Poinsettia Bowl grades: BYU's run game leads to victory in the rain
BYU Cougars 24, Wyoming Cowboys 21
Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from BYU’s 24-21 win over Wyoming in the Poinsettia Bowl.
Quarterback grade: Tanner Mangum, 55.3
QB Mangum grades below average on rainy night
In wet conditions, BYU elected to run the ball at a 2:1 ratio Wednesday night in San Diego. Replacing the injured Taysom Hill, sophomore quarterback Tanner Mangum failed to surpass 100 passing yards on 15 attempts. He made some questionable throws but managed to find some luck on the goal line after almost aimlessly tossing up a pass to tight end Tanner Balderee that was deflected a few times then caught for a touchdown. Magnum was 4-of-6 for 72 yards on throws that traveled 10-plus yards downfield, with one of those incompletions being an interception.
Top offensive grades:
C Tejan Koroma, 83.3
T Andrew Eide, 77.1
HB Jamaal Williams, 73.8
WR Nick Kurtz, 72.8
G Tuni Kanuch, 69.9
BYU relies heavily on Williams on way to victory
BYU running back Jamaal Williams ran with a level of power that the Wyoming defense had trouble contending with, he carried the ball 26 times averaging 7.7 yards per rush with 113 yards after contact. The Cowboys defense couldn’t wrap up the big back consistently as he forced 9 missed tackles. Williams did uncharacteristically put the ball on the ground in the first quarter, only his second fumble of the season. Wide receiver Nick Kurtz made big time catches when thrown his way, averaging 19.7 yards on three receptions.
Top defensive grades:
ED Harvey Langi, 77.8
LB Butch Pau’u, 77.6
ED Corbin Kaufusi, 77.1
S Kai Nacua, 76.2
S Mitch Hannemann, 73.7
Cougars front seven generates pressure throughout the evening
The Cougars were able to force 14 quarterback hurries of Wyoming’s Josh Allen while hitting him five times. Edge rusher Corbin Kaufusi led the way with a 75.7 pass-rush grade and contributed two hurries and two QB hits. Linebacker Harvey Langi was a force in the run game as he made 9 stops along with 13 tackles, he also did well dropping into coverage as he recorded a pass breakup and only allowing 2 receptions for 8 yards.
Quarterback grade: Josh Allen, 68.1
Allen, Cowboys can’t overcome slow start
After a sluggish start in the passing game, Josh Allen and the Cowboys came firing back in the fourth quarter, coming up just short with the young quarterback making an ill-advised decision forcing a pass on the run which was intercepted. Allen again showed why it’s easy to admire his skill set as he was 4-for-10 on deep balls for 103 yards, with one of those being a accurately placed pass to WR Tanner Gentry who got his feet caught up with the defender and fell before being able to make an attempt at the catch. Allen again showed his poise under pressure, completing 9-of-14 attempts when he was pressured for 127 yards and a touchdown.
Top offensive grades:
C Chase Roullier, 79.6
G Kaden Jackson, 74.7
HB Brian Hill, 72.1
WR Tanner Gentry, 68.5
QB Josh Allen, 68.1
Offensive line struggles in pass protection
The Cowboys offensive line has had a tough time keeping quarterback Josh Allen clean all season, Wednesday night was no different as they surrendered 12 quarterback hurries and were responsible for 4 hits on the QB. Right tackle Brinkley Jolly had his hands full all evening, giving up four pressures and a hit which led to a 36.1 pass-protection grade. There were some positives, notably center Chase Roullier, who has been the most consistent linemen for the Cowboys all season and recorded a pass-blocking grade of 86.3. The senior center ends his season without giving up a sack and only allowing one hit on the quarterback.
Top defensive grades:
DI Youhanna Ghaifan, 77.4
LB Cassh Maluia, 74.6
ED Taniela Lolohea, 70.1
DI Sidney Malauulu 68.3
ED Kevin Prosser, 66.8
Defense can’t contain Cougars rushing attack
It was a long night for the Cowboys defenders while trying to take down opposing running back Jamaal Williams. They missed 10 tackles while giving up 216 yards on the ground. The Cowboys run defense has been inconsistent throughout the year and Wednesday was no different. On the few passes that BYU did attempt, the defense failed to generate much pressure, only hurrying him three times. However, young edge rusher Kevin Prosser did impress rushing the passer, recording a sack to go with two quarterback hits and a hurry for a grade of 74.7 in that category.