BYU Football Report Card: Grading the Cougars 27-0 loss to LSU

Throw the report card on the table and go hide before your parents come home. That’s the type of grades BYU earned after getting shutout against No. 13 LSU in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Quarterback: F

Is it time to be concerned about Tanner Mangum or is it the offensive scheme? Either way, on Saturday night, Mangum’s play was bad, and that’s putting it lightly.

Mangum went 12-24 for 102 yards and one interception. But look deeper than the stats. Many of Mangum’s throws were under thrown, including the deep ball interception. Also, there were times the receivers were getting open, Mangum could not get the ball out and connect. This is surprising to see Mangum struggle the way he has the first two weeks because in fall camp, he was excellent. Really had poise and was tossing the ball with some velocity.

Mangum took ownership of the downfalls of the offense in the post game, but words only go so far. It has been a long time since those hail mary’s at Nebraska and at home against Boise State. It’s time to produce.

Running Back: D-

Slightly above an F because a few players were dinged up. Riley Burt’s status is up in the air, but his presence wasn’t going to change anything last night.

Life in the running back room after Jamaal Williams is tougher than anyone expected.

Wide Receiver: D

There were brief, and let me emphasize, brief moments that BYU’s receivers found open space but Mangum was not given enough time to get it to them.

This group has no playmaker. The projected number one wide receiver in Jonah Trinnaman didn’t get a single target. That’s troubling.

Tight End: C-

Matt Bushman will always be a bright spot. Bushman accounted for nearly 50-percent of BYU’s offensive production on Saturday night hauling in four catches for 43 yards. Still, he was a liability in blocking packages. He needs to get stronger and be able to block.

Offensive Line: F

Games are won and lost in the trenches. This BYU team has been lifting six days a week and getting bigger in preparation for a game against an opponent like LSU. BYU’s offensive line failed. True freshmen and sophomores on LSU’s front seven were carving up BYU’s offensive line and they never could get their head on a swivel.

Defensive Line: D

Similar to the offensive line, the defensive line was trying to build itself up to compete in games against an LSU. They were dominated. LSU offensive line coach Jeff Grimes had an excellent scheme to contain Sione Takitaki and the Tigers offensive line used power football all day. BYU’s defensive line had moments in red zone defense with Khyiris Tonga, but the lack of experience from a guy like Corbin Kaufusi reared itself on Saturday night.

Linebackers: D

Butch Pau’u’s debut was non-existent. Derrius Guice and the LSU offense were always getting to the back end of BYU’s defense. Fred Warner worked his tail off, but even he was overmatched at times in this game.

Cornerbacks: D

Entering this game, there was a quiet confidence around the BYU program that the Cougars cornerbacks could contain LSU’s young and inexperienced wide receivers.  Nope.  Troy Warner wasn’t targeted many times on his side of the field, but Dayan Ghanwoloku was beat a few times.  Trevion Greene and Chris Wilcox saw a lot of time in hockey substitutions, which I’m still puzzled as to why BYU continues to incorporate those substitutions.

Safeties: D+

A courtesy plus on the D-grade because walk-on Marvin Hifo racked up a team-high 10 tackles. But a safety leading your team in tackles is usually never a good sign of how the game went for that defense.

Also, Ute Twitter is going to buzz about BYU and targeting, but try and tell me how you stop Derrius Guice at full-speed? Hard day and age to tackle. It was a textbook targeting penalty by Micah Hannemann, but to label BYU a dirty team because of that is silly. I can argue that Tanner Jacobson and Zayne Anderson might be a better safety tandem anyways. Don’t @ me.

Special Teams: B-

Don’t hate on Jonny Linehan’s decision to try and give his team a spark. The problem with that decision to go with a fake punt is that Linehan wasn’t 100-percent committed to running. He danced around. If you’re going to take off with the fake punt, run!

Linehan’s follow-up punt attempt was probably BYU’s highlight of the night.

Jonah Trinnaman also showed some moments of promise in the kick return game. Tanner Jacobson is not going to be a threat to ever take a punt return for big yardage, but he’s a safe bet to field the punt.

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