After one week, it certainly seems like the new coaching staff is working out. New defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta's charges held BYU to just 3.9 yards per play, harassed BYU QB Taysom Hill into a dreadful 13/40 performance and even picked up 2 points of its own a safety.
That defense even picked up 2 points of it own, by forcing a safety on an errant snap by BYU. Hill recovered the ball in the endzone, keeping the Hoos from a defensive TD, but those 2 points were big.
The defense's biggest play, of course, was Anthony Harris' interception in the 4th quarter. With BYU clinging to a 13-12 lead, Hill threw a pass to RB Jamaal Williams that was just out of his grasp. Harris grabbed the deflection and then managed to pass it on to LB Henry Coley, who rumbled for 26 yards down to the 13. The Hoos needed just one play to get into the endzone on an impressive Kevin Parks run. Parks saw probably the biggest hole of the game on that play, and ran over a BYU DB en route to the decisive score.
Earlier in the game, the Hoos had gotten on the board following an Anthony Harris blocked punt. FB Vincent Croce fell on the blocked punt, and 3 plays later, David Watford found Darius Jennings open in the back corner of the endzone. Jennings did a wonderful job keeping his foot down while stretching for the grab.
Punter Alec Vozenilek was huge all game, repeatedly pinning the Cougars deep in their own endzone. Alec punted 13 times, for an average of only 41.5 yards. However, he had 4 punts downed inside the 20, including one at the 2 yard line. His lone touchback came on his last punt, when he was merely trying to avoid a return. A touchback there was acceptable.
The Hoos offense amassed just one real drive all game. That drive came at the very end of the first half, as Watford led the team 42 yards in just 57 seconds. That drive ended with a 53 yard FG from Ian Frye. That play shouldn't be overlooked, because it gave the Hoos some momentum entering halftime. It kept the Hoos from being shut out for the half, and also accounted for nearly 20% of the team's total yardage.
Eli Harold had 2 sacks among his 3.5 TFLs. Harris had 11 tackles, a sack, and a pass defended to go along with his INT and his punt block. As a team, the Hoos amassed 10 PDs and 6 TFLs. Maurice Canady led the team with 13 tackles.
For the offense, Jennings led the team with 7 receptions for 62 yards and the TD. The RBs struggled to find holes and managed just 2.6 yards per carry. As a team, the Hoos averaged just 3 yards per play. Even accounting for the quality of BYU's defense, those numbers are a concern going forward.
It wasn't pretty, but the Hoos are 1-0, and that is all we could've asked for.