BYU Football essentially blew out every team in 2020 by halftime, allowing the backups to get plenty of reps.
When a team is blowing out another team in football, generally the losing team keeps their first team in for a lot longer than the team who winning. This was the case quite often for BYU Football this past season as the first team often was sitting after halftime while their opponents normally waited until the fourth quarter to make the switch. Oftentimes, the BYU backups played nearly the entire third quarter against the starters of their opponent.
Another school that tends to blow teams out and play backups for entire quarters…Alabama.
This is going to pay huge dividends in 2021.
Even though the Cougars lost 15 players to the NFL, almost every single backup to those players got probably about three to four full games worth of playing time last season. Those reps will pay off and limit the amount of “growing pains” this upcoming season. Notice how Alabama never seems to have a bumpy transition year to year? Sure some of that is because of the 5-star athletes at every position, but another reason is the amount of times that players get to play the year before they start.
One player in particular that I noticed was Caden Haws. Since the defense was so dominate, the Cougars were actually able to rotate Khyris Tonga in and out of the game, not just when the Cougars were up by 20+, but the entire game. While I thought at first that this may be out of necessity, I noticed that Tonga didn’t rotate out nearly as much in the two close games of the season, Coastal Carolina and Texas State.
Players like Tyler Batty, George Udo, Gabe Summers, Max Tooley, and Mason Wake all saw the field more than just about any other backup in the nation this season because of how well the starters were performing, again many rotating in early in the game.
I’m not suggesting or saying that BYU can expect to be 100% smooth sailing. Obviously playing with a 35 point lead is much easier than trailing in a game or while playing in a shootout which is what will happen at times this upcoming season. But the experience will pay off to some extent, and early in the season against teams like Utah, who didn’t lose hardly any production at all, it could be the difference between breaking the streak or not.