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BYU football: For Cougars, a good ending to a rough season

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  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    Dec. 27, 2012 2:32 a.m.

    Congrats to the defense for winning the bowl game and keeping the Cougars close all year. Now, let's start rebuilding starting with a new head coach and a new OC. As the AD said earlier this year, changes are going to be made. It is time to get the team moving in the right direction. If the AD cannot get things turned around, then the future of BYU football is a large question mark given the proposed schedule they are trying to put together for the future. Key games were lost this year based on poor decisions by the head coach. At any other university the coach would already be gone. If all you want is a recreational program then there is no need to change.

  • Clownco San Francisco, CA
    Dec. 26, 2012 1:04 a.m.

    Best Christmas gift this year: The Riley Nelson Experiment is over!

  • BYUHOCKEY American Fork, UT
    Dec. 25, 2012 8:06 p.m.

    BYU's defense was great. Only flaw was coaching decisions not to put pressure on opposing accurate passing QB's at appropriate times. Oregon State is a good example and we were still in it until the 4th quarter.

    Heaps was mismanaged by BYU coaching staff. No QB coach to speak of available for solid teaching. Look was Ben Cahoon has done for the receivers. You can tell that Nelson was not a student of the game. He could not read defenses very well. He also just like Heaps had no O-line in front of him. Heaps left because BYU has not recruited any O-line worth being protected by. Time will tell but all of you have mentioned maturity...that comes with time and experience.

    i agree that Taysom Hill needs to be a stay in the pocket QB only running when absolutely necessary. Enough of the draw plays that injure our QBs.

  • moderateinmagna MAGNA, UT
    Dec. 23, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    @ Dukester if you had played 3 seasons as you claim then you would know that the coaches name was Lavelle not Ladell, Lavelle Edwards was the football coach Ladell Anderson was the basketball coach for many seasons so me thinks you know not what you are talking about.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 23, 2012 6:56 p.m.

    @I-am-I

    Despite being allegedly weak at getting turnovers, scoring points, forcing 3-and-outs, and getting good field position for the offense, BYU's defense was:

    #2 in rush defense
    #3 in total defense (behind only Alabama)
    #5 in scoring defense
    #2 in net punting, with 2nd Team All-American punter (not sure how this translates into such lousy field position as you claim)
    #3 in third-down percentage defense (not sure how a defense ranks this high with such a lousy 3-and-out performance, as you claim)
    #1 in red zone efficiency defense

    This year's BYU defense was something any team in the country, any year, would be thrilled to have. Anyone who claims that BYU's defense was "philosophically flawed" is seriously deluded about his own knowledge level and deserves to be roundly mocked.

  • I-am-I South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 23, 2012 10:41 a.m.

    good defenses don't just not let people score they get turnovers and score points and they force 3 and outs and give you offense great field position. This defense never did that consistently. go look at the average starting point for the offense this season. next broncos 3-4 defense is philosophically flawed because he doesn't blitz anywhere near enough. .

  • Big R Danville, CA
    Dec. 23, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    Tom in CA, before you get too excited about Boise beating the Conference of champions, no knock on Boise, they are a very good program, but they are playing the 5th place PAC team in the Vegas Bowl every year. They beat the fifth place team by 2! Nothing to get worked up over.

  • Fuzz Springville, UT
    Dec. 22, 2012 10:00 p.m.

    I wonder who got scored on the most.
    BYU's Defense or BYU's Offense.

  • Tracy Kid Tracy, CA, CA
    Dec. 22, 2012 9:15 p.m.

    The best thing that could have happened for BYU footbal took place Thursday night. The spunky, gritty Turnove Machine played his last game in a cougar uniform.

    Go Cougars!!

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Dec. 22, 2012 5:48 p.m.

    This IS the best ever Defense at BYU - period. Bronco deserves the credit for it. I would want Mendenhall to stay on as defensive coordinator - and wish we could have a Mike Leach type for head coach. Only in dreams.

    CougFanin TX -

    I like your "new conference" idea. I expect we will see some big coaching changes at BYU starting in the next few weeks.

    And on another note - so much for the mighty conference of champions. Got beat again by the little Idaho boys from Boise State. Made my day. Now three in a row beating the so called "big boys" Utah, AZ State and now Washington in the Las Vegas Bowl.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Dec. 22, 2012 3:31 p.m.

    Excuse me for getting off topic, but the wire is crazy today with news about Boise talking to the MWC. Colorado St and New Mexico wanting to break off and start a new conference. And the Big East trying to lure BYU and Fresno St.

    If BYU wouldn't sign with the Big East six months ago, there is no way they sign on now. Too many bridges burned between the MWC and BYU and a still awful media deal and a commissioner who missed golden opportunities to make the MWC a BCS conference.

    I'd love to see a new conference with BYU, Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and Air Force. That's six solid teams in big media markets or with strong followings. We could fill in four others with Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, and Hawaii (football only). This conference would easily dominate the non-AQ conferences most years and therefore would get the automatic non-AQ bid to a premiere bowl game.

    The media deal this conference could get would be far superior to the MWC deal. We know ESPN loves BYU and BSU.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Dec. 22, 2012 3:13 p.m.

    Could have been a spectacular season with the right QB. BYU beat the best USU team ever because they had the right QB in. He couldn't do much against Utah State's defense, but he didn't turn it over either. It's a shame for the defense. Next year is probably going to be particularly difficult for BYU.

  • Wireless Lawyer Lehi, UT
    Dec. 22, 2012 3:00 p.m.

    Some imperical evidence of the prowess of the defense. Held 12 of 13 opponents under their scoring average; 9 of those were 10+ points below their average (including the #1 team the country Notre Dame); 5 of those were more than three touchdowns below their scoring average.

    BYU held 5 of its opponents to their lowest point total of the season and held ND to its second lowest point total of the season.

    While many like to speculate about what might of happened (and why it didn't), the above did happen and I congratulate the players and coaches for making it happen.

  • wahului Stockton, CA
    Dec. 22, 2012 2:21 p.m.

    Jake Heaps, for all his rocket arm, was very sporadic and usually inaccurate. Don't know the inside story but a two year mission would have likely changed his perspective a bit and helped him have the maturity he lacked to handle the position. He made his own bed at BYU, and then couldn't bring himself to lie in it.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Dec. 22, 2012 1:45 p.m.

    agarrett
    "Why is there speculation about whether or not this was the best defense ever?..."

    Who said anything about speculating? You are welcome to your opinion and I am welcome to mine. Please show respect to fellow posters.

    But thanks for sharing your opinion.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 22, 2012 1:26 p.m.

    GTwo

    You are spot on about Heaps. I would also add that of the 4 QB's we saw with significant playing time in the last 2 seasons, only one of them has/had the potential to take BYU to the next level, and that is Taysom Hill. Doman exploited him as a running QB, but in High School his coaches wisely developed him as mostly a drop-back passer, even though he pretty much could run and score just about any time he wanted to. He has a strong arm with good accuracy, able to hold the pocket or escape the pocket and keep the play alive, and exhibits tons of heart and toughness. If the coaches can improve his accuracy even more and give him even an average O-line, he'll do great things at BYU and the NFL. Oh, and having Hoffman back will help a lot also.

  • agarrett PROVO, UT
    Dec. 22, 2012 12:47 p.m.

    Why is there speculation about whether or not this was the best defense ever? This WAS the best defense ever. No questions about it. It's not "among" them or "one of" them. It was THE BEST!!!

  • Fan up North Kirkland , WA
    Dec. 22, 2012 12:42 p.m.

    Who would have thought when the 2012 season started that our best offensive weapon was going to be our DEFENSE, They turned in some stellar performances. Thanks guys for making the games this year a lot of fun to watch, even when our offense lacked a lot to be desired you guys ROCKED! Looking forward to the 2013 season.

  • cal cougar camarillo, CA
    Dec. 22, 2012 12:20 p.m.

    The problem is that Bronco does not value players that have calm demeanors and don't dive in head first. That works really good on defense. Defensive mentality is way different than offensive mentality.

    A quarterback should be fearless in the pocket(Heaps downfall) and hesitant to run. Its called poise. James Lark and possibly Munns are the only quarterbacks in the system that fit this profile( I don't know much about Munns other than if Bronco does not like him, he must be good.) Did you see Lark doing the hook slide rather than take the hit? We will never be successful with a quarterback that only lasts 3 games. No more ADHD quarterbacks.(Nelson,Kuresa, Hill)

    Bronco is a great coach but needs help choosing profiles of offensive players. Put together a profile of a good offensive skill player(including O line). NFL players are a wealth of information on that. Bring along a psychologist to see if they meet these profiles, watch film on them. Then train and feed them the same way as the NFL. Also, get calm quarterback coach and keep Doman away from players. He is too nervous, but shows genius on offensive schemes.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Dec. 22, 2012 12:01 p.m.

    As disappointing as the offense was this year, the defense was among the best I've ever seen. This, folks, is a Bronco Mendenhall defense. Bronco recruited these guys and motivates them. He also defines the schemes. They love him and he loves them. And he wins bowl games. Many of the teams playing in the big bowls this year are defensive teams. Stanford, ND, Alabama to name a few. Those offensive glamor teams, Oregon, USC, have failed to make the top bowls, though, IMO, Oregon belongs in one.

    It is fair to question the QB situation this year. It is fair to question Doman's ability to develop a great offense. I expect some changes there. But the O-line was banged up all year. Could Lark have been the man? We'll never know. Could Heaps have been "saved"? Will Heaps ever be a good QB? Will Doman be back? We'll find out shortly.

    But I think Bronco deserves huge respect for what he's done with this team. Considering the last few Lavell years, the Crowton years, Bronco has been fabulously successful. Perfection is unattainable, but he's my man, for sure.

  • GTwo Rockledge, FL
    Dec. 22, 2012 11:59 a.m.

    I am tired of folks saying we drove Jake Heaps out of town! If Jake performed on the field and played with heart then he would still be here. His performance put him on the pine and his attitude kept him there. He took himself out by his own platt and packed his own bags because HE chose.

    Most accurate passer? Not even close. Check the stats. He was at times and other times he was very inaccurate. Given the wake-up call of being benched and having to swallow his pride and ear a starting spot, I think he will come out the better for it. He may even prove to be very good. I hope he is. But quit blaming BYU for Jake Heaps stinking it up and having no heart.

  • Max-was-right springville, UT
    Dec. 22, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    Dukester, you played under Lavell for 3 years, yet you do not know his name? sure, ya sure you did...

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    Dec. 22, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    Dukester,
    Did you play basketball then for LaDell Anderson?

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Dec. 22, 2012 10:03 a.m.

    I am so thrilled for this great bunch of young men to have closed out this season with an unexpected win (for my part). I just hoped that the non-performing offense would not do so much damage that the defense could not win it for the team. Truly, the offense kept from making the horrific mistakes that would allow San Diego State to score often. For that, they are to be congratulated. Lark would have been quite a different quarterback had the coaches recognized Riley's having reached his peak (sub-standard) and transferred the reigns to Lark sooner. Ah-what could have been! We all wish Riley well. He's a great young man and gives 110% on every play. And the defense was amazing this year. I agree that it ranks among the best ever at BYU. Best wishes to those who move on from BYU football. WELCOME back to all those who come back for next year. I truly hope that the coaching staff has completed their on-the-job training. Thanks Cougars for this great win!

  • Dukester VANCOUVER, WA
    Dec. 22, 2012 9:45 a.m.

    Wayne Rout...Great comments that I totally agree with. Having played under Ladell for three years I really appreciate a great coach. I wish we had one now. Bronco is a very good defensive coach but thats all.

  • LindonMan Lindon, UT
    Dec. 22, 2012 9:10 a.m.

    I'm glad Lark got the nod in this one. Nelson's three plays summed up his career at BYU. Van Noy and Ansah are going to be beasts in the NFL!

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Dec. 22, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    The season where we found a quarterback after the season was almost over. What a shame to waste this defense and this receiver group just so we could play Bronco's favorite at quarterback. What a shame we drove Jake Heps out of town instead of working with him to help him be better. Good bye 13 win season, it would have been fun. Now let's hire an experienced offensive coordinator. No more on the job training for young assistants with no skills.