BYU report card: Cougars respond with resolute win over Middle Tennessee (5 items)
A week after losing again to rival Utah, BYU (2-2) responded in a resolute manner against Middle Tennessee (3-2). The Cougars scored 30 unanswered points to win 37-10. The Cougars were mediocre during the first quarter but picked things up the rest of the way, winning big in advance of their showdown next Friday at Utah State.
Rhett Wilkinson is a project manager for UtahPolicy.com and hails the true-blooded Aggies from Utah. The co-founder of magazine Aggie BluePrint.com, he's been an intern for the Deseret News and other publications. firstname.lastname@example.org | @wilklogan
1 of 5. Offense
Cougar signal-caller Taysom Hill had an awful 74.3 quarterback rating entering the game, but Friday, he registered a 144.4 mark after throwing 14 of 19 for 177 yards. BYU tallied 486 total yards as Hill and freshman Algernon Brown had 165 and 68 yards on the ground, respectively.
In BYU’s first three games, Hill completed just 35.1 percent of his passes — dead last in the nation. Hill also scored on a 50-yard run in the second quarter. It wasn’t his longest touchdown rush of the season — he had one for 68 yards in his big performance against Texas — but set momentum that carried his team the rest of the way.
BYU did lose two fumbles inside the Middle Tennessee 5-yard line. Cougar coach Bronco Mendenhall said that the game wouldn't have been that close had his team held onto the ball.
The Cougars performed as fans might hope against a defense that came into the game ranked just 81st in the nation in points allowed, 94th in total defense and 104th in pass defense.
2 of 5. Defense
Kilgore was limited, however, throwing just 13 of 31 for 82 yards with one touchdown and one interception. In the first quarter, Middle Tennessee tallied 80 total yards. In the second and third quarters combined, the Blue Raiders compiled 83 yards for just 212 on the evening. They were shut out in the second quarter as BYU limited the Blue Raiders far below their 31.5 points-per-game average.
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy led the Cougar D in tackles.
3 of 5. Special teams
However, Falslev fumbled away attempts to catch two other punts, resulting in revived possessions for Middle Tennessee — and making for an average grade.
Falslev’s last punt return for touchdown was a 67-yard scamper in October 2011 at TCU.
4 of 5. Coaching
One must wonder why, in a four-score game, Taysom Hill was still in the contest until midway through the fourth quarter — especially since his 2012 season was lost after a pointless end-of-game run against Utah State.
5 of 5. Overall