BYU football beat writer Jared Lloyd evaluates the performance of every position group and the coaches from Saturday’s BYU-Toledo game at the Glass Bowl in Toledo, Ohio:
Zach Wilson just missed a career-high as he was 22-of-38 for 315 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He still had moments where he and his receivers simply weren’t on the same page, including the mistake on the pick. Jaren Hall did alright in his short stint on the field, but couldn’t complete the final drive.
Emmanuel Esukpa had a big touchdown run but finished with just 61 yards on 12 carries. The Cougars had a tough time getting the running game going at all, only gaining 101 yards on the ground.
The Cougars were awful on third-and-short situations, which is where an offensive line needs to be at its best. BYU finished with 455 total yards but this group of lineman hold themselves to a higher standard than they showed Saturday.
The Cougars got a huge performance by Aleva Hifo with other guys making a few nice plays as well. But there were also a number of times where the receivers and the quarterbacks didn’t appear to be in sync.
The Cougars played pretty well in the first half but struggled at the point of attack late in the game. BYU’s four-man front did better against the Toledo run, but then the Rockets started completing passes and the Cougars struggled to stay in their rush lanes.
The linebackers made a lot of tackles, Chaz Ah You had the big strip sack and Payton Wilgar had another interception — but this group wasn’t able to keep Toledo’s short passing game in check or keep Rocket QB Mitchell Guadagni from making key plays.
BYU didn’t give up the deep ball (the longest Toledo completion went for just 28 yards) but the Cougars also seemed in poor position to make plays on a couple of key third downs.
Jake Oldroyd missed a pair of very makeable field goals that might have changed the outcome of the game, but there were some positives. Aleva Hifo had two big punt returns, Dayan Ghanwoloku recovered a muffed punt and Danny Jones pinned Toledo on the 1-yard line.
Kalani Sitake and his staff seemed to have a decent game plan in the first half but Toledo seemed to make better adjustments at halftime. Some of the playcalls on both sides of the ball were head-scratching but there were many that were good calls where the execution was terrible.