ARLINGTON, Texas -- The BYU Cougars had their chances against TCU, but too many mistakes cost the Cougars the ballgame. The Cougars didn't play poorly, they had almost 400 yards of offense and 28 points, but once again turnovers haunted BYU and eventually kept the Cougars from coming home winners.
Here is a look a the team's performance position-by- position:
This is a tough grade to assign because on the one hand Riley got first downs and converted scores, toughness is never in question, but his two interceptions were terrible decisions and probably left points on the field for BYU. He was lucky that TCU dropped a couple of others. You can see how much of a competitor he is but the special teams play also put him in a situation where he was playing comeback all game long.
Running backs/Fullbacks: B
A decent day on the ground for the backs considering that they were matchup against a very good TCU defense. JJ Di Luigi had some great breakout runs and they seemed to push the ball forward almost at will. The low yards/run stat is courtesy of some big sacks but the ground game was pretty impressive. More importantly, no fumbles out of the backfield.
Wide receivers/Tight ends: B+
The receiving core made great catches and kept drives going, drawing pass interference penalties isn't the best way to move the ball but they did a good job of catching balls thrown their way, battling the TCU secondary isn't an easy task and they got open for Riley Nelson more often than not.
Offensive line: B
Of the sacks that Riley Nelson took, many were coverage sacks where he had plenty of time to make a throw but kept it. There were times that he was pressured and ended up making bad throws but overall, 150 on the ground, 215 in the air and outgaining TCU were indicators that the offense was competitive and the offensive line was as well.
Overall Offense: B
The offense showed some great life at times but sputtered in areas that walked them back from some of the success that they had had in weeks previous. The turnovers were crucial in the loss but the positive movement of the football was overall what gave them a decent grade.
Defensive line: B
Defensive linemen did a good job of holding the TCU offensive line in check. BYU didn't get pushed around that badly, though the line was overpowered in goal line sets. Backup quarterback Matt Brown had two carries and two touchdowns.
Jameson Frazier recorded a nice sack on Casey Pachall. The front seven didn't stifle the Horned Frog ground game, but the linebackers generally did a good job of containing the running backs. Other than the sack, this game was void of big plays from the linebackers.
BYU was beat a couple times on blown coverages, resulting in a 48 yard touchdown pass from Casey Pachall to Skye Dawson and a 33 yarder to Josh Boyce. Otherwise, the coverage was mostly solid. Cougar defensive backs largely kept their targets in front of them.
Overall Defense: B-
BYU's defense fought admirably, despite continually being put in bad situations by special teams mishaps and offensive turnovers. Most of TCU's points came from possessions started on short fields. BYU held TCU to 283 yards and 5 of 14 third downs. BYU gave up 136 yards on the ground, at 3.5 yards per rush.
Special Teams: C-
With all the punting miscues and lapses in kickoff coverages, BYU was earning an F in the special teams department. That is, until J.D. Falslev notched a 67 yard punt return for a touchdown. Cody Hoffman had some nice kick returns as well. Justin Sorensen connected on field goals from 42 and 44 yards and missed from 50.