The 2011 season is one-third of the way in the books and BYU has racked up an embarrassing total of 64 points, with only 50 of those points on the board from the Offense. That puts the Cougars on track to score 192 points this year.

To put that in perspective, that’s 200 points less than Lavell Edwards’ teams averaged per season during his tenure. Want more perspective? BYU scored 201 points in Brandon Doman’s first 4 games of his senior year (2001) and went on to score 608 during the regular season.

Team psychology, or where are these teams’ heads at?

Utah State boggles the mind. They had Auburn on the ropes in the opening weekend, leading 38-28 with 2:07 remaining in the game. They blew their 10-point lead and lost 42-38.  The following week, they thrashed Weber State, 54-17 (don’t laugh Cougar fans, BYU plays the Wildcats next year) and then they lost in double overtime at home to Colorado State, 35-34.  In that game, the Aggies led 21-13 with 5:33 remaining in the fourth quarter and they blew that lead.

BYU boggles the mind, too. The Cougars sport an offense that’s been impotent in each of the first four games this season (12.5 point average per game, folks). They snuck out of Oxford, Mississippi with a 14-13 win thanks to the defense, but Ole Miss is 1-3 with their only win coming against Div I-AA Southern Illinois (which managed to rack up 100 more total yards than BYU did).

The Cougars managed to look fairly competitive during the first half at Texas but got outscored 17-0 in the second half and lost by a point. Trying to describe the 54-10 shellacking at the hands of archrival Utah is an exercise in futility because it was just so damn pitiful with 7 turnovers and an entire length of the gridiron in penalties. And last week, the special teams won the game against a decent Central Florida team that dominated the Cougars in total yardage, 399-260.

Defense by the numbers

  • Scoring defense: BYU ranked 67, Utah State ranked 97
  • Passing efficiency defense:  BYU 44, Utah State 88
  • Rushing defense: Utah State 16, BYU 62
  • Total defense:  Utah State 12, BYU 47
  • Turnover margin: BYU 87, Utah State 110

Offense by the numbers

  • Team passing:  BYU 66, Utah State 105
  • Team rushing: Utah State 5, BYU 116
  • Scoring: Utah State 14, BYU 109
  • Total offense: Utah State 16, BYU 111

Special Teams by the numbers

  • Team Punting: Utah State 4, BYU 82
  • Punting: Tyler Bennett, USU, 13, Riley Stephenson, BYU , 32
  • Team Punt returns: Utah State, 27, BYU 57
  • Field Goals: Justin Sorenson, BYU, 37 – USU, no ranking
  • Kickoff Returns: Cody Hoffman, BYU 26 – USU, no ranking

Playmakers

  • Significant injuries:  Utah State – none, BYU – Houston Reynolds, doubtful, Jordan Pendleton, questionable
  • Aggie running back Robert Turbin is averaging nearly 122 yards per game (5.7 yards per carry).
  • Freshman signal caller Chuckie Keaton has not tossed an interception yet this season and is ranked among the top 50 quarterbacks in the nation in passing efficiency.
  • BYU QB Jake Heaps is not on that list. He’s also been eliminated from consideration for most of the major quarterback awards with 8 games still to play.

Prediction

BYU has played the tougher schedule, so a lot of the numbers you see above are deceiving. Factor in a touch of home field advantage, a bit of revenge for last year, a solid defense against the rush, plus a sagging Aggie confidence and a Cougar offense that finally begins to show what was expected from the get-go this season. The crystal ball says it all adds up to a BYU win: 30-24.