The first three games of 2017 have been tough to swallow for BYU. With Beau Hoge making his first career start against the top 10 ranked Wisconsin Badgers, the Cougars continued to struggle.
Starting quarterback Tanner Mangum was out with an ankle injury. Hoge redshirted last season, but did see limited playing time as a true freshman in 2015. His first pass was intercepted.
That gave Wisconsin a short field, but credit the BYU defense for limiting Wisconsin to a field goal.
The Cougars were able to tie the game at three with a scoring drive of their own. Riding the legs of Ula Tolutau and Hoge, BYU reached the Wisconsin 4-yard line. An ill-timed holding penalty kept BYU out of the end zone.
From that point, Wisconsin took control of the game. The Badgers scored three touchdowns before the end of the first half. The final TD coming with 25 seconds remaining.
Hoge hit Micah Simon for 50 yards, and BYU added another field goal as time expired to make it 24-6 at half.
During halftime, BYU retired the number six jersey in honor of Marc Wilson, Robbie Bosco, and Luke Staley.
The BYU defense allowed just two second half touchdowns, but the Badger D added a safety while keeping the Cougar offense scoreless.
Final score: 40-6.
In contrast to the LSU game earlier this year, BYU was able to generate a ground game with over 80 yards on the ground. However, BYU only managed 192 yards of total offense on the day.
As bad as the offense was, the Cougar D wasn't any better. Wisconsin had nearly 500 yards of total offense. The Badgers had just one incomplete pass, and converted eight of 12 third downs. They also held an overwhelming time of possession advantage with over 40 minutes.
Hoge finished his first start 11-20, 111 yards, 2 interceptions.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Beau Hoge 50-yard pass to Micah Simon.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Ula Tolutau, 13 carries, 58 yards.
The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org