Provo • It was all there for the taking Saturday night time for the BYU Cougars.
Momentum from a stunning season-opening win at Arizona. A good, however beatable Pac-12 opponent that lacked firepower however had a better-than-expected protection. An , although considerably disappointing crowd of 52,602 keen to leap again on the bandwagon after final yr’s catastrophe.
Name it a possibility misplaced.
After a stalemate within the first half, Cal made the necessary performs and higher defensive changes within the second half and scratched out a 21-18 win at LaVell Edwards Stadium, a win that fairly possible will get the Bears again to a bowl recreation when all is alleged and finished.
BYU, in the meantime, heads again to the drafting board with extra questions than solutions after that promising begin in Tucson. If the Cougars don’t make a bowl — and that’s removed from a given, with only a few gimme video games even within the final half of the schedule — the egg they laid on Sept. eight may come again to hang-out them.
“We’re going to have a look at issues and attempt to get issues fastened,” stated coach Kalani Sitake, sounding an terrible lot like he did final yr when the Cougars sputtered to a Four-9 season, principally attributable to an ineffective offense. “As a head coach, I gotta ensure that we put our guys in a greater place in order that we are able to win video games.”
“We left so many performs on the market on the sector,” stated tight finish Moroni Laulu-Pututau. “If we had made one or two extra performs, we’re up two scores. … However truthfully, we didn’t lose the sport in the present day. I really feel like we misplaced it three days in the past in preparation, in follow.”
Certainly, the alternatives have been there — and BYU couldn’t capitalize.
• BYU nonetheless lacks offensive playmakers.
With out the specter of getting beat deep, Cal defenders packed the field within the second half and took away BYU’s speeding assault. Dylan Collie did break away for what would have been an enormous acquire, however Tanner Mangum’s throw was a tad late and Collie dropped the ball as a Cal security closed in. Even with a number of brief and medium-range throws, Mangum was 22 of 41, with two interceptions.
“I’d identical to to see us catch the ball higher and be extra environment friendly,” Sitake stated. “We didn’t do sufficient to win this recreation, guys.”
• Tanner Mangum isn’t bettering.
The senior confirmed indicators of returning to his 2015 kind within the 28-23 win over Arizona with an excellent third quarter, however made a few of the similar errors that haunted the Cougars in 2017. The fourth-quarter interception he threw when BYU was in area purpose vary was particularly expensive.
“It’s bought to get higher,” Sitake stated of Mangum’s efficiency.
• Cal’s protection was a lot better than Arizona’s.
The Cougars have been buoyed up by the way in which their offensive line manhandled Arizona’s entrance seven final week, however that turned out to be idiot’s gold as a result of the Wildcats have been pounded 45-18 by Houston Saturday. BYU operating again Squally Canada had 12 carries for 56 yards within the first half however had zero yards on simply 4 carries within the second half.
“The move safety wasn’t there,” Sitake stated. “We have been actually excited in regards to the O-line, and I assumed we had seen the bodily a part of their recreation. However that was non-existent within the second half.”
Dayan Ghanwoloku, security. The junior returned a fumble that was brought on by Butch Pau’u’s huge hit and returned it 36 yards for BYU’s first landing within the third quarter. Ghanwoloku additionally recovered a muffed punt to provide the Cougars wonderful area place early within the fourth quarter.
Runner-up: Cal backup quarterback Model McIlwain. The Bears used the freshman successfully as a runner, and he picked up a game-high 74 yards on 16 carries. Not like what Cal did in slowing Canada, BYU didn’t make the second-half changes to gradual McIlwain.
Cal defensive again Traveon Beck’s interception within the fourth quarter. BYU was in area purpose vary and poised to make it a one-score recreation, however Beck intercepted Mangum’s move on third-and-21 on the Bears’ 16 and returned the choose 20 yards. Not getting factors after taking up on the Cal 16 with 12:37 remaining proved expensive for the Cougars.
“It could have been superb if we didn’t get the primary down, and simply kicked the sector purpose,” Sitake stated. “Then it’s a completely different ball recreation. It’s onerous to get these alternatives, particularly when you find yourself in scoring place. You’ll be able to’t flip the ball over. We have to defend the ball extra. It’s unlucky, however you may’t make these errors.”
Runner-up: Cal receiver Kanawai Noa’s 52-yard landing reception. A combination-up in BYU’s secondary left Noa fully free on the east sideline and Chase Garbers simply related with Noa for the landing that put the Bears forward 14-Three.
“It’s a must to have a short-term reminiscence and simply transfer onto the subsequent play after a mistake,” stated Ghanwoloku, who took the blame for the miscommunication on protection.
Freshman Gunner Romney made his first catch, for 18 yards, and completed with two receptions for 29 yards. Freshman Skyler Southam’s first area purpose try was good, from 36 yards. Redshirt sophomore Isaiah Kaufusi made his first profession interception and returned it 15 yards. Senior Zayne Anderson made a career-high 12 tackles and recorded his first sort out for loss.
The Cougars will face their third-straight Energy 5 convention crew Saturday once they journey to Madison, Wis., to tackle No. 5-ranked Wisconsin. The sport will kick off at 1:30 p.m. MDT and can be televised by ABC. The Badgers (2-Zero) walloped New Mexico 45-14 Saturday after a gradual begin and crushed BYU 40-6 final yr in Provo.
“I do know it’s a onerous job to go to Madison and play a extremely good crew that’s bodily,” Sitake stated. “That was a very good reminder final yr, of how bodily they play. So it is going to be a very good measurement to see how a lot we’ve improved from final yr to this yr. Lots of people gained’t give us a giant likelihood to win this recreation, so we’ll see how we face adversity, how we overcome it.”