With the exception of the running backs, every position group looks stronger than in 2021 for BYU Football.
2021 was a growing year for the BYU Football offense. You wouldn’t know that looking at the statistics, but had you told me back in 2020 that the Cougars would be relying on multiple freshmen offensive linemen, a new quarterback, two transfer receivers and that the tight ends would only combine for four touchdowns, I would have thought that the Cougars would have really struggled.
Yet, the Cougars statistically had one of the best offensive explosive seasons ever.
In fact, the biggest factor that held the offense back from scoring so many points was because of the foot of Ryan Rehkow and the bend don’t break defense. And neither of those things are issues (the defense is debatable for another day).
The bottom line is, BYU was 87th in time of possession last year. When you consider that the Cougars scored on 89% of their Red Zone trips, were tenth nationally in turnovers lost per game while also being 42nd in turnovers gained and were never blown out (opponents running out the clock), the fact that BYU was 87th in TOP says a lot about the defense staying out on the field.
In 2022, it will likely come down to this as well.
I was unable to locate a statistic that says what percentage of the time a team scores, (if you have please leave in the comments) but I have to imagine that it was somewhere between the 55-60%. In fact, BYU only averaged a punt 1/20 offensive snaps, and again with such a low turnover lost total, that means the offense was very efficient.
With an offense that essentially returns everyone minus Tyler Allgeier, realistically this could be a season that has 2020 like numbers even with a much, MUCH tougher schedule. Just looking at the roster, the Cougars are two deep in every single position.
Imagine trying to be a defensive coordinator trying to decide whether to cover Keanu Hill, Puka Nacua, Gunner Romney or Masen Wake coming from behind the tight ends. Throw on top that a running quarterback, a trio of talented running backs and an offensive line that could be top 10 in the nation and you can see why this team could average 40+.
It really does look like it will come down to the defense. If the defense can even just be average in time of possession, and the Cougars can hold the same turnover margin as they have the last few years, instead of being 87th nationally in time of possession, the Cougars could be Top 10.