The Cougar Curve: BYU vs. Boston College

While the final outcome was what many thought it would be, the way it came about was a bit of a surprise. BYU had another strong showing against a BCS team, but despite playing well enough to win, the Cougars came up short in an overtime game for the third time in the last two years.

Quarterbacks: B

John Beck had another great game statistically. Beck finished the game completing 38 of 59 passes for 438 yards. He threw a touchdown pass to Fui Vakapuna but accounted for 2 turnovers on interceptions.

Beck was solid and very good all day. He missed a few passes, but pinning this loss on Beck is unwarranted. On the other hand Beck did not win the game for the Cougars as they again stalled in the bluezone. Beck's more impressive statistical outings continue to be marred by his failure to make big plays in crucial situations.

Running Backs: A-

Manase Tonga stepped up in this game carrying the ball 5 times for 48 yards while catching 4 passes for 45 yards. Fui Vakapuna did not get the amount of touches you would expect. He only carried the ball 5 times for 31 yards, 26 of which came on one carry. He also caught a pass for a touchdown.

Although Curtis Brown's rushing yards were below par at 49 yards with 15 carries, he was BYU's leading receiver with 11 receptions for 95 yards. Brown was involved and productive in the offensive scheme today that operated almost entirely out of wide splits and from the shotgun.

Wide Receivers: B+

Matt Allen again proved to be the best option the Cougars have on the outside. Allen caught 6 passes for 108 yards and was Beck's go-to guy on three third down situations. Zac Collie and McKay Jacobson were quiet catching one pass each while Michael Reed came off of an injury to haul in three passes. It was a solid outing from the wide receivers although they did not break the game open or beat the Boston College defense downfield.

Tight Ends: B-

Although Jonny Harline caught six passes he was not the play-maker that he was last year. Daniel Coats was not much of a factor either with only two receptions. While eight receptions from your tight ends should suffice for most offenses, it did not today.

Offensive Line: B

The O-line gave Beck all the time he needed for the most part. They were not able to pick up a couple of blitzes, which killed some drives, but they were solid for the most part. They did a decent job run-blocking, but were not dominant by any means.

Eddie Keele went down late in the game, which hurt, but the unit still held its own when Dallas Reynolds moved to left tackle, Jake Kuresa moved out right tackle, and Travis Bright came in at right guard.

Defensive Line: B-

Boston College had the best offensive line that BYU has faced all year, and it showed. The Cougar D-line got pushed around wore down during the second half after doing a very good job stuffing the run in the first half. They were unable to effectively pressure Matt Ryan when rushing 3 or 4 men. It was a solid performance today, but not nearly as good as they showed against Arizona and Tulsa.

Linebackers: B

Solid play, but missed tackles plagued this group too often today. They were good pursuing laterally again although David Nixon and Bryan Kehl did not have near the impact they had in prior weeks from the outside linebacker positions. Cameron Jensen had another great game piling up tackles and filling gaps effectively.

Safeties: B

Quinn Gooch made what should have been a winning play stripping the ball from Whitworth on Boston College's last drive in regulation to cause a fumble. The play led to a BYU drive that ended with a missed potentially game-winning field goal. Dustin Gabriel was not much of a factor, but he did not get beat in coverage.

Cornerbacks: B-

It was a mixed bag for the cornerbacks today. While Ben Criddle was solid Justin Robinson struggled on the other side going against a very physical receiver in Tony Gonzalez. Robinson struggles against most physical receivers and did so again today as BC exploited his size on the outside.

Special Teams: D

It was a day of what-could-have-been for the special teams unit. Kick coverage was solid save for one long kickoff return given up, and Derek McLaughlin had a good day punting, but there is little doubt that special teams miscues cost BYU the game. Granted that games should not have to come down to special teams, but the field goal unit again fumbled a snap that may have won the game.

Jared McLaughlin had a tough game. It is tough to fault a kicker for missing field goals longer than 45 yards, and I will not do it here. He could have been the hero, but certainly was not the goat of today's loss.

Offensive MVP the Game: Matt Allen

Defensive MVP of the Game: Quinn Gooch


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