BYU Football: Who Are These Guys

Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall walks off the field at halftime, with BYU leading 35-0. BYU vs. Colorado State, college football, Saturday, November 13, 2010.
Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall walks off the field at halftime, with BYU leading 35-0. BYU vs. Colorado State, college football, Saturday, November 13, 2010.

With such a roller coaster first month to the season what can we expect now?  Is it all doom and gloom from here on out?  Are we going to watch more performances like the Michigan loss?

It seems like BYU has already had a season’s worth of emotion in just four games.  They lost their two best players and with a new quarterback won two very close games that ended with heroics.  Then take a top ten team down to the wire and lose by one point in the closing seconds.  Finally ending the month getting skunked in Michigan.

Those last two games showed two completely different teams.  The Nebraska game was full of emotion because of Taysom and the Boise game BYU played well in the 4th quarter to win, but the UCLA game they looked great for most of the game.  The offense was crisp and until the final quarter the defense was doing great.

So, Which team are they?  Are they the team who should’ve beat a top ten team or are they the team that didn’t show up in Michigan?  If you are a Cougar fan who is believing the latter: I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend… Aw Jim Carrey does it better:

Just let the song play as we finish.  It will be worth it.  I promise.

There is plenty to be excited for the rest of the Cougars season.  We will get to watch Tanner Mangum progress.  He will still be great and is not the second coming of Jake Heaps.  He had a freshmen set back, but even made progress in the loss.  Against UCLA he was holding the ball way too long and not throwing it away when he should.  He didn’t have that problem vs Michigan, but that may because the receivers weren’t every open.

The receivers need to prove that they are still the tall and talented.  If anyone can set them straight it’s Guy Holliday who always speaks his mind.  He told the Deseret News:

“We didn’t fight and we have to address that.  We have big guys and we have to play big….We have to go back and play to our strengths, which is to be physical. We’re not a bunch of (fast) guys, so we have to play to our strengths.”

The biggest thing that needs to improve is on the defensive end though.  The BYU defense hasn’t been able to tackle anyone the last two games.  Okay that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it sure seems that way.  They did clean things up in the second half, but it is a problem.  It was a problem last year too and Bronco has been able to scheme around it but it caught to them.

The schedule lightens up a little now.  UCONN is not a world beater and I don’t expect them to come to Provo and outcoach and out physical the Cougars like Michigan did.  It’s a Friday night late evening start.  The late start is more comfortable to the Cougars then the early 10 am start.

They spend all of October at home playing UCONN, ECU, Cincinnati and Wagner.  If they fail to show up and drop any of those games you can coach me down from the ledge Jim Carrey style.

“We didn’t show up. It doesn’t define us.” -Mitch Mathews

Doesn’t it Mitch?  I feel I echo all BYU fans in saying prove it.  Prove to all of us that it doesn’t define you.  Prove that it was just one outing.  Go out there and make some noise.  Stop talking about bandwagon fans and go out and prove this statement on the field.  We are watching and cheering.  We are hoping that you prove it.  We are mainly hoping that Bronco challenges you guys to prove it.

I think that BYU comes out with a vengeance on Friday.  I believe that they will play like they did against UCLA and there aren’t anymore UCLAs on this schedule.  They will prove that they are better then they played in Michigan.  Enjoy the ride Cougar fans and GO COUGARS!

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About the author

R Todd Graham

I'm Todd Graham, no not the coach, I'm a big BYU, Utah Jazz and Seahawks fan. I think I'm funny others may disagree. My opinion is mine you are welcomed to disagree.

  • david strong

    Many people have been harping on the Cougar defense, saying that they are the weak link, that they are the ones who need to step up. While there is always room for improvement, the defense worries me much less than the offense. With Mangum starting, the BYU offense has been extremely forgettable.

    We see 35 points against BSU and think “Good Job Offense!” but we need to remember that:
    1) one of the TDs was a defensive TD
    2) Only 3 receivers caught a pass in this game. (2 RB caught a pass, but they were for zero net yards)
    3) During the 58 minutes between the opening and closing minutes, the Cougars only scored 14
    points despite the BYU defense forcing multiple turnovers

    We see BYU being one point away from defeating a top 10 team on the road and say “If only the Cougar D could tackle” but…
    1) Despite the BYU forcing three interceptions and recovering an onside kick, the Cougar offense only managed 23 points.

    Against Michigan, BYU gave up 31 points and scored 0.
    The difference here is that the defense made adjustments and stepped up, shutting out Michigan in the second half. The offense in the second half went from bad, to.. well.. bad (I was going to say worse, but that would have been hard to do.)

    The difference between the two is that the defense is much closer to putting together a complete game. The Cougar offense will show a flash of greatness for a play here or there. Occasionally, they might even sustain it for a whole drive. The defense on the other hand in turning in complete quarters and halves. They shut out Michigan in the second half. They hold UCLA to 3 points and force 3 turnovers in the first half.

    Both have plenty of room to improve, but I have a more confidence in the Cougar defense than I do in the offense right now.

  • Realistic Optimist

    It’s not the team that I question. it is the game preparation done by the coaches that I question. The team does what they are coached to do. The greatest limitation of the team is the coaches limitation to coach and to do all the necessart pre game time preparation.

    The coaches have shown that they can be brilliant as displayed in the first 3 games where in each of them they came to play as the underdog, but in the first two games, vs a very respected, but unranked Nebraska and a #20 in the Nation Boise State, the Cougars looked brilliantly coached and well prepared to look like a very good P5 type team. The 3rd game vs #10 UCLA was probably the best game played by the cougars of the season even with a one point loss, the cogars were brillinatly coached and the game plan was excellent.

    What happened after that is what happens each season. The coaches stop getting the team ready for the next game. The necessary pre game work is not done by the coaches that is done in the first 1-3 games. We lose to inferrior teams. That is what happens each and every season of the past 11 years. Show me where this is not the case. You can’t. Each season it is the coaches that give up. It is the coaches that give themselves a break and stop putting forth the effort that pre game planniing needs to win the big games.

    Our coaches deserve grades of A to A+ for the first 1-3 games of each season but a D to D- for lack of effort for the remainder of the season

    No, I do not want new coaches fired. No I do not want new coaches. What I do want is for the coaches that we have to make total effort fo 12 season games and a post season bowl and not just the first 1-3 games of each season. It they want it easy they should get a easier job with the pay to go along with it.