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Was BYU the biggest loser in the country in Week 3?

National experts weigh in on what they saw from the Cougars’ blowout loss at Oregon

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Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) throws at Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) throws at Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

During Week 3 of the college football season, only three Associated Press Top 25 teams lost — No. 12 BYU and No. 13 Miami fell to other Top 25 programs (No. 25 Oregon and No. 24 Texas A&M, respectively), while No. 11 Michigan State was upset by unranked Washington.

Considering the Cougars lost by the largest margin of the three — 21 points, at 41-20 — and BYU’s fleeting hopes for a New Year’s Six bowl took a big hit with the blowout, are the Cougars the biggest losers of the week?

National experts weighed in on what they saw from Oregon’s dominant win over the Cougars. Here’s a sampling.  

On BYU’s early season success coming to a halt

“Despite BYU closing the lead to 10-7 early, it was never in doubt afterward. While quarterback Jaren Hall made some plays, the Cougars looked woefully out-manned by a Pac-12 opponent that has stacked quality recruits throughout the past few classes,” Bleacher Report’s Brad Shepard wrote.

“... The Cougars are a good team capable of beating Power 5 teams most weekends, but the Ducks were just too talented and had no trouble proving their opponent was simply ranked too high.”

On BYU’s postseason prospects taking a hit

“Beating Oregon would’ve given BYU two wins against teams that may end up winning a Power Five championship, joining last week’s double-overtime victory against No. 19 Baylor,” USA Today’s Paul Myerberg wrote

“That would’ve sent the Cougars rising up the Coaches Poll and in position to crash the College Football Playoff with an unbeaten regular season, especially with high-profile games still to come against Notre Dame and Arkansas. While still in range of a nine-win season, BYU won’t be a factor in the race for the top four.”

“Oregon physically demolished BYU’s impressive front, rushing for 212 yards. BYU quarterback Jaren Hall played well, but the Cougars could not create any other opportunities outside of the short passing game,” CBS Sports’ Shehan Jeyarajah wrote. “The Cougars had a real shot to run the table and compete for a College Football Playoff spot, but those dreams are over now.” 

On Oregon looking better than previously thought

“The Ducks scored on their first six possessions and denied BYU on all four of its fourth-down tries. They bottled up BYU’s rushing game, and their only turnover was a fourth-quarter interception — long after things had been decided, and thrown by (Bo) Nix’s backup,” The Washington Post’s Patrick Stevens wrote.

“There was 60 minutes of evidence earlier this month that Oregon wasn’t as good as Georgia. But the Ducks very well may be better than a lot of other teams, as the last two weeks suggest. The way back into the national conversation was by pounding one opponent at a time. Oregon seems to have put the philosophy into practice.”

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