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Provo • Only 10 of the 123 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in the country have allowed more sacks per game than BYU midway through the 2013 season.
Despite having a young and inexperienced offensive line that has been plagued by injuries, the Cougars were about average in that category until giving up eight sacks in Saturday's 47-46 win over Houston. They now are giving up 3.14 sacks per game, which is tied for 110th, and 6.29 tackles for loss per game.
Offensive line coach Garett Tujague said Tuesday that the effort was there and the line continues to improve, but he took the blame for not having the line prepared correctly for what Houston threw at it. He said Houston blitzed about 20 percent of the time, regardless of down and distance, before Saturday's game. But Houston blitzed 65 percent of the time against BYU.
"Eight sacks is completely unacceptable, and we know that, and we are [putting] a huge emphasis on that this week," Tujague said.
The high number of passing plays led to the high sack total, Tujague acknowledged, but he refused to blame any of the problems on the play-calling. The Cougars ran very few plays designed to slow down a pass rush, such as screens and draws.
"There is nothing wrong with the play-calling. It is absolutely perfect," Tujague said. "And if you think about it, every single play that is drawn up should work. So it is, again, on me to get them ready and for them to execute."
Van Noy a quarterfinalist
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy is a quarterfinalist for the 2013 Lott IMPACT Trophy, which goes to the best defensive player in college football and is named after Hall of Fame defender Ronnie Lott. Van Noy, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound senior who recently was named a midseason All-American by three different publications, is one of 20 quarterfinalists for the award. Eight semifinalists will be announced Nov. 13, and four finalists will be announced Nov. 27. The winner will be announced Dec. 8 in Newport Beach, Calif.
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o won the award last year.
Future schedule update
BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe told a Cougar Club gathering Wednesday that the school is close to announcing its bowl agreements for the next six years (2014 to 2019). BYU announced in June that it has agreed to play in the 2015 Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego but has yet to announce its 2014 bowl plans.
Holmoe also said that BYU's 2014 regular-season schedule, which currently includes 13 games (one over the limit) is not set in stone and could be changed significantly.
Why is a shootout expected Friday at LaVell Edwards Stadium? BYU is No. 14 in the country in total offense, averaging 503 yards per game, while Boise State is No. 18, averaging 494.4 yards per game. ... Taysom Hill is 16th in the country in rushing at 110.3 yards per game, and sophomore Jamaal Williams is No. 22 at 104.3 yards per game.
Boise State at BYU, 6 p.m. MT
TV • ESPN