FREEESHMEEN! Saturday at 8:30 pm, the Freshmen showdown happens; “The Rosen One” from UCLA takes on “Magic Mangum” from BYU. Whose hype should we believe? Does the magic continue for another week? Number 19 travels to take on number 10.
As a BYU fan you couldn’t ask for a better start to the season (other then Taysom avoiding injury). The cardiac Cougars are the talk of college football. They have given us two great comeback wins that went down to the wire.
As a Cougar fan are you still waiting for the foot to drop though? Is it too early to believe that something special is brewing? The third game is always telling for Bronco Mendenhall teams. Whether it’s FSU in 2009, or Tulsa in 2007, the third game seems to be the one that gets away.
In game number three the Cougars face a bigger challenge then both those years in 10th ranked UCLA. They are lead by starting true freshmen Josh Rosen. He has been good enough to earn the nickname: “The Rosen One.” He started the year off against Virginia throwing for 351 yards and 3 TDs. Then followed that up against UNLV with 223, a TD and an INT. UCLA also return the PAC 12’s leading rusher from last year, Paul Perkins.
I predicted before the season that BYU would go 3-1 in September with the one loss being at UCLA. I predicted that with Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams. I couldn’t imagine before the season that BYU would have any success without those two, but here we are. I didn’t know how special Tanner Mangum could be.
The matchup with UCLA is being touted as freshmen vs freshmen but that may not be the deciding factor.
The key matchup in this game is going to be the BYU defensive line vs the UCLA offensive line. If Bronson Kafusi and Harvey Langi live in the backfield like they did the majority of the Boise State game, then BYU has a chance to knock off the 10th ranked Bruins. If the BYU D-line can get back there and disrupt Rosen and Perkins, BYU will get another upset. I trust Bronco Mendenhall to have the defense ready to create more havoc.
Tanner Mangum will have to make throws, and not just deep throws, but the intermediate throws. As long as the offense realizes it needs the passing game to open up the running game, and not the other way around, then the Mangum Mania will continue.
Can BYU do it for a third week in a row? We’ll see. Do I have a prediction? Not really. This team has been hard to predict. Every time it looks like they are down and out they come back with a vengeance. You can’t count them out and they believe in each other. My mind says they should lose, but my heart says they will win. So let the “Mormon Miracle Man” sweep you into his Mangum Mania and enjoy the ride Cougar fans. Remember, he’s just a freshmen. Think about how good he will be in 3 years. GO COUGARS