BYU football report card: Lack of red zone execution or effective line play loom large in loss to Notre Dame

Published: Saturday, Nov. 23 2013 11:42 p.m. MST

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Associated Press
BYU prefers to call it the "blue zone" instead of the red zone, but considering the team's offensive performance inside an opponent's 20-yard line another name would seem more appropriate. The "dead zone," maybe?

The Cougars were simply atrocious inside the Notre Dame 20-yard line, which has been a theme throughout the year. Granted, spread offenses often struggle in the red zone, but offensive coordinator Robert Anae and his players need to figure something out to come away with touchdowns instead of field goals.

The Cougars settling for field goals and missed field goals when the offense drove deep was pretty much the story of the game. Opportunities missed. Another quality road win against a name opponent alluded.

The Cougar offense was not without its moments or standout players, however. Running back Paul Lasike deserves mention for his 101 yards on just four carries. Taysom Hill ran it 24 times for 101 yards, while Jamaal Williams was limited to just 43 yards on 18 attempts.

BYU struggled through the air, however — throwing for just 168 yards on a paltry 4.7 yards per attempt. No doubt that the frigid conditions had an impact on the throw game, but not enough plays were made down the field to come away with a win.

Thirteen points scored simply is not enough to warrant a high grade, and certainly not enough to warrant a quality road win.

Grade: C-
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Eden, UT

Why doesn't anyone ever comment about the kick-off team, other than Daniel Sorenson, tackles like they just had their fingernails done? Getting downfield quickly doesn't matter if you tackle like a bunch of girls.

All we can hope for is that next year some o-lineman who can remember the snap count show up in camp, and that some judo tight end who can catch more than two passes per game also shows up.

See It

TERRIBLE is what I will remember about the Bronco Mendenhall era and playing big games on National stages. We need a change in coaching strategy and the types of players we recruit. We just can't go head to head with these types of programs.

Surf is Up
Miami, FL

I'd rather have Gary Crowton as the OC rather than Robert Anae. He obviously had no clue what play to call and it got worse as the game went on. So he kept rolling the dice and it kept coming up snake eyes.

Mission Viejo, CA

@See It: you must be too young to remember BYU's record in bowl games and in big games before Mendenhall. Mendenhall wins bowl games and beats good teams. Had we lost only to the good teams, we would have been 9 -2 instead of 7 - 4. Virginia and Utah were upsets, Wisconsin and ND were not.

Surf@ surely you jest. Crowton was a 1-year flash in the pan whose teams got worse every year. And he lost his bowl game, too.

This was a rebuilding year and it showed. Major issue all year was the O-line. It will be better next year.

Temple City, CA

I agree with BlueHusky. While I see areas to work on, I am pleased with the direction the program is taking.

I am astounded that BYU supporters would be so critical of the coaches. BYU coaches have taken the program to the next level, all the while maintaining the higher behavior standards among their athletes than any program in the country.

Surf is Up
Miami, FL

BlueHusky perhaps I am jesting, but only to illustrate my extreme opposition to RA. I was one of those who did not like the news when it was announced that he was coming back.

Plus, Crowton was a disaster as a head coach, but not so sure he wouldn't be a good OC. But I admit I don't know that.

All I know is that the current OC, is one dimensional, easy to predict, and doesn't seem to game plan based on who the opponent is.

I have also begun to take Bronco at his words, when he said something to the effect that football comes in fifth in priority. The game planning for ND seemed to shout that fact out.

I'm a huge BYU fan, and I saw this game as a big time win for BYU. ND was very beatable.

But BYU not prepared, mentally or strategically. IMO.

Salt Lake City, UT

I don't know this for sure, but, there might be some big time locker room type issues with this team. For example, at the beginning of the game, did anyone notice on tv that they showed taysom hill trying to rile up his teammates and he went over to cody hoffman and hoffman didn't seem to even acknowledge that hill was even there. Then it seems hoffman and apo play so disinterested and hill barely even throws the ball their direction. There seems to be so much talent between hill, hoffman and apo, yet something seems to not be quite right between those guys.

Arizona Reader
Gilbert, AZ

Amen to the title of this article. Red Zone and play calling have been our issues in each loss.

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