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Comments about ‘BYU football: BYU's passing game searching for answers’

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Published: Sunday, Sept. 22 2013 11:39 p.m. MDT

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wer
South Jordan, UT

I believe Heaps has better passing stats at Kansas and it wouldn't surprise me if Rily Nelson didn't have better stats last year.

It's time to put Hill at running back and give Ammon the ball.

San Diego
Orem, UT

Having dropped ball problems again. Last time this was a problem Ben Cahoon was hired and he fixed it. Sounds like it was a big mistake to fire him. Wonder if he is still available?

UteinIdaho
Sandpoint, ID

@wer
Are you a BYU fan? If so, you are the first I've seen to agree with me that hill is a RB. Everyone loves talking about him originally signing as a QB with Stanford. If he was playing for the Cardinal right now, he would either be a running back or a linebacker

rhappahannock
Washington, DC

I think it was a really big coaching failure to not have some kind of passing game plan. You simply can't stick with a QB who is averaging a 1/3 completion rate going against a stacked front. At least give a backup QB a series in the game to mix up the defense with a more pass-oriented look, catching them in a run-D look. Or even throw in a WR pass off a reverse. Huge, huge strategy miss from the BYU coaches. 4th and 1 call was also really bad. Can't wear out the other team if you are punting on 4th and 1.

Utah fans have reason to celebrate - they won, we lost. Perhaps as Cougar fans hear the gloating, religious taunts, and see the baptism video, they will realize their tax dollars are helping subsidize the UU athletic department. There is no good reason for any BCS athletic department to be subsidized when they are making so much through their TV contracts. So as they Utes shove the win in your face, don't get angry - write your state legislators, and end subsidies to BCS teams.

gdog3finally
West Jordan, Utah

Passing game answers? Ya think?

It's hard to win when Taysom Hill throws 48 times. I know BYU runs close to a hundred plays per game, so the ratio is close to even (pass to run ratio), but 48 times and plays to embrace Hill's arm? Slow down and huddle up every once in a while. BYU doesn't have the horses to run a turbo offense like Chip Kelly at Oregon did.

Hill does make plays with his feet when he runs downhill. It's there where Hill becomes a fast and hard runner. But Utah wasn't blinded by that. Whittingham recognized that Hill doesn't move as well laterally in the pocket so he attacked where Texas did not.

Hill looks tough and competitive. Sound familiar BYU fans? Think the last 2 plus years. Hill has not even come close to showing that he can be a passer. Now I can see him being able to sling it. But far from every kind of cannon arm guy that just throws for velocity sake, targeting every route the same, can become a gunslinger. Hill is a more athletic version of Riley Nelson. BYU recruiting QB shift in my eyes.

AFMech
APO, AE

@wer,

Hill can't be a running back, due to the fact he doesn't have any lateral movement. He can't cut like a traditional RB. He's fast North and South, but he can only run when the O-line opens holes for him. As for his QB status, he doesn't have the "touch." It seems he tries to put every throw on a line, and throw so hard his hand can't grip the ball long enough to make the throw accurate. That's tough to coach out of someone who has been doing that their entire career. Jason Beck has his work cut out for him, but the constant swapping of QB's is not what the Cougs need right now. Ammon has his issues as well, his footwork isn't the greatest and he tends to let the ball sail high too. Anae and Beck need to get Hill comfortable from throwing on the run, since that's where the majority of his mistakes have come from. He's not a pocket passer, so that's one solution to the woes at the QB position for now. Just my .02.

hobbes1012003
Kaysville, UT

I always wondered why Ben Cahoon was fired. I never heard of any issues with him and our recievers improved dramatically with him as the recievers coach. Does anyone know exactly why he was let go? Or was it just an entire Offensive coach purge?

byufootballrocks
Herndon, VA

Utah is in BYU players and coaches heads, evident the moment BYU began play. Last year we're the better team, but coughed and sputtered and barely lost.
We continue incremental-ism, our nice, safe ways of playing, Coach Whittingham:
Throws over the top last year to try to discourage us and put the game away.
Turns a game with another rival with an onside kick.
Tells his players two years ago "It doesn't have to be close" and they drub us in Provo while we say "it will go down to the wire" and "whoever makes one more play will win" and other self-fulfilling prophecies. Does BYU realize if they simply put 30-35 points on the board they would have won Saturday? Then why choose throw-away running plays and kicking field goals?
And we knew what to expect from Pac10 referrees. Micheel Jordan said "we have to play above the referees." That meant if the refs give the other team 10 points we score 20 to offset what we can't control.
In the Texas game, we came out with a completely different energy level and confidence that a win was imminent.
BYU has a Utah head case.

Lone Star Cougar
Plano, TX

This game really saddened me. I was hoping to see a better offensive performance and see more of a balanced attack with some inventive plays to keep the Utes off-balance. I saw a QB that is good on running and very poor in passing. How many times was the ball way over the heads of the intended receiver? The play calling was bland. How many times did I see 1st downs with a hand off up the middle? Why did we always go for the long pass when a controlled passing game of 5 to 10 yards would have worked to move the ball down the field? After this game I felt the way I felt last year when there were many games we lost that were VERY winnable. We could have won that game but I think we need to re-look at every position on offense and be more creative in the play calling. Oh, and stop lining up in a down position on the sideline to start each offensive series.

goforit
Provo, UT

Anyone who is shocked by the results of this season so far doesn't pay attention. Quit looking at the Vegas odds makers and computer rankings to base your fantasies of what will happen. Hill has had accuracy problems all spring and fall camp. The receivers have had dropped balls the same time. Do you really think it can be fixed once the season begins. Get use to this it will go on for the rest of the year.

What I learned from Saturday's game is what I already knew. We have three teams in the state who are barely above average. Utah is best, then USU, then BYU.

I SAID AT THE BEGINNING BYU would struggle to be bowl eligible and would be 5 and 7. They have shown me nothing that changes that prediction. Utah is actually better than I thought and should become bowl eligible barely.

I still hear rumblings from those close to BYU that not all the positions are being played by the best players. I believe that but Bronco ha his reasons of who plays, and will never change.

byufootballrocks
Herndon, VA

A great principle is that our strength can become our weakness. This is true of great leaders.

Bronco in my view is one of the very best defensive coaches in the nation, bar none. It seems he unfortunately lets his defense-first approach spill over into the way he views his own offense and into key decisions for the offense that he has chosen to reserve for himself - whether to go for it or not on 4th and 1, saying to the offensive coordinator "I want a balance of running and passing," etc.

Could it be that that unlike LaVell Edwards, he's rigid in what he demands of the offense and his offensive coordinators, putting shackles on them?

When LaVell brought Doug Scovil in, he let him fly. He didn't say, "Yeah, but on 4th and 1 on our 40 with the game winding down and we're losing I'm going to say we're going to punt," or "let's get the running game established first on them," and etc.

It's speculation of course and a bit unfair, but it's time we said to the offense "let her rip" come what may. And especially against Utah.

AttilaTheHun
Nephi, UT

Mendenhall and Anae should both be burning on the hot seat. For BYU, (FREAKING BYU!!) To be rated LAST in the country in the passing game is a travesty of epic proportions. The whole staff should resign on principle. 123 out of 123. How they sleep at night right now while cashing their paychecks boggles the mind. And yet we get the same old "shrug the shoulders, we-got-outplayed-blahblahblah time and time again after losses due to incompetent game preparation and poor decision making on the coaches part. Tough to be Coug fan right now, and this is after 30+ years of being there, year in year out.

truebluecougar
Orem, Utah

Where is Ross Apo? Dropped passes and miscommunication. Disappointed he still struggles to get open, catch the ball, etc. A good passing game means the receivers need to get open and Apo is seldom open. I noted that Apo did not play much in the 2nd half. Is it an attitude problem or does he not have what it takes to be a good receiver? Sad

jarka-rus
Layton, Utah

Let's face it Bronco's a good guy but a mediocre head coach at best and that will never change.

mdp
Bountiful, utah

Hill is an excellent running option qb... but, has no touch on his passes, and is inaccurate largely because everything is thrown on the run or while hopping around (no solid foundation). imho, he would be an excellent running back/ secondary throwing threat if the coaching staff would drop their tunnel visioned tendencies.

jr8
Seattle, WA

Classic case of 'lacking self awareness':

"I think Utah had a pretty good scheme on us, but there at the end, we started to find gaps. It is just unfortunate that we didn’t do it soon enough. So that is something that we need to continue to get better at.”

Are you kidding? Utah came out with 1 safety over the top and 8 in the box from play 1. It was obvious from the stands that hot route slants would have worked from the get go. And they did ... in the 4th qtr. I'm an amateur at best but Anae has got to recognize coverages and adjust in-game long before it gets out of hand. The best do, he doesn't and taysom CAN make THAT throw - no touch required.

The Solution
Las Cruces, NM

Fisrt, Utah is better than BYU this year. I don't care if they are PAC cellar dwellers, we would be too if we were in the PAC.

Second, the officiating wasn't bad. If you think it was, you need to watch the game on TV. Most were in BYU's favor. Our only TD wasn't even valid, as the knee was clearly down before the ball crossed the plane. No idea how Bronco's challenge stood, as the ball wasn't tipped at the line of scrimage, so was it tipped right before Beck committed the pass interference, and if so, does that even matter? The last play was not a PI as Mathews pulled the defender to the ground, right before the ball bounced off him on the ground. Not the zebras fault.

Lastly, we missed several great opportunities from stupid mistakes. Field goal, Hine TD run, Falslev run that could've been TD if blockers in fron of him would've turned around = 3+7+7 more points! Still wouldn't have been the better team.

morpunkt
Glendora, CA

I think Taysom might get some useful tips from Steve Young. The receivers? Call up Jerry Rice!!!

byufootballrocks
Herndon, VA

Two weeks ago I thought “Utah is going to shut down our run game, it won’t be like Texas. I’m not proud. We should find another way. They will stack the block and dare us to pass.”

My thinking continued: “Utah’s clear weakness is pass defense, especially vertical. Since we have a developing and inconsistent passing quarterback, to win this game we are going to have to gamble. I would pass 95% of the time in the game. I wouldn’t even care if Taysom had a few interceptions. Since it’s unlikely we beat them with our strength against their strength, we will beat them with our ‘so-so’ against their weakness, by stepping up our passing attack on a major scale.”

And we clearly needed something out-of-the-box, something unconventional in our approach, to shake us out of the head case Utah has us in.

But no, BYU’s coaches right now are too proud, in my view. Same-old.

Remember when we played Tulsa a few years ago and they surprised us with a hurry up passing attack? We had beaten them consistently. It was unusual, and they won.

Dutchman
Murray, UT

No need to write letters to your legislators. The U athletic department is not subsidized by your tax dollars. In fact, a recent economic research study showed that Utah's membership in the PAC 12 actually brings in more revenue to Utah State coffers.

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