The problem with Tuiaki's defenses is subtle but VERY impactful to the team
Tuiaki does the offense no favors - and, for that matter, neither does Lamb.
Average offensive starting field position has a high correlation to points. Average offensive starting field position is influenced by return teams on special teams and defense.
Last year, BYU had the 19th-worst offensive ASFP in college football. This year, it's the 11th-worst.
In 2016, we were right in the middle of the pack.
You could say the offense has a part in this too. But, BYU's defensive ASFP was 42nd in the country last year and is 75th this year. That weakness in the offense is offset by the 18th-best kickoff cover unit in CFB and the 7th-best punt cover unit.
On the other hand, the kickoff return unit is 128th. The punt return unit is 100th.
Yes, Tuiaki's defense is 38th in the country in S&P+. But, they are 89th in the country in FEI. Which means, they don't give up big plays but they also don't get off the field.
This makes the defense look good but it also puts the offense in bad spots trying to score points.
As we've all seen for the past 2 years.
So, the next time you think the defense is doing well. Remember, their first job is to limit points. But, their second job is to improve the offense's ability to score points.
They're decent at the first job but are absolutely horrible at their second job