PROVO — In its 28-23 victory over Arizona last Saturday, BYU was well-prepared and it played with confidence.
The way offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes sees it, preparation begets confidence.
“I was most pleased with the way the guys came out and played with confidence. I felt like throughout the time we’ve been here as a staff that their confidence has grown,” Grimes said about the season-opener. “They’ve gone from being a group that wanted to do well to being one that was hopeful to being one that was willing to pay the price to then one that I thought had the confidence necessary to go out and play well. But you don’t really know until that first game. They went out there expecting to win the game. More than anything, that gave us an opportunity to win. Confidence comes from preparation.”
Grimes added that the players worked hard to put themselves in position to beat Arizona.
“We talked to them about it all week. They needed to earn the right to play well. You don’t just show up on Saturday and play well because you want to or because you’re talented,” he said. “You show up and play well because you’ve earned the right to play well with your preparation. That kind of preparation gave them the confidence to go out there and do the job.”
Having a bunch of players involved in the offense is another key to success, Grimes said.
“When everyone feels like they have an opportunity to contribute, they have greater ownership and are willing to give more. That’s something we’ve talked about since we’ve been here. Our strength is going to be the team, not any individual … No one is too good to be sat out. The guys who play the best during the week are the guys who are going to get the snaps on Saturday. I think guys understand that. The strength of our offense is our offense. It’s the group. It’s not any individual.”
HIGH-POWERED HIFO: One of BYU’s major offensive contributors last Saturday was wide receiver Aleva Hifo, who rushed four times for 19 yards and caught two passes for 36 yards.
“Aleva’s an athlete. It’s cool to see him grow,” said tight end Moroni Laulu-Pututau. “He’s gotten bigger, faster, stronger. It’s always a joke with the guys — how does he run full speed that many times every day in practice? If you were to see the preparation that he and all the receivers have put in, it’s 100 percent in practice. A lot of credit to him.”9 comments on this story
MAKING AN IMPRESSION: When the Associated Press poll was unveiled this week, three voters put BYU on their top 25 ballots, including ESPN’s Rece Davis.
Last Saturday on College GameDay, Davis said, “Khalil Tate is back … 3,000 yards of total offense and ran for more than 1,400 yards. Tanner Mangum is back for BYU, but I’m not sure it’s going to be quite enough. I think BYU has no answer for Khalil Tate.”
Turned out, the Cougars did have an answer.
BYU placed No. 39 in the latest AP poll.