BYU held TCU to their lowest total yardage output of the season. They also piled up 24 first downs to the Frogs’ 16. But this was a painful game for Cougar fans. Were it not for two botched punts, a fumble and two interceptions, BYU could have won this one. And don’t let the 38 points TCU scored fool you. The defense played much better than the final score might indicate. BYU clearly looked like the better team but they kept shooting their own toes off.

Special Teams Grade: F (but Falslev’s punt return for TD raises it to a D+).

Riley Stephenson mishandled two punts that gave Texas Christian excellent field position inside Cougar territory, both leading to scores. He also had a muffed punt that gave the Frogs the ball at the BYU 47. J.D. Falslev returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter and Cody Hoffman broke one kickoff return for 49 yards. Kickoff coverage was acceptable except for a 39-yard return. Justin Sorenson hit 2 of 3 field goals and two extra points. He could’ve had a chance for a third field goal but BYU elected to fake it and ended up throwing an incomplete pass. Sorenson was also hampered on a field goal attempt with just a few seconds remaining in the first half, thanks to extremely poor clock management by the coaching staff.

Offense Grade: C-

BYU out-gained Texas Christian in total yards, 354 to 283 and rolled up 24 first downs to the Frogs’ 16, but Riley Nelson had two interceptions and a fumble, all of which were plays he could’ve avoided by taking the sack. He ended up taking 4 sacks, as it is. Ross Apo had a nice 42-yard catch, but had the ball stripped out of his hands on another long play that would’ve given the Cougars the ball inside the TCU 10.  Nelson did run for 84 yards, the longest being a 32-yard gainer, and J.J. DiLuigi picked up 69 yards on 11 carries. Alisa and Quezada were ineffective and Kariya totaled 15 yards on 4 carries, banging one in for a touchdown.  Cody Hoffman led all receivers with 4 catches for 67 yards. Aside from the turnovers, the offense moved the ball fairly well.

Defense Grade: B+

The defense was constantly forced on their heels by Stephenson’s mistakes and Nelson’s turnovers. They held TCU quarterback Casey Pachall 75 yards under his per game average and TCU’s 283 total yards was their lowest offensive output this season. There were a few bonehead plays made on defense – one a flagrant penalty on Brandon Ogletree on TCU’s first series that resulted in 15 yards and a first down that led to a quick TD. But all in all, the defense kept the Cougars in the game.

Coaching Grade: D-

This was a winnable game and it’s difficult to imagine that execution is all on the players’ heads. The team was disorganized, uninspired, and visibly lacked the fire we saw at the close of the Utah State game or a couple weeks ago against Oregon State. Riley Nelson is not a stupid kid, but his three big turnovers and a several other ill-advised passes that were nearly intercepted indicate either that he is, or that there is a serious lack of attention for refining his game in practice. The Cougars left three points on the field when they tried a poorly conceived fake field goal pass, and another three points were lost at the end of the first half because of poor clock management that forced the field goal unit to race onto the field and try to get a kick off. Justin Sorenson slipped in the process of his kick and was way off the mark. There is a vibe about this team that just seems out of whack. The talent is clearly there and the coaching is not molding it properly.

Overall Team Grade: C-

This game was winnable. BYU had the talent – and finally the speed – to keep up with TCU but their lack of discipline and poor execution cost the Cougars the game.