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Sunday Evening QB: 3 lessons from BYU's win over the WSU Cougars

BYU defensive lineman Atunaisa Mahe celebrates a sack against Washington State, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 in Pullman, Washington.

BYU defensive lineman Atunaisa Mahe celebrates a sack against Washington State, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 in Pullman, Washington. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY β€” The BYU Cougars took on the Cougars of Washington State in Pullman, Washington, Saturday afternoon. BYU was on a two-game skid and hoped to bounce back against their fourth Pac-12 foe.

BYU got the 21-19 win and became bowl eligible in their eighth game of the season. The win had some highs and lows, and taught us a few things about BYU.

Here are three lessons from BYU's win over Washington State.

Game energy seems to be coming from Sitake, and that's not a good thing

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake has become a household favorite across the country thanks to his energy and excitement on the sideline. His recruiting and winning games hasn't hurt either.

The players undoubtedly seem to respond well when their coach gets into the game with them, but it feels like a problem that all of the sideline energy seems to be coming from the guy in the headphones and not the guys in pads.

Sitake seems like the kind of coach you'd love to play for as a college player, but the team needs to get their energy back. Ever since Baylor Romney went down with an injury, it feels as if the excitement from the players has flattened, which has translated on the field. Tyler Allgeier injects some life into the team, but the others need to match their coach and get some excitement back into the squad.

A healthy offensive line is a game changer for BYU

For the first time since their game against Arizona State, the BYU offensive line was at full strength. A depleted BYU line only managed to help their running backs gain 56 yards on the ground against Baylor β€” Allgeier only had 33 yards on 15 carries β€” and they also gave up five sacks.

While Washington State is not as good as Baylor, the O-line turned things around in Pullman. The Cougars ran for 238 yards and allowed only two sacks.

The Cougars lost starting center James Empey in the game, and it sounds like he may not be back for the battle against Virginia, which could be a real problem. BYU will need everything it can get on offense as the Cavaliers can rack up yards and points. BYU will need to try and keep up.

There should be a QB controversy in Provo

First things first, I am not saying Jaren Hall should be benched. What I am saying is there should be a battle in practice and a lot of conversations in the coaches offices about who gives you the best chance to win.

Hall is an exciting player to watch, but the Cougars are not consistent on offense or dynamic with him in the game. He gives the team some real highlight reel moments with his legs, but he misses open receivers too often.

With an incredible receiving corps, the Cougars should be able to throw whenever needed and score, but that's not happening. Allgeier had a fantastic game against Washington State, and the Cougars in red could not stop the ground game of the Cougars in blue. The mentality of the game was: If it isn't broken, don't fix it. But BYU was very one-dimensional.

When backup Baylor Romney was in the Cougars' backfield, he was active and churning out yards, but the defense had to hang back and wait because Romney hit receivers and kept the ball moving.

Puka Nacua is one of the best receivers on the BYU squad and didn't record one catch against Washington State. BYU had a total of 147 yards through the air in Pullman.

As mentioned before, Virginia will throw all over the field and score points, and BYU will need to keep up.

I'm not saying who should be starting, but I am saying there should be a competition and a QB controversy in Provo.

Up next, BYU will take on their old coach Bronco Mendenhall and the Virginia Cavaliers in LaVell Edwards Stadium on Oct. 30.

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