Daily Herald columnist Darnell Dickson looks at some of the key moments and players from BYU’s 45-19 loss to No. 22 Washington on Saturday.
The Key Play
The BYU defense was a non-factor on Saturday, so when Washington sacked Zach Wilson, picked up the fumble and returned it for touchdown for a 21-3 lead, the game was pretty much over. The Cougar offense moved the ball well enough that they could have traded scores for a while, but a stop once in a while by the defense was too much to ask on Saturday.
The Sneaky Key Play
The dropped pass by Talon Shumway in the second quarter was killer. The play would have gone for 30-plus yards or maybe a touchdown to cut the Washington lead to 14-10. Instead, a few plays later Washington got its fumble return for a score.
The Difference Maker
Washington’s Jacob Eason is a tall, five-star, experienced quarterback and BYU did absolutely nothing to get him out of his comfort zone. He completed 24 of 28 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns, which is probably better than he did during practice this week in Seattle this week. He faced very little pressure on Saturday and his offense converted 5 of 7 on third down when he was in the game. The third quarter interception was the exception to a very, very good performance. At one point, Eason was 22 of 24.
The Unsung Hero
Hopefully not lost in the bad loss was that BYU was able to get Matt Bushman involved in the offense again. He caught six passes for 89 yards and snagged a deflected pass for a touchdown to end the third quarter.
The Top Unit Award
Washington won all three phases of the game: Offense, defense and special teams. And handily. There isn’t a single position group on the Cougars that can claim an edge. A sobering thought for a program trying to prove its worth every week and trying to overcome talent gaps with execution and will.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Turnovers can be overcome, but not when you’re letting your opponent march up and down the field unchecked. BYU is 2-2 this season. In the opener against Utah, the Cougars were minus-3 in turnovers and were minus-2 on Saturday through the first three quarters, with both turnovers resulting in touchdowns for Washington, and ended up minus-1. In the two wins, BYU was plus-1 against Tennessee and plus-3 against USC.
Loved all the nostalgia around LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, from the throwback uniforms to the artwork in the end zones to the fedoras for the media in the press box. Missing, though, the old, creepy Cosmo Cougar and the stadium workers in bright orange windbreakers. … Seeing former BYU legends Ty Detmer, Mo Elowonibi, Jason Buck and Derwin Gray run out the flags was pretty cool, too. Gray promised a 4.4 40-yard dash. Not quite, but he was the first to make it through the Y formed by the BYU band. … Salute to the oldest living Cosmo, Ray Pope, who was honored during the game. … Convince me that BYU defenders didn’t think Washington quarterback Jacob Eason was wearing a red (non-contact) jersey. … On the third quarter interception, BYU safety Austin Lee deflected an Eason pass to Max Tooley. The freshman linebacker tried to stretch to the end zone from the 5-yard line on the return but, alas, he does not have “Go-go Gadget Arms” and fumbled the ball. Luckily, his knee was down and BYU retained possession. … I guess 2-2 through that first four games for the Cougars is OK, but the two losses were really, really ugly and non-competitive. ... Hopefully, Ty'Son Williams' injury isn't season ending. That would be a huge blow to the offense.