BYU won big against Colorado State today, and if the Cougars’ second string offense hadn’t been so productive, I’d have called it perfectly at 45-10. In this case, however, I don’t mind being wrong. The Rams sported some gaudy orange throwback jerseys that looked almost as bad as the team played. BYU dominated in all aspects of the game, leaving little doubt that this is no longer the team that slipped to 1-4 after losing to Utah State. Here’s a look at what went right for the Cougars.
Jake Heaps and the Receivers. This is now Jake Heaps’ team. It may have been so in name before, but there is no question now. Heaps was 15/20 (yeah 75%) passing for 242 yards and 4 (yes, four) touchdown passes to Luke Ashworth! Heaps’ passes were on target and on time, but Ashworth also deserves credit as a couple of the grabs looked amazing. Those 4 TD’s were the only passes that Ashworth caught in the game, but they averaged 28 yards per catch, and totaled 28 points (with PAT’s of course). BYU was 12/13 on third down, and didn’t punt in the game. This Cougar offense reminded me a lot of the great offenses we’ve seen over the last few years.
The Rush Attack. BYU’s rushers were led this week by Ryan Folsom, with two rushes for 74 yards, followed by Bryan Kariya (63) and JJ DiLuigi (59). All told, BYU rushed for 284 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was a great offensive moment all-around. My favorite rushing moment of the day? Zed Mendenhall on a 1-yard TD run after nearly reaching the end-zone on an 11 yard pass from Heaps.
Bronco D. Colorado State’s offense looked dangerous at times, but four turnovers, including a fumble that BYU returned for a touchdown, continuously drained whatever momentum the Rams had achieved. CSU actually ended up with 292 passing yards, with only 83 coming on the ground, but time after time drives ended before reaching any sort of score. Forcing the four turnovers, making the Rams one-dimensional, and holding them well below Bronco’s 24 point threshold means the defense had another stellar performance.
What we know about Colorado State
CSU is now (3-8) on the year, and their last game of the season is next week against Wyoming. They looked good in a close loss against San Diego State last week, but after being run over by BYU at home, the Rams may not have enough left to beat Wyoming in Laramie.
What we know about BYU
How big does the move to fire Jaime Hill after the Utah State loss look now? Epic. With Hill: 1-4. After Hill: 4-1, that one coming against a top-5 TCU team. This BYU team is not the team that lost to Utah State. This is much more akin to the BYU teams of the last four years. BYU will play their final home game next week against lowly New Mexico, before ending the season at Rice Eccles Stadium against the reeling Utes, who have now lost to TCU and Notre Dame in consecutive weeks. With the Utes sliding and BYU peaking, the Holy War is looking to be a great matchup. As unlikely as it sounds, I think BYU will end up in the Las Vegas Bowl after all – assuming that TCU goes to the BCS, and BYU wins out. It’s a great time to be a Cougar!