Squally Canada making a case to be BYU's feature back

Squally Canada carries the ball against Fresno State (Courtesy BYU Photo)

BYU running back Squally Canada came into 2017 expecting to be the Cougars' feature back. He was the team's second leading rusher with 315 yards last year as Jamaal Williams' primary back up. Canada even started two games when Williams was sidelined with injury.

In the season opener, Canada was BYU's leading rusher carrying the ball 16 times for 98 yards. He also had BYU's only rushing touchdown, and tied for the longest run (34 yards). The next three games, Canada had a total of nine carries.

During that time, Cougar fans and coaches became enamored with Ula Tolutau. The big, freshman transfer from Wisconsin was finally healthy enough to play, and he made an immediate impact. Canada was a forgotten man.

He had a modest workload in game five against Utah State (12 carries for 69 yards). Besides having a higher yards per carry average (5.8 to 4.9) and better ball security, Canada was still behind Tolutau on the depth chart.

Tolutau is now unavailable, but Canada didn't get the call to start. Last week against San Jose State, KJ Hall was the starter. Canada didn't get any playing time until the second half--after Hall was injured.

In the second half last week, Canada ran with a purpose. He was instrumental in digging the Cougars out of a hole in the third quarter, and driving 95 yards for a touchdown.

With Hall and Tolutau out yesterday, Canada still wasn't BYU's first option at running back. He didn't get a single carry in the first quarter when two other Cougars carried the ball out of the backfield.

Canada's first chance to carry the ball came in the second quarter. He had an immediate impact. BYU's first two drives stalled because of an inability to run the ball in short yardage situations. Canada got the ball on 2nd and 2, and broke off an 11-yard gain. BYU had just five yards rushing the entire first quarter.

Later in the quarter when Tanner Mangum went out with injury, BYU coaches resigned to play it safe and run out the clock. There was just 1:19 to play, and the Cougars were still 69 yards away from the end zone. That gave Canada another opportunity to carry the ball. This time he got loose for 17 yards. That got the Cougar coaches to change strategy again. BYU ended up getting a field goal on the drive.

Canada continued to have the hot hand in the second half. He had a 22-yard burst on BYU's first play. He carried the ball five times for 38 yards on that 75-yard touchdown drive, including the final 11 yards. Canada's 4-yard touchdown run was his third of the season. He now leads the team in rushing touchdowns on the season.

He finished the game with 84 yards on 12 carries (7.0 yards per carry).

Canada is also the team's leading rusher with 333 yards on 67 carries. His 5.0 yards per carry average is up 0.7 yards from last year. At 205 pounds, Canada has the size to carry the ball 20 times a game.

With everything that has happened this year, it is hard to argue against Canada being BYU's primary ball carrier.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com


  1. Ula tolutau is un available because he got caught with weed by the police lets keep it 100!!

    1. This was covered before on the site


      Repeatedly mentioning the specifics is not the practice on this site. The first priority here is to celebrate BYU football. Yes, we strive to be a source for all BYU football news and information, but we will not over emphasize the negative.

  2. Give him the ball 20 times and lets see what the outcome will be.

  3. It's a lot of favoritism going on the coaches only want to play there race. It's unfair when you have players who have worked very hard to get where they are like squally Canada. Give squally the ball

  4. This whole article is negative you just said that this site is to celebrate byu football and not to be negative but this whole article is negative not giving credit to where its due!! Yall just down talked this man on a social site but you dont want negative things said if thats the case you people shouldn’t have made this post!

    1. I am having a hard time finding what would be considered negative. Talking about someone who has continued to work hard and not give up even though things weren't going the way he had hoped or planned, and eventually he got more opportunities and he has capitalized on them. That is negative?

      It is possible to highlight the good that Canada has done, and not criticize other players like Tolutau and Hall. They each have their merits.

  5. No one never criticized hall and Ula Tolutau made his own decision to what he did. I personally dont know any of these players i just happen to be a byu fan from previous players! And when i see something is not right i will comment. And your correct everyone makes mistakes but give the player a chance before you criticize them as well. How do you think yall made that man feel when yall wrote this article stating that he is not byu first option to go to. Iyou have to think about people as well as a person this article is down talking a football player and not seeing what the man is good for. Dont rub it in his face by writing an article stating that hes not byu’s first option to go to!

  6. You know what. I missed a point editior, i see what your getting at now. You do have some valid points in here. It make sense and logic to what your saying. The question is how is he the leading rusher in yards and touchdown for the season and your questioning why he is not the future back . The real question is why isn’t the coaching staff seeing how good of a running back is and why isn’t he the future back? The coaching stagf needs to realize whats working and whats not and if its working why not keep going with whats working!


Post a Comment