I think last week was maybe a step back. We dropped a few balls (and) didn’t execute as well. —BYU offensive coordinator Ty Detmer
PROVO — If BYU receivers have seemed to gain more separation from defenders in recent weeks, it's likely due to quarterbacks directing the attention their way. At least that was the explanation of BYU offensive coordinator Ty Detmer, when asked regarding the topic on Tuesday.
While not exactly setting any field on fire at any time this season, Cougar wideouts have proven more effective in a 41-20 win over San Jose State and a 20-13 loss to Fresno State. But, according to Detmer, it's not so much due to anything the receivers have done drastically different, as opposed to games early in the season where there was relatively scant production.
“You go back and watch the games, and we have some guys open,” Detmer said. “I don’t know if we were on the same page with the quarterback at times or going through our reads too quick in some of the games. So I’ve been pleased with those guys and their performance. We haven’t always delivered when they’ve been open.”
MAKING PLAYS ON THE BALL: BYU sophomore receiver Micah Simon generally agreed with Detmer's overall assessment of the wideouts, when asked during Monday's press conference, but he does feel that his position group has made good progress.
"I think we're getting better each and every game," Simon said. "But, each time, we've got to come down with the ball when it's in our area to make a play. So that's one thing we're focused on and it's been a big emphasis this week — just to come down with those 50/50 balls."
According to Detmer, the failure to make plays on the ball during last week's loss stunted a lot of the production that has been seen in recent weeks.
“I think last week was maybe a step back,” Detmer said. “We dropped a few balls (and) didn’t execute as well it didn’t feel like when the ball was in the air that we didn’t go up and get it like we did the week before. We’ve got to be better that way.”
RED ZONE OPPORTUNITIES LACKING: Detmer addressed red zone execution on Tuesday, stating the problem hasn't been so much the execution within the red zone, but elsewhere.
“We got to get in there more. That’s a big problem with our red zone scoring,” Detmer said. “But we’ve got to get sharper down there. We’ve got to score touchdowns and not kick field goals.”