In the past 37 years of BYU football, the Cougars have hit a 3-game offensive dead-spin only twice before this season: in 1974 under Lavell Edwards and in 2002 under Gary Crowton. Both of those seasons ended in a sub-.500 win-loss record.

With the 2011 season now one-quarter of the way complete,  BYU’s offense is ranked near the very bottom of Division 1-A college football in Scoring Offense. To put that in perspective for you, Brandon Doman’s creation exists in a realm inhabited by offensive juggernaut programs such as Western Kentucky, San Jose State, Kent State, and Akron.

Even worse, the nightmarish offensive performance finally tipped the ship on the defense in Week 3, after we began to see the meltdown take place in the second half of the Texas game.

Watching BYU’s Defense get shredded on the ground by Utah in the second half, one couldn’t help but get the feeling that they were communicating to the Offense: “Enough is enough. If you’re going to keep us on the field this long every game, we’re gonna make your butts come right back out here.”

It was painfully visible that the Band of Brothers had disbanded. Given up. Thrown in the towel. Whether they can re-group this season is a question that will loom large not only this week but into the future.

What on earth happened to the team that Bronco was gushing about just 20 days ago? Was he fooled by a mirage?

Whatever, he thought he saw, it doesn’t exist, and if he truly wants to jump-start the Offense this season, he needs to consider immediate changes. He needs to consider hiring a retired offensive wizard with previous ties to the BYU program – someone like Ted Tollner or Brian Billick – who will get Brandon Doman off the sidelines and into the skybox. Let them tutor him how to read the game from a bird’s eye point of view. Let them call the plays and gradually work him into his job, making sure he fully understands what it takes to run an offense and make play-by-play adjustments in crunch time.

Or better yet, let Doman do what he does best – coach the quarterbacks. And just leave the play calling to someone who’s got the experience. 

If Mendenhall decides not to make any changes and the offense doesn’t get untracked, the question that needs to be asked is: What’s more important – Doman’s career or the BYU football program?

Other Questions Nobody Has Asked: Did any other offensive coordinators ever interview for the BYU job besides Doman, or was he just handed the keys after Anae was shown the door? If so, how did Bronco know that Doman could handle on-the-fly play calling in the heat of battle?

Coaching Grade: F

Seven turnovers.

Whatever adjustments were made at halftime and as the game started to unravel in the third quarter were totally ineffective.

Keeping Heaps on the field in the fourth quarter with a 30-point deficit. Why didn’t we see James Lark at that point?  Bronco had gushed about how he had competed well in August camp. Conversely, if the season’s outcome is so dependent on keeping Heaps healthy, than why wasn’t he pulled when the game was already out of reach?

First Half Offense Grade: D

Second Half Offense Grade: F

Heaps 32-yard TD pass to Apo at the 7:19 mark of the second quarter is about the only good thing memorable.

The Offense tallied six of the team’s seven turnovers.

Rushing yards per attempt?  0.5

Heaps got his first 300-yard passing game of his career, but quite frankly, who cares? Stats like that are meaningless unless they come attached to a Win.

First Half Defense Grade: B+

Second Half Defense Grade: D-

Kyle Van Noy made a phenomenally athletic interception in the first half. The first half would have been an A if the secondary didn’t melt down in coverage near the end of the second quarter.

Eason has serious coverage problems. BYU has better cornerbacks in the depth chart and they need to start using them.

 Special Teams Grade: D+

Justin Sorenson banged in a nice 46-yard field goal. He also kicked out of bounds at the beginning of the second half to give Utah primo field position.

Riley Stephenson had a 46.5-yard average on 6 punts with three inside the 20. His longest was a 65-yarder.

J.D. Falslev fumbled at the 3-yard line to give Utah an easy touchdown two plays later.

The punt coverage team gave up a 29-yard return in the second half to negate a nice punt by Stephenson.

Final Team Grade: F+