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Game day grades: BYU vs. Utah, BYU edition

Game day grades: BYU vs. Utah, BYU edition

By Andrew Adams and Alex Kirry | Posted - Sep. 17, 2011 at 11:59 p.m.



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PROVO -- It is hard to find many, if any, positives in a 54-10 blowout. A score like that usually indicates a breakdown in just about every area of the game, as do the game day grades of the BYU Cougars' performance.

Quarterbacks: D

Another week with no offensive production from the Cougars and while Jake Heaps threw for 305 yards these were empty yards as they ended up with just one BYU Touchdown. Heaps' first 300-yard passing performance as a Cougar comes at a very awkward time.

Runningbacks/Fullbacks: D

I can't give the running backs an "F" because they barely touched the ball, but when they did, fumbles seemed to plague the backfield. Missed pass-blocking assignments also bring the grade down to terrible depths.

Wide receivers/Tight ends: B

When the ball wasn't bring fumbled or intercepted the receiving core accounted for 320 yards of BYU's 343 passing yards. Cody Hoffman, although briefly, made his first big impact of the year (eight catches, 138 yards). A very small glimmer on one of the worst nights in recent Cougar history.

Offensive Line: D

The offensive line shares the worst grade on the offense for a reason today because almost all of their woes started on that offensive line. Fumbles credited to Jake Heaps and Riley Nelson were the results of poor blocking and a bad snap from Terrance Brown.

Overall Offense: D

Flashes from a good receiving core is the only thing saving this grade from the dreaded "F". Missed blocking assignments, seven turnovers and an abysmal running game for the third week in a row makes this an easy bad grade to assign. Fingers point in all sorts of directions and end with Brandon Doman who will have to endure another week of "what were you thinking?" reactions from fans. Hopefully the embarrassing loss ignites a fire that has been lacking the entire 2011 Cougar football season.

Defensive Line: C-

Linebackers: C-

Kyle Van Noy recorded an INT. He still appears to have All-America status in his future. The linebackers worked effectively in the first half to stop the run and to generate some occasional pressure on Jordan Wynn. And the second

Secondary: C-

Regardless of how anybody feels the second half went, the secondary gave up too many completions on 3rd down. Corby Eason misjudging the distance of a pass was a huge error. And the Jake Murphy drive at the end of the first half seemed to be what started things spiraling downhill for BYU.

Overall Defense: C-

BYU actually earned a B+ with its 1st half performance, but the long John White runs in the second half made it appear the defense called it a night early. The defense gets an F for quarters 3 and 4. Bronco Mendenhall insisted his defense did not quit - that it was a run play he had not prepared his defense to handle and Norm Chow ran it over and over again. Sounds like Norm, so the explanation holds some weight. BYU gave up 40 points in the second half, and the defense appeared to get progressively worse. It gave up 16 points in the 3rd Quarter and 24 in the 4th. Utah rushed for 242 yards on 38 carries - a 6.3 yards per carry average.

Special Teams: C

Justin Sorensen booted a 45 yard field goal. One part of the game that did not get much attention because of more glaring problems is that BYU returners repeatedly made poor decisions on whether to return the kickoff rather than go down to a knee. That left BYU starting drives at its 12, 13. It only exposed further the continuity problems the offense is seeing.

Overall: F

Utah is a good football team, but BYU made the Utes look like eventual national champions. Some people may see an "F" as a harsh grade - even with what went down on the field at Lavell Edwards Stadium. However, using a wise phrase that is used far too often - it is what it is. Hard to give a passing grade to a team that coughs up SEVEN turnovers. Hard to give a passing grade to a team that gives up 40 POINTS in the second half. Hard to give a passing grade to a team that plays matador defense to the Utes' John White for two quarters. Hard to give a passing grade to a team that needed a win over rival Utah to not make the gap from Pac-12 to Independence feel so wide, and instead was annihilated in a 54-10 blood-letting. The inability to recover and adapt is something BYU will need to address quickly before taking on UCF next Friday.

Email: aadams@ksl.com and akirry@ksl.com

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Andrew Adams
    Alex Kirry

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