Aug 31, 2013; Charlottesville, VA, USA; BYU Cougars players enter the tunnel and head to the locker room after lightning was seen in their area and play was suspended against the Virginia Cavaliers during the first half at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

BYU vs. Virginia Instant Recap: Cougars Fall 19-16

So many question marks heading into the 2013 season and after one game there is even more questions than answers. BYU fell to Virginia in the 2013 season opener, 19 to 16 in a game that had crazy weather, wild special teams plays and a BYU offense that had Cougar faithful scratching their heads.

Here’s some quick thoughts on the game

No Cody Hoffman, No Playmakers

Senior WR Cody Hoffman was ruled out for this game with a hamstring injury. That was the beginning of BYU’s problems on Saturday.  None of BYU’s WR’s could create separation and get down field.  They also looked confused out there running their routes.

JD Falslev played okay.  Mitch Mathews had a career game if we are counting receptions that were hauled in out of bounds, and captain Skyler Ridley was no where to be found.  The tight ends were even worse.  Brett Thompson was the only tight end to do anything of note in the loss.  Kaneakua Friel and Devin Mahina hardly saw time.

Go Fast, Fall Hard

Maybe we here at Lawless Republic need to call an audible on our “Go Fast. Go Hard.” t-shirts.  Today’s performance offensive was terrible.  It was the same type of problems that saw Robert Anae fired after the 2010 season. Predictable halfback draws out of shotgun.  No faith in the passing game and a porous offensive line.

The first drive of the game showed a lot of promise.  The tempo was good and the team was moving down the field.  After that BYU did nothing till the second half where Taysom Hill led BYU down the field on a 93 yard possession.

I wouldn’t blame this game on quarterback Taysom Hill.  Hill is going to be a good quarterback at BYU.  He’s versatile, but he has no faith in his throwing ability.  But a lot of that impatience has to do with the offensive line.

New Offensive Line Attitude, Same Results

Bronco Medenhall at BYU Football Media Day expected that three of the seven newcomers from the offensive line would start on BYU’s revamped O-line.   Today’s o-line which featured basically the same cast of characters that struggled last season had the same issues from a year ago.  Bad shotgun snaps, no protection on the edges, and a lack of toughness at the line of scrimmage.  A young, mediocre Virginia front seven was dominating BYU for majority of the game in the trenches.

Once BYU brought in Manaaki Vaitai, Brad Wilcox, and De’Ondre Wesley the Cougar offense started to have some momentum, and eventually scored a touchdown.

Going forward BYU needs to give Brayden Kearsley time at center.  Also plug in Wesley, Vaitai, and Wilcox in the starting lineup.

Heading into the game against Virginia it was believed that BYU would play 11 offensive linemen.  Despite the poor play, not all 11 played in the loss.

Defense is still great

The BYU defense is going to be a top 25 defense again this season.  They looked as though they had not missed a beat from last season.

Captain Uani Unga was a beast in the middle of that D, and Kyle Van Noy who surprisingly missed a few tackles (likely due to lack of practice time) still was causing havoc in Virginia’s backfield.  Also, cornerbacks Skye PoVey and Robertson Daniel had good games.  Daniel had three pass breakups.

When Marques Johnson was in at defensive tackle the defensive line was getting a good push allowing Eathyn Manumaleuna to play defensive end.

I fear we are going to see a lot of great performances from this defenses in 2013 and yet again the offense is going to let these guys down, unless something changes drastically in the coming weeks.

BYU was the better team, but they didn’t deserve to win.

BYU is a better team than Virginia.  I still have no doubt in my mind about that.  But the way BYU played, they didn’t deserve to win today.  The miscue by Jamaal William not catching that ball out of the backfield was unfortunate, but going forward winning this game today would have put a band-aid on this teams problems.  You can’t always rely on late game heroics to win a game in a BCS road venue all the time.  BYU plain and simple didn’t deserve to win this game.

Now you look at the schedule and from what we saw today, BYU is not a team that will be going bowling.  Losing today hopefully makes this team realize that BYU needs to get better in a hurry.  Because this schedule is not forgiving.


Tags: Brad Wilcox Bronco Mendenhall BYU Cougars De'Ondre Wesley Devin Mahina Jamaal Williams JD Falslev Kaneakua Friel Kyle Van Noy Manaaki Vaitai Marques Johnson Michael Yeck Mitch Mathews Robert Anae Robertson Daniel Skyler Ridley Spencer Hadley Taysom Hill Uani Unga Virginia Cavaliers

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