PROVO — BYU is now 6-0 on the season after their win against the Texas State Bobcats. Unlike the last two weeks, this game was never really in question and the Cougars coasted to a 52-14 win.
BYU is nationally ranked, their quarterback is a Heisman hopeful and their schedule is still suspect. The Cougars are undefeated and averaging 45 points a game and allowing just 14 points. But we’re still learning things about this team in this incredibly odd season.
Here are three lessons from BYU’s blowout win against Texas State:
An “off” night for Zach Wilson is still impressive
Zach Wilson is spoiling BYU fans. An incompletion or an off-target pass seems like a big deal. The junior’s completion percentage has been ridiculous in 2020, and anything short of perfection seems out of place. Wilson’s performance on a late Saturday night against the Bobcats could be considered an off night for the QB. He had some wayward passes and had one of his worst games when it came to completion percentage.
Let’s put this into perspective, however.
Wilson finished the night with just six incompletions, 287 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 15 rushing yards and 16 receiving yards. That’s a QBR of 87.6 and a completion percentage of 76%. And I forgot to mention, he did that in less than three full quarters. The Cougars pulled their starter with a lot of time left in the third quarter.
Yes, it can be argued that Wilson is doing this against lesser competition, but regardless he’s throwing into tight windows, finding open receivers and making plays happen.
BYU’s tight ends are alive and well even without Matt Bushman
BYU took a hit when they lost their star tight end, Matt Bushman, for the season before games even kicked off. Fans and even journalists were worried about how good the receiving corps, especially the tight ends, were going to be without Bushman. We have that answer — you shouldn’t be too worried.
A talent like Bushman will always be missed when he’s not on the field, but receivers and tight ends have stepped up to fill that void. Dax Milne and Gunner Romney have been fantastic for the Cougars, but some unknown names have made some noise at the tight end position. Three different tight ends caught a pass on Saturday, if you call Masen Wake a tight end as he’s listed on the depth chart, and they accounted for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
Isaac Rex had a great night with 66 yards and two touchdowns. He now has 175 yards on the season with three touchdowns. In 2020, Cougar tight ends have five touchdowns and 387 yards, and that does not include Bushman. Sure, Bushman accounted for nearly 700 yards and four touchdowns by himself in 2019, but with him out a committee of tight ends have stepped up for BYU and made an impact.
Big Ten just made BYU’s post season a lot harder
It seems pretty clear that a playoff berth will be all but impossible for BYU given their schedule, but a New Year’s Six game seemed like an outside possibility. It was going to be tough as the Cougars would have to go undefeated, which is difficult despite your schedule, but BYU still has to travel to Boise and beat what looks like a good Boise State team in a venue the Cougars have never beaten the Broncos. Even if BYU wins that game and then wins out, getting to a New Year’s Six would be a uphill climb, but not impossible. That uphill climb, however, just got significantly harder on Saturday.
The Big Ten returned to play, and their teams looks good. Ohio State looked near perfect, Michigan had no trouble with a good Minnesota team and Indiana gave us the game of the weekend as they knocked off a top 10 Penn State team in overtime. A one-loss Big Ten team will be taken over BYU and a two-loss team might be if the conference continues to show off its strength.
Things are just going to get more difficult as the Pac-12 is ready to start play in the next couple of weeks as well. Running the table and beating a good Boise State team on the blue turf will not guarantee a talented BYU team an invite to a New Year’s Six bowl. Only time will tell; and in the mean time, BYU needs to not worry about the postseason and focus on winning out.
Up next, the Cougars will take on a struggling Western Kentucky team in Provo at 8:15 pm MT on Halloween night.
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Sunday Morning QB: 3 lessons from BYU\’s 52-14 blowout win against Texas State /p>