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BYU drops out of top 25 after being pummeled by Washington; in-state foe Utah State up next

Washington Huskies quarterback Jake Browning (3) scores against the Brigham Young Cougars in Seattle on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.
Washington Huskies quarterback Jake Browning (3) scores against the Brigham Young Cougars in Seattle on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

PROVO — Washington throttled BYU 35-7 last Saturday night at Husky Stadium and, not surprisingly, the Cougars dropped out of the Associated Press poll Sunday after spending last week at No. 20.

The Huskies (4-1), meanwhile, climbed back into the top 10 at No. 10.

Having posted a better-than-expected 3-2 record in September, BYU enters an October schedule that features three home games. It begins Friday (7 p.m. MDT, ESPN2) when the Cougars hosts Utah State.

BYU entertains Hawaii (5-1) on Oct. 13 and Northern Illinois (2-3) on Oct. 27. It has a bye on Oct. 20.

The Aggies (3-1) opened the season with a narrow loss at Michigan State, and they’ve won three straight games against New Mexico State, Tennessee Tech and Air Force. USU enjoyed a bye last weekend.

In Seattle, Washington manhandled the Cougars. The Huskies rolled up 464 yards of total offense (averaging 7.5 yards per play) while BYU gained just 194 yards (4 yards per play).

“It’s an opportunity for us to learn from this game and get better. We don’t have time to sulk. We don’t have time to think about it,” said Cougar coach Kalani Sitake. “Utah State is coming off a bye, so I’m sure they’re ready for us. We’ll be ready for them, too. We just need to bounce back from this loss. We can’t let this loss affect next week’s game. Sometimes that can happen, but we can’t allow that to happen. Our leaders, the players and the coaches, need to make sure that doesn’t happen this week.”

Two weeks ago, BYU knocked off then-No. 6 Wisconsin, which is now ranked No. 16, in Madison.

It wasn’t anything like Saturday’s game at Husky Stadium.

“That’s the difference between the Wisconsin game and this one — I think this team is a difference beast,” Sitake said. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance … it was really never close.”

The Cougars have plenty of things to clean up, having committed several costly penalties against Washington. They also coughed up a fumble near the end of the first half that set up a touchdown for the Huskies, who led 21-0 at halftime.

“We didn’t give ourselves a chance with the mistakes that we made and the penalties,” Sitake said. “There are other things we could have done better. I felt like our guys were pressing a little bit too much. On defense we had a lot of mistakes and on offense we had a lot of mistakes. Guys were trying to do too much. You can’t beat great teams when you’re doing that.”

“We’ve got to learn from it. We’re going to come back this week and work hard. We’ve been working hard every week,” said quarterback Tanner Mangum, who completed 18 of 21 passes for 160 yards. “It matters what you do during the week, but you’ve got to come out on Saturday and execute. We didn’t do that. We’re going to work extremely hard next week to be better, take care of the ball and bounce back.”

Against Washington, BYU played without two of its best defenders, linebacker Zayne Anderson and defensive back Dayan Ghanwoloku. Sitake is hopeful that both will be back to play against Utah State.

“We definitely missed them. We love those guys and they’re great players. We have guys that are capable of doing it,” said defensive lineman Corbin Kaufusi. “It’s learning to work through that. We have guys that bring speed as well. But it’s just making sure everyone’s doing their job at the right time.”

Meanwhile, tight end Moroni Laulu-Pututau suffered a leg injury on the Cougars’ third offensive play from scrimmage and did not return.

Sitake said he wasn’t sure of the severity of Laulu-Pututau’s injury. Laulu-Pututau, who missed the entire 2017 campaign due to a foot injury and is scheduled to undergo an MRI, said Sunday on Twitter he has a torn ACL.

“He’s worked so hard and has been battling with injuries,” Sitake said. “He’s starting to come along as one of our best tight ends. We feel good about the depth there with young guys. This will be their chance to step up.”

As much as BYU struggled against Washington, there’s still plenty of games left to play this season.

“We’re a resilient group. We’ve got to bounce back. That’s part of the game. … You’ve got to learn from it. We’re not content with losing. But we’re going to use it as a learning opportunity and get better from it. It’s on to the next,” Mangum said. “There’s constant opportunities to redeem yourself, to get back in the win column. That’s what we’re going to look forward to … and not let this affect the rest of the season.”

Utah State (3-1) at BYU (3-2)

  • Friday, 7 p.m. MDT, LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM