College Football News Preview 2020: BYU Cougars Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The BYU Cougars Offense
The running game has to get better. There isn’t a sure-thing superstar running back to work around, but there’s a deep group to keep everyone healthy and moving – at least if one doesn’t emerge.
Throw in the mobility of QB Zach Wilson and a line loaded with experienced and depth, and being better than 159 rushing yards per game is a must.
More than that, it’s about being effective. The rushing attack was great late in the year against Idaho State, UMass, Hawaii and Utah State, but it didn’t go anywhere against Utah, Washington or Boise State.
Biggest Key To The BYU Cougars Defense
Will the pass rush ever show up under this coaching staff? The D under head man Kalani Sitake and defensive coordinator Ilasia Tuiaki has been good, but it hasn’t always been special at getting into the backfield.
The D before this coaching staff generated 40 sacks and 98 tackles for loss. Last year’s defense came up with 17 sacks and 61 tackles for loss.
There are way too many good players to let that happen again – four Cougars tied for the team sack lead with just two.
How bad was the pass rush? Five of the sacks came in the Hawaii Bowl loss to Hawaii, and two others came in the regular season finale against San Diego State. that means ten of the sacks were spread out among the other 11 games with five games without any sacks.
Again, that can’t happen again – not with this group.
Key BYU Cougars Player To A Successful Season
WR Gunner Romney, Jr.
The Cougars could use a dangerous wide receiver to go along with TE Matt Bushman to make the O go.
The running game might be a bit spotty again, but the defense should be better, and QB Zach Wilson will likely be more dangerous. With the top three wide receivers gone, though, someone has to take over the No. 1 role.
There are plenty of options, but the 6-3, 215-pound Romney has the experience as the leading returning wideout – catching 31 passes for 377 yards and two touchdowns – to grow into the job.
Key Game To The BYU Cougars Season
at Boise State, Nov. 7
At the moment, who’s BYU going to play?
It’s possible it’ll figure out a date with Notre Dame, and there’s a whole lot of creativity about to kick in, but the Boise State game should stick.
Last year was a fun game – a 28-25 BYU win – even though the star quarterbacks on both sides didn’t go. This year, it might be the biggest game of the Cougar season, and it would’ve been huge even if the five Group of Five games were still on the table.
– BYU Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 BYU Fun Stats
– 4th Quarter Scoring: Opponents 100 – BYU 39
– Fumbles: BYU 15 (lost 10) – Opponents 13 (lost 7)
– Rushing TDs: BYU 25 – Opponents 14