Boise State-BYU grades: BYU offense sputters as Boise State wins
Boise State Broncos 28, BYU Cougars 27
Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from Boise State’s 28-27 win over BYU.
Boise State Broncos
Quarterback grade: Brett Rypien, 64.1
Rypien overcomes two interceptions returned for touchdowns
The Boise State QB was impressive on a number of intermediate and deep passes, showing touch and the necessary arm strength to fit the ball into tight windows if needed. What plagued Rypien were the two interceptions BYU returned for touchdowns. The first was a crossing route off of play action intended for TE Jake Knight; BYU’s Fred Warner played it nicely, sinking underneath the route, and Rypien tried forcing it, resulting in a pick-six. The second interception was less Rypien’s fault, with bad luck coming into play — a deflected hitch route ended up in the arms of CB Dayan Lake. The majority of Rypien’s completions were targeted at 10 yards or less, completing 17-of-23 in that range. However, he was able to stretch the field when the opportunity was presented, completing 3-of-7 deep balls for 168 yards and two touchdowns.
Top offensive grades:
T John Molchon, 75.6
G Steven Baggett, 75.5
TE Jake Knight, 71.5
T Archie Lewis, 70.2
HB Jeremy McNichols, 65.3
Jeremy McNichols has hard-earned big night on the ground
Running lanes closed quickly and yards were tough to come by on the ground for McNichols, but that didn’t stop him from putting in 145 yards on 30 carries. Between the guards, McNichols had 49 yards on 11 carries and ended the night with 63 of his 145 yards coming after contact. McNichols was utilized well in the passing game as he has been all year, catching five balls for 105 yards and a touchdown as Rypien had a QB rating of 153.3 when throwing in his direction.
Top defensive grades:
CB Tyler Horton, 86.7
CB Jonathan Moxey, 81
DT Elliot Hoyte, 80.6
S Cameron Hartsfield, 78.5
LB Darren Lee, 77.9
Broncos defense holds on late
Both cornerbacks for the Broncos had great games as they held the Cougars W’s in check and deterred Taysom Hill from throwing in their direction. Tyler Horton finished as the Broncos’ top-graded defender — he was targeted seven times, allowing only three catches for 17 yards while also recording two pass breakups. On the other side, Jonathan Moxey was targeted five times, allowing two catches for 14 yards and recording a pass breakup. DE Elliot Hoyte had his best game of the season, recording two sacks and his five hurries on the night equaled his total coming into the game.
Quarterback grade: Taysom Hill, 71.7
Hill finds success on the ground, less so through the air
QB Taysom Hill found most of his success on the ground against the Broncos, as he rushed for 61 yards on 9 carries. They weren’t easy yards, as 48 of those 61 came after contact. Of his 51 dropbacks, Hill was under pressure on 25 of those. While under pressure, he completed 4-of-17 passes and averaged 3.4 yards per attempt while also being sacked four times.
Top offensive grades:
C Tejan Koroma, 84.8
G Tuni Kanuch, 84.2
G Parker Dawe, 74.6
T Andrew Eide, 72.5
TE Tanner Balderree, 71.6
BYU offense struggles without Jamaal Williams
With no RB Jamaal Williams, who suffered an ankle injury during practice this week, the Cougars relied heavily on the legs of Taysom Hill and backup RB Squally Canada. Canada did his share, as he rushed 21 times for 88 yards — all but seven of those yards came between the tackles. BYU’s receivers had a tough time separating from the secondary of Boise State, as their leading receiver was tight end Tanner Balderree, who ended with 33 yards on two catches. Receivers Nick Kurtz and Moroni Laulu-Pututau were targeted a combined 14 times, and they totaled four catches for 40 yards.
Top defensive grades:
S Kai Nacua, 86.4
CB Dayan Lake, 79.8
CB Troy Warner, 77.6
DT Logan Taele, 73.0
DT Handsome Tanielu, 70.6
Big plays haunt the Cougars
Even with two interceptions returned for touchdowns, the deep pass plays surrendered by the Cougars throughout the game proved to be too much to overcome as they gave up 168 yards and two scores on throws that traveled 20 yards or farther. CB Troy Warner was targeted 11 times in the game, giving up 6 catches for 94 yards but also breaking up two passes. Safety Micah Hannemann was thrown at 8 times, allowing 87 yards and a touchdown as opposing QB Brett Rypien had a QB rating of 151.6 throwing his way. No one on the back end of the Cougars defense had productive day apart from CB Dayan Lake, who allowed two catches on four targets while also taking a deflected pass the other way for six.
PFF Game-ball winner: Boise State CB Tyler Horton