The following article is from guest writer, Andrew Devey. Follow Andrew on Twitter at @adevey.
Jamaal Williams - The 18-year-old man child had an impressive performance rushing the ball 33 times for 145 yards. During BYU’s 92 yard, 11 play scoring drive in the fourth quarter, he looked like a man possessed every time he touched the ball, refusing to go down with just one hit. Williams proved that he is the No. 1 threat on offense (when Cody Hoffman isn’t in the lineup) and a lot will be asked of him this season. Let’s hope that he is as durable as he looks and is able to carry the load required.
Defense – What proved to be the strength of the team last year, looks like it will again anchor the Cougars in each game. Virginia’s two touchdowns came after BYU turned the ball over inside its own 20-yard line. The Cavaliers didn’t have a drive longer than 47 yards throughout the game, but BYU’s playmakers failed to corral David Watford who was able to get outside the Cougars containment and keep plays alive. All-in-all the defense played as well as we expected, which should have been enough for a victory.
Passing game – Taysom Hill finished 13-40 for 175 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Fifty-two of those yards came on the final play of the game when Ross Apo caught Hill’s Hail Mary pass 28 yards short of the end zone. Hill’s accuracy was off target from the beginning, but when his throws were there, his receivers dropped the ball. Not having Hoffman on the field was huge. Hill had no one to go to when a play was needed. Overall, much improvement can be made by everyone involved in the air attack.
Special teams – In order to win any game, a team has to win two of the three phases of the game. BYU won defense, lost offense, and definitely lost on special teams because of the blocked punt. It proved to be the difference in the special team’s battle and in the overall contest. Had Scott Arellano been able to successfully get off that punt, I believe we would be talking about a Cougar victory. Instead, we’re wallowing in self defeat. Aside from the blocked punt, the rest of the special teams played well forcing a fumble on a kickoff, Justin Sorensen kicking a moderately long field goal, and JD Falslev handling the return game nicely.
Zone Read – I’m not sure how many times BYU ran the zone read, but it was far too many. I didn’t expect to see this play as much as I did. At times I felt like I was watching Riley Nelson putter around in Brandon Doman’s who-knows-what-the-#*%$-is-
Offensive line – My wife even noticed the poor play of the offensive line. The quick tempo of BYU’s offense seemed to work to UVA’s advantage at times. The Cavaliers were too quick off the ball for BYU’s tackles and the interior of the line wasn’t able to get the pushed needed for the zone read to be effective. The line will face teams far more talented than the Wahoos and its scary to think about what the results may be like unless Coach Tujague finds a fix.