One of, if not the worst call of BYU Football history was the ejection of Kai Nacua in 2016. To give some perspective, up to that point in the game Nacua had two interceptions and fumble recovery. On top of that, if targeting isn’t called on that play, Nacua likely is credited with a forced fumble as well.
While terrible calls like this are somewhat unavoidable, BYU can control holding, blocking in the back, offsides and false starts. BYU’s offense seems to like to operate in a second and third and short kind of playstyle. The Cougars like every other team in the nation do not do very well when they have to start with a 1st and 20 or 3rd and 12 due to an avoidable penalty.
The last two seasons BYU has been very good at not stacking up penalties, but in a rivalry game where things are more on edge, it is very easy to let the moment get the best them and make pointless mistakes.