Editor’s note: This column, by Katie Nielson, was published in the Tuesday, Oct. 7 edition of The Universe. Look for it weekly in the Sports and Recreation section.
This past weekend when people would ask what I thought about the game on Friday I was only able to sum it up in one way: Utah State didn’t necessarily win, BYU just lost. Really bad.
It would have been one thing to lose the game to a team who hasn’t won a game against BYU at home since 1978. It is something completely different to have your quarterback break his leg in the second quarter and be out for the rest of the season.
So what does BYU do now? Kind of like when you drop a plate on the floor and it shatters into pieces, you grab the superglue and start piecing things back together.
The first important piece to get back together is BYU’s newly appointed starting quarterback, Christian Stewart. The poor guy has some big shoes to fill. Not only does he have some work to do with his passing game (after throwing three interceptions on Friday), but he also has to fill some shoes that are used to running.
But all in all, BYU still has a chance. While this may be a slim, small and fleeting chance, the team still has a chance. Stewart has now gotten his first minutes of college game time over with, and honestly, he can only go up from the way he played in those minutes against Utah State.
Taysom Hill’s broken leg was not the only problem BYU had with Utah State. The second piece to put back together is BYU’s defense. It had been able to get by in every previous game before the Aggies, but it met its match when a mediocre offense was able to run all over its plays.
Why would I call Utah State’s offense mediocre when quarterback Darell Garretson threw two amazing passes in the duration of the game, one of them a whopping 72 yards?
Easy. The reason he made those passes was BYU’s defense. It doesn’t matter what kind of quarterback you are, whether a good one or only an okay one. If you have all the time in the world, you are bound to make something happen and that is exactly what Garretson did.
The last piece to the puzzle? The fans. For a while there, BYU fans were gearing up for an undefeated season and rightfully so. BYU rarely goes 4-0, and it was a huge accomplishment from the team and from Hill. But despite Friday’s disappointment, we cannot be bitter fans.
What we need to do is pack the stadium, travel to away games and continue to cheer our team on, especially Stewart. If the fans believe the Cougars can bounce back from this, then you bet the team will believe it too. You never know, Stewart may have some tricks up his sleeve.