Jonathan Boldt

For the Deseret News


BYU football report card: Cougars find rhythm in upset victory

By Jonathan Boldt

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Sept. 8 2013 12:30 a.m. MDT

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The banged up secondary gave up a 57-yard bomb in the first quarter, and in the second quarter allowed the only long sustained scoring drive of the game, and gave up 83 yards on five plays in the third quarter for the only scoring by the Longhorns.

The Cougars picked up four sacks and eight tackles for a loss as the defense stymied a Texas offense that produced more than 700 yards of offense the week before. Although 445 yards by the Longhorns appears like a lot on paper, most of those yards came in garbage time when BYU was working with a three-score cushion.

The secondary was playing shorthanded and was exploited a couple of times, but for the most part the reserves held their own. Kyle Van Noy and Bronson Kaufusi were as destructive as always to lead the charge, and while the defense played lights out for the majority of the game, giving up the big play and allowing 21 points puts the effort a notch or two below its top performances.

Grade: B+
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Pale Bear
Orem, UT

The article says "It will be interesting to see how Cougar fans react to not having 550 yards come from the arm of their quarterback and instead from his legs."

Here's a Cougar fan who doesn't care how we get the yards as long as we get them. Quarterback U. doesn't have to be all arm. Nice game!

Cottonwood Heights, UT

Summing it up in just one word: Impressive!

River Falls, WI

I'm o.k. with the A- overall grade, BYU definitely stepped up for this game. I don't think an A on offense was warranted as our passing games was definitely exposed. Hill and co. should relish in this victory while they can because every team they face in the future will certainly stack the box in anticipation of the rush.
My MVP for the game? Justin Sorenson. After the inconsistency of last year it is a great comfort to see his kicking game come together. It might mean the difference in 2-3 games this year just as it did last year.
Finally, how about that front 7? I say they're the best in the nation. While our secondary was exposed there was nothing they could do about KVN, Fua, and the rest. Double teams didn't matter. I think the front 7 has 4-5 pros in the making.
Great hard fought win. Go Cougs!

Surfers Paradise, AU

Wonderful ground output by Hill and the offense but there has to be concern that Hill's passing ability is abysmal. The passing game has to be there if this team wants to have more success this season against quality or cupcake opponents.

Overton, NV

The offense deserves the A for the game. I don't care how they got the yards. You do what works for you, and running the ball was working. 700 yards of total offense is an A any day.

Concerns about the passing game apply for the rest of the season. They do not apply for the game yesterday, when it wasn't really needed all that much.

Salt Lake City, UT

To Jason Boldt who wrote this piece:

You give a B+ for giving up three touchdowns on defense and I understand that.
But then you give a B for coaching with no reason other than a perfect execution kept the coaches from making hard deciscions?
Like what hard decisions? Verison vs ATT? Where to get the post game celebration cake?

Since you said "game plan was perfectly executed" do we have to assume the game plan is your problem with the coaching?

Not trying to be hard on you guy but are you grading on a bell curve and so you had to come up with a low score for some one? You made no sense on this one.

At least the post game radio had the fun of saying an A for grounds keeping and a D- for weather control?


Don't you mean coming off of his legs instead of his arms? I for one think a good offense is one that takes what the defense is giving you at a particular time. Obviously the run was producing first downs and points. Hill was able to connect with Hoffman on two beautiful long balls, so I wouldn't bail in his passing ability quite yet. The more options an opponent has to defend, the better the odds for the offense. From now on opponents will have to honor Hill's legs, which will make it easier for tight ends and receivers to get open. People forget that Hills first play was a touchdown pass against Washington State.

salt lake city, utah

You all may give A's and B's etc. but the national press certainly didn't by dropping Texas out of the top 25. It certainly says a lot about Texas but it certainly doesn't show any respect for BYU either.

We'll see what follows.

South Jordan, UT

Nobody among sports elite predicted that BYU would upset Texas. Even the BYU stations were bracing for the loss. Whohoo to the Cougars for a big win and for all the naysayers! This team did what they needed to do in this game to win. Stop analyzing it to death! It was predicted that Anae adjusting the offense for this game would prove to be disastrous for BYU. Another whohoo for the Cougars. I think for future games, coaches will analyze the play strategy, game by game, and come up with the best method to win. Bronco's defensive team are absolute studs! They had the Texas bench frowning, scratching their heads, and even yelling at their players. They completely threw them for a loop. The Texas coach in an ESPN interview said at the beginning of the game, "The team that plays the hardest will win!" Of course he thought that would be Texas! Wrong! We love our coaches, players, and fans (even though some are color blind).

Go Cougars!


Surf is Up
Miami, FL

Unless you can separate the kick off from rest of the special teams I would not give special teams an A. More like a B+. It seems like every time BYU has gotten some momentum in past games (as well as this game) the kicker somehow manages to put the ensuing kick-off out of bounds, thus giving the opposing team great field position to start their next drive.

Fortunately the defense was great, which is why I would give the defense an A-

Farmington, UT

BYU coaches deserved better than a B grade. They had the best clock management at the end of the first half that we have witnessed in two years. On the other hand, the DesNews gave Utah a solid A in everything. I guess 'class' isn't a category since piling it on seems to be in vogue for PAC 12 teams.

As they say, "Be careful, your bias (or perhaps ignorance is a better word) is showing."

Uncle Rico
Sandy, UT

I'm not upset.

Great Game BYU!!

blue & white
Boise, ID

Very nice team effort!

Floyd Johnson
Broken Arrow, OK

Offense - The passing game is abysmal. It cost BYU the first game, and will be an ongoing concern throughout the season. The author uses the logic that an excellent running game overcame all deficiencies. That argument would only be valid in BYU had only passed 10 times. I rewatched the game and saw two passes that should have been interceptions. Those could have played a significant role on the outcome of the game.

Coaching - Pull star players at the end of the game! There is no excuse for playing Hill midway through the fourth quarter of that game. Missed in the excitment of victory, is the fact that Jamaal Williams was injured on his last play (he was face down with players on his legs and a defender was pulling his shoulders backward) It was a useless play late in the fourth quarter that Lasike could have made. If Mendenhall is asked, the response will be "Jamaal is a little sore, he has two weeks to get ready for Utah, and he will be 100%." But he likely won't be. That back injury may handicap him the remainder of the year, and could easily have ended his season.

Special teams - Thrilled with the field goal kicking.

Meridian, ID

If the coaching got a B, that means that this running game was a fluke. We'll see what happens when teams man up for the run. Without a passing game it should be easy to stop. That was not the game plan, to have the QB scramble! It is not the option offence of Air Force that is hard to stop.
Good luck next game, BYU will need it.


Texas fired their defensive coordinator Sunday after only two games and the loss to's a win now or you're fired business. I wonder if BYU would be that quick to fire a coach after only two games?

Bee Careful
Kaysville, UT

Who can explain how a team loaded with five star, blue chip recruits could be pummeled by a team with maybe one or two? Did the delay have anything to do with it? I have my suspicions that it did indirectly. Texas' pre-game preparation seems to have worn off. That kind of preparation only lasts about three hours. The game took five.

Bonneville, ID

I loved the out come of the game but I think a B for coaching is fair. A couple consistent problems I see are:

Timeouts are always burned early on defense instead saved later when needed on offense at half or end of game. Close game can be lost because of it

Having a db on special teams when the team depth at that position is seriously lacking. Chances of getting hurt on special team plays is much greater. Case in point Dallin Leavitt getting hurt. I hope not seriously because the team can not afford any more injuries there.

I like Bronco but you can tell mentally he is a defense coach, first and foremost. The defense has flourished because of his focus but I feel the offense has suffered some because of that. I hope coach Anae can bring some balance back to the team.

Bountiful, UT

Wow. I did not see that one coming! Well done coaches and players. That is a big win that they can really feel proud of.

This week it was the offense picking up the defense for a change instead of the other way around. You can figure that the Utes will be gameplanning like crazy to find a way to slow down Taysom's explosiveness.

We have 2 weeks to prepare for them so I hope we play a very clean and crisp game without the buffoonery that went on in past years (getting kicks blocked, missing easy FG's, bad snaps into the end zone, fumbles and interceptions galore, bad clock management and predictable play calling.

Scott Farcus
Beaver, UT

There's a reason Quarterbacks wear a yellow jersey in practice.

Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.

Relish the win, but thin about it.

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