When you roll over an opponent by 53 points your report card should be rather easy to grade. But this week we’ll grade the Idaho State game performance against the check-list of 7 to-do’s we laid out and see how the Cougars fared.

  1. Win big. BYU needs to beat the Bengals by at least four touchdowns to come out of the game with their self-respect intact, let alone respect in the college football community.  CHECK. 56-3 is winning BIG.
  2. Keep your first stringers injury-free. Easier said than done because injuries are pretty random, but the coaching staff can control exposure to injury by using a lot of the 2’s and 3’s in the depth chart. They’ll do just fine. Note to Doman: That means giving James Lark some decent playing time, too.  CHECK on minimizing injuries. The injury report indicates there were no significant injuries sustained.  DIdn’t see many 3’s from the depth chart see the field.
  3. Lock down Kevin Yost and his passing game. The kid is averaging 306 yards per game and had 386 vs. Washington State. But if Montana can hold him to 147, by golly we better see that out of the Cougar defense. Montana had four sacks, recovered four fumbles, and intercepted Yost 3 times. CHECK. Yost was held to 174 yards passing on 56% completions (26-46) 1 INT and no TDs.
  4. Work on building Heaps’ confidence up. This doesn’t mean playing him the entire second half. It means giving him enough reps on the plays he struggled with the most through USU. This can be accomplished in 3-4 possessions. CHECK on getting Heaps some decent reps. He was 8-10, 67 yards and 1 INT. I doubt his confidence got much of a pick-up, though, considering how he compared to Nelson’s output and the poorly thrown sideline pass that was picked off.
  5. Don’t let Riley chug the rock unless he has to scramble. He needs as many passing reps as possible in the first half. We all know he can run. Get him the passing reps.  Half-check upgraded to CHECK. In retrospect, running is such a big part of Riley’s game it’s nuts to think he won’t run. His line: 11-17, 215 yards, 3 TDs, and 7 carries, 62 yards, 1 TD.
  6. Hold Rodrick Rumble to 6 receptions, 70 yards, and no touchdowns for the game. (He’s Yost’s go-to receiver, averaging over 10 grabs 1 TD catch per game).  CHECK. Rumble had 10 receptions but only 83 yards and he didn’t score. Nice job, defense.
  7. Don’t get conservative and run the ball every play to bleed the clock when the game is put away. Keep on passing. CHECK. Heaps’ last pass was thrown at the 8:19 mark of the fourth quarter. By the time the Cougs got the ball again, the clock was down to 5 minutes and it was time to run it out at that point.

Offense grade: A (for total output and balance between passing and running game)

Defense grade: A (for yielding only 251 total yards and 3 points)

Special teams grade: A (for mistake-free, solid performance in all phases)

Coaching grade: A (for not taking ISU lightly, and for letting the team make a statement and get tuned up for TCU the right way)

Team Grade: A