The 90-52 victory over Air Force on Wednesday was a significant win for No. 7 BYU for a variety of reasons.
The last time BYU went on the road last week at Wyoming, the Cougars didn't look like a Top-10 team. They lacked energy, didn't look focused, struggled to play defense and their offense was very inconsistent. As a result, the game went down to the wire with a team that later fired its coach.
Credit BYU coach Dave Rose for getting BYU ready to do the opposite against the Falcons in Clune Arena. It was another road trip but against a far superior team than Wyoming. He had his guys ready and they delivered. BYU's defense disrupted the Falcons all night, and offensively the Cougars shot 70 percent from the field in the second half.
There were two things that stood out in this game: First, with starter Kyle Collinsworth, who can play and defend four different positions, out with a concussion, Charles Abouo and Steve Rogers stepped up and played like starters. Abouo rebounded and defended and Rogers brought instant offense. This will prove key for BYU as it heads toward March.
Second, I thought Jackson Emery found his mojo on offense. He was a stud on defense, but he knocked down so many shots on the Falcons to remind observers of why he is so valuable alongside Jimmer Fredette.
Road wins are not easy in the Mountain West Conference, or anywhere else for that matter. It was a solid win over the Falcons and the Cougars looked like their No. 7 ranking.
Oh, and Jimmer Fredette got 25 and sat with about three minutes to play.
Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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