Comments about ‘BYU football: Cougars seem to be hitting their stride’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 18 2011 9:03 p.m. MDT

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NevadaCoug
Overton, NV

"It's definitely there. We're just dominating right now."

Sorry, Mr. Hoffman, but dominating is far from the right word. Are the Cougars playing better? You bet. Would they beat Texas if they played them again right now? Or even Utah? Hard to say; especially Utah since the Cougars are still turning the ball over too much.

But they are playing better now than they did at the beginning of the season, especially on offense. I fully expect them to finish the year strong with, hopefully, no more than 1 loss (I expect them to lose to TCU; and there is a possibility of a let down against Hawaii. Wouldn't be the first time, right Mr. Doman?) A strong finish and good performance in the bowl game would be great. But they need to figure out how to start the season better.

WhatsInItForMe
Orem, Utah

BYU will hit their stride when the following two things happen:

1. Get a consistent, top-notch QB with enough experience to perform when he's at the helm.

That could be Nelson, finishing out his BYU career; could be Heaps if he finally loses his fear of contact; could be Lark; or, who knows? But, SOMEONE has to step up because NO college team can succeed with a subpar QB.

2. Get a top-ten quality defense.

Something's missing in this year's defense. Many possibilities, like lack of CB talent to allow more blitzing, or lack of will by Bronco to blitz (afraid of allowing a big play), or lack of overall defensive talent (I doubt that one), or something. Whatever it is, BYU needs it. The defense has been a great disappointment compared to the shut-down defense we fans had expected.

TCU and Hawaii are the only remaining teams left on schedule that should have any chance of beating BYU. Both away games versus decent talent.

Win those, and maybe next year won't be as disappointing. Depending on those two issues.

Big Hapa
Kaysville, UT

Mid season stride, that is what is left of the season. Oh well 20/20 hind site.

Lark is a senior so he is done after this year. That being said Lark should get to start against ISU, jake wont learn anything more by playing against the Bengals, so why not let Lark play.

Louisiana Cougar
Pineville, LA

The Cougars' real bowl game this year will be the TCU game. The horned frogs are the toughest game on the scheduled -- including any team that BYU might face in the long list of irrelevant bowls.

Going to Hawai'i would constitute a bowl trip, I guess, since it will definitely be the most enjoyable location at which the Cougars will play this year or next.

The two big remaining question marks for the Cougars are, "When (not whether) Nelson will get hurt?" and "Will Heaps transfer to another school in order to get playing time since Nelson has one more year of eligibility?"

My prediction is that Nelson has a one in four chance of making it past the TCU game without a serious injury. Heaps will come back in and look good for a game or two, and we shall then see at the Hawai'i game whether the Cougars really have made any progress.

Other than those questions, I think

TizTheSeason
Lehi, Utah

Strength of remaining schedule????

Dennis
Harwich, MA

If beating poor teams and losing to reasonable and good teams is hitting a "stride", they're hitting it hard.

fan32
St. George, Utah

BYU's biggest problem is they waisted a year babysitting Heaps. Well, that seems to be over now and Nelson has made watching fun again. Next problem is this independent experiment. Holmoe couldn't sell the Big12 on BYU, let's see if he can sell the fan base on independence. He has had a tough time being successful outside of playing football. Hopefully he can change that. Jury is out. Independence will be successful if LES stays full. It will be a failure if it doesn't, plain and simple. LES would need expansion in the Big 12. Do we have the best executives we can find guiding BYU sports? Jury still out. I will be to the game Saturday cheering the cougars on.

mgr63
DALLAS, TX

"Walking with a swagger?" Bwahahahahahahahaha! BYU ONLY scrapes by teams with losing records, scheduled for a handful more of poor WAC/Big Sky teams at LES and "that" is impressive? Oh my goodness? Can it get anymore pathetic? BYU has slipped into abyss forever. I hope the crew that makes all the decisions in SLC will drop BYU athletics. It is a very sad state of affairs at best in the 21st century. I can't wait for the TCU game............what a spectacle that will be. Goooooooo Frogs!

Why isn't the Idaho St. game on at prime time on Saturday? BYU is such a "storied" program, like Notre Dame no less!? Hahahahahahah!

KamUte
South Jordan, UT

High School schedule. Way to hit stride.

Y Grad / Y Dad
Richland, WA

Man, you guys are flat out awful!

"If, not when he gets hurt." ANY player has a chance of getting hurt, including a true pocket QB. Riley is riskier, but also tougher. Give it a break.

"If beating poor teams and losing to reasonable and good teams is hitting a "stride", they're hitting it hard." No, we lost to an awful team, and we are doing better than that now. Would you be happier with, "We THINK we are hitting our stride, guess we'll find out in Dallas." Give it a break already.

"- including any team that BYU might face in the long list of irrelevant bowls." You do remember that the "long list" consists of precisely one bowl - the Armed Forces bowl? The article reminded you, in case you forgot. Would require reading...

PAC12Fan
South Jordan, UT

This "stride" will fet fans into a lather. Should win the rest except TCU and bronco will stay onas coach.

SCCougar
LEXINGTON, SC

@ Big Hapa: Lark is a Junior

So. Cal Reader
Escondido, CA

I love my Cougs and what the team & program stands for, but come on. Talk and even mention of BCS in articles is so premature. Of course the offense is hitting its stride because of the weakened schedule they've been playing over the last 3-4 games. Let's see how they do against TCU. That will be a real test. With the schedule our Cougs have, which I understand was the best we could do for a first year of going independent, we've got to strengthen the schedule by a long shot and dominate the schedule to even be considered in the same breath as BCS. Oregon State and Washington State isn't going to cut it. We need the upper echelon of the Pac 12-- USC, Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State. With that being said, I couldn't be happier being bowl eligible after the beat down of Idaho State this Saturday. The Armed Forces Bowl will be just fine this season.

TJ
Eagle Mountain, UT

The TCU game will be the toughest game the Cougars will have this year. If they are able to stay in that game and possibly even win, then I will say they have improved quite a bit from the beginning of the year. The Hawaii game may be the same to some degree but we will have to see what their record is at the end of the year. Nelson seems to be the biggest reason for the increased level of success. Hopefully he can continue to improve. Shouldn't be hard with the exception of the two games mentioned above.

mgr63
DALLAS, TX

What is in the water in Utah County folks? In all honesty, there is no other sports team in the world where the coach(s) and players spew such continuos erroneous hype and ridiculous optimism to "sell" their existence like BYU football does. It is almost sick, really, but it remains the best entertainment of all-time without question.........including Y fans as well. CrAzY funny it is. THANKS BYU!!!!!

SCCougar
LEXINGTON, SC

mgr63: Trolls need to put others down to deflect their own situation.
Are you really going to base your Ute's season on the BYU win? Who on the U schedule the rest of the year has a winning record? Do you really want the "crew that makes all the decisions in SLC" to drop BYU athletics? Really, besides Montana State, BYU is the only team on your schedule that you've beaten that has a winning record. Your justifications make no sense.

DonO
Draper, UT

You'll never know BYU's potential until they play someone other than patsies. Idaho State?? And they'll doubtless lose to TCU. Given, this is the first year of independence so they had to grab anyone willing to stick their head above the log. But "hitting their stride" this year will mean little...if anything.

dustman
Nampa, ID

"Swagger."

Worst sports word ever. But I admit my old spice deodorant is called swagger. Does that make me a hypocrit?

Exciting. TCU and Hawaii always show up to play when it comes to BYU. BYU Could be 9-4 after the bowl game.

SoUtHapa
Saint George, Utah

James Lark is a good friend and an unfortunate stander by this season. He worked on his delivery in the off season and it showed as he stepped up in early workouts and made an impact. We all remember the optimism regarding his status, "most athletic QB ever at the Y" stuff that was being thrown around. He and Riley are close friends, a great story in and of itself. In fact, James initially instructed Riley on the medical redshirt rules which allow Riley to repeat this, a junior season. Had the redshirt not been granted, Riley would be playing this year as a senior and James might then have had his senior season next year to take over the offense. Nothing is etched in stone yet other than we know Heaps needs to develop. I love watching Riley Nelson run the show. He is a man and a true leader, but I would love to see James Lark get a shot to show you all the stuff he's made of. I think it would be a treat!

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Now is when we begin are national championship run. we can still win it this year because were pretty good now.

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