BYU’s 0-for-October slide had former Cougars weighing in on what ails the program
Former BYU athletes turned to social media to share their thoughts on the Cougar program’s current struggles
For the second time in the independence era, BYU went 0-4 in October.
The Cougars’ 27-24 loss to East Carolina last Friday sealed a winless month for BYU and extended its losing streak to four straight, dropping the Cougars to below .500 at 4-5.
It’s a stark contrast to how BYU started the month — at 4-1 and ranked No. 16 in the country.
Now, the program is in serious danger of missing out on bowl season in the final year before BYU leaves independence for the Big 12 Conference next summer.
The slide has brought about a variety of opinions from former Cougar players on social media.
Here’s a sampling of what some of these former athletes said after the loss to East Carolina.
What went wrong against East Carolina?
While BYU showed some improvement during the last-second loss to the Pirates, some old habits showed up again — inefficiency on third and fourth down, mental errors at critical moments and opposing offenses going long stretches where they score on consecutive possessions.
The struggles struck both the offense and defense, as former BYU linebackers David Nixon and Bryan Kehl illustrated.
BYU only scored 7 pts in the 2nd half. Their 4 possessions in the 2H were:— David Nixon (@D_Nixon) October 29, 2022
-TD (11 plays 75 yds)
-Downs (14 plays 68 yds)
-Downs (7 plays 19 yds)
-Punt (3 plays 3 yds)
Gotta find a way to finish the game.
1 stop in 4Q. 3 stops entire game. Gave up game losing drive. Not good enough.— Bryan Kehl (@thekehlzone) October 29, 2022
Obviously the O wasnt either. Team loss
Bingo!!— Bryan Kehl (@thekehlzone) October 29, 2022
If the O scores 30 or more - they did “enough to win”
If the D holds them under 20 - “enough to win”
Others who’ve lost 4 straight shared how they overcame it
Former BYU wide receiver Jordan Leslie was on the 2014 BYU team that went 0-4 in October — the only other time in happened during the independence era.
In some ways, it was a similar slide to the Cougars’ current predicament.
BYU was ranked in the Top 20 when that four-game skid began. A major injury — to quarterback Taysom Hill — coincided with the start of that 2014 losing streak.
This team has been beyond disappointing. We have to make some changes… My year we started 4-0, Taysom got injured and we lost 4 straight. We came together and decided things were going to change. We went on a 4 game win streak.— Jordan Leslie (@Jles9) October 29, 2022
Former Cougar safety Andrew Rich, who was at BYU from 2008-10 and also went through a four-game losing streak during his final season in 2010, offered his thoughts on how to re-establish the team’s identity.
Thoughts: I’ve been a part of a 4 game skid. Coaches lost their jobs, players quit. We had to reestablish the identity and standard. Only way to break out IMO:— Andrew Rich (@andrewrich22) October 29, 2022
1. Accountability player to player. If you weren’t selling out, you didn’t play. Talent doesnt neglect you from this.
2. Practice each day like it’s your last. You play how you practice. And your butt better be in the film room in the am and pm. Bronco made practice so brutal that the game/adversity became easy. Had to pass a game test to be able to play.— Andrew Rich (@andrewrich22) October 29, 2022
3. Physicality. They may be faster stronger blah blah blah, but they are gonna feel us. Qb can’t have a clean uniform after the game.— Andrew Rich (@andrewrich22) October 29, 2022
4. Play through some dang pain. Why we have 30 guys out every game? Take a toradol shot and tape up. Bumps and bruises happen.
4. Play through some dang pain. Why we have 30 guys out every game? Take a toradol shot and tape up. Bumps and bruises happen.— Andrew Rich (@andrewrich22) October 29, 2022
Lastly- I believe in Coach Sitake. He is a leader and I love him. I hate losing. I love the cougs.
What about team culture and re-occuring issues?
BYU coach Kalani Sitake has routinely talked about the team needing to find its culture during the struggles this year, and several former Cougars echoed those sentiments.
How to establish that culture has proven much more difficult.
Starts with recruiting, depth at position , leadership , ownership, then play calling. All of these are affecting the byu team now— Devon Blackmon (@D_BLACK19) October 29, 2022
Blame shouldn’t be put on offense OR defense this game…fact of the matter is that this team needs a culture and identity reboot this off-season to prep for the BIG 12…if we don’t it’ll be a rough first year…— Trajan Pili (@TRAYpili9) October 29, 2022
I will always support @BYUfootball 💯— Travis Mariner Tuiloma (@coachtuiloma) October 29, 2022
Not sure what’s going on right now. Not sure if there’s even accountability? I’ll tell you what though during my time even when we won we were still running pursuits or perfect 10’s for the points we gave up. 🏃🏾♂️😭
A few former Cougars identified glaring areas where improvements need to be made.
It feels like the middle of the field is a complete afterthought in this offense. That’s where you move the chains. Everything can’t be down the field.— Andrew George (@AGeorg88) October 29, 2022
I can put up with a lot. I was far from a perfect player and I try to keep that in perspective. But, I am done with BYU losing contain.— Hans Olsen (@975Hans) October 29, 2022
In an effort to get this season back on track, fix contain!
If nothing else is fixed next week, please just let contain be the answer.
Since we're in the business of switching up and trying new things I don't think it would be a bad idea to put @MasenWake13 and @HHeimuli in the back field and just put a hurting in the opposing defenses. Maybe 12-15 snaps a game. Definitely on short yardage situations 💪🏽🤷🏽♂️— Manase Tonga (@mtonga650) October 29, 2022
What about putting your money where your mouth is?
With BYU entering Power Five territory when it joins the Big 12 next year, former BYU safety Derwin Gray suggested Cougar fans find ways to help financially in the Name, Image and Likeness era.
It's a rough year BYU football family. It is what it is.— Dr. Derwin L. Gray (@DerwinLGray) October 29, 2022
BYU football fans, we are all disappointed. But what can we do? Here's #1 idea: Give some 💰 towards a team NIL collectively. Ohio St football has an NIL collectively of $13,000,000 per year; this is #1 reason Ohio St has elite recruiting. Put your money where your mouth is🤷🏿♂️— Dr. Derwin L. Gray (@DerwinLGray) October 29, 2022