Robert W. Grover,
Linebacker Fred Warner leads the team in singing the Cougar Fight Song to BYU fans gathered at the end of the loss at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium at ECU.
Players are on the field, they are supposed to make the plays. —BYU LB Fred Warner

Fred Warner says increased acumen and execution by BYU’s 1-7 football team is on the players.

“Players are on the field, they are supposed to make the plays,” Warner told reporters on Monday. It’s a familiar accountability theme heard from fullback Brayden El-Bakri, Grant Jones and others.

As long as players see themselves as the impetus for better play and don’t blame coaches, there is hope for improvement. Of course, what they say in public may not be the same in private. But so far, players I’ve talked to in formal and informal settings say they are to blame for not doing what they’ve been asked to do in practice and in games.

Warner, by the way, was just nominated for the Wuerffel Trophy Thursday, joining a record number of 104 FBS nominees. It is an honor that recognizes community service as well as athletic and academic achievement.

Warner has been the brightest and most vocal cog on BYU’s team. He’s been a playmaker and leader on and off the field.

Warner has played in 43 career games with 32 starts at outside linebacker over four seasons. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound product of San Marcos, California, led BYU in total tackles with 86 in 2016. He continued to provide game-changing plays with three interceptions and two forced fumbles that season. He boasts six career interceptions, including a pair of pick-six touchdowns, while adding 10 pass breakups, five fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, 29 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.