Scott G Winterton,
Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Tanner Mangum (12) looks for running room as BYU and LSU play in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017.
PROVO — Not only is BYU facing the challenge this week of trying to end a six-game losing streak to arch-rival Utah, but the Cougars will also enter that game coming off of one of their worst offensive performances in decades.
During a 27-0 trouncing at the hands of No. 13 Louisiana State Saturday night at the Superdome in New Orleans, BYU gained a miserable 97 yards of total offense, its fewest in a single game since it had 92 against Iowa State in 1974 (at least in that one, the Cougars scored a touchdown).
Also, BYU was shut out for only the third time since 1975 — a stretch of 528 games. The Cougars had the ball for 18:06, just the fourth time since 1975 that they held the ball for less than 19 minutes in a game.
“We couldn’t generate any momentum. We had 38 plays on offense and minus yards rushing. It’s hard to win games when you do that,” said coach Kalani Sitake. “It was a difficult game. We need to respond better. This is adversity for us. We’ve got to respond better and get ready for next week.”
BYU and Utah meet Saturday (8:15 p.m. MDT, ESPN2) at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Sitake is feeling a sense of urgency to help his team improve.
“We’ve got to get better now. I’m tempted just to throw this (LSU) game out. But we need to look at and review it and see where we need to get better,” Sitake said. “We need to get this next one. We need to focus on that. It was kind of an ugly game for us to play. A lot of that is because of LSU. It’s my job as a head coach to make sure this performance doesn’t show up again.”
Quarterback Tanner Mangum completed 12 of 24 passes for 102 yards and an interception against the Tigers.
“It’s frustrating to spend all that time in the offseason working for moments like this and to show up and not play our best, it hurts,” Mangum said.
Mangum took “full responsibility” for the Cougars’ offensive futility and said he wouldn’t dwell on the loss to LSU.