BYU football: Cougars still say problem is poor execution

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  • So. Cal Reader Escondido, CA
    Oct. 4, 2010 2:12 p.m.

    Interesting article, Jim. No talk whatsoever about the lack of execution on the defensive side of the ball. Funny me, I didn't realize this team only has an offense! Just once, how about a hard hitting article on the defense. You, as DN writers, can change your focus from Jake Heaps (believe me, I've read enough about him) and aim it on defensive players that are playing beyond poorly-- So'oto for one. He's a 5th year senior who should be playing better; How about Shane Hunter, a 4th year senior. I'm a big Cougs fan, but am so tired of the sole focus of DN articles being on the offense.

  • Shooter_McGavin Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 4, 2010 10:56 a.m.


    I have to agree with you there. Bronco may as well have said, "if we played better we would have done better". No duh.

    Instead of focusing on overly broad terms like "execution", Bronco should take a page from Urban Myer's book (see halftime interview on ESPN) and get down to the basics.

    BYU needs to get back to drilling the basics:
    -Tackling (solo tackling numbers need to increase exponentially)
    -Catching (how many dropped passes were there?)
    -Blocking (especially WRs)

  • optimist Sun City, CA
    Oct. 4, 2010 2:59 a.m.

    The CEO of any company, the Principal of every school, the Head coach of every team is where the Buck Stops.

    If the executation is not what it should be, than it's either that the recruiting is not what it should be or the coaching is not what it should be.

    This goes for Offensive, Defense, Special Teams.
    It also goes for play calling, and game time adjustments or the lack there of.

    Good teams reload. The rest of the teams just rebuild.

    "30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary" is a 50 year old book that some coaches should read and stop using the term "Execute better" as a catch all for every failed attempt to improve.

  • optimist Sun City, CA
    Oct. 4, 2010 2:42 a.m.

    Things and words that I have learned to hate:
    Lack of Execution
    Quest for Pefectio
    Wrong decisions
    Lack of game time adjustments
    Receivers that let balls bounce off their chest.
    Receivers that let balls go through their two hands.

    Coaches that can not coach receivers.
    Coaches that can not make game time adjustments.

    Coaches that blame everything on something else other than their own lack of coaching.

  • softbear Olympia, WA
    Oct. 4, 2010 1:58 a.m.

    tru blue: I agree that we need to give the coaches a break, but at the same time they need to fix the problem. My question for all those that are calling for Broncos head and the others is: Who would you replace them with? Keep in mind this is no ordinary job you must:1. Be LDS 2. Enforce the honor code 3. recruit players that live the honor code 4. Focus on building young men, not just the program 5. Balance mission calls in the program 6. Answer to a board that wants excellence but not at all cost 7.finally all the above for less money than any other major program in the country. If you got the guy (guys)that are willing to do that, and they are better than our current staff, please share it with all of us. And they must also be available. Perhaps we need to look before we jump!!!!

  • tru blue spanish fork, utah
    Oct. 3, 2010 1:15 p.m.

    I know Byu is having a tough time this year. I think
    Heaps is going be a great quarterback. He just need the experience to do that. I don't think people should bad mouth the Byu coaching staff. I would like to see any one of you try to be a head football. You would then be singing a different story. I still love Byu even if this not their. We must remember it is only a game, and not a matter of life and death.

  • softbear Olympia, WA
    Oct. 3, 2010 4:12 a.m.

    I'm sure in Texas the same kind of post are being made about the team and coaches etc. And they have only lost 2 games in a row to one good team and one that nearly lost to WA State!! We still have 7 games that (wishfully thinking) we could win!! The question is what are we going to do about it?

    Firing Hill may help, but the defense doesn't drop balls, run the ball, block the defenses or not. The offense needs to add some fire either from the coaches or the players. Doman said it best--we need to get tough!! That comes by going back to basics everytime: blocking, running, catching and tackling. We have the talent it just needs to be used better.

    Heaps has made big improvements. But still is not picking up the secondary receiver. Maybe that's his fault or the design of the coaches. Turn him loose, he can't do any worse. We can still make a bowl game and have a strong finish. Bronco add some fire and get these men to their best level.

  • Jazzsmack Holladay, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    NO execution

    NO discipline on offense,

    Bad play calling,

    dropped passes gettng owrse,

    the o-line is getting worse,

    SO why isn't the offensive coordinator ANAE not being called on to the carpet?

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Oct. 2, 2010 9:59 p.m.

    Washington beat USC tonight.

    Locker was awesome.

    5 starters out on defense is really bad - a defense that held Locker down and actually looked good. The offense simply was so poor from then on that the defense has been broken down and now can't stop anybody.

    I'd like to think that BYU was just stumbling through so growing pains, but this game was so brutal I'm not sure that they'll recover this year. Maybe we'll win 3 but I wouldn't count on it.

    Bronco needs to start looking at JUCO studs or it'll be nearly as bad next year.

  • USU AGGIE FAN Logan, Utah
    Oct. 2, 2010 8:49 p.m.

    The Aggies are better than the Cougars in just about every sport: Basketball, Football, Volleyball, etc.

    I just hope Coach Bronco doesn't take a page out of Coach Roses book and try to schedule the game on a neutral field. That would be pathetic.

    Go Aggies !

  • SoCalUtahFan Utesville, CA
    Oct. 2, 2010 8:07 p.m.

    So the coach blamed the kids...poor execution.

    The kids gave up on his coaches...offense, defense struggled.

    Coach fired DC as a scape goat.

    This ship is sinking fast.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 6:41 p.m.

    The higher we execute the more our execution will be higher than lower and the execution will be higher.

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 6:09 p.m.

    Execution or Defensive Coordinator?

    Executin or Defensive Coordiantor?

    Lets spin the bottle

    - just as I thought (Mendenhall speaking to himself), it was the Defensive Coordinator all along.

    Sorry to burst your bubble Mendenhall, but the problem is you, your offensive coordinator, and the players you recruit.

    You dont recruit many players with character and hard work ethic (You base everything on or,

    the offensive play calling is horrendous and is never made to take advantage of your strengths or the weakness of your opponent,

    and worst of all, the head coach is oblivious to everything until it hits him in the face.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Oct. 2, 2010 5:12 p.m.

    I don't get it. BYU goes for five quarters without a touchdown. They aren't moving the ball or holding onto it when they have it. Special teams can't even make their extra point tries. So who do they fire? The Defensive Coordinator who is having to work with five starters out with injuries. This is a team in disarray.

  • ourtime99 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 4:08 p.m.

    Execution? "you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Oct. 2, 2010 3:23 p.m.

    You obviously havn't figured it out... It's not a simple matter of numbers. Anae -IS- run oriented... that's why he can't come up with much more than 5 and out for a passing strategy. He's lost nearly all of his leg capability either to injury, suspension, graduation or the NFL. He's so predictable that the defense has no problem being where the ball is, regardless of whether it's a run or a pass. A good O.C. will mix up his plays and razzle dazzle once in a while. A good O.C. will have the opposing secondary totally dazed and confused spinning both their heads and their wheels. He'll cross and flood the middle, hook the flats and run the post patterns simultaneously. Anae doesn't have that kind of conceptual understanding for passing...He has no vision. What he does have but is not going in the right direction with is the raw young talented players. But his playbook is insufficient to develop them. He's no Chow or Scovil or Urban Meyer. Meyer was a big Edwards/Chow admirer while at BGSU. So go figure!!!

  • scodyshootfight KC, MO
    Oct. 2, 2010 3:03 p.m.

    I'm getting REALLY sick of Bronco and his players saying EXECUTION! Let's see how many more times this year he can say that it was because they didn't execute. After the Seminoles put a clown suit on us last year, it was OK because it was all because we didn't execute

  • JNA Layton, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    Get rid of Anae, Get rid of Anae, Get rid of Anae, get rid of Anae, get rid of Anae. How many times do we have to say it Bronco. Get some fire in your gut and get rid of Anae not Hill!!!!

  • TJ2407 Springville, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    Where's Stockton ???

    I really do not understand how you claim comment that Anae is too run oriented. He called 60 passing plays and 26 run plays. Is 26 run plays to much? That seems to me that he is very pass heavy. He always has been pass oriented. Even with good running back. he needs to find a balance and he just want to throw the ball way too much. Please look at the stats and the actual play calls before you start saying he runs too much. He is a very pass happy play caller. You have not watched any BYU football if you think he is too run oriented.

  • Uteology Fort Worth, Texas
    Oct. 2, 2010 11:56 a.m.

    Hoffman is slow that I had to hit fast forward to speed up his routes.

    Heaps has more hype then game so far. There were more dropped passes by the USU secondary than by BYUs top 10 receiving corp (according to preseason DNews).

    Regardless of lack of speed BYUs defense cannot stop the run. They have a habbit of getting torched even when they have a good team.

    Utah has the top 2 QBs in the state that would be starting in any program in the MWC besides TCU.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 2, 2010 11:36 a.m.

    @Jim Marshall
    Excellent analogy. There are much bigger problems on this team than poor execution.
    In the past bronco has been successful, but how much of that success is related to his predecessor's recruiting?
    I am alarmed by his lack of intensity, his lack of oversight to his assistants, his pregame downplaying of the importance of winning (USU), his public declaration that he looks forward to the pregame firesides more than the games, his statement that football is way down on his priority list, his delusional attitude that every good LDS athlete wants to come to BYU for the "BYU experience" and doesn't require that much effort in recruiting. . . . The list goes on and on.

    I'm not sure Bronco understands that the success of this experiment of going independent depends on BYU football WINNING. If we stay on Bronco's road to mediocrity we are destined to miserable failure.

    Yes, Bronco we fans are not happy about how poorly our team is doing. But we are more alarmed by the fact that you haven't assured us that you recognize what the real problems are.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Oct. 2, 2010 10:57 a.m.

    I'm about as big a supporter of Bronco Mendenhall as they come. The one area that I have had problems with since the beginning is the Offensive coordinator. With 5 seasons under his belt Robert Anae just has not developed. Last year's improvements came when Mendenhall at the request of Max Hall made Anae leave the sidelines and post himself in the box where he's supposed to be. By doing's problems is that he's too run oriented and having now lost his running quarterback hasn't developed even a reasonable expansion in his aerial arsonal of plays. He doesn't know how to combine the necessary skills to overwhelm even a mediocre Defense such as USU's Yes... there is a need for execution. Heaps is young and does make some mistakes But their also needs to be the ability of an offensive coordinator to pick a defense apart. Anae is too predictable. His arsonal is stagnant. He doesn't know how to coordinate multiple crossing routes and maximizing the utility of all of his eligible receivers. The talent on offense is there...but it needs a new direction. It's Anae's problem.

  • ManBearPig Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 10:30 a.m.

    @ Jared,

    Seriously, Heaps was so classy. He showed so much class and that has got to make you proud. Good to see him have class.

    The only thing Bronko ever talks about is execution. How about "Utah State is better"? That is the truth. Better athletes, better coaches...

  • shaybo Richfield, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 10:26 a.m.

    It's more a matter too conservative play calling early in the game and receivers that can't get open or catch passes when they are.

  • shaybo Richfield, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 10:20 a.m.

    Play calling is the biggest problem, we spent the whole first half trying to establish the run and throwing short passes that gained 5 yards or less with an occasional bomb thrown in. Utah State and everyone watching had their game plan figured out.

    When the game was pretty much over and they turned Heaps loose they moved the ball right down the field only to be stalled out in the red zone by going to the run and dropped passes.

    CRB, nothing you said about Heaps is remotely close to reality. I counted at least 15 passes that were not caught that could have been including one of the interceptions and the other interception was thrown where the receiver would have been if he'd ran the right route.

    Our problem is we have no running game and our receivers including the running backs can't catch a ball even when they do get open, plus our coaches are calling plays like their trying to keep from getting blown out rather than trying to win.

  • UteVegas Henderson, NV
    Oct. 2, 2010 10:19 a.m.

    Wow, that was an absolute beat down at the hands of a poor (but improving) Utah State team. I agree that the recievers cant catch the ball, but some of the problem is that Saint Jake has no touch on his ball. Many of the drops are due to him throwing 110 miles an hour on a ten hard route. This "execute" business seems to give the Cougars the ability to rationalize being a poor football team. The message I get is that they think they are a good football team but just arent executing. In reality they are a bad football team that instead of blaming execution should play with more fire and effort.

  • dumprake Toquerville, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 9:33 a.m.

    Well, we could start by firing all the receivers, nobody can catch a pass (Hoffman the lone exception); Jacobson has turned into a wimp with no hands, won't go after the pass, and stumbles to the ground at the slightest hit. If all the passes that could be caught, were caught, Heaps would have had 350 yards passing, and probably two more scores, and BYU would have had a chance to win the game. Yes, Bronco, changes are needed, sit all those worthless receivers and find some freshmen who want to play and can catch the ball.

  • Marcus Murray, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 9:28 a.m.

    I hear the fat lady singing in Provo. BYU can't get the recuits that it will need to go independent. BYU is quitting on itself.

  • CRB Woods Cross, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 8:51 a.m.

    Sad to say but the Cougs are playing very consistent right now. They have been shut down by three of the worst defenses, especially against the pass, in college football and have had trouble scoring unless on a short field and becoming a running team. Heaps is now 5 games into the season with significant playing time in 4 of them and is not only not improving but seems to be reenforcing bad habits. Why does the pass defense look so tight? Because he locks on to his first option and doesn't go through progressions. USU didn't even blitz a lot and rarely pressured him until the 4th quarter. He can't throw on the run so they cannot roll him out and his passing accuracy beyond the quick 5 yard throws is atrocious. Further he is immobile and doesn't see the field well or have good instincts in the pocket. This is why he was ranked as the 2nd worst QB in the country prior to last night, well below at least a dozen other freshmen. Worst, looking into his eyes list night I saw a lost hopeless boy with no confidence thrown to the wolves.

  • Archie O\'Fallon, MO
    Oct. 2, 2010 8:24 a.m.

    southerncougar | 7:04 a.m. Oct. 2, 2010

    "One other note, this team and your coaches lack enthusiasm period. Whether it is at home or away you lack it. Your assignment today Bronco is to watch a little SEC football where coaches at least have a pulse on the side lines even if they are getting their cans kicked."

    Insightful comment but Mendenhall doesn't need to turn to SEC coaches to learn how to coach. There was an excellent coaching model standing directly across the field from him last night. Coach Anderson schooled Mendenhall in every facet of the game. Question is...was Mendenhall paying attention???

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    Oct. 2, 2010 8:18 a.m.

    USU is a bad team and BYU is worse. Better execution would help a lot. That might lead to better play calling.

    However, it is obvious to everyone that running wide on a sweep is not going to work. BYU does not have the speed to even run a sweep.

    One of the biggest problems is one that has been seen every year. Some games the team comes out flat as a pancake and plays mechanical.

    There was a noted difference between Anderson and his involved style of coaching and the stoic Mendenhall.

    There is something to be said for both styles but BYU has at least 2 games every year where they just do not match the intensity of the other team.

    The raw talent is on the team. The total recruiting has been decent to good. But there is a lack of available talent who can play now at key positions.

    No power back, TEs, no pressure on the QB, there is some speed in the defense but a lack of experience.

    BYU's problems are not going to magically fix. It takes time to gain enough experience to make all the parts of the system work.

  • full disclosure Providence, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 7:39 a.m.

    Here's maybe what it really was:
    Poor game planning
    Poor preparation
    Lack of Quickness
    Lack of Passion ( Stoic coaches- Mendenhall and Anae)

    Poor evaluation of talent (some of BYU's players honestly shouldn't be playing D1 football)

    Poor receivers (they simply cannot catch)

    I have yet to hear Bronco ever say that it he and his staff take responsibility. Instead it's always that his players didn't execute. Hoenstly even if they would have they would have lost. Did anyone happen to see the happy faces towards the end of the game on BYU's bench when ESPN had there camera's on.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 7:19 a.m.

    I picked BYU to go 4-8 this season which obviously very generous. I am adjusting that to 1-11. No one ever thought they would see a once proud program sink to this level but here it is folks staring you right in the face and it is UGLY! Bronco ball isn't working and the idea of ranking his priorites and winning as #5 on the list is now showing its rotten fruits. Winning football should have always been #1 for Bronco and thinking he could recuit academic , high character players over football talent was simply dreaming. You see it fans - do you like it? Are fans going to file into LaVell Edwards stadium and fill it to 65000 to watch 1-11 football? I don't think so.

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 7:18 a.m.

    4th and short and Anae tries to go around the end. Stopped! On the goal line and he tries it again. Stopped. The guy does not learn! And yet he is still calling the plays? Luke Ashworth and McKay Jacobsen have dropped more balls that have hit them in the hands than ANY BYU receiver in recent memory and yet they are still on the field? Either the receiving corps is truly horrid (recruiting?) or the coaches are clueless! This team and the coaches are an embarrassment! Bronco has no fire so is it any wonder the team is flat? Maybe we should let Jake Heaps call his own plays? It couldn't be worse than the fiasco we are currently watching. Why isn't Anae in the booth so he can see what the defense is doing? Why doesn't he have a trained dog to help him call the plays? Yeah Bronco, lack of execution on your part as a coach! Time to coach at a higher level. Time to bring some intensity back to the team. Too bad you won't read this being sheltered in your own little world like you are.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Oct. 2, 2010 7:11 a.m.

    So will bronco say he saw some improvement from his "fine young men"?

    The reality is bronko has lost this team and the effort will continue to get worse(if possible)week over week.

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    Oct. 2, 2010 7:10 a.m.

    Right now we are separating the men from the boys. Wouldn't mind if you lost and fought hard but there was no fight. The boys can go home to ma ma let the men get the job done. Are the seniors men or boys?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 7:08 a.m.

    This is really dumb to blame execution at the 5th game of the season. YES it is execution but NO it is NOT correctable .. at least not this year. Will Jake Heaps suddenly start seeing the field better and have his timing suddenly appear? Not this year. Will the O-line suddenly discover how to run block? Not this year. Will the defensive line suddenly discover how to stop the O-line surge of the other team that consistantly pushes them 5 yards off the ball? Not this year. Will the line backers suddently become better tacklers? Not this year. Will BYU dig into its freshman players and discover a Ronnie Jenkins or a Harvy Unga just waiting to play? Not this year. No this team is what it is which is most likely a 1-11 team ... which will be at least historic. Bronco better smell the roses and do it NOW otherwise he will find himself on the outside looking in. Time to recruit and develop better and put winning as his #1 priority not #5!!!

  • southerncougar Knoxville, TN
    Oct. 2, 2010 7:04 a.m.

    EXECUTION, EXECUTION, Execution....Hey Bronco it is more than execution!!! This team cannot catch, run or tackle and your coaches cannot coach. What in the heck is going on? Go back to the basics and start teaching this team. You cannot execute anything unless you know how and what to do. This team is in for a losing season and one of the worse in over 40 years. If this is a rebuilding year, I would hate to see a real bad year. That would be 0 and 11 for Bronco & Company.

    One other note, this team and your coaches lack enthusiasm period. Whether it is at home or away you lack it. Your assignment today Bronco is to watch a little SEC football where coaches at least have a pulse on the side lines even if they are getting their cans kicked. Even Lavell, French and Bosco showed enthusiasm, excitement and anger from time to time.

    BRONCO Read this book by Nick Saban - How Good Do You Want to Be? : A Champion's Tips on How to Lead and Succeed at Work and in Life.

    This will teach you a little bit about being a GREAT COACH not AVERAGE.

  • Magic Happens Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 6:53 a.m.

    It would be refreshing to hear Mendenhall say, the better team won. Instead we get the overused phrase "we just need to execute at a higher level." From that statement apparently he believes this team would beat every team they played if they would execute. Coach, sometimes the other team is just better. Last night the better team was Utah State. I wonder, why BYU continues to belief that passing nearly 70% if the time is the better offense. DeLuigi seems to be a good back yet Anae and company always go back to the pass first, pass second offense. It pads statistics, but it doesn't add up to wins. BYU should beat NM, UNLV, and Colorado State, but will they? I suppose going independent will allow BYU to play the Idaho, Louisiana Tech, and New Mexico States of the world, but until they learn to "execute" these games may be toss ups! Great teams have great defense, and this team doesn't. The years of out scoring your opponent to win are over. Its time for BYU to look in the mirror and decide who they are. This isn't Cougar football!

  • Jim Marshall Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 6:17 a.m.


    So I was riding my mountain bike across a flat desert road this summer. My tire went flat, but I kept on riding which ended up bending the wheel a little. Not my fault it went flat, nor is it the bikes. I just need to keep peddling on the flat tire and get better at my execution at a higher level on my peddling skills. No changes to the bike are needed. Just need to execute proper peddling.

  • TJ2407 Springville, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 6:00 a.m.

    Poor execution?

    I do agree they are not executing very well but let's just state the real problem here..... they are not a good team! you can blame losses on poor execution in close games but they are just not in close games. They are losing big. They are not good and their coaches have not recrutied and prepared players. Just teach football and nothing else!!!!

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 5:47 a.m.

    Cougars did have problems with execution, but they had a much bigger problem (again) with the coaching.

    Heaps did look pretty good for a freshman, and BYU should be excited about the qb position for the future, but what about those receivers? How can you claim to be a receiver and not catch those passes that hit you right in the hands. And it wasnt just one or two, it was atleast a dozen times.

    Hint to BYU, run the ball more. You have a good offensive line and horrible recievers.

  • afro14 Sandy, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 3:31 a.m.

    You know, before tonight I never minded the Aggies, but now I'm a fan. What they did to the byu was a lack of execution on byu's part, Bronco says. That, and receivers that can't catch, running backs that can't run, and a defense that can't stop anyone. Let's face it, if your defense can't stop Utah State, who can they stop? Great win by the Aggies, I enjoyed every minute of it! It's safe to say that the Cougars are officially the worst division 1 team in the state this year. Let's see if they can pick up a win here sometime soon or if the dreaded 1-6 that they face will become a reality! Go Aggies!!!

  • LMBCougarFan! Provo, UT
    Oct. 2, 2010 1:53 a.m.

    I would rather he said "this is not BYU football and we need to get better" but no need at picking out little things from an interview when what is happening on the field is as bad has it is.

  • JaredtheCougarFan Peoria, AZ
    Oct. 2, 2010 1:06 a.m.

    Was really proud to see Jake Heaps handle himself the way he has. Being classy and positive when the chips are down and everyone else can only see the negative is a great trait in successful people.

    The Cougar coaches have to take a really long look at themselves and decide what they want to do. It is apparent that the talent is all in the younger age group, and they did not get enough reps to be able to play. The older guys that are supposed to be showing the fruits of the "investment" are turning out to be abject failures on the field.

    There is no reason to panic now as the season is lost as a success. It is only good to get the younger guys ready for next year and beyond. Bronco is going to have to accept that fans of BYU care about winning football games on Saturday and Jesus on Sunday. One will never mask the other. That will never change. Injury and Jake's development are giving Bronco a lot of leeway. Take it coach. We have seen what you can do - just do it!!

  • Zoniezoobie Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 2, 2010 12:26 a.m.

    It was over when...

    The smallest kid on the team was running the ball, catching the passes, and returning the kicks.
    DiLu rocks!

    Best Cougar receiver tonight?

    Ben Cahoon has 3 catches for the Als against the Stamps, just 5 away from being the all-time CFL receiver!