BYU football: Which Cougars are most crucial for success in 2014?

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 6 2014 12:59 p.m. MDT

The BYU Cougars have already started fall camp and are poised to have a monster year.

The Cougars are loaded with returning starters from last season's 8-5 team who are looking to add to already successful careers. There are also some big-time newcomers who are looking to make their respective mark on the program this year.

With the abundance of talent that litters the Cougars' roster in 2014 there are more than a handful of players who need to have big seasons for BYU to find success. This is the list of the best of the best of those players. These are who will carry the load for the Cougars this season as they try to make another step forward to get their name back into the national conversation as one of the best football schools in the country.

Here is a look at the most important players for BYU to have a successful season in 2014.

Defensive stats are from cfbstats.com, offensive stats from Sports-reference.com.

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Davis, UT

I hate lists, just write the article please

Spanish Fork, UT

I like lists. But notice that of the 10, Williams, Johnson and Pikula are AWOL at practice either as irrelevent for the first game, for being cleared to play with the first team, or sitting for academic issues. Tough with 30% of the important guys aren't playing with the first team.

Mcallen, TX

I love lists, and articles.

Do carry on!

North Las Vegas, NV

Anyone else see that Taysom made the Heisman Watch top 10 list by Athlon Sports.

Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

My vote: Tom Holmoe. Scheduling two challenging games almost assures a 10 win season.

Cinci Man

This ought to be something to consider. If any player doesn't have a great season, BYU could really struggle to win. Every player is equally important and every player, starter or bench, needs to step up. That's what I'd love to see this year.

Surf is Up
Miami, FL

Tight ends are going to be important; or they should be. BYU pioneered the proper and effective use of the TE. Then pretty much abandoned it. Shame.

@Who am I sir, I doubt you would ever give BYU props if they scheduled every team in the SEC on the road.

U will obviously be using SOS as the main defense for why the utes will be out of the bowl picture again. But it will do little to convince the objective thinker that the utes are still pretty much a mid major team; and not a even a top tier program there either.

Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT

@ Surf is Up

Utah is 9-1 against non PAC-12 teams since moving conferences. Seems like Utah is still pretty darn good against mid-majors.

Salmon, ID

I agree - Utah is a great mid-major football team but P-5 team? Not so much.

South Jordan, UT

I hope BYU uses deception in their play making strategy.

There can be a potential problem with the tight end/slot back thinking if it happens on the same side of the offensive line.

If you want the plays to be deceptive, exchanging receivers in the slot position for a real "tight end" like Mahina can telegraph to the defense, it is a pass play.

The way to avoid this is to keep the real tight end (mahina) on the opposite end of the line with a wide receiver on the same side and place the two backs in the slot on the other side.


1. You have 4 eligible receivers up front. Left wide out , left tight end, 2 slot backs (right side)
2. The tail back can take a hand off or receive a swing pass.
3. The quarterback can run or pass
4. Reverse: Fake to the tail back into the line and hand off to the right side (inside slot back) who runs a reverse to the left side where the tight end is used as blocker
(Note: a fast player needs to play inside slot on the reverse preferably 4.4 speed)

Keep in mind the formation described above can be flipped where the tight end and wide receiver are on the right and the two slot backs are on the left side.
Also, the two backs can line up anywhere as long as they are 1 yard back off the line of scrimmage. The backs can even line up one behind the other.

SUMMARY: The defense does not know if it is pass or run and has no idea who the receiver is? Deception is everything. We used to fake to a tail back going into the line and the inside slot back would receive the hand-off coming straight across behind the line. If the timing is right, this can be a very effective play. Also, you have the option of a double fake and simply passing to the back coming across behind the line once he is on the outside

Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@Surf is Up

"@Who am I sir, I doubt you would ever give BYU props if they scheduled every team in the SEC on the road."

Last year was touted as "the toughest ever" schedule for the Y. 7 games (counting bowl) against major conference opponents. That's a start. The results 2 wins - 5 losses. This year back to the time proven schedule/record.

Quasi props.

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