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Commentary: BYU football is just a few adjustments and an offensive line away from prime time

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  • ClarkeinAK Anchorage, AK
    Jan. 3, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    Slight adjustments???

    Lets see: 1) Where is this new offensive line coming from? 2) Play calling - Anae was very predictable, especially on first down...is he gonna make adjustments? 3) Will Hill magically learn how to hit an open receiver?, 4) Will that open receiver hold on to the ball?, 5) As big as the church is in Central America, you would think BYU could find a soccer play that kick a football thru some uprights and deep into the end zone, 6) I don't care how good Bronco is with a defense, you have to have the personnel...who will replace the excellence of the departing seniors?

    The writer is hallucinating if he thinks it's only a 'slight' adjustment that's needed. Counting your chickens before they're hatched (easy schedule) doesn't work - just ask Alabama.

  • California Cougar Anaheim, CA
    Jan. 3, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    We only need one "adjustment" to become prime time.....

    Not O-line improvement, not coaching changes, not creative offensive. The only adjustment needed is to move to the FCS!

    Look out Montana, South Dakota State and Sam Houston State, the Prime Time Cougars are coming!

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Jan. 3, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    As a life-long Y fan, these articles ceased to excite me a long time ago. It's always "IF we had this," or "IF we had that." Saying "If we had a dominant offensive line, we'd be really good" is almost like saying "If Tim Tebow had elite arm-strength and accuracy, he might land a starting job in the NFL." Hey, if I were 6' 9" and had a 45" vertical, I might have a shot at playing pro hoops.

    I hope we can catch lightning in a bottle one of these years, and it will eventually happen, but to expect consistent elite play from a school with the unique environment and requirements of BYU is naive.

  • WhatsUpDoc Draper, UT
    Jan. 3, 2014 12:53 a.m.

    This article is a joke. I am a BYU fan, but even the bluest of us can see this is wishful thinking. Coach Anae still doesn't know how to run an offense. It's just a different version of the ineffective offense he had before. Go fast, go hard. Run a play ever 19 seconds. Who cares if it doesn't put points on the board? There is a lack of creativity offensively. The O-line is very poor. Receivers aren't open because the scheme doesn't get them open.

    Bottom line, after 9 years of Coach Mendenhall, we know what we're going to get. 1-2 starts, always losing to a team they shouldn't (Virginia this year), generally beating who you should, losing to good teams, always losing to Utah. If anyone thinks it will be different, you're dreaming. On a positive note, the program is clean. Beyond that, it's not that fun to watch as it's become a very boring brand of football. Sure would be fun to believe the Cougs always had a chance like the days when Lavell was there.

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:18 p.m.

    Re: Objectified
    Trying so hard to trash BYU also minimizes the Utes single score win over them.

    BYU hasn't beaten Utah by more than a single score since 1996.

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:11 p.m.

    Re: Objectified
    the Y did play a tougher schedule than any Utah has ever had prior to this season. Ever!

    This is not true at all. It was very over-hyped. BYU played a few decent teams, but they will be lucky if any of them end up in the top 25.
    Who on BYU's schedule was really that good. Wisconsin was ok, but they played a very easy schedule and didn't beat anyone good.

    In 2008 Utah beat 4 teams that FINISHED the season in the top 25 (2 teams that ended in the top 10 (TCU and Alabama).

  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:20 p.m.

    I thought this was a great assessment. The years BYU has been great have been when they have dominant 0-line play. Easier said than done and it's difficult to turn around in one yr. One improvement would be to bench Yeck. I'd be curious how many of those sacks were given up by him alone. 2J as a coach will be great. The fact that one of the best O-line recruits has BYU in his top 3 is a good sign.

  • DH48 West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    Truth is truth, BYU does not have the athletes to be a top team and they are not going to get the athletes to be a top team. That type of player does not want to come to BYU.

    The same can be said about Utah, they are not going to get the athletes needed to be a top team. Top athletes do not want to come to Utah. Both teams will be able to come up with a good year occasionally but they will never be able to compete at a consistent high level. If you were a true blue chip player and have a choice between Utah or USC which one would you chose? BYU's only hope in that case is if the kid is Mormon but even then chances are good that the kid would chose USC because USC brings the greater exposure. And if the SEC came calling...

  • wly123 Keller, TX
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    Check your facts, Yeck played no more than 2 series, So how could they constantly get around him when he wasn't even in the game. Next, over the course of the season, how many of those sacks were because a scrambling Hill couldn't read a defense, or make a decision to throw the ball, got caught behind the line when he scrambled. It wasn't till late in the season when Hill actually learned to step into the pocket to buy time. even still, if you hold the ball all day you're bound to get sacked. Sure the O-line needs some consistency, but you're drinking cool-aid if you try to place this at the O-lines feet

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    It all depends on what Mr. Peavler means by Prime Time. With the playoff starting next year, this is a bad time of have a soft schedule. While I agree BYU is primed to have another 10 win season with the opponents on the schedule in 2014, strength of schedule will keep them from even sniffing the playoffs and will make it hard to even get into the top 15.

  • Max for President Brighton, MA
    Jan. 1, 2014 7:31 p.m.

    There are a couple of other adjustments I'd make:
    1: Bring back receiver coach Ben Cahoon. His receivers were mentally strong with soft hands. Drops were extremely rare.
    2: Bring in a true quarterback development coach for Hill. Hill could be phenomenal, but his passing accuracy and vision still need much polishing. Drain the coffers to get Ty Detmer here...even if it's just a one-on-one camp with the guy over the Spring and Summer.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    BYU has a decent chance to run the table in the regular season. They have picked a good time to play UConn, Cal and Boise on the road. They have avoided the Utes and got the Aggies at home. I really don't see anyone they shouldn't beat. They'll probably mess up a time or two but on paper BYU should go 12-0, maybe 11-1 worst case with that schedule. The bigger question is how good will the Cougars be when it comes to the bowl game?

  • Ken Lee Pasadena, CA
    Jan. 1, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    Of course you have the steady stream of Ute fans that read EVERYTHING about the Cougars…Come on guys, it wasn't that long ago you had winning seasons. You remember what that felt like? We have had a few weak years, but our seasons haven't been total busts. Do you really feel good about a tough schedule and a nice long series of losing seasons? what is your PAC12 record so far? Point to BYU and Stanford again and everyone will puke. At best you will be a "spoiler" to better teams, year in and year out.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Jan. 1, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    This is one of the few times I agree with Ute trolls. "Prime time" to me is a consistent Top 10 performer for a couple of years. Alabama, Oregon, Stanford, Ohio State are Prime Time; BYU is not.

    However, I do believe BYU will improve next year. The schedule is easier than this year, and only slightly tougher than a MWC schedule. This years schedule was comparable to most BCS schedules.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, here's how I would evaluate BYU the past two seasons and next.

    Offense: 2012: 4, 2013: 5 (6 in Oct and Nov), 2014: 7 (Hill will be much improved.)
    Defense: 2012: 9, 2013: 8, 2014: 6 (DBs will be better, D line and LB will not)
    Special Teams: 2012: 3, 2013: 5, 2014: 5 (Hine is the only bright spot I see)

    We need to be 8 - 10 for a couple of years in each category to be Prime Time.

    With that said, 9 or 10 wins is likely in 2014. 11 or 12 would be a good season. 8 or less wins and it's time to shake up more than the coaches on offense.

  • dww722 North Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    Saying BYU is a few adjustments and an offensive line away from being a big time player is like saying a Toyota Corolla is a few adjustments and a new engine away from being a Ferrari. There is much more that needs to happen to make the jump to big-time college football. Being "big-time" is not only a question of wins and losses. It's also about the quality of the opponents you beat. I doubt anyone considers Northern Illinois to be a big-time program even though they they won a lot this past season. BYU will be "big-time" again when they start winning big games and they won't do that anytime soon until the coaches learn to prepare and coach their team in big games. This past season was a major dissapointment in that regard in my opinion.

  • oddman ,
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    Is not Peavler entitled to her educated opinion? Of course, compared to the expert commentators herein I suppose we all ought to keep our yappers shut. As an acknowledged spectator and knowing little about the inner workings of this team I, too, think she hit it on the head. Countless times, Hill was forced to scramble, and get the pass off to avoid a sack,
    throw it away or eat it resulting in being sacked way too many times. That, my friends, has nothing to do with special teams, defense, lack of reading defenses, or myraid other factors that happen in every ball game played across this great land.

  • Cougarbaseball Rifle, CO
    Jan. 1, 2014 1:56 a.m.

    How can everyone claim next year's schedule is weak before you even get to it. Everyone claimed this season's schedule was the toughest ever. It wasn't even close to last year's. The real measure of the schedule is how all the opponent's finish the season. This past season the only top 25 team that BYU will have played is probably going to be Wisconsin. Norte Dame might slip there after the season ends. That is only two top 25 opponents. Last year we faced 5 teams that finished in the top 25.

    Don't start judging a schedule until at least hAlf way through the actual season. If we would have had UCF on the schedule this year no one would have thought of it as a great opponent but they ended up in a BCS game.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:16 p.m.

    This guy is obviously completely objective, just like all Dnews writers, and spot on. byu is going to absolutely dominate next year.

  • MidMajor4ever Syracuse, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    This article makes me Lafe.

    BeSmart, please try. I took your advice and checked out ESPN and found that BYU has 3 recruits rated 78 or better while Utah has 7. Actually, the only recruiting service that has BYU ahead of Utah is Scout: BYU 2.69 star average to Utah's 2.67. "BYU has a pretty good recruiting class this year when compared you Utah." LOL really? Check out 247, they rate BYU at 82.53 while rating Utah's class at 83.77.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 7:42 p.m.

    An O-line. Who needs one of those?

  • Justmythoughts Provo, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 5:36 p.m.

    I hope it is more than a few adjustments.... BYU played horrible in all the "big" games. They HAVE to start scoring when they get to the red zone and start getting motivated to play tough.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Dec. 31, 2013 5:24 p.m.

    The only trouble is that nobody will notice if BYU is an elite team based on next year's schedule which is frankly the easiest they have had in awhile. That's the trouble with being an independent.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    What's more comical than the article itself is seeing how quickly any article on BYU brings out the anti-Y Ute fans throwing all their negative darts around... hoping to find anything that will stick. Why is it that such Ute fans spend more time and energy on BYU articles than on their own Ute articles?

    @ Uncle Rico:

    Trying so hard to trash BYU also minimizes the Utes single score win over them. But the truth is, the Y did play a tougher schedule than any Utah has ever had prior to this season. Ever! Even tougher than Utah's schedule last year that left them with a losing record. And BYU was literally just a few plays away from being 10-2 with that schedule. By your reasoning, the BYU "trash" schedule, as you put it, means that Utah has actually had nothing but trash schedules prior to this season.

    To put a few things back into some perspective, Texas (whom BYU beat worse than any of their team did) was just one win away from being their conference runner-up.
    Boise State, whom BYU handily beat, was the runner up in their division of their conference.

  • Just Smiling BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 4:20 p.m.

    Seriously? Bingham High would have a 10 game winning season with this 2014 schedule.Can we give it a rest talking about BYU and national championships. Washington showed what would happen if BYU were in the PAC-12.

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 31, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    No more hype for me, thank you. I've had my fill from Utah schools saying they are going to do this or that. I cite Utah football is going to win the PAC 12 and go to the Rose Bowl. I cite BYU's winning a national championship. I cite BYU basketball insisting they are going to make it to the big dance. I would say that the only team that has at least talked some of the talk was Utah State. But even they couldn't beat a subpar Utah/BYU football program and has lost to both BYU and Utah in basketball. Oh wait, not Utah this year. This was the year Utah was too chicken to play Utah State in basketball and instead played the powerhouses of Grand Canyon University, Lamar, Savannah State, and Fresno State.

    So no more hype. Start doing the talking on field and court or keep your mouth shut. Make goals for yourself and your team, but keep them to yourself and your team.

  • jarka-rus Layton, Utah
    Dec. 31, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    Still better than 5-7 LOL and no bowl game

  • jarka-rus Layton, Utah
    Dec. 31, 2013 1:50 p.m.

    The writer forgot to add a new head coach to that list of adjustments.

  • red.diehard Central, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    @AZguy

    I noticed that you said 'top 25 ranking' and not top 25 team. Thank you for understanding the difference.

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 31, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    Sports Nutz

    "OK, I will play along. The Jazz are just a few players away from winning the NBA Championship. Who has next?"

    Alright, here's my attempt...The Arizona Cardinals are few games away from winning the Super Bowl.

    Next up???

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Dec. 31, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    @ Uteology
    I agree that BYU is a long ways off but BYU has a pretty good recruiting class this year when compared you Utah. Check out ESPN
    I think both Utah schools are way off.
    Rumor has it Frison may flip his commitment to Oklahoma.

  • Reality Bites Stansbury Park, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    Success is always just around the corner, right? Or next year, or when these guys get back from missions, or when this recruit comes, or when this or that happens. Well, the problem is that when you keep going around corners, you're really just going in circles. Recruiting will continue to be a problem, and that's where the issue lies. Takes more than a few adjustments and an offensive line to return to "Prime Time," whatever that means. Must be double-speak for National Championships, which won't happen this century.

  • AZguy Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    If the definition of 'prime time' is a top 25 ranking than I agree. I think an improved O-line would have gotten BYU 2 maybe 3 more wins this year and that would put BYU on the cusp of a top 25 ranking.

    If 'prime time' is Top 10 (which I personally believe), then BYU is much further away. I think that would take the same improved O-line, more talented depth as a team, and at least two more outstanding skill players on both offense and defense (in addition to players like Cody Hoffman and KVN).

  • R.A.W St George, Utah
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    Sorry, but nobody is buying this garbage anymore.

    The problem is and always has been COACHING.
    We could have a roster loaded with 5-star Blue chip athletes and it wouldn't matter with Bronco at the helm.

  • spudontheweb Aberdeen, ID
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    yeah they should be good, but when they use 6 of the possible 19 practices that the NCAA allows, and then show up totally unprepared and with a big slow start, not impressed….; If you're tired, let someone take over who's not. Plus they totally change the kickoff team with players that couldn't tackle and it changed the game.. Hard work is hard to beat… most coaches in college football use those practices to prepare young talent for the following year, that tells you more about the direction of the program than anything else..

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    Being able to throw the ball to open receivers is more than an adjustment. Either you have that skill, or you don't. TH can get the rock to a girl and have her catch it, but the football is an entirely different thing. Also, being able to run block is also more than an "adjustment". Lastly, what would you call untimely penalties?

  • ConferenceofChampions Herriman, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    "Prime Time" HAHA... You mean 10:30 est vs Idaho State, on ESPN News Right?

  • Common Sense Czar Sandy, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    So is every other 8-5 team in the country.

  • shorts Payson, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    You really mean that need an offensive line from the SEC which they will never get being who that are? BYU O-line and the current recruits are no where close to where it needs to be for BYU to be Prime Time and that is not going to change. BYU will win 10+ games next year but they will not beat anyone that is good unless they can pull off an upset of Texas and Texas does something in the Big 12. BYU is what it is right now a good mid major team. They beat teams that they should and lose to teams that are good. (except Virginia and I just don't understand that one)

  • true blue from tx Mckinney, TX
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    BYU should take a few pages from Texas Tech.

  • See It SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    Lafe, did you just write this because someone gave you the assignment? Did you even watch the cougars this year? The Oline is only a fraction of the problem. The real problem is the coaching staff who didn't have enough intelligence to make adjustments throughout the entire season. Sure we will do better next year with a pansy schedule. As long as Anae is calling the plays we will do poorly in games with decent teams.

  • Wasatch Al South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    Yeah, just a few adjustments away from "prime time." That's 10:30 pm. on ESPN U.

  • Dan the Fan PROVO, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    Big fan, but can't understand where this author is coming from! Offensive line is atrocious! Play calling stinks (Yes, our qb can rush, but did anyone feel comfortable with him rushing that many times in the bowl game?!) Our "Blue Zone" play calling and efficiency is downright awful!
    But to me the biggest concern going into next year is the defense. Gone is sorensen, the entire linebacking core minus fua and Manumaleuma the only d lineman that can get any type of pressure on the qb.
    Kafusi is a huge disappointment and Van Noy will be impossible to replace. The only thing that changes is that our schedule will be easier and we'll register a few more gimme games. Who's excited for Savannah State to come to Prove in November?

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Dec. 31, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    More important than an improved O-line will be next year's much weaker schedule. BYU will win at least 10 games without improving at all. Problem solved.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 3:47 a.m.

    Uteology:
    C'mon dude, that was a disingenuous post. BYU is recruiting better outside the state of Utah and currently has a stronger recruiting class overall than Utah. I agree this article is hilarious to think that BYU is that close to being a great team but present ALL the facts not just the ones that make your utes look better than they actually are.

    To those ute fans that talk about all the Utah talent in the NFL, that's a double edged sword. So you have a lot of talent but you finished 2-7 in conference. So you're a talented team who epically fails to translate that talent to anything great on the field. You have more NFL players than Stanford yet Stanford is competing every year for the PAC championship including being the champion the last two years. See that's what great programs do, they WIN championships. They don't need SOS, recruiting, and NFL alumni trophies to help them feel better about themselves. I mean 6 conference championships in the conferences you make fun of now in half a century!? LOL!

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 1:27 a.m.

    "...the Cougars are just a few adjustments, including an overhaul on the offensive line"

    Overhauling the O-line is not an adjustment.

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 11:34 p.m.

    Lafe - leave the cheerleading to Mr Harmon.

    Until BYU can win some games against BCS caliber teams, it's all just hype.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 30, 2013 10:00 p.m.

    "BYU football is just a few adjustments and an offensive line away from prime time" -- DN

    This year, BYU has ZERO ex-players that will be in the NFL playoffs.

    I would argue that with a lack of NFL talent BYU football is anything but a few adjustments away from prime time. And the trends don't look good...

    Utah Top Recruits (Rivals):

    2003:
    Affleck…ASU
    Soi…BYU
    Speredon…BYU
    Reynolds…BYU
    Sorenson…Vanderbilt

    2014
    Barton… Utah
    Schultz… ND/Stanford/Utah
    Mone … Michigan
    Frison… Utah
    Havili…. Utah

  • fender Washington, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 9:52 p.m.

    The O line is not good. That is obvious. This article implies that the coaches need to do a better job, but fact is the Cougs have one of the best O line coaches in the country in Robert Anae and Tujague is very competent. Sorry, but you can't get blood from a turnip. If Bronco can't recruit better athletes, I don't see things getting a lot better next year.

  • Sports Nutz Smithfield, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 8:34 p.m.

    OK, I will play along. The Jazz are just a few players away from winning the NBA Championship. Who has next?

  • Scott Farcus Beaver, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 7:51 p.m.

    "BYU football is just a few adjustments and an offensive line away from prime time
    PrintFont"
    By Lafe Peavler

    You can't be serious?

    Lafe were you able to write this without busting a gut?

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    Just curious if Lafe Peavler knows anything about Football?

    You have two 1,000 yard rushers on the team, yet he fails to understand that the reason these two were able to rush for 1,000 yards is because the offensive line opened holes for them to run, ran blocked for Hill as he was going down field....

    He is correct that the left side of the line had issues (mostly Yeck, while Mathews was hurt most of the year and could not swivel to block). The center, left guard (Johnson) and right tackle (Wesley, Kearsly) did their jobs. In fact the only time hill got touched from the right side is when the RB did not pick up the block.

    Next year with Mathews healthy, Yeck gone the Line should be ok.

  • Tilka PORTLAND, OR
    Dec. 30, 2013 7:07 p.m.

    I'm sorry but is anyone else getting tired of these stories about BYU being very close to becoming an elite team? These are the same stories that said BYU would beat Utah, Wisconsin, Washington and Notre Dame. Look, I'm a BYU fan but I am getting tired of the unjustified hype.

  • JD Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 30, 2013 7:06 p.m.

    Wow, prime time? Are you high up in the mountains experiencing the altitude? I would not even say they are ready to be the best team in the state or the best Independent team.

    Average. Average. Average.

    That is the word that comes to mind. A lot of players that saw a majority of the minutes this year are graduating. Yes, on paper wins will be easier due to a weak schedule for 2014. But, prime time is really far away. Come back down the mountain and breathe the real air.

    First step....recruiting has to improve to be a candidate for prime time. It's been very obvious when BYU has played teams that are (really) closer to prime time in both football and basketball, that the Cougars do not have the athletes with quickness and speed to take it to the next level.

    That's just a fact, not a put down.

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 5:43 p.m.

    2013: BYU 6-0 vs Trash
    2-5 vs BCS conference teams
    (didn't even play a conference champion or runner up)

    wait until 2014, the schedule gets easier.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Dec. 30, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    The problem is that the same folks will be running the offense. Creative and offense are two words that don't go together at BYU. Offensive adjustments are apparently impossible for our staff to make during the game. As the schedule gets tougher, the performance will get worse and worse. Time to evaluate your investment in season tickets.

  • wYo8 Rock Springs, WY
    Dec. 30, 2013 5:38 p.m.

    BYU was lucky to keep Hill healthy all year.