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BYU report card: Cougar defense plays amazingly well while offense plays shockingly bad in loss to Boise State

Published: Tuesday, July 28 2015 4:54 a.m. MDT

Riley Nelson (13) of the Brigham Young Cougars is tackled by Beau Martin (53) of the Boise State Broncos during NCAA football in Boise, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.  (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Riley Nelson (13) of the Brigham Young Cougars is tackled by Beau Martin (53) of the Boise State Broncos during NCAA football in Boise, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

BOISE, Idaho — BYU suffered heart break for the second time in five days. This time, the Cougars fell 7-6 at Boise State Thursday night. Here is how BYU graded against the Broncos:

Offense: It was a shockingly bad offensive effort for most of the night until the team showed some life late in the game.

The Cougar offense could do next to nothing through the first half — accounting for just 68 yards of total offense and a shocking 19 yards of passing. If that wasn't bad enough the offense also contributed two turnovers on a Riley Nelson fumble and interception.

The offense committed another three turnovers in the second half but settled down once Taysom Hill took over for a struggling Nelson. Hill initially struggled himself, but then helped guide the offense 95 yards for a touchdown with just 3:37 left in the game. BYU failed on its two-point attempt, however, as Hill's intended pass for Cody Hoffman was knocked down.

Michael Alisa (42) of the Brigham Young Cougars is tackled by Boise State defenders during NCAA football in Boise, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.  (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Michael Alisa (42) of the Brigham Young Cougars is tackled by Boise State defenders during NCAA football in Boise, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

BYU gained just 200 yards on the night with 80 of those yards coming on its final drive of the game. Grade: D

Defense: It's hard to imagine a better collective effort from the BYU defense. Time and again it turned away the Boise State offense after being set up in difficult situations.

The Cougar defense allowed 155 yards of total offense in the first half, but turned away Boise State time and again every time it threatened to score.

As good as the defense was in the first half, its third-quarter effort was about as good as it gets. Late in the third quarter it turned away Boise State in a first-and-goal situation at the 1-yard line — stuffing the Broncos short of the goalline on four straight tries. Grade: A-

Special Teams: BYU's special teams did make some big plays against Boise State. But it also did allow a couple of long returns, including one late in the game that helped secure the Bronco victory. Grade: B-

BYU fans react during NCAA football against Boise State in Boise, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.  (Ravell Call, Deseret News) BYU fans react during NCAA football against Boise State in Boise, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

Overall: Overall the team looked unprepared to play from the outset, but settled down as the night went on. With a superlative defensive effort and a disastrous offensive effort we'll grade this team right down the middle. Grade: C.

Email: bgurney@desnews.com Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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