Utah State's complete domination of the BYU Cougars on Friday stripped away all the rationalizations. Brigham Young does not have a good football team this year. Not even close.
The research I did before this game calmed some of my fears that the Aggies might win. No team in the WAC, that had been absolutely obliterated by SDSU, could beat the BYU Cougars, down year or not.
As the clock was running out in the second quarter and the score read 17-3, I posted this as my Facebook status:
"An historic beatdown is brewing."
A few minutes later, Utah State returned a kickoff 67 yards to the BYU 33 yard line and the Aggies scored another touchdown with 49 seconds left in the half.
The rout was on.
Okay, so BYU's defense only gave up seven points in the second half, but that's because there was no need to move the ball in large chunks; all Utah State had to do was run run run, get first downs, chew up the clock and win.
The Aggies rushed for 242 yards on 59 carries, good for a 4.1 ypc average.
Quarterback Diondre Borel only had to throw it 13 times, and he completed 10 of those 192 yards and a touchdown.
It was as perfect an offensive showing as you can have against a team with an ineffectual offense. Ball control, pass when you need to, collect tally in the win column.
Focusing on that ineffectual offense, combine a true freshman quarterback with receivers who look worse at catching the ball than I do at my family Turkey Bowl every November, add a dash of "down by double digits" and that's it.
I believe Jake Heaps will be a great quarterback, and soon. He showed a lot of confidence on Friday, while at times in his previous playing time he appeared shaky and uncertain. He has the tools to make every throw on the field, it's just a matter of putting it all together and giving him some receivers who can catch balls that bounce off both hands.
I also liked what I saw from freshman Josh Quezada. He's fairly quick, pretty strong and falls forward when he gets tackled. If BYU hadn't been down by three touchdowns in the second half, I think we would have seen more carries from him.
So the future looks bright. Kind of. I'd feel better if a tight end would step up and take the starting spot. I'd also appreciate a wide receiver or two deciding they are catching everything thrown their way, and if Luke Ashworth gets benched for the rest of eternity.
In a related story, BYU defensive coordinator, Jaime Hill, was fired on Saturday. While the offense is clearly in big, big trouble, the defense is only a bit behind it in terms of depressing fans.
I'm not sure what to expect with Bronco calling the defensive plays, but if there's no visible improvement, I will be very, very worried.
So go Cougars! Next game at home, against the usually hapless Aztecs. It will be a much different game than I anticipated when I first saw it on the schedule.