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
The defense came out shaky and extremely exploitable down the field — allowing two Irish touchdowns on their first two possessions. Substitutions were made, and the defense settled down, but those 14 early points proved too much to overcome.

The defensive line struggled at the point of attack against the run and couldn't mount an effective pass rush throughout the contest. Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees had all day to pick apart the Cougar secondary, while Irish running backs consistently enjoyed a good and consistent push from their offensive front.

Safeties Craig Bills and Daniel Sorensen were typically solid, but the outside linebackers, including Kyle Van Noy, were unusually quiet and didn't make the impact plays Cougar fans have grown accustomed to.

Bad tackling again reared its ugly head as the defense allowed 235 yards rushing on 5.0 yards per carry and 470 yards overall.

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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