BYU hoping to ramp up offense vs. Southern Utah


BYU will look to start 2-0 for the fourth straight season on Saturday afternoon when the Cougars host FCS foe Southern Utah in Provo, Utah.

The Cougars (1-0) will look for more from their new-look offense with Pittsburgh transfer Kedon Slovis at quarterback.

Slovis rushed for a pair of touchdowns in a 14-0 win over Sam Houston last Saturday, but he threw for just 145 yards while playing without top receivers Kody Epps (hamstring injury) and Keanu Hill (undisclosed).

All told, BYU’s offense mustered just 12 first downs, 257 total yards and averaged 3.8 yards per play.

“I think of most of it that I am going to focus on is that we made quite a few mistakes. That’s our job as coaches to make sure that we don’t make so many mistakes,” Cougars coach Kalani Sitake said Monday. “It was a big-time environment and some players’ first time in the stadium. I would like to make excuses, but we don’t have time for that — we have to see production. We have to see guys make better decisions and perform like we have seen them in practice.”

Credit BYU’s defense and special teams, however.

Jakob Robinson had a pair of interceptions to highlight a defense that limited the Bearkats to 11 first downs. The Cougars’ shutout victory was their first since a 64-0 trouncing of Savannah State in 2014.

Ryan Rehkow averaged 53.2 yards on nine punts to earn Big 12 Special Teams Co-Player of the Week honors.

The Thunderbirds (0-1) dropped a 24-21, storm-delayed decision to Arizona State in their season opener on Aug. 31.

Justin Miller threw for 123 yards and Zach Mitchell had four catches for 52 yards for Southern Utah, which recorded just 226 total yards in less-than-desirable conditions in Tempe, Ariz.

George Ramirez added seven tackles, two pass breakups and a 47-yard blocked-punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“We are playing grown-man football and there are no moral victories,” Thunderbirds coach DeLane Fitzgerald said. “We played 9 percent of our schedule — nothing more, nothing less. … We have to use (this loss) as a building block for our team, and we like our team.”

–Field Level Media

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