BYU football: Cougars must focus on reducing turnovers


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  • Insightful
    Sept. 24, 2009 2:48 p.m.

    There has been some great insight here, as well as some off base info. To sum it up I would say...
    1. Speed was not the biggest factor in the FSU game. (get off the speed soap-box)
    2. Minus the turnovers BYU would have had a good chance to win that game.
    3. Chambers is not over-rated but is inexperienced and needs to learn to hang on to the ball (coaching)
    4. BYU was dominated by FSU in the trenches but the offense still moved the ball on FSU until BYU stopped running the ball.
    5. BYU needs to run the ball even when they fall behind.
    6. Two key plays; first interception should have been pass interference, this was a 14 point swing. (fact, not excuse.)FSU fumbled the ball and BYU players not alert enough to jump on it. Another 14 point swing.
    7. Max Hall made some mistakes just like most of the other players. Max should take the same amount of blame for loss as the rest of the players who made mistakes.(coaching)

    Sept. 24, 2009 2:33 p.m.

    That was a riveting speech! Do you have any other words/cliches of wisdom for Mr. Hall. Maybe a "it is what it is." might help Max put up and shut up. You are a master of the keyboard sir and no one can take your place. I am just glad to be 2-1 instead of 1-2, or 0-3 for that matter. Max struggled, but the fact is he does a pretty decent job. He isn't on my top 5 QB list at BYU, maybe not even the top 10 if I thought about it long and hard, but he is serviceable and the best we have right now. He does have a good winning percentage. And a lot of those wins are because he made up for the defense. BYU has always had a bad defense. If you can't wrap your head around that and accept that fact than maybe you should go into coaching and change it.

    Sept. 24, 2009 1:44 p.m.

    When you point the finger at your team mates and say stuff like "we need to hold on to the football" you have three fingers pointing back at you Max. Great that you are taking command of the ship here Maxie boy, but you need to take responsibility of way to many picks. Yes, Chambers fumbled and the kick-off was screwed up but "YOU" leadership captain, need to STOP CHOKING and hit the guys in Navy Blue & White uni's OK...Enough talk and excuse's put up and shut up. Please stop with the lame whining and play football...

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    Sept. 24, 2009 10:51 a.m.

    The Cougars all need to be committed and change their uniform's over to white straight jacket's, in their 54-28 setback to Florida State last Saturday because Florida is the BEST, and the Cougars are really just tiny little kitty cats with a small meow while they pur in the blog's and whine about they are just big loosers. That's the way it'll be and stay for the rest of this season to. Live with it. FL is perrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfect. LOL

  • re: AlpCougar
    Sept. 24, 2009 10:39 a.m.

    I wouldn't consider Dalton a running quarterback. And his legs didn't beat BYU last year (6 carries/19 yds).

    WR Jeremy Kerley mostly lined up in the QB wildcat formation had 9 carries, 77 yds, 1 TD rushing against us. He is the TCU offensive player that beat us the most last year.

  • Few Observations/Projections
    Sept. 24, 2009 10:23 a.m.

    No team in the MWC will play a team faster than FSU in the regular season. That said, it was more FSU's extraordinary precision (played a perfect game) that beat BYU, followed a close second by BYU mistakes (speed helped but wasn't the reason).

    CSU has not played an impressive game this year and has a horrible schedule so far (no CU is not good).

    TCU is the scariest team remaining on the Cougars schedule followed a close second by the Cougars themselves :-)

    Utah has a lot of work to do this year if they are going to pull it together enough to even contend for the MWC title (Oregon tried to give that game to them and they couldn't/wouldn't accept the help).

    Landry Jones is 2-0 as a starter and 49/81 for 673 yds, 9 TDs which by all accounts makes him pretty good.

    BYU can have complete control of their remaining schedule IF they can control the ball and avoid major injuries.

  • AlpCougar
    Sept. 24, 2009 9:51 a.m.

    It all boils down to turnovers. Take two of the turnovers and a corresponding 10 points away from FSU and add 10 points to BYU assuming we would have scored at least 10 points (safe assumption given FSU couldn't stop our offense) and conservatively the score is 44-38. If you take 3 turnovers off of the stat or assume 14 points with the 2 turnover scenario and you have a 42-40 win for BYU. The same was true for the Utah and TCU games last year. We hung with those teams until we started turning it over. Less so with TCU but we turned it over 3 times within the 30 yard line. The other key factor is that BYU always struggles with scrambling QB's. We have to find a way to contain QB's that run like Dalton from TCU. While I love Max, I also think BYU needs a scrambling QB. That is why Riley Nelson will do well next year.

  • re Perspective
    Sept. 24, 2009 9:47 a.m.

    I agrew with Perspective I would just add one thing in brackets to his comments:

    2nd interception -- poorly thrown [catchable] ball behind the receiver that is tipped up into the hands of the FSU defender. Bummer..those things happen.

    The ball did hit the receiver in one of his hands near his hip and could possibly have been caught, so it isn't entirely Max's fault and the fortune of FSU to have the ball bounce right to them was painful to have happen.

    Anyone notice that DiLuigi scored on the exact same play when he was led by the ball thrown by Riley?

  • Re: Defense
    Sept. 24, 2009 6:44 a.m.

    Yes, the defense lost the game for us against a good FSU offense. However, this season Hall has as many picks as he does TD passes, which I find alarming. Chambers has O td passes and two fumbles. The offense needs to step up as well even though they've looked good at times. If the defense continues to play like last week the offense will have to be perfect to win. Please don't underestimate CSU. Fans made that mistake last week thinking we'd destroy FSU.

  • Defense
    Sept. 23, 2009 11:11 p.m.

    I'm sorry, but the main problem with this game was defense. The turnover margin didn't help all that much, but the defense needed to step it up. There were so many times that the defense hit the running back behind the line of scrimmage, watch the game again, it's true! But the problem is, they didn't wrap up on the RB's. Had they wrapped up on them consistently, the game would have been extremely different. The offense wouldn't have been desperate for points and so they wouldn't be forcing things, and everything would have clicked like it did against OU and Tulane. You can't put this on the offense. Besides Hall's one INT, (One not caught by Di Luigi and the other PI) the offense looked extremely good.

  • fumbles
    Sept. 23, 2009 11:10 p.m.

    If the early fumbles didnt happen then i dont see max hall thowing those picks. the picks were a result of max trying to make things happen because his team was down early. this would have been a closer game and byu would have been able to "maintain their identity" like bronco was talking about. they would have been able to keep playing THEIR game. byu had the ball for a lil over 2 minutes in the first quarter. time of possession killed the cougs. If byu doesnt fumble then max doesnt force the ball and byu would have saw a better half time score... i was at the game and saw this all go down the way it did and byu is still a great team but NEEDS to stop hurting themselves. they have the talent to compete with anyone. that has already been proven. if BYU can control this fumble issue and get the D-line to fill gaps... byu will roll to wins. if byu continues to struggle with this then max will struggle to keep his team up... plain and simple.

  • manaen
    Sept. 23, 2009 10:23 p.m.

    BYU:28 / FSU: 54
    BYU:5 / FSU:0
    Which resulted in time of possession
    BYU: 20:09 / FSU: 39:51
    Which resulted in points per minute of possession
    BYU: 1.40 / FSU: 1.36
    BYU scored slightly more efficiently than did FSU -- *when we held onto the ball*
    Yeah, turnovers.

  • Throw the ball away!
    Sept. 23, 2009 9:02 p.m.

    Max killed any chance for BYU to get back into the game. He is a good player, but makes too many bad decisions in critical situations.

  • Howard Stucki
    Sept. 23, 2009 8:55 p.m.

    The main reason for the loss to FSU has little to do with speed. The reason for the loss was the BYU defensive line got manhandled, big time, by the FSU o-line. It is that simple. The BYU d-line was
    on its heels all day long. I only counted 2 times that the BYU d-line held their own against FSU starting o-line. They were simply out muscled. It had very little to do with speed. The BYU linebackers and d-backs for the most part did their part and stayed with the 'speedsters' of FSU, but when the d-line couldn't stop a run or couldn't penetrate on a pass play, the FSU qb had all day to throw. It was all on the d-line. Because BYU couldn't make a stop, it took the BYU offense out of their game plan with more passing and less running than was planned, and so the turnovers came
    from forcing. IT IS ALL THE D-LINES FAULT.

  • Nothing new...
    Sept. 23, 2009 8:47 p.m.

    The turnover issue has been part of the program for years...even more so during the Hall tenure. Even then, our running backs and recievers also find it necessary to spot the opponent a few more possessions. Just like "forgetting" to wrap up an opponent. How many times did the D have someone caught behind the LOS, only to let them slip out of our grasp.

    Same crud...different year. I truly hope we can pull the proverbial head-out this week...but I am not sure about the U or TCU. The U defense is very fast...and they hit pretty hard...unlike the cougarettes.

  • My two cents
    Sept. 23, 2009 8:23 p.m.

    By fumbling on their first possession, BYU put themselves in a whole and effectively had to play uphill the rest of the game. Later turnovers just increased the pressure. Meanwhile, with a steadily increasing lead Fla State could play free and easy and just kept rolling. Had BYU not turned over the ball, held serve for a few series, and gone into halftime with the game tied, say, at 14-14 or 21-21, pressure would have steadily mounted on both teams. Fla State may have made a mistake under those circumstances and we may have seen an entirely different second half. It was clear in the first half that neither defense could stop the others' offense. Had we not defaulted the game with silly early turnovers, it might have come down to who had the ball last.

  • berf
    Sept. 23, 2009 8:07 p.m.

    Reduction in turnovers would be nice. But we would also be much better off to have fewer mistakes on the defense. Polish your act cougs. The FSU game was not about refs or coaches it was about players making mistakes. This team can be great and still has the opportunity to prove it.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 23, 2009 5:49 p.m.

    The key to the FS loss: Turnovers, plain and simple.
    No team can survive 5 turnovers against a respectable team. I'm tired of hearing speed, speed, speed. Lack of speed did not cost BYU this game. Turnovers did. It was apparent at the outset that this game was like a tennis match: You had to hold serve to win. FS opened with a touchdown drive. BYU countered with what should have been a serve-holding drive. But an over-rated hotdog player fumbled in the red zone. Game over. If we assume BYU would have scored on even two of the five turnovers, it would have meant a turnaround of as much as 28 points (+14 for BYU -14 for FS). Bronco said it: When BYU does what it does best, turnovers don't happen. When they leave their comfort zone and start pressing to catch up, turnovers happen. This is still a very good football team. Cut out the turnovers and the FS game would have been close,if not an outright win.
    Total yardage, even with turnovers, was fairly close.

  • Sierra Blue
    Sept. 23, 2009 4:45 p.m.

    One of the interesting, but little commented on, aspects of sports is that certain types of teams do better against certain other types of team. For instance, Oklahoma may well defeat FSU head to head,yet FSU easily defeats BYU who beat Oklahoma.

    Every year at bowl time, we see a team that looked pretty good during the regular season have a puzzling defeat in the bowl. It isn't always about which team is best, but which type of team is best.

    BYU doesn't seem to do well against speedy teams, but they hold their own against the best power teams.

    Fans shouldn't take the FSU loss too hard. BYU is still a good team and would fare pretty well against a lot of high ranked power teams.

    The focus for the future should be more speed, but this year they have everything they need to win the MWC if they do what they do best and play their style of ball against everyone else on the schedule.

  • byuhog
    Sept. 23, 2009 4:12 p.m.

    OU and Fl-st. are a wee bit better than CU and whoever else CSU has faced this year like ahem-Weber st....

    The TO number would be quite different for both teams if the games were switched.

  • RE.: Please
    Sept. 23, 2009 3:02 p.m.

    "If" is the key word - bigger, stronger - maybe. A key element is speed and quickness, and B.Y.U doesn't have that.

  • Please
    Sept. 23, 2009 10:54 a.m.

    The answer to turnovers for BYU is to run the ball, run the ball, run the ball. The fewer times Max has to through into coverage the better for the team. I hope Unga is back to full strenght so that we can pound the ball. The coaching staff seem to get anxiety if Hall is not throught he ball 50 + times a game. More balance if not more running please. It is always more devestating to loss to a team that pounds the ball down your throat than through the air. If we are the bigger stronger team this should not be a problem.

  • The Truth
    Sept. 23, 2009 10:48 a.m.

    Hey "Truth" don't steal my thunder!

    BYU should dominate CSU. Turnovers should be reduced, but that wouldn't change the outcome when BYU plays faster teams. BYU should stick to scheduling Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa, Rutgers, Louisville and other BCS teams that are a little slower. BYU could (not would, but could) win those games and that is.....


  • Perspective
    Sept. 23, 2009 10:40 a.m.

    Let's try to be a bit objective here. Look at the interceptions in the FSU game.

    1st interception - this was a blow call from the officials on an obvious Pass Interference. I'm not complaining, I'm not making excuses, I know calls are part of the game, I'm just saying this by way of explanation.

    2nd interception -- poorly thrown ball behind the receiver that is tipped up into the hands of the FSU defender. Bummer..those things happen.

    3rd interception -- a break down in protection, Max probably should have either ate it and taken the sack or thrown it out of bounds.

    The point is, Max is not necessarily locking onto receivers and telegraphing his passes, nor is he forcing things into coverage, or does he panic. He had two bad breaks and one mistake at the end of the game.

    To correct this a couple of things:

    1) Anae needs to run the ball more and not panic by throwing on every down when they get behind.
    2) If the pressure is too much, move the pocket and buy Max more time by rolling out.
    3) Throw it away.

    Go Max! Go Cougs! Kill CSU!

  • Re:Maximus
    Sept. 23, 2009 10:20 a.m.

    After the Utah game and now FSU.....I have lost my patience with BYU and Max Hall!

    Time to retire Max and give the reigns to Riley Nelson!! The guy is a winner!

    And you Ute fans need to shut up....BYU will emasculate you in November, just like old times!

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 23, 2009 8:33 a.m.

    reduce turnovers???..ya think!!!

  • Cougars must reduce turnovers?
    Sept. 23, 2009 7:51 a.m.

    The Sky is blue.
    I drive a car to work.
    I use a computer at work.

    See, I can do it too!

  • SLCWatch
    Sept. 23, 2009 7:31 a.m.

    I would be willing to guess that the combined commentators of Max Hall's skills and habits have a Grand total of "0" attempts at being a division I quarterback including the practice field. NCAA football video games unfortunately don't count guys.
    Critic's are legless men that teach running. Give it a rest. The coaches know a lot more than you give them credit for. Go play catch with your son's and quit wasting your time.

  • montanacutter
    Sept. 23, 2009 3:20 a.m.

    Max (Where is the ball Hall) needs to eat the ball or throw the ball away when he has no open reciever. He does not have the arm to force the throw in a tight cover of the receiver. This is FACT

    Chambers has to protect the ball better. Two fumbles in the red zone caused game turning events that killed the momentum for BYU.

    If Max (where is the ball Hall) can not correct throwing to the other team he should be benched and let others try. This has to be considered since the season just started or have a season with several losses to MWC teams and no bowl game. CSU, Utah, and TCU have the personnel to beat BYU any given day.

    The Coaching staff has to look at what is best for the team and sucess of the season. Even if that means benching Max (Where is the ball Hall) and Chambers. Shake things up Coaches.


    When does Heaps get on campus?

  • Maximus
    Sept. 23, 2009 12:49 a.m.

    Worst play of the game: 3rd down in the 4th quarter. Max takes a 5 step drop and STARES at McKay Jacobson the WHOLE time...McKay isn't open so he scrambles forward a bit and before he's about to get hit realizes Pitta is WIDE OPEN!!!...No one around for 20 yards!...Max rushes his pass and throws it 3 yards above Pitta's head!!! Had he not STARED down Jacobson the whole time he could have easily noticed a wide open Pitta for a 1st down and kept the drive and some hope alive...but instead Max falls victim to his ugly but repetitive habit of ZONING IN. What suggestions are there for fixing this!? Max really is a talented QB, but is frustrating to watch sometimes. He doesn't have that big game mentality or toughness it seems like.

  • Maximus
    Sept. 23, 2009 12:40 a.m.

    Okay. Max is a good QB, but he has some flaws that have proven to be fatal. He tends to do what I call ZONE IN. He watches ONE route and ONE route only. Not all the time though, and when he's not ZONING IN he is an excellent QB. He only does it when he is feeling immense PRESSURE...e.g. when he has thrown 1 or 2 INT's, when his team is behind by more than 2 TD's, when he feels the refs have jipped him, and in big games.

    Which is a problem that needs fixing because one of those things are bound to happen when playing against BCS or top 25 football teams!

  • TRUTH !!!!
    Sept. 22, 2009 11:51 p.m.

    The truth is simply this, Max look off a receiver, get the first down, throw the rock to the intended route and not the one you feel will get the "Big Result" OK...Look Max you have brought out all the critics and rightly so, you deserve the negative attention cause you once again crumbled in the big game...Listen stay calm and throw an incomplete pass once in a while, its OK...It is farr better to incomplete a pass then complete one to the other team...Shake off last week and lets take the conference... Go Cougars...

  • Prediction
    Sept. 22, 2009 10:30 p.m.

    Can BYU make all the 27 corrections necessary before taking on CSU this weekend?

    I would predict another 4 turnovers, BYU 17, CSU 30. Sorry, but BYU will be 8-4 this year with losses against FSU, CSU, TCU and U of U.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 22, 2009 10:28 p.m.

    I wouldn't necessarily consider Colorado a cream puff team, but, yes, your point is taken. And yes, this year, Colorado is a big sloppy ugly mess, as anybody who has watched them play can attest.

    HANG ON TO THE BALL, CHAMBERS! He's number 2 on the list. Number one... Max Hall. THROW THE BALL TO YOUR OWN TEAM! Other than that, great job, Hall.

    Go Cougars!

  • CSU's Turnover margin...
    Sept. 22, 2009 9:38 p.m.

    is great! But so would be the case with BYU had they played 3 cream puffs to start the season like CSU did.