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Jaren Hall laments turnovers, red zone failures in loss to Boise State

Cougars’ quarterback returned to action after missing last two games and threw for 302 yards and a touchdown

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Brigham Young quarterback Jaren Hall looks to throw the ball against Boise State.

Brigham Young quarterback Jaren Hall looks to throw the ball against Boise State during an NCAA college football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.

Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News

Playing for the first time since suffering bruised ribs against Arizona State on Sept. 18, BYU quarterback Jaren Hall threw for a career-high 302 yards Saturday afternoon at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

He needed just a few more.

The No. 10 Cougars misfired in the red zone too many times against unranked Boise State, and those miscues, combined with four turnovers, proved to be too much to overcome, and the Broncos rolled out of Provo with a 26-17 victory.

Hall clearly wasn’t 100% Saturday, and he didn’t take off and run as much he did in the three wins he engineered to start the season, but he said after the game he was fine physically.

“I feel really good,” he said.

But Cougar Nation is crestfallen for the Cougars after they fell to 4-8 in the series against Boise State and failed to keep alive their perfect season.

Hall said he can feel their pain.

“I feel like we moved the ball pretty well, except for a couple of drives,” said Hall, who was intercepted once, in the waning moments on a desperation toss downfield. “And obviously we didn’t take care of the ball, did a lot of uncharacteristic things to ourselves, and put our defense in a tough spot a couple of times, and I think that was pretty much the story of the game, for us.”

Hall finished 22 of 37 for a passer rating of 131.5.

“I will have to watch the film a little bit more and see what his decision-making (was) and where he went with the ball,” Sitake said, when asked to assess Hall’s performance. “I am looking at it as passing and it is hard to judge it all on that. He was upright, but we will have to see what we could have done as coaches to put him in better position to make plays.”

Hall directed BYU on scoring drives his first two possessions, but on the third possession he struggled.

After Boise State kicked a short 41-yard field goal to grab some momentum, the Cougars could only pick up one first down and had to punt as heavy rains pelted the sellout crowd and the players at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Hall was 0 for 3 passing on the drive and appeared to struggle with a wet football.

“Any time it rains, you tend to run the ball a little more, depending on how the ball is feeling,” he said. “The running game has always been great for us, so we began to run the ball. That was really part of our offense anyway, so I wouldn’t say it had much effect, because both teams had to play in it. They just handled it better than we did.”

Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier struggled a bit, too, but finished 18 of 29 for 172 yards and a passer rating of 111.9.

“I was confident (the Cougars would bounce back after the turnovers),” Hall said. “And I am sure everybody on the team was confident we would bounce back, and in ways we did continue to move the ball. But we just couldn’t finish drives.”