BYU Football: 3 keys for success in 2021

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Dec 12, 2020; Provo, UT, USA; BYU quarterback Zach Wilson (1), tight end Lane Lunt (80) , BYU tight end Carter Wheat (96) and a teammate celebrate a touchdown in the first half, of an NCAA college football game against San Diego State Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Provo, Utah. Mandatory Credit: George Frey/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

BYU Football hopes to be able to match their success from 2020 this upcoming season.

It is starting to feel real! College Football no longer feels like something in the far future as the first games of the 2021 college football season kick off in less than one month. Fall Camp starts up next week and soon the speculation will change to actual results.

But we aren’t there yet.

As BYU Football begins to come back together in many ways with NIL, Big 12 expansion talks, and the transfer portal being more like a corridor, we’ve almost forgotten about the actual football team.

If BYU Football wants to have success this year, they are going to have to do quite a few things, especially if they want to match last year’s success. While some are more obvious like win the line of scrimmage or pass for 250+ yards, there are some odds ones that will likely be the difference between going 6-6 and 9-3 or better.

Turnover Ratio

There are quite a few aspects that go into this category. With seven P5’s, Boise State, and a ball hogging Georgia Southern team it seems like in almost every single game BYU is going to have to hold on to the ball.

Turnover ratio is one of the most telling stat in college football. 66% of teams win if they win the turnover battle by one and that shoots up to 79% if by two.

BYU’s defense is not set up to get turnovers, or at least it hasn’t been over the past few years. Last year, the Cougars had 18 takeaways which averaged out to 1.5 takeaways per game which ranked 43rd in the nation, one of the lower team stats from 2020.

The reality is, 1.5 takeaways against a bunch of G5 teams translates to less than 1.0 turnovers against P5 teams. Either this number needs to go up, or BYU can not give up the ball. If the Cougars can average +.75 over the season, the Cougars should probably win most of their toss up games (Utah, Baylor, Virginia and Arizona State).

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