Week 3: Home against Utah
- Offense is again changing gears as Kyle Whittingham employs his 59th offensive coordinator. Troy Williams returns as another on-again, off-again yewt QB, but is one of only THREE returning starters on offense. He loses 54% of his receptions with the departures of Patrick, Butler-Byrd, Moeai, Williams and the move of Tyrone Smith to DB. He only completed 53.1% of his passes and had less than a 2 to 1 ratio of TDs to INTs. He is the classic Utah quarterback that we always seem to see outplay his season statistics in the game against BYU. His primary target will be #11 Raelon Singleton with Siaosi Wilson and Demari Simpkins filling in spots 2 and 3. Those three are the only returning receivers to account for a score in 2016 catching 7 of an abysmal 15 total TD passes in 2016. This Ute offense will again have to depend on the ground game where they return a couple of options in Zack Moss and Armand Shyne. Neither were spectacular in relief of "retired" Joe Williams. In fact, assumed starter Zack Moss had the lowest average rush among any yewt player with at least 20 carries in 2016. Add to this the fact that the OL will go from one of the best in the nation to retooling with 4 new starters, and BYU fans should be excited that this game is in Week 3 (week two for the yewts) and not at the end of the season like 2018 will be. Seven of the ten players in the OL two-deep will be freshman and sophomore players.
- Defense and special teams will again be the focus on this yewt team. Thankfully, the stupidity of the former BYU staff and their treatment of Andy Phillips which drove him to Salt Lake will no longer be felt. Great kid from a great family who was always a BYU fan and who was Mr. Automatic from within 50 has finally moved on. In games that seem to always be close, getting away from Phillips will be a welcome change. Defense is a 4-2-5 alignment sacrificing size for all kinds of speed. Only Lotulelei will weigh over 300 bills with only Mokofisi weighing more than 260. The top three CBs from 2016 are gone as is NICK Justin Thomas. Strength of the defense will be the middle as all 6 returning starters are there (2 DT, 2 LB, and 2 S).
Only strength against strength in this game is the BYU OL vs UU DL/LB.
The weakness/unprovens that will go against weakness/unprovens, however, is BYU QB/WR vs UU DB.
The advantage areas for BYU are:
UU OL vs BYU DL/LB
UU RB/TE vs BYU LB/S
UU QB/WR vs BYU DB
The advantage areas for Utah are:
BYU RB/TE vs UU LB/S
Mental intangibles associated with winning 6 straight
BYU will win because the Cougar defense will be better than the Utah offense at every matchup...finally. Meanwhile, the BYU offense (big, bruising, run-oriented with play action pass game) is not the offense that the Ute defense is built to stop. The 4-2-5 is in response to all the spread option dominating football, and in particular, the Pac 12 South division. BYU will be able to win the LOS on both sides of the ball, control the time of possession, and shut the Ute offense down. If Mangum can patiently pick his spots rather than force it like he did in the Spring Game and allow the OL to win the game for the offense, this should finally end the string of close yewt victories.
BYU 23 UU 10