How BYU, Utah and USU's opponents fared in week three (39 items)
Much of a team's place in the college football landscape isn't determined by what a team does on its own. The performance of a team's opponents is a huge factor as well.
Week three of college football in the Beehive State was very much a mixed bag. Utah suffered its first loss of the season to Oregon State at home, Utah State pounded Weber into submission, and BYU sat back and watched. More than 30 other games across the nation, however, hold bearing on Utah, BYU and Utah State's standing going forward.
Here's a team-by-team look at how all the teams on BYU, Utah and Utah State's schedule fared in week three of the college football season.
1 of 39. BYU COUGARS
Following Taysom Hill's bulldozing of the Texas Longhorns, BYU has been very quiet and very introverted. There isn't much news coming out of Provo as to the status of the team. BYU prefers to keep things very much under wraps.
It does so with good reason — its opponent this week is Utah, the bitter rival. As week three demonstrated, Utah is not an invincible opponent, but anytime the Utes and Cougars get together, something crazy is bound to happen.
Here's what happened to the opponents on BYU's schedule in week three.
2 of 39. Virginia Cavaliers
Last week: Bye
Up next: VMI (1-2)
Just like the Cougars, the Cavaliers are in the midst of a bye week — something they doubtlessly need following the 59-10 shellacking Oregon delivered in Charlottesville.
"Their speed was something that we've never really seen before, but that's not really an excuse for us," linebacker Daquan Romero told the Associated Press. "There were a whole lot of missed assignments that we blew and alignments that we could have cheated. We didn't capitalize on the opportunity."
Next up for the Cavaliers is the Virginia Military Institute, an FCS squad that lost to Division II foe North Greenville (S.C.).
3 of 39. Texas Longhorns
Last week: Lost 44-23 vs. No. 21 Ole Miss (3-0)
Up next: Home vs. Kansas State (2-1)
The calls for Mack Brown's job are getting louder.
The Longhorns led the Rebels 23-17 at the half. They then proceeded to lay an egg in the second half and drop their first big home game of the year.
“I told them we have a new start next week. We’ve got Kansas State,” Brown told the Dallas Morning News. “We get all this righted by winning the Big 12 championship, and that’s what they’ve got to do."
As tall an order as winning the Big 12 championship is, it may indeed be about the only thing that will silence Brown's critics by season's end. Conference play starts this weekend for Texas.
4 of 39. Utah Utes
Last week: Lost 51-48 in OT vs. Oregon State (2-1)
Up next: at BYU (1-1), Saturday, 8:15 MDT ESPN2
The Utes lost a heartbreaker Saturday night, losing in overtime 51-48 to Oregon State.
While nobody likes losing, Ute fans should be encouraged with Travis Wilson’s performance. Wilson was unstoppable, running the ball as he rushed for more than 142 yards and three touchdowns. Wilson wasn’t as effective through the air as he completed just 19/33 passes for 279 and two touchdowns. Wilson also threw three costly interceptions on the day.
"I just tried to make plays, tried to make up for those turnovers I had, tried to make this game as close as it could be, but I just fell a little short," Wilson said.
The Utes have no time to dwell on Saturday night’s loss as they must now prepare to take on BYU next Saturday. The long rivalry tradition between these two teams will take a two-year break before resuming in 2016 and 2017, which means this year’s rivalry game will mean a lot more for fans, coaches and players.
5 of 39. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
Last week: Won 17-15 vs. Memphis (0-2)
Up next: at Florida Atlantic (1-2)
Middle Tennessee's archrival must be Memphis; grown men generally don't shed tears of happiness unless they've beaten their archrival.
“As a man, I cried when I saw the game end,” MTSU senior linebacker Roderic Blunt told the Tennessean. “You know, ever since I came to Middle Tennessee, Memphis was a team I did not like. We just let them know that we are the best team in Tennessee.
“That was a beautiful game.”
The defense was the story in the Blue Raiders' win. MTSU sacked Memphis' quarterback three times on the final Tiger drive to seal the win.