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BYU at Oregon Postgame Notes & Quotes

The following notes are from BYU's 41-20 loss at Oregon on Saturday, Sept. 17. 

ALUMNI FLAGS: Mitch Mathews (WR, 2009, 12-15), Marcus Mathews (TE/WR, 2010-13), Carlos Nuno TE, 1997-99)
TEAM FLAGS: Jake Oldroyd (USA), Ryan Rehkow (State of Utah)
Oregon Spencer Webb Tribute Flag: Kingsley Suamataia (OL)
Attendance: 54,463

Vs. the Pac-12
BYU had won five in a row against the Pac-12 before dropping the contest to the Ducks. Kalani Sitake drops to 8-9 against the Pac-12 at BYU.

The Cougars fall to 20-6 as a ranked team under Sitake. BYU also drops to 32-65-1 vs. ranked opponents overall and 7-9 under Sitake. The loss also snapped a streak of three wins in a row against ranked teams for BYU. The Cougars dipped to 14-17 when playing as a ranked team and matching up against a ranked opponent.

Jaren Hall

Jaren Hall finished the day 29 of 41 for 305 yards and two touchdowns. It was his fourth career game with more than 300 yards passing and ninth game with multiple touchdown passes in his career. Hall has also had seven consecutive games with more than 250 yards passing. He added 19 yards rushing to go over 500 career rushing yards (514).

Kody Epps
Wideout Kody Epps had a career-best five receptions, 45 yards and scored his first touchdown at BYU. It came on a career-long 18-yard reception in the fourth quarter.

Ben Bywater
Bywater snagged his first career interception off a tipped ball in the fourth quarter and returned it five yards to set up BYU’s last touchdown. He finished with seven total tackles.

Notable career highs/career firsts
Receptions: Kody Epps (5)
Receiving yards (45)
Completions: Jaren Hall (29)
Attempts: Jaren Hall (41)
Tackles: Logan Lutui (4)
First start: Logan Lutui (DL)
First touchdown: Kody Epps (18-yard reception, 4th quarter)



BYU head coach Kalani Sitake

“Obviously not the result we were looking for, but you have to give a lot of credit to Oregon. They showed up ready to play, more than we did, especially at the beginning. I did not have this team ready, so that is on me. We have to figure out ways to start better, start faster. We dug ourselves too much in a hole to climb out of, and the momentum, all of that stuff that is on me and the staff. We will get things right. But the players, they played their hearts out; they played with great effort. We've got to find ways to take advantage of mismatches on our end and find ways to have better production on the field, and that is in all three phases.

I'm looking forward to getting better and working from it. We’ll find out a lot about our team in the next week. It’s time to basically play like we can play and be consistent. Just not really happy with the result, but more than anything, there is just a lapse in some of the mistakes that we made, and that is not characteristic of our team. We made a lot of mistakes, but I do not want to take anything away from Oregon. They played a great game. They played exactly like we thought they could. They have tons of athleticism and speed on their team, and they are a great team. They are ranked for a reason, and they definitely should climb up the rankings. For us, it did not work out our way a lot of ways here, but I am proud of the guys; I am proud of the way they played, and we will respond and be better from this.”

On the BYU defense and Oregon’s offense…

“We just could not get off the field. We could not do much to them in terms of stopping the run. You know, we were down a couple of guys on defense, but that is all right. We feel like we have some great depth. They just could not settle in. The guys made a lot of mistakes. You have to give credit to Oregon because they did some things differently on offense utilizing personnel. They utilized a lot of empty sets; they went big and went a lot of spread sets. We were ready for that in practice, but it seems like whenever we made a mistake, Bo Nix and the offense capitalized on it. When you are just looking at scheme, that is how it works, but we were just missing tackles, and that is honestly just not our type of play. We had a lot of players that were missing tackles from top to bottom, and it was not one person or position that did it. That is my fault; I have to get these guys better and make sure we focus on the fundamentals of the game. I keep mentioning the fundamentals, and they play a big part in the success for us, and we just did not do it well enough on defense.”

On inability to establish the run game…

“That was a concern for me. We will have to keep watching film. We thought that defensive front from Baylor did a good job, and we thought we could find some spots against Oregon. Obviously, they did a good job shutting down the run, so it made us one-dimensional and put us in some tough situations on third down, even on fourth down. We could not even capitalize and make those plays. I think at the beginning, we could not punch it in, we could not finish drives, and we will get that fixed. At the end of the game, we were just trying to get the train back on the tracks and try and do whatever we can to get some positivity from this and show we are capable of doing things differently. We are going to have to look at this entire game and get better from it. There is no running from it.”

On Oregon's talent …

“They have great talent. I think we have talent as well, but talent does no good if you make mistakes. And I say that we made mistakes, but it is also coaching. Overall, we did not do a good enough job winning that game. That is from the players to the coaching and everyone involved, including myself as a head coach."

On the impact of early penalties…

“Penalties always hurt. I think when you have a big play, and there is a holding call that brings you back, or you have an issue with offside penalties and giving free plays. There are a lot of issues, but I thought for the most part the refs did a good job. They communicated really well to us on everything that was happening, so there are no excuses with the refs; everything is fine there. Maybe just more disappointed on our end.”

Oregon head coach Dan Lanning

“Well that was fun. That was a lot of fun with a special, special crowd. We knew that they were going to come out there and be there for us. It’s hard to coach at the end of the third quarter during ‘Shout’, so I’ve got to figure that out. I thought we stumbled a little bit in the fourth. That being said, we came out to this game and said we wanted to be a physical team and I think we were that.

We wanted to win critical situations, we were good on fourth down and able to stop them and get ours (fourth down conversions) whenever we had opportunities to go for it. We wanted to out-rush our opponent, that’s a brand of physicality we were able to show. We wanted to establish an identity. I think everybody in the stadium at some point probably realized what we were doing when we ran Josh Conerly (Jr.) out there, our big group with three tight ends in the back and we were about to get big and go play ball. We didn’t really care if you knew what we were going to do, you had to stop us. I thought our offense did a great job of that.

We had some big defensive stops as well, played contested ball and I thought this was our cleanest game from a special team’s standpoint. That being said, there’s so much we can improve on. We played BYU today, but we also played Oregon. We want to finish games, we want to be able to capitalize at the end. I don’t know that we did as well there at the end as we want to. We’ll continue to grow, we’re about to go play a really good Washington State team and have to get ready for them. That being said, we appreciate Duck Nation for the job they did today.”