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BYU football faltered in the loss to USU
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BYU football analysis: Is it time to panic?

Brigham Young Cougars defensive lineman Corbin Kaufusi (90) levels Utah State Aggies quarterback Jordan Love (10) as he tried to get into the end zone during the Utah State versus BYU football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

OPINION

PROVO — Monday night, KSL’s Unrivaled Scott Mitchell and Alex Kirry discussed Friday’s game against BYU’s other in-state rival, Utah State. In the 45-20 blowout loss to the currently superior Aggies, BYU showed little of the progress that the team has made since its forgettable season last year.

“If you are a BYU fan, the best news you got all week is two-hour church,” says Kirry, referring to the announcement during Saturday’s General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that its Sunday meetings will eventually be reduced to two hours.

Over the past thirty years, BYU has consistently produced games with a double-digit margin of victory and finished the season with a double-digit total number of wins.

Lately? Not so much.

BYU football rollercoaster

BYU fans have been on a blue rollercoaster this season, from the high of a victory over Wisconsin to the lowly loss against Utah State in Provo.

BYU’s descent from great to mediocre happened at breakneck speed.

“If you are freaking out, it is not an overreaction,” Kirry said.

“They don’t have that dominant defense that can change the play,” says Mitchell.

“Your leading rusher is your backup quarterback,” Kirry said, bemoaning the fact that BYU is not the “Quarterback U” it has been known to be in the past.

“BYU’s not that good. They are not an explosive team,” says Mitchell.

Is coaching the key?

A strong offense and a brick wall defense was a hallmark under previous BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. Under current head coach Kalani Sitake, the defense has been consistently okay and the offense has had brief moments of brilliance followed by a routine of inadequate play.

New BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes appeared to have things running smoothly when visiting Wisconsin. Grimes recognized quarterback Tanner Mangum’s limitations and Grimes built an offense that focused on what Tanner and Co. could do well.

Measuring your quarterback’s abilities and focusing on that is how Utah offensive coordinator Troy Taylor found success for Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley against Stanford on Saturday, says Mitchell.

Next steps

BYU’s next test is at home against Hawaii. Hawaii is 6-1 (3-0) and is currently first in its Mountain West division.

Hear the full conversation from KSL’s Unrivaled below. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Hawaii travels to play BYU Saturday night at 8:15 PM and the game can be heard on 102.7 FM / 1160 AM and on the KSL Newsradio app, or watched on ESPN2.

Utah State plays UNLV on Saturday at 2:00 PM.