Cougars Crushed: Postgame Analysis of FSU-BYU
BYU fans were stunned this weekend.
Florida State came in as a seven-point underdog and beat down a BYU team that may have been a little bit proud of its No. 7 ranking. Well, BYU won't have to worry about that anymore.
Coach Bronco Mendenhall gave credit to FSU (via ESPN.com):
"I think Florida State was more prepared in general than we were tonight, really from beginning to end," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "I think their preparation exceeded ours and it showed—especially on third down."
He couldn't be more correct.
BYU's zone blitzes that put Oklahoma's passing game in a freefall did not get close to Christian Ponder, who solidified his status as a top QB (21-26, 195 yards, 2 TDs; 11 carries for 77 yards, 1 TD).
The story of the game is what happened in the trenches.
Not only did zone blitzes not get to Ponder, but he had virtually no pressure in the pocket. He wasn't hurried and was never sacked.
Running the ball netted 313 yards for the Seminoles, as well. Ty Jones gained 108 yards on 12 carries, finding many of those yards after running into a wall of lineman and cutting back.
BYU defenders couldn't find a way to defeat blocks and reach a hand out to trip up Jones. BYU also couldn't find a way to keep from getting pushed five yards downfield on every running play, either.
It didn't help that BYU's offensive production was poor, at best.
BYU scored 28 points: a good mark, but turned the ball over five times...the difference in the game.
Max Hall threw for 3 INTs, something he is prone to do against better competition. His 306 yards and 2 TDs were competitive, but in the end, he did a lot to lose the game.
Running came fairly easy for BYU. Harvey Unga ran for 97 yards on 10 carries. But being down 13-0 in the first quarter put BYU in a position to have to come from behind, and running the ball was not a luxury the Cougars could afford.
In the end, BYU's BCS hopes were snuffed.
Florida State came well-prepared and well-motivated to upset BYU...and came through.
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