BYU Football Keeps On Rolling After Win Over Virginia


BYU took the field this afternoon against the Cavaliers from Virginia. Many national pundits expected this game to be a close contest as Virginia has a much improved defense this year. But it was the Wahoo offense that surprised BYU in the first minute of the game. A pass interference penalty on Robertson Daniel and a long run from Greyson Lambert set up an early Lambert touchdown and the Hoos were up 7-0 before people were even in their seats.

Sep 20, 2014; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars running back Jamaal Williams (21) leaves the field after the second half against the Brigham Young Cougars at Lavell Edwards Stadium. The Cougars won the game 41-33. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The first half was back and forth and ugly and BYU entered the locker room trailing 16-13. The second half, however, was different and BYU was able to pull away. A 50-yard pass from Hill to Mitchell Juergens and a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown highlighted the second half for the Cougars. The defense gave up some big plays and backup quarterback Matt Johns came in for the injured Lambert and looked to be very effective for Virginia. After BYU went ahead early in the third quarter they never looked back and the game was taken care of at that point. Virginia hung close and made it a game, but it never felt that BYU was in jeopardy of losing the game even though the final score was 41-33.

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Takeaways from the win:

Fred Warner looks so much like Kyle Van Noy did as a freshman. He made plays in the backfield and was effective in the running game. He looks like he needs more playing time, but it will be hard for the true freshman to find time in a crowded linebacker corps. I think we’ll continue to see Warner’s reps increase as the season goes on and then next year he’ll really step into a large role.

Taysom Hill is an elite athlete and may very well end up in New York City as a Heisman finalist later this year. That said, I think that fans can rest easy when the idea of Hill forgoing his senior year to enter the NFL draft gets brought up. In college, elite athletes standout but in the NFL most of the players on the field are elite athletes. Hill’s accuracy will need to increase significantly if he is seriously going to entertain the thought of jumping to the NFL.

Sep 20, 2014; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Jordan Leslie (9) scores a touchdown against the Virginia Cavaliers during the first half at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Bronson Kaufusi really needs to find his way back onto the field. The defense gets a decent amount of pressure on the quarterback but it’s not anywhere near the same as it is when Kaufusi is on the field. Teams are able to focus on Alani Fua and he’s not able to get to the quarterback as often as he would with Kaufusi on the field.

Jamaal Williams needs more carries. He had 13 carries against Virginia. 13 carries and average over five yards a carry. Why on earth is he only getting 13 carries? Give that kid the rock.

If Jordan Leslie’s ankle injury will force him to miss time then BYU’s receivers are in a difficult spot. There is no question that Leslie and Hill have developed a lot of chemistry and Hill loves to find the senior. After he left, the passing game didn’t look fluid. Blackmon, Ross Apo and Mitch Matthews are capable receivers, but they aren’t Jordan Leslie.

Last takeaway:  this team really needs a bye week to get focused and get healthy.