Dick Harmon: 28 points should have been enough

Published: Friday, Dec. 23 2005 12:32 a.m. MST

There are two ways Mendenhall fixes his defense, three if he decides he doesn't have the horses to run the 3-3-5. First, he gets talent. Second, gets experienced players on the field who can better run his schemes because of seasoning — and that's another tough chore.

This past week, Mendenhall got a commitment from San Bernadino Junior College corner Mike McCoy. A few days later after McCoy tripped to Kansas, he decommitted and signed with Kansas. Kansas?

You can see the battle before Mendenhall to get talent. But he's game.

But until he hikes up the playmaking on that side of the ball, championships and bowl victories will elude him and his Cougars.

Watkins, who does have talent, ended his Cougar career with five catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. BYU's attempt to tie Cal in the closing seconds of the game ended on a pass to an open Watkins fluttering like a duck from Beck, who was hit on the arm as he released the ball.

But it shouldn't have come to that. The Watkins 9-yard TD with 4:24 to play should have been the game winner, or the tie score to put this into overtime.

"My career, like that over everybody in this game, had its ups and downs," Watkins said. "But being here and competing against Cal, it almost ended it on a high note.

"We all played really hard. We know we can beat these really good teams. We're growing as a program under our new leadership. We know we'll be good in the future."

In the future, playing hard will again be dandy.

But BYU's going to have to play hard and be good to beat a team like Cal.

Until then, BYU's appearance in Las Vegas, was a routine Cougar bowl affair — another loss. And it had nothing to do with effort or hard work.

The Cougs had that. It wasn't good enough.

E-mail: dharmon@desnews.com

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