BYU football beat writer Jared Lloyd evaluates the performance of every position group and the coaches from Saturday’s BYU-UMass game at McGuirk Alumni Stadium:
Zach Wilson was excellent, throwing for 293 yards and four touchdown with no interceptions on 17-of-20 passing. He also picked up a few yards on the ground. Joe Critchlow was OK in the second half as he played with the second-string.
Jackson McChesney had some huge runs, while Lopini Katoa and Tyler Allgeier also made big plays as the Cougars ran over, around and through the Minuteman defense.
The Cougars cleaned up the penalties and pushed around the UMass defensive front. The holes were huge and the quarterbacks had plenty of time to through for most of the game.
The Cougars spread the ball around with Talon Shumway, Gunner Romney and Aleva Hifo getting in the end zone. This group had a couple of passes get knocked out that they would’ve wanted to catch but overall they were excellent.
The Cougar first string played a very solid game during its time on the field, only giving up 16 total yards in the first half. JJ Nwigwe showed his tight-end skills on an interception. The third- and fourth-string backups made quite a few mistakes.
The starting linebackers were excellent in the first half, making tackles and keeping the Minutemen from getting anything going. The backups left something to be desired in both the run and pass defenses.
The BYU secondary was phenomenal in the first half when the starters were in as UMass only had three passing yards before the break. The Cougar backups struggled to slow the Minuteman passing game.
The Cougar special teams weren’t great, missing a field goal and having a lot of kickoffs that fell short. A muffed punt set up the first UMass points, although the outcome was already decided. BYU still has work to do.
Kalani Sitake and his staff set the Cougars up for success with the big first half. They probably want to see a lot more from the second- and third-teams, however.