The Cougar offense managed just six points on the road against the Broncos of Boise State. Starting quarterback Riley Nelson wasn’t playing at 100 percent, and Coach Doman eventually handed the reins of the offense over to true freshman quarterback Taysom Hill.
“The offense isn’t clicking right now like the defense is, but I know they’ll get it going and it’s just a matter of time,” said Brayden Kearsley.
After a 2-0 start to the season, the Cougars lost consecutive games against Utah and Boise State.
“They should easily be 4-0 right now but we’ll see how it goes,” said Kearsley. “They are only a few plays away from that being the case.”
Seeing the struggles the Cougar offense has faced this year, Kearsley isn’t discouraged.
“It just makes me want to go up there and really help the team,” Kearsley said. “I know that their mentality is changing, but it just makes me want to go up there and help the team even more.”
Having a game to play of his own, Kearsley won’t be able to watch the Cougars play Hawaii Friday night, so he’ll record the game and watch it later. In any event, he did watch all the previous games.
“I watched all of BYU’s games and have been watching the o-line and stuff like that,” Kearsley said. “The offensive line has been struggling a little bit, but some players like Braden Brown and Braden Hansen have really stepped up their game. I think with some of the newer guys on the line there hasn’t been as much chemistry. With Blair [Tushaus] at the center position, I mean, he’s a good player but he’s a little undersized right now. You know, despite that he’s giving it all he’s got.
“I know they’ll make the adjustments and really get it together eventually. They’ve been really good. The o-line just needs to get it together and really take it to defenses. If they can do that, they’ll be really good.”
Kearsley recently spoke to Coach Weber, who felt the same way as Kearsley about BYU’s record so far this year.
“I talked to Coach Weber mostly about recruiting and about the games,” Kearsley said. “He really believes they should be 4-0 right now but believes they can bounce back.”
On the other side of the ball, Kearsley has seen a tremendous rise in the performance of the Cougar defense. Their performance has impressed him.
“The defense is something else right now and they’re flying all around the field and dominating offenses,” Kearsley said. “It’s great to see how well they’re playing, and now you’ve got Ziggy [Ansah] and Kyle Van Noy on the same side. I wouldn’t want to see that as an offensive lineman.”
So what does BYU’s offense have to do to complement the defense and be a top 25 team?
“Win big against the teams they should win big against,” he said. “Some people think that BYU can’t win against teams like Notre Dame, especially on the road. If they win games like those and get that offense going, they’ll have a really good shot at being the team they’d hope to be this year. If they had won those two games they lost they would probably be a top-15 team right now, but those things happen and it’s been tough, but I think they can finish the rest of the year with two or three losses.”
Although the Cougar offense hasn’t performed as expected, Kearsley is optimistic the coaches and the team will eventually sort out the issues and become the BYU offense of old. In the meantime, he would like to see the Cougar fan base continue to support the team they love.
“I don’t think they should bad-talk any of the players,” Kearsley said. “I just think they should believe in the team that they love. There’s no reason they shouldn’t believe in and love a team that’s trying to win games and push through to accomplish their goals. I don’t think we should get discouraged and [should] just continue to believe.”
So as the Cougars get set to host the Warriors of Hawaii, Kearsley expects a good win. He believes the offense will come out with a chip on their shoulders and beat Hawaii with a sound victory.
“BYU will win 42-10 and the defense will come up big again tonight,” Kearsley said. “Now you have more than three days to prepare and practice instead of just a few days like they had before the Boise State game. I think the offense will have more time to prepare and practice and will come out with a chip on their shoulders.”