Mistake-filled first half dooms BYU at Washington

Washington quarterback Jake Browning, left, scrambles for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Brigham Young, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Seattle • BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes simply will not tolerate penalties, turnovers and bone-headed mistakes.

He will have plenty to gripe about after watching film of the Cougars’ game against No. 10 Washington on Saturday evening at Husky Stadium.

The No. 20 Cougars repeatedly shot themselves in the foot on offense, especially in the first half when they had a chance to match Washington’s first touchdown with one of their own.

The Cougars took over with 7 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the first quarter at their 16 and drove to the Washington 10. But they committed five penalties on that drive alone, and it finally sputtered.

Twice BYU converted on third-and-long, including a 39-yard reception by tight end Matt Bushman on third-and-13. But the mistakes finally caught up to them, and they couldn’t dig out of a third-and-20 hole caused by penalties.

Freshman Skyler Southam then missed a 45-yard field goal attempt. They didn’t come close to scoring the remainder of the first half.

Grimes said before the game that offensive line play was key, but the big guys did not have their best performance.

“We’ve got to move the line of scrimmage. We’ve got to be able to change the line of scrimmage. For us to do what we would like to do on offense, it starts with the offensive line, obviously,” he said. “It is not just them. To have a successful run play the tight ends have to block, the receivers got to block, or run the ball or whatever he might be doing. It is a collective effort, but it starts with the guys closest to the ball.”

In all, BYU fumbled the ball three times in the first half, losing one, and committed seven penalties for 50 yards.

It appeared Washington was going to take a 14-0 lead into halftime, but Lopini Katoa fumbled at the Husky 24 with 22 seconds remaining in the first half, and Washington recovered. Jake Browning’s 9-yard touchdown run with five seconds left in the half made it 21-0, and the Cougars were cooked.

The Cougars made some early mistakes on defense, too. Sione Takitaki’s personal foul for a horse-collar tackle gave the Huskies the ball at the BYU 5 on their first touchdown drive.

BYU played without two of its best defenders, flash linebacker Zayne Anderson and safety Dayan Ghanwoloku. Both were out with injuries.

Senior linebacker Butch Pau’u returned to action after missing the last two games with a hand/wrist injury, and fullback Brayden El-Bakri was also back in the lineup. Pau’u took a bad angle on the game’s first play, and UW’s Myles Gaskin gashed the Cougars for a 21-yard gain.

Senior running back Matt Hadley, a Washington native, played some linebacker for the Cougars.

Browning completed his first 11 passes and became the school’s all-time leader in passing yardage in the second quarter, passing Cody Pickett.

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