Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Revenge of 1985

The year was 1985, January actually. BYU had just been recognized as the 1984 Associated Press National Champions in football. With a strong team finishing the year and many returning for the next season, many believed BYU could win it all two years in a row. In the fall, along came the University of Texas El Paso, a team that would finish the 1985 season with one win. That win was against BYU, shattering all hopes at repeating as National Champions. BYU would lose that single game in 1985.

Fast forward to the year 2010. The BYU football team struggled early to put a quality game together. Following a firing and suspension, Cougar head coach, Bronco Mendenhall went on a journey to "find the soul of this team." He found that soul and what looked to be a dismal season ended with an invitation to play their 1985 dream breaker foe, UTEP, in the New Mexico Bowl on December 18.

While BYU has been improving, UTEP has been floundering this year. Following that trend, the Cougars should easily send UTEP packing. In all likelihood, BYU could finally come away with a shutout victory and tons of momentum heading into 2011.

Of all the teams from the old Western Athletic Conference, none were more prone to give up points to BYU than UTEP. BYU regularly put up 40 on the Miners while surpassing 60 twice. For those that love offense this will be a great game and should bring back memories of the old WAC shootouts.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Earlier this evening, BYU announced that it had accepted an invitation to play in the "prestigious" New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, NM. The fact the Cougars are bowl eligible after a 2-5 start is simply amazing and as fans, we really can't complain about which bowl we're off to or who our opponent may be.

We had one chance to possible sneak into the Las Vegas Bowl again, but fate was not on our side and those pesky Utes BLOCKED our last opportunity. As Bronco always says, most games come down to one team making one more play than the other. In this year's edition of the rivalry game, it was Utah that made one more play as time expired.

Now back to the amazing turn around and the fact we even made a bowl game. The effort and results of the final 7 games of the season was really spectacular and only goes to show that we have one of the best coaches in the country and we should be grateful that Bronco Mendenhall is sticking around to bring up this program. There's nothing better than watching a team battle and leave everything out on the field. The most disappointing losses are the ones where you know the team didn't give their all. Bronco has an uncanny ability to reach his players and pull out of their core more than even they imagined. This BYU team is poised for great things over the next few years.

A quick side note on the BCS and what a crock it is. The Big East conference champion is guaranteed a spot in one of the BCS games. This year, that champion is likely to be UCONN, if they win this weekend to finish 8-4 on the season. I'm so glad they get an automatic bid...Meanwhile, teams like Boise St, Nevada and even a couple Big 12 and Big 10 teams with only 1 or 2 losses will be left out of the party to make room at the great table for a team that had merely a good year. Can we have a playoff now?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The End (of Sorts)

As we prepare to invade Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, we must ponder the fact that this will be our last game vs Utah as conference foes. This is the last time we will say the game has conference standing implications. Yes, believe it or not, BYU can tie Utah for 2nd place in the conference with a win on Saturday.

What's a race for second place? Well consider we started the season 1-4 with a dismal loss to Utah State; bouncing back to win 5 of the last 6 is amazing. That feat has put our Cougars in the position to finish ahead of Utah (who started 8-0) in the conference standings once you take head to head into account.

This also means that a win could put BYU in a sixth straight Las Vegas Bowl. Simply amazing. The fact BYU is bowl eligible is a miracle. But to beat Utah will require our young Cougars to play their best game of the season in one of the most hostile environments available to them.

BYU has relied on their running game to turn around their season and it's worked. What's Utah's strong point? You guessed it, their run defense. BYU will have to be able to pass the ball the set up the run if they want to beat Utah. Utah is very good at pressuring the line of scrimmage and trying to force opponents into making bad decisions. With a freshman at Quarterback, I guarantee they'll be looking to cause even more havoc than usual.

To combat the variety of blitzes and motion on the defensive line, Jake Heaps will have to be able to connect with his receivers and TE's on quick outs and slants. These passes cannot be dropped because as they are completed, Utah will be forced to account for them which will open up the line of scrimmage and the opportunity for our running backs to move the ball on the ground.

As usual the game will be close and probably decided in the waning moments. A lot rests on the ability of a true freshman to step up and become the Man that will lead BYU into Independence next fall. A win at Rice Eccles will do a lot to boost his confidence and propel the team into this new, uncharted territory.

BYU 23 - Utah 17

Saturday, November 13, 2010

On the Road Again

What a great morning for college football! Our BYU Cougars are on the road this week at Colorado St looking to claim their first road win of the season. The team should be full of confidence heading into this one after the shellacking they gave UNLV last week. However they should still be cautious going into Fort Collins due to the fact BYU hasn't won on the road this year.

CSU has played well at home but got knocked out of bowl contention after losing to the whiny crew (SDSU) last week. And as this is their last time hosting BYU as a conference foe, the Rams should be more than fired up. CSU has a defense that touts some of the best players in the conference when it comes to getting behind the line of scrimmage and pressuring the QB. Fortunately BYU has a strong offensive line and running game that should keep the young frosh QB from taking too many hits.

What I want to see today us that BYU can maintain the momentum gained at home against a terrible UNLV team and pull out a comfortable win by moving the chains and trusting the defense to hold. The D has been a highlight this year since Bronco released the defensive coordinator to take those duties on himself. CSU should find it difficult to move the ball on the ground and will be forced to trust their freshman QB to get it down through the air.

I see this being a low scoring defensive battle with BYU coming out on top 24 - 10.

Go Cougars!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cougars are Back!

It's been a busy fall and difficult to find time to post, but I'm back and ready to go again.

If you missed last Saturday's game, it was a joy to watch after a somewhat disappointing season. Our Cougars have been going through some serious growing pains but appear to be on the verge of regaining their identity.

UNLV was just one game and yes, they are that bad. However, we have to realize that we put more points on the board and put them up their faster than some of the top teams in the country including those pesky frogs from TCU. I guess this is the type of season you have to have now and again to remind yourself to truly enjoy the wins when they come.

With all that said, this team is young, but talented. If they can continue to build on the last couple games, we may actually give Utah a challenge in Salt Lake which I wouldn't have imagined after finishing our first 5 games 1-4 with a loss to Utah St.

Here is a video highlight of the UNLV game by Furious Monkey. Enjoy

Friday, September 17, 2010

2 QBs and a Microphone

BYU has broken all the rules this summer. First, they announce they'll use two quarterbacks until one proves better than the other. Then they go and announce that they're leaving the MWC to join the WCC while remaining independent in football.Regardless of your feelings for the Cougars, they've given us plenty to talk about.

Personally it took me a bit to buy into the idea of independence in football but an 8 year deal with ESPN rumored to give BYU more per game than the MWC tv deal changed my mind. Apparently ESPN wanted this as much as BYU and the exposure increase should be great! It all starts in 2011 and you can all tune in on an ESPN channel, BYU-TV or stream online at

You all probably know that the 2 QB system won in week 1 against a lackluster Washington team. However I admit I didn't expect this young team to win. BYU isn't just breaking in a new QB, they also lost starters at RB, FB, TE, DL, LB and FS. That's why I told anyone that would listen last spring that this would be a tough season and that playing AFA in September did not bode well for this young group of Cougars. It was not pretty but all is not lost. Coach Mendenhall does a great job of adjusting as the seasons move on.With that in mind, I expect tomorrow's game at Florida State to be extremely difficult and a likely loss. However, they have a young team as well and I expect to see BYU play hard and hopefully tip their hand as to how they'll handle 2 QBs and a microphone the rest of the season.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010