Does beating Arizona State mean BYU is for real?

The primary purpose of BYU going independent a decade ago was to have control over the schedule and give itself a better chance to get noticed by the BCS/CFP panel. Not only do the Cougars finally have that schedule but are also good enough to take advantage of it. 

The Cougars started the season with three Pac-12 opponents and have cleaned the slate with a 27-17 win over No. 19 Arizona State, who fell off the rankings. 

With 561 passing yards and seven touchdowns, BYU quarterback Jaren Hall seems to be picking up right where Zach Wilson left off.

“We’re 3-0 against good opponents,” Hall said. “What more can you ask for?”

The Cougars have Boise State, Virginia and USC as notable games. A perfect season for BYU might be enough to get the Cougars to a New Year Six Bowl if not the playoffs. 

As for Arizona State, this type of loss was inevitable after struggling with penalties during the first two games. The Sun Devils racked up 16 total penalties and 121 penalty yards. Despite racking up 265 passing yards, Jayden Daniels didn’t throw for a touchdown and got picked off two times, which is uncharacteristic of the junior quarterback.

“We have the makings of a good football team,” Arizona State coach Herm Edwards said. “But when you do this, it’s not good football at all. It’s hard to watch when you’re going backward, and you just defeat yourself.”

Arizona State has a chance to fix its mistakes next week when the Sun Devils open the conference slate with Colorado but between themselves, USC and UCLA, the margin for error in the Pac-12 South is slimming.

Speaking of the Pac-12, is it possible for Oregon to count Fresno State as a signature win? The Ducks were initially looked at sideways after beating the Bulldogs by a single touchdown in Week 1, but Fresno State shocked the nation this past weekend with a 40-37 win over No. 13 UCLA, who dropped down to No. 22.

Overall it was a bad week for the Pac-12, starting with Colorado, which came close to knocking off a top 5 team a week ago, getting shutout at home 30-0 by Minnesota. 

“That was a complete, I would say, beatdown in every way,” Colorado coach Karl Dorrell said.

On the plus side, Buffaloes linebacker Nate Landman continues to look like an NFL Draft prospect with his second consecutive 10 solo tackle game.

Utah became the second Pac-12 team to fall to San Diego State with a 33-31 overtime loss. The Aztecs previously dominated Arizona the week before. The Wildcats are so bad this season that after losing to FCS Northern Arizona for the first time since becoming a member of the Pac-12 a winless season is now a highly probable outcome. 

“It’s embarrassing,” said wide receiver Stanley Berryhill III, possibly Arizona’s only good player.

Arizona travels to Oregon this week to be the Ducks’ late night sacrificial lamb on ESPN. 

The Pac-12 now serves to prop up Oregon, who will now have to run the table in impressive fashion in order to have a chance at the playoffs. USC winning again and Stanford reestablishing itself with a dominating win over Vanderbilt has helped the Ducks’ potential playoff resume. 

About: Tony Capobianco

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Sports Kave senior writer and podcast host

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