Players make Plays when it Counts

It was a bright day for college football in the state of Utah depending on what color you were wearing. Two out of three FBS schools won and one of the two FCS schools got a big home win over another ranked FCS team.

It was important for the teams to get wins to clean up their resumes as every team in the state has at least one bad loss. Every loss is bad but it stings extra when barely losing to a team they should have beaten.

Holy Toledo that hurt!

No game is perfect but let’s start with the bad news of the day. A week after losing to probably one of the best teams in the PAC-12, the Cougars were looking forward to a game against the Toledo Rockets where they could finally have a favorable matchup athletically with a Group of 5 opponent. It was a tough opponent because these Rockets that launch from the Glass Bowl in Northwest Ohio are favorite to win the MAC.

In the games BYU has won, they played well and made plays when it counted. In this game against Toledo, they did make a big play on a strip sack fumble recovery. However, Zach Wilson threw an interception on the very last play. It cost the Cougars the game.

That’s not to take anything away from the Cougars. They played a great game and won the turnover battle. Their lone turnover just came in the worst possible moment with the game tied in the final minute.

There’s no place like Home

The Aggies had a great Homecoming win against Colorado State. It was a rainy game with a rough start. The Aggies didn’t lead the game until a minute left in the second quarter. Although they were 21 point favorites, the inclement weather might have played a part in all the turnovers the Aggies had. Luckily they forced a turnover of their own in the fourth quarter when David Woodward forced a fumble and returned it for a touchdown to give the Aggies a safe 34-24 lead to end the game.

Redemption

It is tough to erase a bad loss like the one the Utes had against USC. Utah somewhat redeemed themselves with a resounding 38-13 win over Washington State. The difference was the turnover battle. The Utes played a more stifling defense against an air raid offense that most predicted they would struggle against.

Tyler Huntley had his best game of the season with zero interceptions and season high 334 yards. The game ball should definitely go to him.

Bottom Line: As former Utes assistant and Utah State coach Gary Andersen would say, coaches coach but players are the ones who make plays to win the game. Yes all teams have made mistakes that have probably kept them out of the national title conversation. However, there is still plenty to play for. The Utes can play for a PAC-12 South Division title and another shot at the Rose Bowl. The Aggies can play for that ever elusive Mountain West title. The BYU Cougars know their fate so their best chance is to win every game they can and own the Hawaii Bowl so that conference commissioners can take note when conference realignment happens again.

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