Game Recap: BYU Offense Self-Destructs Against Utah

For the first time in the Bronco Mendenhall era, the Brigham Young Cougars lost two in a row to the Utah Utes. For the second straight year, BYU gave the win to Utah by self-destructing.

On the third play of the game, BYU quarterback Jake Heaps had to chase down an errant shotgun snap. As Heaps tried to throw the ball away, it slipped from his hand. Utah recovered in the end zone to take a 7-0 lead. It was the first of four BYU turnovers that had a direct 23 point impact on the game.

BYU running back Joshua Quezada fumbled once BYU resumed possession after the kickoff. This time BYU lucked out as Utah missed a field goal.

The BYU offense was finally able to settle down, and Heaps drove BYU down to a first and goal at the Utah 6-yard line. J.J. Di Luigi took the handoff and gained three yards, but fumbled before hitting the ground.

At the end of the first quarter, it appeared BYU had weathered the turnover storm trailing just 7-3. With 3:29 left in the second quarter, BYU held a 10-7 lead and had the ball. The Cougars could have taken control of the game by driving down the field and scoring another touchdown just before halftime. Rather than play with a killer instinct, BYU punted the ball back to Utah. The Utes scored a touchdown to take a 14-10 lead into the locker room.

After Utah extended the lead to 24-10 with 9:11 left in the third quarter, JD Falslev had the kickoff bounce off his face mask. Utah recovered at the 3. Two plays later, Utah scored a touchdown. It was now a 30-10 game.

BYU and Utah traded punts. With less than two minutes left in the third quarter, Heaps didn’t tuck the ball away as he was going down on a sack and fumbled the ball. Utah took over at the 6-yard line. The BYU defense held Utah to a field goal this time.

Although it was just the third quarter that was ending, the game was effectively over. Utah led 33-10. The difference was the 23 point swing from BYU turnovers.

BYU was lifeless in the fourth quarter. Aided by a BYU interception and another fumble, Utah pushed the final score to 54-10.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Kyle Van Noy interception in the second quarter.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Cody Hoffman, 8 receptions for 138 yards; 8 kickoff returns for 139 yards; 277 all-purpose yards (6th most in BYU history).

Things to watch for:
  1. The 13-0 curse. Neither team had a 13-0 lead in this game.
  2. TDs not FGs. When the game still mattered, BYU had one drive stall and kicked a field goal. While the final score makes it look like it doesn’t matter whether BYU scored a touchdown or kicked a field goal, a touchdown would have made it a 14-14 game at halftime. That might have made a difference at the beginning of the third quarter.
  3. Doman vs. Chow. When the players weren’t fumbling the ball, Doman’s game plan and play calling was working quite well. Chow called a poor game except the final drive of the first half and the first drive of the second half. The rest of the game the BYU defense either stuffed Utah or just didn’t try.
  4. Moving the Pocket. It seemed like Heaps was moving around more than last week. Some of it was by design. The Utah pass rush was not nearly as fearsome as the Texas pass rush, so moving the pocket wasn’t as important in this game.
  5. The Juice must be loose. Quezada: 5 carries for 7 yards, and one fumble. The Juice is still condensed and frozen in a can.
  6. Should the BYU defense tone it down? The defense didn’t get as much pressure on Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn as I was expecting. The Cougar D was still playing a very good ball game. There really was nothing that could be done. The BYU offense had so many turnovers, it didn’t matter how much effort the defense gave.
Don't forget to come back Monday for the post-game podcast, where the game will be discussed in depth. If you have a question or comment that you would like The Editor to specifically address in the podcast you can use the comment section below, send an email to, or send a tweet to @BlueCougarFball.

Next: UCF
Date: Friday, September 23

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  1. Rushing yards recap: Utah 242, BYU 11. Come on guys, BYU self-destructed, but give utah SOME credit.

  2. I must say, it is absolutely amazing that this blog has a following considering some of the ridiculous comments. Is this guy living in a bubble? Oh yea, I was wrong, there is not a following of this blog...the other cougar sites have dozens of postings already. My posting just doubled the stats for this blog.

  3. "The Utah pass rush was not nearly as fearsome as the Texas pass rush, so moving the pocket wasn’t as important in this game."

    Fact: Texas sacked Jake Heaps 1 time. -10 yards by Ashton Dorsey.

    Fact: Utah had 2 sacks, both by trevor reilly. they also have 4 QB hurries.

    if you want to say that your team played better than the score, that is one thing. but know the facts of the game.

    ps. maybe you should take a look at your "is the BYU football program elite?" eat your crow

  4. If I'm keeping score correctly that's 9 wins and 12 giveaways by BYU in the last 21 rivalry games. Not a single Utah victory. I think someone needs a reality check.

  5. Ole Miss just got destroyed by Vanderbilt after barely losing to BYU. Texas is coming off of a 5-7 year and are only ranked because they're Texas and that's the law, and BYU fans are surprised that they looked bad against Utah. Maybe BYU just isn't good this year. You expected too much out of your team, were disappointed, and reacted poorly by calling the game a fluke. 54-10 flukes don't happen. You lost to a better team.

  6. On another blog, they spoke of the entitlement that BYU believes they deserve. I would have to say that the entitlement mentality has been with the cougars for more than just this season. I wish there was a way for this to end, but alas, like all teams who feel this way, this is just their first slice of humble pie and more is on the way. I have been a BYU fan for a number of years and this attitude of being superior to other teams is killing a once great football tradition. Unfortunately, we are seeing the inevitable. The implosion has been creeping up ever so slowly over the past few years and now has reached its climax. The question many servings will WE, the FANS, have to endure?


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