Cougar Curve: Utah State 31, BYU 16

No, that's not a misprint. If anything, that score probably doesn't represent how bad BYU got beat by a struggling Utah State Aggie team. There aren't a lot of positives to take away from Friday's game, and grades …well, they're pretty low.

Quarterback: C+

It was again a mixed bag from Jake Heaps. He'd move the ball effectively before having drives stalled by some head-scratching throws and reads, but that's what you get with a true freshman.

Heaps wasn't helped at all by the inability of anyone to make plays for him, and he had way too many balls dropped.

Running Backs: C-

J.J. Di Luigi did not have his usual productive outing, as he took the wrong hole numerous times, danced to much on too many occasions, and accounted for some dropped passes. Bryan Kariya didn't get the ball much, but did contribute at least one dropped pass as well.

Joshua Quezada got into the mix early, but was unspectacular. This offense is getting killed by the inability of anyone to make key plays, and that was the case again Friday.

Wide Receivers: D-

This may have been the worst performance I can ever remember seeing from a BYU wide receiving corps. McKay Jacobson was productive and Cody Hoffman contributed some nice plays, but that was it.

Dropped passes from everyone on the depth chart contributed to this low grade.

Tight Ends: C-

They were again not a factor, and one has to wonder if Heaps is looking to them enough.

Offensive Line: C-

They didn't get near the push on running plays that one would expect against a team like Utah State. It appeared as if the Aggies were able to sellout to the right spot on virtually every running play, which is more of a coaching error.

The pass-protection was generally good, but did start to show gaps during the fourth quarter when the Aggies really began to tee-off on their pass rushes.

Defensive Line: C

They did well on containment for the most part, but were vulnerable up the middle on too many occasions. Vic So'oto's side was solid for the most part, while the end position vacated by Eathyn Manumaleuna struggled.

Linebackers: D+

The outside linebacker play was generally good, with Jordan Pendleton showing very well on option plays before he left the game with an injury. Kyle Van Noy showed his best play of the season, while Jadon Wagner contributed some good reps.

The inside positions struggled to make plays, as they were a step late and were unable to complete their gap assignments on too many occasions.

Safeties: D

The first Aggie touchdown was completely on Andrew Rich biting on play action, although he did make up for it with the type of punishing hits one would expect from him. He left the game with an injury and hopefully he'll be okay, as losing him could be devastating for the defense as a whole.

Travis Uale again struggled, taking bad angles on runs going off-tackle and wide. That led to some huge gains by the Aggies. He did fare a bit better in the second half, however.

Cornerbacks: C

They again weren't tested, as Utah State was able to make their yards otherwise. Brandon Bradley again struggled in run support, with Diondre Borel taking it outside of him on at least a couple of occasions.

Special Teams: B

The punting was very good, but the kick coverage showed some gaps in coverage that we hadn't seen this year. The kick return units were adequate.

Overall, it's hard to think back of when this program has been this low. The level of play is something Cougar fans haven't seen since Bronco Mendenhall became head coach, not even close. It will be interesting to see what this team is able to do from here on out, as its work is clearly cut out for it.


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