked up 50 yards rushing on 11 carries.
  5. Will Florida State’s speed be a problem? Yup. Part of FSU's excellent run game was due to the Seminoles beating BYU to the corner and outrunning slower BYU defenders. The speed on defense was also a problem as the pass rush disrupted far too many second half drives.
  6. What will happen if BYU falls behind? We have to give BYU credit for maintaining their composure the first time they fell behind. Down 13-0 in the second quarter, BYU dug a little deeper and turned it back into a game. In the second half, when BYU fell further behind, they didn't seem to concede the victory to Florida State as much as they did to Air Force last week. However, I think BYU could have played with more pride and not have gone down without one more score.
Other observations from the game:
  • J.J. Di Luigi is our best skill player. The more touches he can get the better. The offense needs to be designed around him this year. The drop off between Kariya and him was painful to watch. J.J. was able to gash the Seminoles and quickly make it to the second level. A passing game that gets the ball to Di Luigi in space and allows him to make a move will be the best way to open up the receivers and tight ends.
  • Matt Reynolds will be back for his senior year. I can't imagine him being a first rounder after the way he, and the entire, o-line played. They gave up 8 sacks. Each of the last four drives (every drive in the second half except the first one) ended with a sack. Better protection and BYU doesn't lose as bad, and, possibly, even has a shot to win at the end. 
  • The worst play call of the game was to go long to McKay Jacobson on 2nd and 4 on the second play of the third quarter. That was going away from what worked at the end of the first half. That opening drive stalled (3 and out) and all of BYU's momentum was lost. 
  • The tackling was terrible in the second half. Over and over again, Christian Ponder was able to run out of tackles for loss. Florida State running backs were breaking 3 or 4 tackles almost every play. BYU was doing well to be in position to make a play, they just didn't make it. Maybe it was just the speed issue, but I don't want to wait one or two weeks to find out. The time to address the tackling is now.  
NEXT: Nevada
DATE: September 25, 2010
TIME: 4:00 PM (MDT)

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For the results of last week's opinion poll, click here.
For this week's Flashback, click here.
For this week's trivia question, click here.


  1. No tackling, no blocking, can't catch.

    2 of these things can be fixed right away in the blocking and catching areas. How you may ask? Bronco needs to grow a pair, if you know what I mean, and announce that Heaps is the guy, give him all the snaps and let Riley know that his days of playing QB at BYU are over - make Lark the #2 guy. What will this do? It will give Heaps and the offensive unit the chance to become a unit. The line doesn't know if the QB is going to do what a QB should do in standing in the pocket and going through his progressions, or like Riley, not even look to pass and just run. This one decision will do a lot for the team. Do I believe that Bronco has the smarts or the guts to stand up to Anae, take control of this team and prove he is in charge? No? The result = another blow out loss at the hands of Nevada, the best running team we have on our schedule this year.

    Nevada 52 BYU 17

  2. The defense looked bad in the second half, but I put this lose on the offense. The defense was impressive in the first half, especially in the red zone, where they were able to clamp down and keep them out of the end zone. But when the offense does not stay on the field and put some points on the board, it puts a bigger and bigger load on a tired and hard working defense. I'm not saying the defense does not need to improve and fix some problems (like the tackling issue), I'm just saying that if the offense does its job, it is easier for the defense to do their's.

  3. Also, I feel like it was utterly classless for FSU to go for it on 4th-and-goal with less than two-minutes left in the game and the victory in the bag. Have a little respect and just kick the field goal.

  4. Anonymous, I heard that Nelson has injured his throwing hand. Looks like you get your wish.

    Neal, the only thing that FSU could have done that wasn't "classless" was take a knee. If it was me, I would have gone for it. Kicking the field goal is like automatic points. FSU had their second team QB in, so I don't know if I would go as far as call it classless. FSU doesn't have to worry about BYU looking good. BYU does, so we just needed to stop them.


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