The Cougar Curve

After a stunning 31-10 loss to the Aztecs of San Diego State, you may expect the grades to be low across the board for the Cougars. Well, Brandon Gurney does not disappoint as he hands out marks to each of BYU's positions.


Quarterback: D-

John Beck took a big step backwards tonight. He did not look confident in any of his reads. He could not complete passes over ten yards downfield for the most part, and overthrew easy targets. It was a truly disappointing outing for Beck

Beck also continues to leave the pocket too early, which I have harped on all season long. This was especially noticeable tonight as Beck frequently ran out of the pocket prematurely. Beck made more plays in the second half, but he did not step up when he needed to which was evidenced by him throwing an uncatchable ball to Harline in the end zone when BYU at least had a sliver of hope.

Running backs: C+

Fahu Tahi had some good moments while Curtis Brown did not do much of anything. Brown was never very involved in the offense

Receivers: C

Jonny Harline caught a lot of balls, but he dropped a lot of balls. A lot of these were difficult catches, but he needed to make them. Harline not making sure his foot was in-bounds and dropping the short pass on third the last drive BYU was inside the 20 killed any chance BYU had of winning the game.

Todd Watkins was a non-factor with one deep ball thrown to Watkins all night long. A lot of this was due to the Aztecs running a cover three scheme. It is impossible for me to state with accuracy what could have been done to get him open deep, but it is hard for me to believe that nothing could have been done. BYU's most effective offensive weapon was left on the shelf for the third time in four games.

Zac Collie and Matt Allen could not have been less involved collectively in what Anae and Co. were trying to do. Were they open and should have more balls been thrown to them? We will have to review the tape and ask the coaches.

It is difficult to understand why more passes were not thrown to Nathan Meikle underneath, considering the coverages San Diego State was running that apparently took away any chance of going deep to Watkins. One of them has to be open fairly consistently.

Offensive line: B-

The line did not do much to hurt or help the team. The hogs gave Beck time for the most part and opened adequate holes on most running plays, but did not blow the Aztecs off of the line by any means. The offense was stalled by bad reads, bad throws and no plays made by the skill players. Hopefully Eddie Keele will be able to come back soon from whatever injury caused him to leave the game early.

Defensive Line: C-

The D-line started to play well in the second half, but were moved around with ease for the duration of the first half. They never got serious pressure on the quarterback.

Linebackers: C

Aaron Wagner made some good plays during the game; the others did not for the most part.

Cornerbacks: F

Webb was just a bad match-up for 160-pound Justin Robinson. Webb did what he wanted on just about every pass play as BYU never adjusted. Nate Soelberg did not do anything all night. His "attempt" to break up a long pass to Webb when he had over-the-top coverage was passive at best. Cole Miyahira came in and probably made the best play of the night for a BYU cornerback.

Going into the season I was anxious to see how BYU's CBs would stack up against an open passing attack with good wide receivers. Well, now I know.

Safeties: F

Without carefully reviewing the game film, I believe Quinn Gooch knocked down as many passes as the rest of his teammates in the secondary. He knocked down one pass. This is beyond unacceptable. All night long the safeties took bad angles on off-tackle runs and short hitches to the flat. Not a banner game for the secondary by any stretch of the imagination.


San Diego State ran three plays all night long that BYU couldn't defend: the short hitch to Webb, the 10-yard curl to Webb and the off-tackle run by Lynell Hamilton. If it is not broke, then why fix it? San Diego State did not fix it and killed BYU with a very simple offensive attack, an that is frightening.

It is difficult to imagine a team looking more unprepared to play a football game. For all time spent addressing discipline and accountability since Gary Crowton's departure, Bronco's troops are not showing on the field that they are getting the message.

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