BYU football focused on halting trend toward slow starts

Published: Friday, July 27 2012 7:55 p.m. MDT

"Every year is a different year," he said. "I didn't notice that until we were 1-4 (in 2010). It stinks that we start like that."

While BYU has been plagued by slow starts, one of Mendenhall's hallmarks has been strong finishes. Twice, in 2006 and 2007, the Cougars opened 1-2, then won 10 consecutive games. In 2010, BYU overcame its 1-4 start to win six of its final eight contests. Last season, the Cougars won nine of their last 10.

Of course, scheduling has been a factor.

Meanwhile, Van Noy is counting on another big finish this season. But can BYU put together a strong start?

"This year the team is more mature, there's more leadership," he said. "That's a big thing when you have senior leadership that takes over and helps the younger guys. We should emphasize that more, that we should start out fast instead of slow."

NOT-SO-FAST

In four of seven seasons under coach Bronco Mendenhall, BYU has started with a mediocre 2-2 record. The Cougars have also opened 1-3 and 1-4. Here's a look at how BYU started and finished each year under Mendenhall:

2005: lost to Boston Col., beat E. Illinois, lost to TCU, lost to San Diego St. (1-3, final record 6-6)

2006: lost to Arizona, beat Tulsa, lost at Boston Col., beat Utah State (2-2, final record 11-2)

2007: beat Arizona, lost at UCLA, lost at Tulsa, beat Air Force (2-2, final record 11-2)

2008: beat N. Iowa, beat Washington, beat UCLA, beat Wyoming (4-0, final record 10-3)

2009: beat Oklahoma, beat Tulane, lost to Florida St., beat Colorado St. (3-1, final record 11-2)

2010: beat Washington, lost at Air Force, lost at Florida St., lost to Nevada (1-3, final record 7-6)

2011: beat Ole Miss, lost at Texas, lost to Utah, beat C. Florida (2-2, final record 10-3)

2012: vs. Washington St. vs. Weber State at Utah at Boise State

email: jeffc@desnews.com

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