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Coaches assess BYU's offensive line play after three games
Moments after BYU's 20-13 loss to Utah last Saturday, offensive coordinator Robert Anae was downright blunt in his assessment regarding why the Cougars lost.
"We got beat tonight in the trenches," Anae said. "That's something where we got to simply get better. Credit goes to Utah. They were better than we were there."
Statistically, the Cougars held their own. BYU out-gained Utah 443-402, had 24 first downs to Utah's 16, and held the Utes to 1 of 14 on third-down conversions.
Anae recognized that the Cougars ran 27 more plays and often saw quarterback Taysom Hill running for his life.<
"Well, there is no magic fix there," he said. "We just take it one day at a time and one play at a time to get yourself better. We did take a step forward with that in the Texas game. But we got outplayed in the Utah game, and out-coached. So we got to do a better job all the way around there. So it is symptomatic of an ailing offense. It starts with your guys up front.
When it is going well, you all pay attention to the skill guys -- give them interviews and give them credit. When it goes bad, it is usually … but that's football. It really does start in the trenches."
New offensive line coach Garett Tujague didn't sugar-coat things either when it was his turn to discuss how the offensive line played against the Utes.
"My personal take on this is anytime you lose a football game it is in the trenches. They don't hand out those nice glass trophies at 7 on 7 tournaments. So games are won and lost, period, in the trenches. It is a fact of life, and so you can sit back and dwell and cry on your pillow, or you can use the next opportunity to become great," he said. "And so that's what we focused on. We are learning to master our craft. And some guys are moving along faster than others. Others are taking a little bit more time. We are going to get there. We will get there."
Tujague said he wasn't happy with the result, but did see some positive signs, some steps in the right direction.
"Again, in a game like the last one, there's a lot of stake, the rivalry and all that stuff, the emotion. I thought the guys played really, really hard, but you also now have to play really really hard, and execute. So it is a process. We are getting better every day, every drill, every block, we are getting better.
The emphasis is on making every single thing you do matter, making it count, and so they've got that down, and now we just have to minimize the mistakes, and be precise, master our craft."