Rick Bowmer
California defensive end Zeandae Johnson (44) sacks BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum (12) in the second half during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Provo, Utah. California won 21-18. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

MADISON, Wisc. — After BYU struggled offensively in a 21-18 loss to Cal last week, plenty of attention fell upon the inconsistent play of quarterback Tanner Mangum.

But quarterbacks coach Aaron Roderick said Mangum’s teammates need to help him more as the Cougars collide with No. 6 Wisconsin Saturday.

“In the Cal game, he made a couple of mistakes and they were big ones. They got magnified. His play wasn’t quite as bad as maybe it’s made out to be,” Roderick said. “But he’s got to play better and we’ve got to play better around him, too. We’ve got to give him some help. He didn’t get a lot of help the other night in a variety of ways that could have really changed that game. We’ve got to play better as a team.”

“We can’t have a third-and-5 and have a good play called and have a guy drop a pass,” said offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes. “Tanner was 54 percent completion percentage in this game. In the first game he was 64 percent but we had five drops. If we had completed those, it would be 66 percent. That makes all the difference in the world.

“We need to do everything a little bit better. We had too many mistakes,” Grimes added. “You can’t throw the ball to the other team. When you have two turnovers in a close game, often that’s the difference in the game. We’ve got to play better in the red zone. The defense gave us every opportunity to score some points and we didn’t come away with the points that we should have.”

For some reason, BYU lost some focus during practice last week.

“Maybe we lost a little something by thinking about that win over Arizona too long. Our entire approach since Monday has been that game is over and we’re totally focused on this one," Grimes said. “One of the things we challenged our guys with is that either you have to improve or we’ll find someone else to do the job. I think our offense knows we really mean that. You’ve probably seen the last two weeks some guys playing more than some others. I imagine that will probably be the case in this game as well.”

ACCOUNTABILITY: When asked about how he evaluates his own performance after a game, Grimes said last weekend he had a conversation with his son, who is in high school.

17 comments on this story

“He said, ‘Dad, don’t feel so bad. You called a good game.’ I said, ‘No, we didn’t win. We didn’t score enough points. That’s my responsibility as offensive coordinator.’ All of it comes back to me. First I say, what could we have done differently in terms of preparation during the week? Honestly, I didn’t feel like we practiced as well as we did the first week. That’s an opportunity to learn. I look at the game plan and say, did we put guys in the right positions to make plays?”

BYU-WISCONSIN CONNECTIONS: BYU junior safety Austin Kafentzis was a Wisconsin quarterback during spring practice in 2015. Badger linebacker Chris Orr and Cougar wide receiver Akile Davis both attended DeSoto (Texas) High.