BYU falls to ECU 33-17 in seventh straight loss of season

BYU-LSU football game moved to Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans

The disaster continues.

Back in August, no Cougar fan could have possibly fathomed what nightmare Kalani Sitake’s second season in Provo has turned into.

A season that started slow for BYU, and has only gotten slower and more disheartening with time.

A season that continues to set records in the wrong direction.

After getting pounded by nationally ranked programs such as LSU, Wisconsin and rival Utah to begin the campaign, BYU was finally supposed to have faced their equal on Saturday night; but even a trip to East Carolina spelled doom after a 33-17 loss to a team that came in with an identical 1-6 record.

BYU was matched even with the Pirates from Greenville, North Carolina, taking a 10-10 tie with them into the locker room before ECU scored 23 straight points to start the second half.

Backup quarterback Gardner Minshew came in and outshined Tanner Mangum by throwing two fourth quarter touchdown passes. Jake Verity added four field goals to contribute to the BYU loss.

Mangum did begin the game with a 12-yard touchdown strike to Micah Simon, only to watch ECU starting quarterback Thomas Sirk answer with a one-yard keeper to tie the game at 7. Mangum would later find his freshman tight-end, Matt Bushman, in the final quarter once the game was out of reach.

The junior’s 319 passing yards was by far Mangum’s biggest output of the season, though much of that production came with the Cougars playing catchup.

BYU has now dropped seven straight football games for the first time since 1968, when they also began the season 1-7. The Cougars must win their final five games to keep their string of 12 straight bowl appearances intact.