BYU vs. Utah State, Utah vs. Washington and Week 5 Review

BYU vs. Utah State, Utah vs. Washington and Week 5 Review



So was that Tim Tebow or Riley Nelson running wild at the end of the ball game down in Provo on Friday night? I swear it was Tebow, but with long hair. If you love football (and you’re not from Logan) you couldn’t help but be entertained by what was a totally inexplicable turn of events at the end of the game between BYU and Utah State. That’s why we all watch. It’s true reality TV. It was fun to see Nelson play with reckless abandon and single handedly will his team to victory. Much like Tim Tebow used to do at Florida.

You could almost tell what was going through Nelson’s head – “Man, this may be my only shot the rest of my college career. I’m not going pro. They’re gonna give the job back to Heaps eventually. And not to mention – I can’t stand those idiots in Logan for crucifying me the way they did when I transferred. I’m gonna throw caution to the wind, run somebody over, and enjoy myself!”

That is exactly what the kid did and it was awesome. We have no idea if he can do it again. No idea if he can throw for 300 yards a game. We really don’t care either. What we care about is how the team seemed to rally around the guy. We care that Nelson’s performance finally pumped some offensive energy back into Lavell Edwards Stadium. The place was rocking and those in attendance witnessed another chapter in what is becoming a very long book of incredible finishes in BYU history.

The offensive coaching staff has deservedly taken a lot heat this season for lackluster production. However, you have to credit them for pushing the right buttons on Friday night. Though Heaps was obviously struggling, it was probably not an easy decision to pull your rocket armed, NFL talent QB and put in your running back-up when you needed 2 touchdowns to win. Sometimes you just go with your gut and I guess it worked for Bronco and his staff.

Of course BYU now has a full blown quarterback controversy on their hands. We’ll see how it unfolds. In spite of the ensuing QB controversy, I know this much – Bronco would sure rather have 2 QB’s than be in the position Kyle Whittingham is now faced with inSalt Lake City……



I believe I said 2 weeks ago that Utah was not 54-10 better than BYU and that 7 turnovers led to the blowout. However, I also never thought a Kyle Whittingham coached team would turn the ball over 5 times in one game. Those turnovers led to what was basically a 31-7 lopsided loss to Washington. (Utah’s last TD was in absolute garbage time) The Utes are much better than they played and it was frustrating to see that happen.

You’ve got to feel for the Utes, losing the way they did and possibly their quarterback as well. Jordan Wynn actually looked pretty good in the first half. He was taking shots down the field and piling up the yards. In my opinion, Utah really dominated the first half but just could not capitalize. Very similar to the way BYU has moved the ball in several of their games but come up empty handed in the red zone.

The Ute defense could only hold up so long in the 2nd half when it became obvious they were not going to get anything from the offense. The running back from Washington, Chris Polk, could only be held down so long.

We’ll see what back-up quarterback, Jon Hays is made of. However, you have to wonder if your second best option is a guy who only 6 months ago was the projected starter at such a powerhouse school that they discontinued their football program right after he signed.

Utes hope Wynn, Hays deserve all the praise


Utah State

Finally, you have to feel for the Aggies. They are absolutely snake bitten. I certainly hope that which does not kill them, will only make them stronger. I would expect that they win the majority of their WAC games this year.

Aside from not being able to finish games, Head Coach Gary Anderson has a solid team and program in place. Simply put, they outplayed BYU for the second year in a row. They have legitimate play makers. Everyone already knew Robert Turbin was the best running back in the state and he proved that again on Friday. However, their team is more than just Turbin. They just need to start slamming the coffin door on folks when they have them down and start piling up some wins.

In spite of the now, 3 gut wrenching losses, Aggies fans should feel very good about their team going forward. With a 1-3 record and 8 games remaining, you certainly have to like the Aggies’ chances of winning at least 5 of their remaining games and becoming bowl eligible by season’s end. And BYU should probably realize going forward that the Friday before General Conference ball game against Utah State is no longer a gimme.

Matt Nielson has been writing about the college sports landscape in Utah and the Intermountain West since 2010. When he’s not pretending to be a professional blogger, he works full time as a residential real estate agent and house flipper. Matt graduated from Brigham Young University in 2000. He and his family reside in Salt Lake City, UT.


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