BYU Says U-M 'Best Team' They've Played

BYU was left to pick up the pieces and find answers following a 31-0 blowout loss at Michigan Saturday afternoon. Coaches and players say the Wolverines shocked them with execution and physicality from start to finish.

Bronco Mendenhall was defeated, seemingly as shocked as the other 108,000 fans leaving Michigan Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Jim Harbaugh's Wolverines were minutes removed from a 31-0 drubbing of No. 22 BYU to wrap-up a 3-1 non-conference slate, and the Cougars couldn't believe it.

BYU was held to 105-yards of total offense, this performance coming from a unit averaging well over 400-yards of offense this season.

The zero-points didn't help either, the Wolverines clearly intent on finishing a shut out this week after allowing a late touchdown in a win over UNLV the week before.

Regardless of the motivation or the glaring differences in points, rushing yardage, passing yardage, first downs and time of possession, Mendenhall sat at the podium trying to make sense of it all.

"Michigan has a fine football team that's really well coached," Mendenhall said. "They executed and really dominated the game from beginning to end.

"And, in my opinion, that was the best team we've played to this point, this season. Not only physically but execution wise and a credit to their staff for just having their team prepared the way they were."

Quite the compliment from Mendenhall based on the quality of opponent BYU has faced to this point in the season.

BYU's two wins came over both Nebraska and Boise State, along with a narrow 24-23 loss a week ago at the hands of No. 9 UCLA.

Offensive coordinator Robert Anae followed Mendenhall's news conference, not shying away from the comment made by the Cougar's head coach.

"Totally agree," Anae said.

Momentum appeared to be on Michigan's side from the get go Saturday, possibly beginning with a left sideline one-handed grab by senior wide out Amara Darboh.

Following a 60-yard touchdown run for De'Veon Smith in the second quarter to make the score 21-0, it became clear this would be Michigan's day.

Either way, Mendenhall wasn't surprised or thrown off by a brand new attack not seen on film leading up to the game.

"They didn't actually, they just executed it better," Mendenhall said. "Similar plan, a wrinkle here or there but really in the first half poor concentration defensively on our part, big plays and penalties. The momentum was gone really quick."

"After Michigan's third touchdown, the number of lack of execution and concentration in general became very frustrating," added Mendenhall. "It took myself a long time to try to get adjusted."

Mendenhall said the most gratifying thing he saw on a tough day for BYU is the resiliency and attention to detail shown in a second half that featured no points from either side.

Freshman quarterback Tanner Mangum faced pressure all day, finishing 12-of-28 with 55-yards, also sacked three times.

"The last two weeks they've given up seven-points each and that's not an accident," Mendenhall said. "They have really good players, excellent scheme and they've now seen our quarterback a number of games and had a great plan."

"I don't want my disappointment in them to take anything away from them. They are a good team and I think, by far, the best team we've played in the four games so far."

Anae took it one step further when asked what Michigan's defense was doing to disrupt the offensive flow for BYU.

"That thing was a shell shock from the first snap right up through the last," Anae said. "I would like to have seen more internal leadership in a game like that and we did not have any."

"One team got way better this week and our team took a step backward," added Anae.

Senior linebacker Remington Peck recorded just two tackles including one for loss for a BYU defense that allowed 448 total yards of offense.

While Jake Rudock had himself an efficient day through the air completing 14-of-25 passes for 194-yards and a touchdown, it was Rudock's legs that stymied the Cougars most of the day.

Rudock rushed for 33-yards including a 17-yard touchdown scamper, one of two scores with his feet.

"He ran a little bit more than we expected, scrambled," Peck said. "I don't think we had secondary contain very well on him.

"There were one or two touchdowns and a couple first downs where he got out of the pocket. To be honest, we didn't expect him to run like that."

Mangum summed up the afternoon best for a BYU team that will go back to the practice field to prep for a week five match-up with Connecticut.

"Well obviously they shut us down," Mangum said. "They out manned us, out played us, out performed us.

"They just took it to us so obviously we're frustrated with that, not pleased with that performance at all."


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