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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 49, Colorado State Rams 10

The Brigham Young Cougars have put together back-to-back masterpieces. For the second straight week, BYU has built a 30+ point lead in the first half and cruised to an easy victory. As bad as the offense was the first two months of the season, it has been that good the last two weeks. BYU had 526 total yards against the Colorado State Rams, giving them 1,042 the last two weeks. The 49 points gives 104 points in two weeks. BYU had only 103 points in the first seven games combined.

The Cougars were literally unstoppable. BYU converted 12-13 third downs. The one third down that wasn't converted, BYU converted the next play on fourth down. The only times BYU did not finish a drive with a score was the two times they fumbled and at the end of the game when they stopped trying and downed the ball.

The BYU defense wasn't so dominant. Rather than forcing three and outs, they allowed Colorado State to convert third downs and move the ball. The defense was, however, very opportunistic. They made more stops off of turnovers (4) than forcing punts (3). Although Colorado State managed 375 yards of total offense, the defense kept the Rams off the board until midway through the fourth quarter. It was the second game in a row that BYU did not allow a score until the fourth quarter.

Luke Ashworth had a huge day catching the ball. Ashworth started to emerge as Jake Heaps' go to receiver in the Wyoming game. This emergence culminated in Ashworth having a career game. He tied the BYU and MWC record for most touchdown receptions in a game (4). Every time he caught the ball, he scored, and he became the first Cougar receiver to register a 100 yard receiving game this year.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Kyle Van Noy recovered a fumble forced by Corby Eason and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Luke Ashworth, 4 receptions, 113 yards, 4 TD

Things to watch for:

  1. Pressuring the QB. The BYU defense didn't pressure Pete Thomas too much. They did sack him once in the first quarter and three times on the day, but it wasn't necessary. He isn't that good and even though he was able to throw for nearly 300 yards, he didn't present any problems.
  2. BYU Passing Game. Jake Heaps ended the day with a very, very nice stat line: 15-20, 242, 4 TD, Pass Efficiency: 242.6 (eighth highest in BYU history). Heaps now has more TD passes than interceptions. The passing game had a good mix of deep, intermediate, and short throws. Tight ends even made two grabs, which isn't that bad when only 15 passes were caught. The best stat about the passing game, perhaps, is how the pass out paced the run for most of the game. When Heaps left the game after three quarters, BYU had 242 passing yards to about 160 rushing yards. That looks more like BYU football.
  3. Stopping the run. Even though the defense allowed 375 yards, the rushing yards were still low (83). It helped that Colorado State had a commitment to the pass and only tried running the ball 24 times.

Other observations:

  • Forcing Turnovers. The defense forced four turnovers this week. Two fumbles and two interceptions. That makes six turnovers the last two games, which equals the total turnovers forced in the first eight games of the season.
  • Ryan Folsom's 74 yard run that nearly ended in a touchdown was reminicent of Mike Hague's 87 -yard TD run against UNLV in 2006.
  • Night and Day Difference. I have never seen such a night and day difference by a BYU football team. I know the level of competition has something to do with this, but it doesn't explain everything. The defense was horrendous, and the offense was non-existent. Now it appears that BYU may have its best defense in decades, and the offense is everything we have come to expect.
  • Freshman All-American. I keep talking about Kyle Van Noy as a freshman All-American because he keeps doing things to make that honor more likely. In fact, I think his 44-yard fumble return TD may have sealed the deal. That is one of those plays that has a big WOW factor and when voters see it, it will magnify the rest of Van Noy's numbers.

NEXT: New Mexico
DATE: November 20
TIME: 4:00 PM (MST)

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Game Preview: BYU at Colorado State

The Brigham Young Cougars Have Been Down This Road Before
Thursday Trivia: Beginning and Ending With A Win
Breaking Down Jake Heaps' Breakout GameFlashback: BYU 35, San Diego State 28 (1994)
Poll Results: Should BYU Play Another QB

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