Cougar Curve: Arizona

The game went like few people thought it would. Contrary to what the pundits predicted, BYU's defense was the dominant force while the offense sputtered its way to a 13-point outing. There are positives to take away from the night, but BYU still suffered a heartbreaking loss in a very winnable game. Here is how the team graded out.

Quarterbacks: B

John Beck was productive and accurate throughout the game, but his third down conversion rate was not what it needed to be for a senior leader. He also took a couple of sacks on third down that never should have happened because saw the D-linemen coming at him.

Running Backs: C-

Curtis Brown was a non-factor making his presence known mostly through dump-off passes. Fui Vakapuna came on way too late and could have been a factor had he been used sooner. Brown has yet to prove he can run on BCS teams (Boston College: 33 yards; Notre Dame: 23 yards; California: 28 yards).

Wide Receivers: B

Michael Reed and McKay Jacobson had good games save for one drop by Reed. Zac Collie and Matt Allen were non-factors with two catches between them. Allen continues to be the victim of bad offensive pass interference calls after being flagged on a very ticky-tack call that nullified his touchdown grab.

Tight Ends: C

BYU has to have better performances by Jonny Harline if they are to reach the productivity of last year's offense. While he made plays his fumble led to the three point difference in the game and had too many drops than you can afford to have from your star receiver. Daniel Coats had a solid game catching the lone touchdown.

Offensive Line: C-

They were unable to mount a productive run attack and allowed too much pressure on Beck throughout the night. Eddie Keele was solid as none of that pressure came from Beck's blindside. The right side of the line was where the pressure came as Dallas Reynolds completed his first game at the right tackle position. Overall, it was a very disappointing game of missed blocking assignments without much of a push downfield on running plays.

Defensive Line: B+

A very solid outing from the Cougar defensive front. They held the Wildcat running attack in check save for a containment assignment blown by an end that led to Henry's 54 yard run. Overall they got good pressure on the quarterback and good penetration upfield throughout the game.

Linebackers: A

Bryan Kehl had his breakout game leading what will prove to be one of the best outside linebacker units ever to play at BYU. Cameron Jensen had one of his better games as a Cougar with two interception, one of which was called back due to a holding penalty. Jensen and the middle linebackers stuffed the middle all night long.

Safeties: A-

Dustin Gabriel answered the call at strong safety about as well as could have been hoped. Gabriel was quick to the ball and solid in his open-field tackling leading to his best game as a Cougar. Quinn Gooch was solid as well not letting much get behind him in coverage.

Cornerbacks: A-

Like the safeties the Cougar cornerbacks mounted what was probably their best performance since 2003. Ben Criddle allowed nothing to his side while making some solid open-field tackles. While Justin Robinson gave up an early long pass he was nails from that point forward, allowing mo more deep passes.

Special Teams: C

Things started out well for BYU on special teams. Derek McLaughlin nailed his first two punts, which led to BYU's only touchdown. After those first two punts, McLaughlin struggled, but he did not allow a returnable punt all game. Jared McLaughlin made his field goal attempts and did put two of his kickoff out of bounds. BYU had solid coverage on the two kickoffs that were returned. Deep snapper Jayson Clark got the job done in his first game. The thing that really hurt this grade was the fumbled snap by Jason Beck. That play proved to be the difference in the game.


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