BYU football: tough opponents choked the No. 19 The cougar running game

What’s wrong with BYU’s hasty attack?

You know, what seemed unstoppable at times last season with future NFL running back Tyler Allgeier feeding past opponents, with the occasional help of scatback Lopini Katoa?

And what’s going on with the Cougars’ much-acclaimed offensive line, what should have been the best in the Kalani Sitake era and one of the best of all time?

From three weeks to n. In BYU season 19, these questions are popping up left and right as the 2-1 Cougars prepare to face Wyoming 3-1 on Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Kick-off is at 20:15 MDT; ESPN2 will have the broadcast.

“We are proud to handle the ball at BYU. We want to improve. We want to improve on this. We will improve this week during the race. … Our O line is tough. They are big. They are experts. We’ll get this back on track. ”- BYU tight end Isaac Rex

With the relocation of Cal Chris Brooks replacing the current Atlanta Falcon Allgeier as RB1 and Katoa for the sixth season, BYU rushed 314 yards in the South Florida 50-21 blast. Puka Nacua’s opening game 75-yard touchdown executed by a flying sweep contributed to that total.

“We’re only three games apart, and it’s just a weird sample size, because the first game we could do whatever we wanted, and we rushed 300 yards and didn’t have to play everyone in a normal rotation like we had planned.” said offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick.

However, in week 2 against Baylor, the Cougars only accumulated 83 yards in the run, out of 33 attempts, for a measly 2.5 yards per transport. It got worse in week 3, as they fell behind Oregon early, had to throw the ball more in a steal match, and finished with just 61 yards on 24 carries.

Brooks went from 135 yards against USF to 31 against Baylor and 28 against Oregon.

“Baylor was very good (against running), and then in the third game it was a passing game. We had to throw it, “said Roderick.” So I don’t think there’s still enough sample size to say we know exactly what our running back rotation is or anything like that. “

Obviously, the degree of difficulty increased with each game, and the Cougars did not abandon the race until the second half against the Ducks. They tried to perform second and 15 and third and 10 shows in their first series in Autzen.

BYU running back Lopini Katoa takes a big lead during BYU’s season opener against the USF on Saturday, September. 3, 2022, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Robert W. Grover, for the Deseret News

“We could have spent the whole day trying to figure out how to get the ball rolling if you don’t care about winning. If you want to win, you have to run it, try to catch up, “said Roderick.” We didn’t have enough possessions to spend the whole day experimenting with which racing games we like best. We had to launch. “

As a result, the Cougars are now No. 86 in the country in yards runs per game (152.0) and n. 56 in total offense (435.0). Not what was expected from Roderick’s attack in 2022, of course.

Roderick is not panicking.

“We are just going to carry out our attack,” he said. “I mean, we’ve been able to get the ball rolling really well for years and we’ll be able to (do it again).”

Brooks has not been made available to the media since the start of the preseason retreat; Katoa spoke to reporters on Wednesday and said they are “working hard on it, for sure” and are eager to make it work.

Roderick and Katoa have both said Wyoming have a solid defense of running, so it’s not going to be easy. The Cowboys held the Air Force 171 yards on the run in an upset 17-14 win last week in Laramie. The Falcons averaged 508.5 yards per game, the best in the nation.

“We pretty much just need to get our mojo back, get some good ground meters this week,” Katoa said.

Not having the serves of their best two receivers – Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney – also thwarted the attack and allowed the defenses to stack the area and focus on taking the run away. Roderick said he was “confident” that the stars could play on Saturday, but he acknowledged that the chorus is “the same old broken record”.

Tight end Isaac Rex said running play is not just the responsibility of the running backs and offensive line. Tight ends and receivers need to help too, he said.

“We are proud to handle the ball at BYU,” Rex said. “We want to improve. We want to improve on this. We will improve this week during the race. … Our O line is tough. They are big. They are experts. We’ll get this thing back on track. “

Wyoming is 59th in the country against running, giving up 126.2 yards on the ground per game. That’s better than it looks, considering Illinois scored 260 in opening and the AFA’s prowess in the running game.

“We know it’s going to be a tough and physical match, and running play will be essential to keep the ball in our hands and keep their attack off the pitch,” said Katoa.

Puma on air

Wyoming (3-1) at No. 19 BYU (2-1)

Saturday, 8:15 pm MDT

LaVell Edwards Stadium

Provo, Utah


Radio: KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM / 1160 AM

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