Week 8: BYU vs Wagner 10/24/2015
For the 2nd week in a row, BYU faces a team that they have never played before in the FCS Wagner Seahawks. Wagner comes in to the game at 0-6 and will be a very different matchup than what BYU has been facing so far this season. The two programs don’t, and hopefully won’t, have any future games scheduled.
My Thoughts for Saturday
Putting it nicely, Wagner is having a down year. A few weeks ago while I was going about my day at work here in NYC I heard news that the Columbia University football team had finally broken their 24 game losing streak. “Good for them, bad for the other team,” I thought to myself. Then I found out that the ‘other team’ was Wagner. Needless to say, I don’t expect much from the when they take on the Cougars at LES on Saturday. But there are some positives in this game for BYU.
First off, this BYU teams has been battling injuries all year. With the Wagner game and BYE coming up, the team can have the time to get healthier. Tanner Mangum is dealing with the hamstring injury and will get some work but should get out of the game early, assuming all goes to plan. That means that backup, and fellow freshman, Beau Hoge will get some valuable game reps. We all saw how stagnant the offense was when Mangum exited the game against East Carolina and this gives the offense time to work out some of the kinks with Hoge in the game. I am actually really excited to see him play. Obviously be going up against a lesser opponent, but I think it will be good for his confidence to be successful and find his groove in the offense. If we have learned anything from this season, is that depth will be a key issue for BYU going forward with their future schedules.
Speaking of depth, the defense just got thinner with the announced suspension of LB Takitaki who will miss the rest of the season for violating team rules. I was just getting excited to see the growth of the defense will most of their key players finally on the field at the same time. I think we saw them start to gel during the 2nd half against Cincinnati. But these suspensions happen and the next guy in line will just have to step up. What I would most like to see from the defense is some consistency. I go from thinking that they are going to give up 800 yards (1st qtr last week) to ever wondering how they give up any yards (4th qtr last week). I think it will be easy for them to put together 4 solid quarters against Wagner.
Overall it will be a dominant day for BYU. The offense will be able to gel with Hoge and open up the playbook with Mangum. Most importantly, the team can get a chance to get some rest while still getting some game reps.