Airforce Falcons Embarrass BYU Cougars

Brett RichinsSenior Analyst ISeptember 12, 2010

Inexplicably, the BYU Cougars seem to lay an egg in one game each season.

In 2009, the Cougars came out flat at home against Florida State after a big victory two weeks earlier over Oklahoma and were drubbed by the Seminoles.

In 2008, the ninth-ranked Cougars failed to show up in Forth Worth and were destroyed by TCU.

In 2007, they were caught with their pants down at Tulsa.

BYU can only hope that Saturday’s performance in Colorado Springs was just such a blip on the radar.

The Cougars were embarrassed 35-14 by players half their size.

They were outplayed, out-hustled and outcoached. BYU entered the game riding high after a win over Washington, but were brought to earth with a massive thud.

Instead of throttling the Air Force option attack like so many times in the past, the Cougars defense looked like they had never seen it before, or even practiced for it, for that matter. The Cougars were whipped up front, while the secondary and linebackers consistently gave up big plays to the outside.

Quite frankly, the Falcons, who rolled up a gaudy 409 yards rushing, may have received greater resistance from Northwestern State’s defense the week prior.

The sad thing is, the BYU defense might have been the bright spot on the day.

That’s because the Cougar offense was horrid, turning the ball over three times and getting shut out over the final three quarters.

The BYU offense managed a paltry 88 yards through the air, its worst outing since the infamous 3-0 shutout loss to Utah in 2003 when the Cougars were relegated to playing a fourth-string quarterback in a blizzard.

The icing on the cake is that the Cougar coaches deftly created a full-blown quarterback controversy in the process.

The Falcons were able to make adjustments in the second half and shut down BYU quarterback Riley Nelson, who hurt the Falcons with his running ability in the first half.

The head-scratcher was that the Cougars continued with Nelson through the entire half while the game slipped merrily away. Freshman Jake Heaps was never called upon and remained on the sideline the entire second half.

The Cougar offensive line committed several motion penalties throughout the day and looked uncomfortable blocking for a quarterback that they were never quite sure of where he would be in the backfield. The receivers again struggled catching the ball, while the tight ends were virtually invisible. Meanwhile, JJ Di Luigi fumbled the ball in what was a game-changer of a turnover, and then seemed to scurry away into hiding.

All-in-all it was one of those games where you just burn the film and move on.

Fortunately for the Cougars they have a game to focus on next week, unfortunately it’s in Tallahassee against a Florida State team that will be looking for redemption after laying its own egg in Norman, Oklahoma on Saturday. You may remember the Seminoles from last year's 54-28 shellacking they put on BYU in Provo.

If they don’t watch out, things could go downhill in a hurry for the boys in blue.

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