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Too few touches for Ty’Son Williams one of several problems in BYU’s 30-12 loss to Utah

BYU’s offensive problems ran the gamut in contributing heavily to the program’s ninth straight loss to Utah on Thursday.

Brigham Young Cougars offensive lineman Brady Christensen (67) Brigham Young Cougars running back Ty’Son Williams (5) over the goal line for a touchdown during second half action in the University of Utah at BYU football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019.
Brigham Young Cougars offensive lineman Brady Christensen (67) Brigham Young Cougars running back Ty’Son Williams (5) over the goal line for a touchdown during second half action in the University of Utah at BYU football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019.
Steve Griffin

PROVO — Early in the fourth quarter of BYU’s 30-12 loss to Utah on Thursday, Cougar running back Ty’Son Williams scored on a beautifully-executed 10-yard run, dicing his way through Utah’s defense.

In so doing, the graduate transfer from South Carolina provided a glimpse of why he received so much hype in the preseason and was named the outright starter by the coaching staff, weaving in, around and ultimately through the Ute defense for BYU’s lone touchdown of the evening.

It proved just his seventh carry of the entire game, which was very much a problem.

Williams did prove effective on most of his seven opportunities, rushing for 45 yards on a 6.4 yards-per-carry clip, which would seem to call for even more opportunities, particularly during a closely-contested first half.

“The problem was we weren’t able to sustain drives,” said BYU coach Kalani Sitake regarding the lack of touches for Williams. “The penalties just put us in a bad position. It’s one of those things that we’ll have to watch on film to see what we need to do to get more points on the board.”

The Cougar offense was able to sustain several drives throughout the first half of play, although Williams went into the half with just three carries for 28 yards.

But turns out the lack of touches for Williams was just the tip of the iceberg that ultimately sunk BYU’s offensive production.

Turnovers and untimely penalties all were heavy contributors to BYU’s mere 12 points scored, but also led to 20 of Utah’s 30 points. Two pick-6s were offered up along with a fumbled exchange deep inside BYU’s territory that led to a short touchdown drive and propped up the ultimate Ute tidal wave considerably.

Yes, Utah’s offense proved able to capitalize on just about every opportunity granted.

BYU tight end Matt Bushman attempted to answer as why the offense stumbled so much, but was rendered rambling as he went through the process of explaining all of it, ultimately ending his explanation with, “I don’t know. It just sucks. So there’s really not a lot of say about it.”

As for Bushman, he proved productive throughout the first half, hauling in six passes for 62 yards despite Utah focusing a lot of its coverage schemes his way. The second half saw him leave without a single catch, although at least some of it can be attributed to the BYU offense seeing the field for just seven minutes throughout the game’s final 30 minutes.

As if to rub it in, Utah managed to hold the ball for the game’s final 9:01 of play after a 54-minute weather delay.

“They’re a really good offense. They milked it for nine minutes, which is pretty unbelievable,” Bushman said. “So we wanted to get out there and get another shot, but you just can’t dwell on it.”

Of course Bushman would be the first to admit the chances BYU’s defense did give the offense were squandered on way too many occasions.

“We just pretty much shot ourselves in the foot...We had a lot of opportunities,” Bushman said.

A lot of the damage by Utah’s offense was administered by Zack Moss, who rushed it 29 times for 189 yards, with 18 of those carries coming in the second half. The course of play contributed heavily in Moss’s heavy use, a luxury BYU and Williams simply didn’t enjoy.

“Utah is just a really good team,” Sitake said. “They’ve been given a lot of...accolades and they deserve it.”