Game Recap: Nevada Wolf Pack 27, Brigham Young Cougars 13

The Brigham Young Cougars fell to 1-3 for the first time in five years. Nevada was nearly unstoppable in the first half putting up 24 points and gaining 293 yards. The Cougar defense clamped down in the second half and held Nevada to 107 yards and three points. The inexperienced BYU offense was unable to move the ball and put enough points on the board to win this game. This was most painfully evident after a Vic So'oto interception in the fourth quarter, deep in Nevada territory, when a touchdown would have made it a one score game. Four plays and -5 yards later, and Nevada had the ball back.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Andrew Rich's fumble recovery in the first quarter that set up BYU's only touchdown.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Andrew Rich, 14 tackles (9 unassisted), one fumble recovery

As for what I was watching, here is what I saw:

  1. How will Jake Heaps play in his first start? I give Heaps a B. He had not interceptions and no fumbles, and he guided the offense to more points than he has in any other game this year. However, Heaps is still missing open receivers and his yards per completion is still way to low (less than 10). He also needs to improve his execution at key moments (3rd down, red zone).
  2. Who will help Heaps? J.J. Di Luigi was slowed by a minor injury, but he still contributed 67 yards on the ground and caught 8 passes for 56 yards. Cody Hoffman and McKay Jacobson caught four passes each, which helped the wide receivers to have their best game since the opener. Several passes were dropped, however, and the tight end position was still MIA.
  3. Who will step up on defense? Andrew Rich had 14 tackles and forced a fumble that set up BYU's only touchdown. Vic So'oto had the aforementioned interception. The defense still needs to stop opponents on 3rd down.
  4. Will the stories off the field be a distraction? No. BYU lost because they were out played. Nevada executed well on offense, and the Cougar O was plagued by the same problems that have haunted them the last three games.
Other observations from the game:
  • BYU must start executing better on offense. We are seeing that it is true, BYU has talented players, but all their talent is meaningless without execution. Eliminating the dropped passes, the bad passes when receivers are wide open, and the failure to convert on third down will drastically change the outcome of games.
  • No turnovers. I am choosing to "accentuate the positive" from this game. With all the time the offense did not execute, they still executed well enought to not turn the ball over. Avoiding turnovers is always important.
  • BYU tied Nevada in the second half (3-3). Air Force outscored BYU 14-0 and Florida State did 21-0 in the second half. BYU even outgained Nevada in total yards, 211-107.
  • Nevada "only" rushed for 239 yards. That is below the 271.7 yards that BYU gave up the first three games, and significantly less than the 302 yards that Nevada averaged coming into this game. 
NEXT: at Utah State
DATE: Friday, October 1
TIME: 6:00 PM (MDT)

For this week's Reaction to the Rankings, click here.
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. Personally, I did not think that ball movement was a serious problem. The offense moved the ball better than they have all season. The problem was red zone execution. They just could not get the job done once they got down there. Part of the problem is they seemed to get to eager and take several unnecessary shots at the end zone when they still had manageable downs.

    With one game under their belt as a more cohesive offense (without the back and forth quarterback), another week in practice with Heaps taking all the reps and the game film to look over, we should see some big improvement next week against Utah State.

  2. Thanks for the write up!


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