BYU Football: Back-to-Back Losses Put Cougars' Season in Serious Jeopardy

Randy ChambersAnalyst ISeptember 21, 2012

BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 20:  Michael Alisa #42 of the BYU Cougars tries to evade a tackle by Samuel Ukwuachu #82 of the Boise State Broncos at Bronco Stadium on September 20, 2012 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

Oh, how quickly things can change in the matter of a couple of weeks.

BYU started the season with two straight victories, including a Week 1 pounding over Washington State in the season opener. The Cougars quickly cracked the Top 25 in the AP Poll, and the 2012 season was looking bright for the veteran ballclub.

But then the Cougars suffered a heartbreaking loss to Utah in Week 3, and then the offense fell flat against the Boise State Broncos, as BYU 7-6. But while losing to Boise State on the road shouldn't be considered an upset, it was the way they lost that made things that much worse for Cougar fans.

The offense struggled all night long, as it only produced 200 total yards and 13 first downs. Finally, quarterback Taysom Hill managed to break off a four-yard touchdown run, which would tie the game late in the fourth quarter, pending the extra point.

Sounds great, right?

Instead, head coach Bronco Mendenhall decided to go for the two-point conversion and the possible victory with only three minutes left to play. The conversion failed, and BYU lost the game, as the team had no more timeouts available to stop the clock on defense.

Despite the horrible play call at the end of the game that cost the Cougars a chance to win the contest, there is now a quarterback controversy. Will it be Riley Nelson or freshman Taysom Hil? Neither has played particularly well to begin the year, and the more experienced quarterback in Nelson has been experiencing injuries.

On top of all that, BYU doesn't exactly have the easiest schedule the rest of the way. Oregon State is on tap in a couple of weeks, and the Beavers already showed they are capable of beating a ranked Wisconsin team. Notre Dame is one of the key surprise teams in 2012 and certainly won't be easy, especially with the matchup being played in South Bend. Georgia Tech is also no cake walk for this Cougars team.

BYU is a veteran ballclub that returned the majority of its starters from last season. And for a program that won 10 games last year, you have to believe this was supposed to be the year that the Cougars took that next step, possibly competing for a BCS bowl game. Although with two consecutive losses, all of those dreams have been tossed out the window early on.

Cougar fans may be wondering what their 2012 season could have been, and it all started with one terrible play call on a Thursday night football game in September.