BYU fb Gunner Romney vs. USF

BYU's Gunner Romney (18) makes a catch against South Florida on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Daily Herald columnist Darnell Dickson looks at some of the key moments and players from BYU’s 27-23 loss at South Florida on Saturday.

The Key Play

Late in the third quarter, BYU got an interception from Chaz Ah You but went three and out. On fourth down, backup punter Danny Jones couldn’t field a low snap and South Florida took over deep in Cougar territory. BYU led 23-14 at the time and another score would have been huge. Instead, the Cougars allowed the Bulls to run the ball down their throats and scored to pull within 23-21.

The Sneaky Key Play

Jaren Hall’s first career touchdown pass was a terrific play by sophomore receiver Dax Milne and got the Cougars off to a good start on the offensive side

The Difference Maker

Hall’s debut showed a lot of promise. He was 15 of 23 for 148 yards and a touchdown through the air and added 110 yards (he lost 27 in sacks) and a touchdown on the ground. It’s unfortunate that he was hurt late in the fourth quarter and didn’t get a chance to try and win the game for BYU.

The Unsung Hero

It’s amazing to me that freshman Peyton Wilgar, at one point, was leaving BYU because the coaches couldn’t find a scholarship for him. He’s really settled in as a great inside linebacker. Wilgar led the Cougars with eight tackles, six solo.

The Top Unit Award

I kind of feel like I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but the only unit that made an impact in my mind was the receivers, who made some tough catches. Other than that, the blame for the loss is shared through all the rest of the team, which was inconsistent in performance in every other unit.

Numbers Don’t Lie

BYU has 14 drives of 10 plays or more and none have resulted in touchdowns. The red zone struggle is real.

Random Observations

If you’ve recently played on the offensive line in high school, contact the BYU football coaches immediately. … Pretty sure I’ve never seen so many offensive linemen go down in one single game. … Hall was a captain for this game, which tells you a little about how the team and the coaches feel about him. … The BYU defense didn’t allow a first down until the middle of the second quarter. Then, USF just started lining up and driving the Cougars off the ball. … The Cougars had a lot of advantages – More first downs, more total yards, won the turnover battle, had more time of possession for one of the first times this season … and still lost. … USF had 12 tackles for loss, BYU one. I know there is a very distinct difference in defensive philosophy. The Bulls push hard with pressure and the Cougars lay back. But that was a huge factor in the game.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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