A couple years ago I started providing my Dad a preview of BYU football each year. Here's my attempt at sports reporting!
BYU is considered by many, both local and national to have one of the best Offensive Lines in the country. They're big, fast, strong, deep and experienced. This bodes well for a new QB needing an extra second or two.
Our core of running backs are BRUISERS!!! We've got four guys who all weigh above 225, can run fast, and catch the ball. This will be beneficial for several reasons, 1- they'll provide assistance in any blocking scheme, 2- Behind the O-line should be able to move the ball, and 3- with both of our All-American tight ends leaving last year, they'll provide a little assistance catching the ball out of the backfield.
Wide receivers are fast, plentiful and much more familiar with the offense. This should be a plus for us this year.
The linebackers are stronger, faster and better than ever. We're also pretty deep, so we should be able to keep fresh legs on the field throughout the game. We lost Cameron Jensen last year, but he was backed up by a lot of talent. The new 3-4-4 defense implemented last year opened it up for the LB's to really take over. They now have a whole years experience with the new defensive scheme, so that will help.
Excitement is high around here. The season ticket sales are at a new high. With the student ticket sales, they should set some records this year if they win some games.
Our schedule is favorable. We play a Arizona at home to open, and then get to play TCU and Utah at home near the end of the season. Both TCU and Utah are picked in the top three with BYU in the preseason polls.
Obviously a new QB raises some questions. He's performed well in spring ball and fall ball, but until you actually have big fast black men running at you, you don't know how you're going to react.
We lost our big talented tight ends. No one has really stepped up yet to fill the slots. I'm sure someone will step into the role, but probably not two like last year.
Our secondary is hurting! Both literally and figuratively. Two of the projected starters are out for the season with injuries already. This is spelling trouble. If there's a bright side here it's that our linebackers should help ease a little pressure.
Our starting nose guard just tore his ACL and MCL so he's out for the season. The D-line is already pretty young, so this hurt a lot. They're scrambling to find some guys for the D-line. Where a weak secondary can be helped by a strong linebacker crew, a weak D-line hampers the linebackers ability to float and roam. They'll have to stay home more to cover for the D-line.
Our kicking game MAY be a problem! Both place kicker and punter are new and without experience. The place kicker was going to be the punter too, but the coaches decided to get him to concentrate on place kicking only. To me this says, "uh oh, we need him to spend all of his time on place kicking cause it's not coming along as we'd like it to." The punter they found does have some experience in JC, and his kicks have great hang time, but again, Division 1 is a whole different story.
We're undefeated right now, so that's always a good thing. Optimism is high and the fans are going nuts. Bronco Mendenhall has people believing in Cougar football again, but after two seasons most people still felt the same way about Gary Crowton. BYU just gave Bronco a contract extension through I believe 2012, and he's making almost $1 million a year in salary. It makes him comparable to other coaches in Division 1. This huge salary comes from a group of donors called the "Coaches Circle" who decided last year that BYU needed to start paying more to keep the coaches here.
Recruiting is going very well, and BYU is landing the big in state recruits again, as well as recruiting well in the islands. The new BYU facilities are winning us recruits. In a recent coaches poll, BYU ranked in the top 10 for facilities in the country. When you see the new indoor practice facility, the new football locker room and film facilities, you have to agree.
BYU has a chance for national respect with a win against PAC-10 teams Arizona (at home) and UCLA (in Pasadena). The UCLA game will be tough... I expect us to be 1-1 after two games, but we can always hope...
From the outset, the schedule looks favorable, and the team has some strong talent, so now all that's left to do is ACTUALLY PLAY FOOTBALL!!!
Labels: BYU Football