Wilson is coming into his own, but he still has a long way to go. If he doesn’t get going earlier in the game, BYU is going to find themselves in a situation they can’t come back from.

Football may not have been as exciting or eventful as last, but c’mon, it’s football! Something always happens. This week I’ll focus on BYU’s big win over USC, SUU getting their first win of the season and Big Ben being out for the season.

College Football Games

BYU vs USC

BYU Head coach Kalani Sitake celebrates as his team beats USC 30-27 in overtime.

By far the most exciting game I payed attention to over the weekend. USC was without their main signal caller J.T. Daniels, but Kedon Slovis proved last week that he is a viable back up. However, BYU made the freshman quarterback uncomfortable enough to pull off the 30-27 overtime win.

Let’s talk about that first. Despite the fact that the Cougars were only able to get two sacks, they still put pressure on Slovis. Take a look at this hit by Khryis Tonga.

This is why recruiting stars hardly make a difference in these games. The right college will make guys better. Tonga is the next product of the “Sack Lake City” era that Sitake created at Utah years ago.

BYU’s defense is for real this year. Isaiah Kaufusi continues to show that he is a playmaker, while Dayan Ghanwoloku shoed his versitility, running for a touchdown and sealing the game.

BYU has bought into Sitake and he buys into his players. This will be big as the most difficult part of the schedule winds down for BYU.

However, I am not walking back on my previous take that BYU is not that good this year. At least not yet. Zach Wilson has got to prove himself more. Sure his 20/33 for 280 yards and 1 TD looks pretty good, but at one point that completeion/attempts number was 9/21. Wilson has got to get things going sooner.

BYU has been plagued with quarterback problems for years (i.e. Tanner Mangum being inconsistant, Taysom Hill getting hurt every year and Riley Nelson being Riley Nelson). Wilson is supposed to be the “saving grace” for Cougar fans. Maybe BYU wouldn’t need overtime to decide a game if Wilson lived up to his potential earlier in the game instead of later on. Other takes on BYU can be found here.

SUU vs SFA

SUU’s defense has improved dramatically, but they still have a ways to go to get back to their 2017 counterpart that helped the T-Birds into the second round of the FCS playoffs and an overal eight seed.

This was actually a really hard game to watch. SUU needed a win to set the tone for the season, while Stephen F. Austin was looking to rebound from an embarressing loss to Divison-II Tarleton State. SUU ended up winning the game 45-38 in overtime.

First up in the game, SUU had to dive into the playbook real early. It worked out well for them, but the team needs to be able to make plays happen early in the game without pulling their punches. Those plays are much more suited for the fourth quarter when a big play, and momentum, is needed much more.

This might be one of the most overused plays now, but it works. Don’t fix what ain’t broke

Quarterback Chris Helbig ran these plays to perfection though. SUU should feel confident in running these plays in the future if Helbig can keep running them the way he is. Selling these plays can be tricky for a quarterback, but Helbig acts like he is going to block on the first play, and then just slips behind the defense on the second. The Lumberjacks read the second play, but thought it would go to a receiver.

Trick plays will help SUU this year, but they have to be in the game first

The biggest concern for this game was penalty yards. This may have been the third game of the year for both teams, but it was played like a fall camp scrimmage. The teams combined for 28 penalties totaling 271 yards. SUU alone account for 17 penalties for 161 yards. The biggest problem with this for the Thunderbirds, most of those penalties kept drives alive.

Several times during the game, SUU would get a huge third down stop, whether that be third and two or third and 18. But too many times they would jump offsides or commit some personal foul after the play was over. I’m sure the coaches got after the players for the stupid penalties, but this HAS to change if the Thunderbirds want to win more. SUU has one of the toughest schedules in the FCS, and costly mistakes like that won’t help get any wins.

Lance Lawson looks like Helbig’s new favorite target, and he’s dangerous. The sophomore ended up with 13 receptions for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the season, Lawson has 28 receptions for 251 yards, surpassing his numbers from last season.

Last point on this game, Lance Lawson may need to be moved to receiver. Lawson is stuck behind James Felila and Thomas Duckett at running back, but has proven to be a threat catching the ball. The receiving core was a major concern coming into the season, but having Lawson and Isaiah Diego-Williams has put that issue to rest. Lawson led the team in receptions in the game by far. He totaled 13 while Diego-Williams, the next closest receiver in catches, had three. SUU will rely heavily on the arm of Helbig, as he passed for 375 yards in the game, to generate big plays during the year.

NFL News

“Big” Ben Roethlisberger Out For Season

Big Ben is the franchise QB, but he’s nearing the end of his career. The injury will test the Steelers in how prepared they are for the future, as this may push Roethlisberger into retirement.

As a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, this one hurts. Big Ben got hurt during the Steelers game against the Seattle Seahawks. The concern for years has been if the Steelers have had their next franchise QB. This is the test to see if Mason Rudolph can step in to Big Ben’s shoes or if the Steelers will tank and get a top pick for next year.

It’s also adding insult to injury, literally. Big Ben goes out, Le’Veon Bell leaves for the New York Jets and Antonio Brown moves on to New England. Mike Tomlin has really got it cut out for him this year. Fans are going to see just how good of a coach he really is.

Predictions

A new segment of the blog that I’m introducing. I’ll just make quick predictions on the topics I cover this week.

BYU will play the Washington Huskies on Saturday. BYU is riding high on confidence and should be able to make this a game. I’ll actually take BYU to win this one. The Huskies lost a close game to Cal and hasn’t really played anyone else (an FCS team and Hawaii). If BYU’s defense plays like they did against USC, the Cougars will win this game.

Washington is not the team they were a few years ago that made it to the College Football Playoffs. BYU is going to give them a challenge.

BYU 27 UW 24

SUU plays South Dakota State on Saturday in Brookings. SDSU is one of the best teams in the FCS, and SUU just hasn’t shown it can play with the big guns yet. They’ll score a few points, but the Jackrabbits are going to run away with this.

Not much can be said about one of the best teams in the FCS. SUU is still a ways away from competing at the level they did in 2017.

SDSU 49 SUU 17

The Steelers, in my mind, just don’t have the team to compete in a lot of games now. Big Ben accounted for a lot of wins. Rudolph is gonna have some growing pains. I don’t expect the Steelers to do much when they San Francisco 49ers this week.

The 49ers have finally got a team together with Jimmy G and Kyle Shanahan. The Steelers are now depleted and won’t be able to keep up on offense.

49ers 28 Steelers 7

Debate

That’s all I’ve got for this week. As always, I’d love to hear your take and feedback. Talking sports is so much more fun when there is someone to talk to about everything. See you next week!

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