BYU football report card: Offensive inefficiency drags down effort as Cougars fall to California

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  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Sept. 11, 2018 6:05 a.m.


    D line is tough? Where was the pressure? Where are the sacks? Defense is terrible at best. Where were the stops? Don’t blame the offense because a good defense will get 3 and outs every series. We were lucky the score wasn’t worse if Cal didn’t turn the ball over by mistakes, including the interception/pick six, this game would have been much worse for BYU. Look at the pick six, the QB and receiver were out of sync. Wasn’t an amazing interception, rather it was an interception on an errant pass. No athletic grab or blanket defense. Regardless, the defense is terrible. Slow and no depth. Big d-line but no depth and they were gassed by the second half. Offense has no speed and no depth. Watch this coming Saturday how glaring these issues will become.

  • london_josh Lincoln, CA
    Sept. 10, 2018 7:52 p.m.


    According to you BYU had a zero chance of winning against Arizona and none with Cal either and wound up beating one and losing to the other - so how right have you and the ESPN computer been so far?

    As for offenses, Tanner is sitting at an adjusted QBR of 42.2, which dropped with his last game in which he was pretty bad. Tyler Huntley has an adjusted QBR of 34.6.

    It might change things up a bit when Utah plays some larger teams like BYU has already played. The fact is that the Utes looked bad for a portion of the game against Weber and took a long time to put the NIU game away which was in jeopardy until a last minute defensive score.

    BYU's offense has shown to be inconsistent, but it's also been able to move the ball against defenses in the PAC, averaging around double the points against PAC defenses that Utah got against a g5 defense.

    You can't jaw all day long about how good the P5 teams are, how strong the PAC is, and how BYU can't compete against any PAC teams and then pretend that you have't taken an ironic position when called out.

    ESPN has Utah losing 5 of the next 8 - is that also set in stone? Utah has a much higher chance of a 4 win season than BYU.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Sept. 10, 2018 6:04 p.m.

    The Truth.

    No depth and no speed on either side of the ball. The D isn’t that great. If they were they would force more three and outs throughout the entire game. Don’t blame it on the offense. It works both ways. Both lines were exhausted. Receivers can’t get open and Cal’s speed was too much for BYU. Execution won’t help when the other side is bigger, stronger, faster and deeper. Reality bites.

  • cougar bub WASHINGTON, UT
    Sept. 10, 2018 3:08 p.m.

    Pretty harsh grades for a 3 point loss to a pretty good team. D’s with a couple C’s. Did you expect BYU to start 2-0 before the season started?

    Relax, BYU is better than last year and could end up with a pretty decent record and give Utah a great game before the season ends.

  • IdahoCoog Malad City, ID
    Sept. 10, 2018 1:59 p.m.

    BYU had Two chances for a FG, and a great FG kicker, Southam... yet BYU tried two 4th down tries and failed two times. Two FGs would have left the Coogs with a 3 point win. We have a great FG weapon... why not use him?

    Go Cougars, I'll follow you through rain and shine, snow or blow!

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Sept. 10, 2018 12:27 p.m.

    Article quote: "What was especially costly were two Mangum interceptions thrown in the fourth quarter, the first after BYU took over possession at the Cal 16 following a fumble recovery."

    I didn't watch the 2nd half yet (still on the DVR)….we got the ball on the 16 yard line and didn't score? Atrocious.

  • WalkerTexas Ranger Greeley, CO
    Sept. 10, 2018 12:25 p.m.

    I knew we were in trouble in the 1st quarter. Coogs have a 4th and 1 and they run pitch against a fast defense to the weak side of the field. Coaching never start with backward momentum and then run to the weak side of the field against an already compressed defense that is much faster than the one you played last week. I do like some of the things Grimes is doing but this concerns me......On top of that Sitake should have overridden that call. If the Y is going to turn things around it starts with the coaches not making bonehead calls. This should not have been a loss.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 10, 2018 9:36 a.m.

    london_josh - Lincoln, CA
    Sept. 10, 2018 12:06 a.m.
    So to get to 7 wins we have 5 losses.

    Wisconsin and Washington are losses. Despite the bravado from Utah fans that's another team in shambles right now, defense gets an okay grade but offense is toothless. Boise isn't necessarily a loss, if the BYU that beat Arizona turns up Boise will be a game.


    Care to share with us when Utah's offense has NOT been in shambles? We have beat BYU 7 straight despite an abysmal offense.

    In fact, 5-7 Utah beat you TWICE and BYU has ZERO P12 wins over teams with 6+ wins. .

    Utah defense is just okay? Let us know when you wake up from your dream. Utah's defense is a top 3 P12 defense.

    As of today, according to ESPN:

    * BYU has around a 15% chance of beating Washington, Wisconsin, Utah, and Boise.

    * BYU has around a 40% chance of beating NIU, Utah State, and UMass.

    Lucky BYU beat a bad Arizona team, otherwise BYU fans would be turning to basketball by now.

  • Jello is Good ,
    Sept. 10, 2018 7:59 a.m.

    @SoonerUte - Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2018 9:27 p.m.

    "hi-ya - "Everything from Bad Pac-12 Refs"
    2nd week in a row that BYU has had a Big 12 officiating crew, but fans blame the PAC-12."

    Let me be clear: If we had played a good, or even average game and those two calls were made, I might be upset. The refs didn't take that game from BYU, we offered it up and rolled over like dogs. I saw no fire in our team on either side of the ball. Coach Sitake, time to wake them up.

  • ColoradoCouger Parker, CO
    Sept. 10, 2018 7:15 a.m.

    Why should the team expect anything different from last year? With Mangum at the helm, this is what you get. He does not perform well with any type of pressure. The coaches should have known or at least strongly suspected that this was the case. Nothing against Tanner personally, but the coach has to do whats best for the team and protect his job with wins.

  • Newlin Sandy, UT
    Sept. 10, 2018 7:05 a.m.

    hi-ya: Whether the officials were Big 12, PAC 12, MAC, WAC, or whoever, athletic losses are the fault of the refs maybe .000000001% of the time, and the BYU/Cal game was not one of those.

    Blaming others for your own deficiencies is for the weak.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 10, 2018 1:05 a.m.

    Gotta agree with JD: we have another offensive coordinator who is OJT (on job training). The coaches stayed with a QB who is likely a much better player in practice than in a game. As usual, his downfield throws toward receivers on streak or post patterns are under thrown. Look at the replays and watch BYU players who have at least a step on the defenders wait for the ball. The only exceptions are the TD pass against UA and the near TD passes to Collie. While he can make the throws, he does so rarely.

  • london_josh Lincoln, CA
    Sept. 10, 2018 12:06 a.m.

    So to get to 7 wins we have 5 losses.

    Wisconsin and Washington are losses. Despite the bravado from Utah fans that's another team in shambles right now, defense gets an okay grade but offense is toothless. Boise isn't necessarily a loss, if the BYU that beat Arizona turns up Boise will be a game.

    BYU is certainly a lot better than last year, BYU has never lost to Hawaii in Provo, NM State is a win, UMass is a win, McNassy is a win, Northern Il and USU will be challenges but should be wins, I'd put our chances of losses against those teams about equal to wins on Utah and Boise.

    All things considered - very disappointing loss - and I hate to be that guy, but some calls (and lack of calls) were really questionable. A few other bounces and BYU wins that game, in any case it was a close loss in what was expected to be a close game.

    Maybe the sky isn't falling down!

    Next 3 games are all but guaranteed - USU will be the next chance to see who this team is. A while lot of time until that game is played - if the coaches are smart they work on overall skills rather than prepare for losses and a win that are all but secure.

  • charlie24 Sandy, UT
    Sept. 10, 2018 12:03 a.m.

    BYU has no conference so there is no plan at all to have anything to say about refs. Get into a conference or quit complaining about everyone else's refs. This is one bad part of a bad plan to be independent.

  • JD Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 9, 2018 10:40 p.m.

    First, pretty sure the ref's were from the Big 12 or Big Ten not the PAC-12. Talent wise, it was clear BYU does not have the lateral speed to contend with schools from the power five conferences. Cal had some game tape of the offense to go off of in preparation, whereas AZ did not know what to expect. AZ is not a good team this year. Now that teams will have a couple of weeks of game film to prepare, it will become painfully obvious that hiring somebody who has never been an offensive coordinator, even though they have been coaching for 18 years is a big mistake. The only thing that has developed with Magnum is his age. He's just older now, but showing signs of zero improvement has to lead one to believe that losses to Utah State, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington, Boise State, and Utah are on the horizon. That is a legitimate seven loss season with the Hawaii game going either way. It's just reality, not trying to talk down the bunch from Provo, but it doesn't look like a bowl game is even remotely possible.

  • wahului Stockton, CA
    Sept. 9, 2018 9:49 p.m.

    Jello is good, BYUTEFAN---

    I too was very disappointed to see the coaches not replace a clearly deficient Tanner Mangum. What happened to "the best player plays"? It became pretty clear before the third that a change was merited at QB. When coaching keeps holding on to a poor performer after saying they won't, it pretty much undermines the whole team's effort. Same with receivers. If they drop, they sit. I also think asking the same five O-linemen to play the entire game is asking a lot, maybe too much. Play and build the depth.

  • OldCougarGuy Salem, OR
    Sept. 9, 2018 9:45 p.m.

    Cal’s adjustments and execution the 2nd half were better than the Y’s. Too bad. This might have been a win. Clearly the Cougars didn’t play their best - not sure why. This loss, along with Arizona’s weak effort at Houston, suggest that it’s going to be a long season again this year. Thankfully there is still volleyball....

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2018 9:27 p.m.

    hi-ya - "Everything from Bad Pac-12 Refs"
    2nd week in a row that BYU has had a Big 12 officiating crew, but fans blame the PAC-12.

  • ColoradoCouger Parker, CO
    Sept. 9, 2018 9:12 p.m.

    Too high of a grade for the defense. How about some pressure on the QB- Cal did this and Mangum folded. Don't blame the receivers for all the trouble. BYU had very limited pressure on the Cal QB. So disappointing. Offensive play calling is a big fat F. Time to play some other lineman.

  • Jello is Good ,
    Sept. 9, 2018 8:39 p.m.

    For two years and now going on a third Mangum has consistently showed us that this level of football is beyond him.. please start Wilson..

  • Louisiana Cougar Pineville, LA
    Sept. 9, 2018 7:42 p.m.

    Our vaunted O-Line did not perform -- but the play calling did not impress me. I got concerned after just the first drive when we had a 3rd and 2 and brought in Hoge. Wrong player at the wrong time. Lost the momentum and set a bad tone for the entire game!

    Yes, the DBs hurt the team in giving up three huge plays. The D-Line was only fair at best. Very disappointing loss.


  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2018 7:21 p.m.

    Coaching should get a big fat unimaginative F! Both sides of the ball were bland and uninspired!!!

  • Brent Orme Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 9, 2018 7:18 p.m.

    Interesting article. You mention 1- Dropped Pass. Add all the dropped passes up and just the point of catch would have given Mangum over 300 yards passing! We have a QB and TRASH receivers!

  • blue & white Boise, ID
    Sept. 9, 2018 7:05 p.m.

    The experts thought we would win. I was cautious optimistic and leaning to a loss. Because it reminds me of 2009 season beating Oklahoma (#3) and blew out Tulane, start 2-0. Then comes Florida State to town, a loss 28-54. I thought we were way over confident and didn’t prepare well then and perhaps the same today. For this team beating Arizona was huge. Did we think all we had to do was show up? Sounds like we failed to prepare during the week. That’s on the coaches. With the coaching talent we have that’s no exchause . Come on guys!

  • BYUTEFAN Riverton, UT
    Sept. 9, 2018 6:46 p.m.

    Speaking of mistakes...

    How about not recruiting a JUCO safety or receiver?

    Dayan G is playing great but moving him and Troy to be your starting safety’s ???

    And although the offense ineptitude wasn’t solely Tanners...he’s just not it.
    Outside the 2 interceptions it’s not counting the 3 that were almost intercepted. He panicks and simply struggles reading defenses. In 2015 we had the receivers to bail him out.

    My bold prediction for the game was that Tanner would fall apart and Zack would finish the game ....I was too close to being right.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Sept. 9, 2018 6:02 p.m.

    I watched the recording I made of the game. I was wrong on a couple of points I made earlier. (1) It was not PAC12 zebras, it was Big12 zebras.
    (2) Almost every call that I thought wrong was correct. I mean that looking at the replays of all the "bad" calls, only one was actually disputable. The refs did a great job.
    (3) It was a very very tough game by both teams. At this point, Cal had a better QB.
    (4) Of the five or six jet sweeps called, only one failed to gain yards. Most were 5 to 10 yard gains.

    Conclusion 1: Cal and BYU are very very equal. They could play 10 games and each would win five. So are they bad or good? We'll just have to see.
    Conclusion 2: Mangum has a great arm, but is immobile, and thus is less effective than either of the Cal QBs.
    Conclusion 3: BYU's defense is real. Gonwoloku (sp?) had a fantastic game. Their D-line is very very tough. They will be hard to score on.
    Conclusion 4: Offense gained yards on the ground, the jet sweeps, and overall running game was good. But the passing game is not. Receivers dropped some balls and Mangum simply missed receivers. Protection was fantastic: Cal seldom got close to Mangum.

    Don't need to give up on BYU yet.

  • FastestFalcon Provo, UT
    Sept. 9, 2018 12:55 p.m.

    To any BYU football players who happen to be reading this, you have got to STOP getting cocky after every win! Just cuz you won one game doesn't mean you are great or even good! Stop thinking you can just stroll through the week into the next game after a win without improving! You have got to keep pushing harder and harder if you want to really succeed at anything in life, especially football!!

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    Sept. 9, 2018 12:53 p.m.

    Lack of speed is a definite problem. Noticed the offensive plays took longer to develop, forcing Mangum to scramble. Receivers need more aggressiveness to pop that defender off. Also, the receivers seemed more concerned about being hit than catching the ball. Need receivers like Kaipo McGuire (1996 Cougars) who are dare devils who aren't afraid to be smashed and knocked several times

  • owesley Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 9, 2018 12:42 p.m.

    I have so many things I could complain about last night, but there is one simple fact that overrides all else. I mean all else, as in without exception.

    El-Bakri said it, but I’ll say it different. When I walked in the stadium and sat down an hour early to watch warmups, the Cougars were vacant. I mean, they were there physically on the field, but there was no mojo. No excitement for the opening home game after a dismal 2017. No bravado that said here we are and Cal is in serious trouble. Nope. Nothing. Almost dead. I turned to my friends and said, the Cougs have no chance tonight.

    That was 30 minutes before kickoff.

    This game was indeed lost three days ago. Their only chance would come after kickoff, but Cal had what the Cougs didn’t and they made sure the kickoff would not change the ultimate outcome. Detmer has been laughing all night in Mesa. Maybe crying recalling that his mantra has been that all coaches can do is coach; and only players make plays! Well, take away six, maybe seven plays and this game would have been 45-0 in favor of Cal. Shame on the coaches for not having this team ready and not changing the attitudes before kickoff.

  • Chicago Coug Oswego, IL
    Sept. 9, 2018 12:36 p.m.

    When are we going to hold the players and coaches more accountable? We have a great layer that says the game was lost three days earlier, and we want to give them a pass? I know it’s not “life or death,” but when 56,000 people (10,000 more fans from a bad team than what Mr. PAC 12, at least that’s what the stickers say, up North) pay to see you at least act like you care, it’s very, very disappointing when you don’t. Unfortunately, Broncos staff is now the bar... and we’re even way below that. That’s a hard pill to swallow.

  • hi-ya Murray, UT
    Sept. 9, 2018 12:05 p.m.

    I feel really bad about BYU Football today. I'm sure the team feels bad as well as BYU Nation in general. If there was anything that went right in the game... it sure didn't happen. Everything from Bad Pac-12 Refs (If there is any conference in the country that is biased, its the Pac-12 Refs. No wonder that they insist on their Refs being at Every game... so that they always have the edge). Bad late hit calls, Non calls on Pass interference, Bad Off side calls... you name it... they were terrible. BYU offensive line... Last week great... they week bad... How many times did BYU have a 3rd down and 2 yards to go or 4th down and 1 yard to go and could not convert... at least ten times. Then late in the game... BYU gets the fumble recovery on the 15 yard line... All they need to do it field goal or touchdown and they either tie or win the game... Then comes "lose his cool" Tanner who throws two consecutive interceptions to kill the drives... Only saving grace was the defense... except they gave up two touchdowns on long passes... Need to do better with those... Like I said... I'm sure everyone is upset... BYU gave this game away... Wow... I feel sorry for the everyone.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Sept. 9, 2018 10:56 a.m.

    I'll say it again: Tanner Mangum is a great guy, but not a great QB. Time to bring in the kid and let him start learning. Sure, Wisconsin is not kindergarten, but Tanner simply doesn't have the mobility. Clearly this team is going to be up and down while Grimes struggles to find a rhythm with his offense. Too much celebrating over the Arizona game?

    No doubt.

    Time to get serious: Wisconsin is a bad bunch of dudes.

  • Drano USA, 00
    Sept. 9, 2018 10:11 a.m.

    I thought your grades on the offense and defense were kind. I would have given grades of F- to both sides of the ball. You were spot on with the special teams.

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    Sept. 9, 2018 9:36 a.m.

    I had to laugh when I read the title of this article, because while the offense was "offensively bad" the defense was pathetic against the pass. Where was the defensive backs? Where was the dominating offensive and defensive lines? Oh yah, they were being dominated!

    Just when I thought it was time to start believing again, and then this.