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BYU football: Robert Anae, Cougars looking to restore 'BYU brand of offense'

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 4 2015 4:45 p.m. MDT

BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae watches his offense as the Cougars wrap up their spring football practices Friday, April 5, 2013 with a scrimmage game for the alumni at LaVell Edwards Stadium. All eyes will be on Anae's offense this fall. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae watches his offense as the Cougars wrap up their spring football practices Friday, April 5, 2013 with a scrimmage game for the alumni at LaVell Edwards Stadium. All eyes will be on Anae's offense this fall. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO — Over the course of four decades, BYU built its national reputation on the strength of its prolific, pass-happy offense.

But last season, the Cougars’ strength was definitely their defense, which ranked No. 3 in the nation. Meanwhile, the offense sputtered and struggled to produce touchdowns on a consistent basis.

BYU’s victory over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl last December was emblematic of the 2012 campaign. Star linebacker Kyle Van Noy did what the offense could not by scoring a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

The school once known for its quarterbacks has been receiving considerable recognition for its linebackers. Somewhere, Ty Detmer is shaking his head in disbelief.

Well, coach Bronco Mendenhall, the mastermind of BYU’s defense, decided to overhaul the offense by replacing the entire offensive coaching staff, headlined by the return of Robert Anae as offensive coordinator.

Solomone Kafu practices during the final day of spring football practices at BYU in Provo on Friday, March 30, 2012. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) Solomone Kafu practices during the final day of spring football practices at BYU in Provo on Friday, March 30, 2012. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

As the Cougars open fall camp Saturday — with the season opener set for Aug. 31 at Virginia — all eyes will be on the offense.

Will Mendenhall’s changes pay dividends?

Anae is confident that he can return the Cougar offense to glory.

"We’re looking forward to living up to the BYU brand of offense," Anae said at media day in June. "BYU’s got a national brand, and I would like to live up to that."

The Cougars, who are looking to bounce back from a mediocre 8-5 season, face perhaps their toughest schedule in history, with games against opponents like Texas, Utah, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin and Notre Dame.

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill (4) runs the wildcat against Washington State in Provo Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill (4) runs the wildcat against Washington State in Provo Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

Here are five storylines to look for at BYU’s fall camp.

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