BYU football: Slow start has coach asking why?

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  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 23, 2011 6:45 p.m.


    No his posst wasn't insightful as that would mean he was able to identify something that wasn't apparent to every single person that watched the game and then enlighten all of us with his observation.

    As I said he was simply pathetically waiting until I posted to say something to me personally about it. I expected it so it wasn't any sort of surprise but it was pathetic.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 22, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    Given the tough usual tough game at the first of the season, it seems to me the coaches are into game preparation to early in fall camp. Basic skills, are not developed or emphasized enough. They do pretty good in the first game, but do not make the improvement necessary to win in the next few games, because they do not have the basic down. The reason the Y won in the late 70's and early eighties was not the gimmicks, it was they dominated the line of scrimage, always on offense and usually on defense. This has not been the case for many years and the trend continues under coach Mendenhall. Return to good line play and you see many 9 10 and 11 win years against any competition. Continue to be poor on the lines, and be careful playing New Mexico State. I am sure Mr. Mendenhall know this, but for whatever reason has not been able to accomplish greatness on either the offensive or defensive lines even though it seems they have the atheletes in these positions to be very, very good.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 21, 2011 11:04 p.m.

    Whoa duckhunter.
    Carnak is not piling on like many other Ute fans. His post if very thoughtful and very accurate IMO.
    He's right. The hype this year was through the roof and players began to believe their own press. The Utes didn't have any players or coaches spouting off about National Championship aspirations. Heaps was talking about an undefeated season before he even played the first game. Coach Whit has always been about focusing on one game at a time. . ., not the whole season. "The most important game of the season is the upcoming game this week," Whit has repeatedly said. Bronco and players would be wise follow that wise counsel.

    I agree that it is not that BYU doesn't have the athletes (although I still contend that Heaps is no athlete), because I still believe personnel-wise this is one of BYU's most athletic teams. However I think they are poorly coached and poorly conditioned.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 10:57 p.m.

    Duckhunter | 8:49 p.m. Sept. 21, 2011
    Highland, UT

    I'm sure you have pathetically been waiting days to say something to me about it
    To be accurate, his post quoted you from May 16th...

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 8:51 p.m.

    Carnak | 5:48 p.m. Sept. 21, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    @ Duckhunter | 5:09 p.m. Sept. 21, 2011
    Highland, UT

    Welcome back Duckhunter, I was worried about you.

    I'm worried about Hedgehog. Don't like him/her, but worried. Hasn't been on here in awhile.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 8:49 p.m.


    I'm sure you have pathetically been waiting days to say something to me about it. Congratulations as that undoubtedly made your entire year. But don't worry about me, I occasionally go out of town and then come back. As far as the game is concerned...well there isn't much to say. Yes they quit. It disgusted me.

  • Carnak Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 5:48 p.m.

    @ Duckhunter | 5:09 p.m. Sept. 21, 2011
    Highland, UT

    Welcome back Duckhunter, I was worried about you.

    May I quote you from a May 16th post of yours "Also I think Utah will be exteremely mediocre this year and not really much of a game to watch." I'm not sure yet about the mediocre part, but you were spot on about the "not much of a game to watch."

    Your team lost 54-10 and they QUIT, or as Steve Young told ESPN "they capitulated", which just as you know means " to surrender unconditionally or to give up resistance." That is Bronco's major problem along with his bashing of loyal fans such as you.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 5:09 p.m.

    I'm sure bronco believes it is the fault of all us "sudducee's" who have the gaul to actually ask questions and give money to the program.

  • gonefishn Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 3:12 p.m.

    The only "legit" compitition the Y has left on the schedule is TCU, Hawaii, UCF and Utah State. None of these teams are stellar. It does not matter how they do against the other 5 scheduled wins. 9-3 is a great turnaround, 8-4 is average with the schedule and anything below that is a failure.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Sept. 21, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    BTW, my earlier comment about not enough "heart" and "guts", in my opinion, leads all the way to Bronco at the top.

    It's not that Bronco doesn't care about the game. I seriously believe he has LOTS of heart (ever heard him describe playing at Orgeon State and preparing for years to beat BYU?, all because he was angry that BYU didn't offer him a scholarship) but, I do think that Bronco does not COMMUNICATE that intensity well to his players. Every single time I see him on the sidelines he looks as stone-faced as LaVell used to be. (How in the world Coach Edwards got his players fired up to win so many games with that face, I'll never know....) I would hate playing for him, I think, because he's as hard to read as a blank wall.

    They say that 80% of communication is non-verbal. How about some yelling? How about some clapping? How about some in-your-face chastisement (when called for)? How about some huge smiles when your team does well. Leaders lead. Then get INTO the game and lead!

    Go Cougars!

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Sept. 21, 2011 1:09 p.m.

    Why? Why have we lost 2 games we could have won?

    No heart.

    No guts.

    No killer instinct.

    Yes, BYU has 'some' of this, but NOT enough. It wasn't enough to put Texas away in the 2nd half and it wasn't enough to resist crumbling from Utah's TD drive right before the end of the 1st half and on into the 2nd half.

    BYU football, in my opinion, in the last few years, has gotten soft. They expect to win (good) but when they get behind they seem to think that they're going to get back on top (and this is the key) with LITTLE effort. Then, when that little amount of effort fails to put them ahead, they fall apart.

    I've watched Cougar football relatively close since 1979. Teams from LaVell's golden years wanted to rip out opposing players' hearts. They didn't want to just beat you, they wanted to destroy you! They played with a chip on their shoulder. Guys like Jim McMahon, Glenn Kozlowski, Steve Young, Jason Buck, Glenn Red, Leon White, Kurt Gouveia and Kyle Morrell. THOSE guys played with intensity. Guys like Max Hall and Austin Collie are now the exception, not the rule.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 12:40 p.m.

    Big J,

    If you think BYU lost Saturday because of lack of "athleticism"

    A) You didn't see the seven turnovers, several of them fumbles without getting hit
    B) You didn't see the halftime score -- Utah up 1 point despite several goal line fumbles by BYU.
    C) You didn't see the Texas game. If you think Utah is that much more "athletic" than Texas, you are more deluded than they average BYU or Utah fan.

    If you think BYU has "occasional" wins against BCS teams, they have a winning percentage including wins over Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon State, Utah, etc., over the last few years.

    If you think that is a racial issue, you are behind the times, my friend. Count the number of African American and Polynesians on the team (To understand the athleticism of the Polys, think Holati Ngata, Troy Polamalu or any number of Utes). Jordan Wynn is hardly an "athlete." Brian Blechen or Eric Weddle or Jordan Gross aren't exactly "ethnic."

    It was said of Bear Bryant, "He can take his'n and beat your'n and take your'n and beat his'n." The difference Saturday was coaching, my friend, not "athletes." End of story.

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    BYU was successful in the late 70s through the 90s mostly due to the offensive scheme. They also had some very talented QBs during that run. Football at that time was run, run, and run. BYU did what at the time was trickery and they did it well. They would pass and pass until the D blitzed and then run the draw for 30 yards.

    Todays game is different due to team speed especially in the receivers and D backs. BYU does not have those players and has ever had them. Additionally, everyone passes the ball. Defenses know how to stop it. There are no surprise plays anymore. Execution only gets you so far.

    What does this mean? You have got to have the athletes to be a top team. BYU will never have them. They will have nice lineman, tight ends and linebackers but not the speed guys.

    Realize what you have. Be happy beating the easy teams and snagging a victory from a BCS team (Ole Miss) now and then.

    Go Utes!

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 10:56 a.m.

    Laser | 8:18 p.m. Sept. 20, 2011
    Iowa City, IA

    "Let ute fans mock, and Kyle Whitt take his shots."

    Exactly what 'shot' has Kyle Whitt taken?

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    "A lot of that, I believe, is early-season scheduling tougher opponents"

    Nice excuse.

    Isn't the point to BEAT tougher opponents. If it isn't, join the Big Sky.

    Oklahoma scheduled the #5 team, and won. Boise State takes on all comers -- and wins.

  • Ragnar Danneskjold Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 10:29 a.m.

    Carnak is pretty accurate with his comment. The hype I think is a little out of their control. Des News seems to run with small stories sometimes. But this pre season we heard about how good the team would be from coaches. You can't take days off in camp and then come out with this product.
    Are Cougar fans frustrated with this trend? It seems like almost the exact same thing happened a few years ago when they had almost no hitting or live drills during camp. They got skewered for it when they came out soft. And I thought it was addressed the following season. Have they fallen back into that rut? I'm not sure what the practices are like, but is this happening again?

    The lesson needs to be learned. Good coaches don't need to be taught the same lesson repeatedly.

  • Benderman1 Layton, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 9:28 a.m.

    Back...I agree with your comments except for the part about shaping young men. They are at an age where they should be able to make decisions for themselves. Bronco is not their parent. He's not their baby sitter. He's not their physicologist. He's their football coach and he should be doing just that, coaching football. I think the problem is that Bronco is focused on too many other things like trying to be too much of a mentor and trying to impact everyone elses lives by holding pre-game firesides. While that is admirable, he's not doing enough of what most other coaches in the country are doing and that is preparing your football team for football. He may list football has his fifth priority but work/employment is very high on his own list of priorities and coaching football happens to be his job. Bottom line is he needs to focus more on that and leave the other church and counselor related duties to counselors and church leaders.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Sept. 21, 2011 9:27 a.m.

    This team is not prepared and not properly coached. By the 3rd game of the season, the center can't snap the ball to the quarterback. This should have been resolved in August. Some coaches would have these guys snaping the ball out in the mid day sun for hours and hours until they could get it right. I guess our plan is to learn the basics during the games. We seem to have adopted a strategy that requires us to be able to run the ball. Unfortunately, we seem to have no one who can run the ball. We are suppose to have an outstanding offensive line, but they struggle with pass blocking and run blocking. I can only assume they have done their Home Teaching and that is why they are playing. Football is our number 5 priority...fine...unfortunately, the folks we play have football as their number one priority.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 9:04 a.m.

    Perhaps the slow starts have something to do with the pre-season hype each year. Each year we hear about the high octane offense and the possibilities of a NC run. Looks like players and fans believe that if they dream it then it will happen. Keep day dreaming cougs and the y will be 1 and 4 again.

  • coleman51 Orem, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 8:39 a.m.

    If Bronco Mendenhall wonders why his team is starting slow, he has only himself to look at. I saw several coaches calls this season that cost them the game. I also see a very inexperienced offensive coordinator in Brandon Doman that got skewered by Norm Chow in our last game. If Bronco decides that he can fire his entire coaching staff and replace them with people that have had little if any college experience, he has the right to do so. What he can't control is the consequences of that decision.

  • Back Overland Park, KS
    Sept. 21, 2011 8:34 a.m.

    To the fan who actually threw up watching the game...SERIOUSLY? Frustrated, yes. Disappointed, yes. One of the worst games the Y has played, yes. But to throw up??? I'd recommend a different hobby. While puzzled over the lack of offense, I'll take a Mendenhall working with a young man like VanNoy, shaping a man vs. a coach that wins at all costs anyday. I remember in the 70's and 80's when the Y was cleaning house with their football program and my grandfather who had been a Y fan for the years previous said that it all goes in cycles. He had seen the Y in bad years, and he cautioned against getting too smug in the good years. It's a game, go home and give your kids a hug afterwards, just don't let them see you throw up (that sends a bad message)!

  • Lee Corso American Fork, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 8:26 a.m.

    Looking at the Cougars record is a ruse. Of course it improves as the season goes on that's because the schedule is for the most part garbage after the first few games of each season. So what will happen is the offense will do a little better this week, then a little better against the Aggies, then execution will be flawless against powerhouses like Idaho, Idaho St., San Jose St. and New Mexico St. All of a sudden Jimmers all star game has taken on more relevance.

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 8:03 a.m.

    The Cougars need to play angry and not scared. This is the time they step up and show who they really are. Hopefully they won't put their tails between their legs like they did last week. Killer instinct guys, killer instinct.

  • Unlucky HEBER CITY, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    The problem is talent. They have lost two games to better football teams and one against a worst team. Fans of BYU always enter a season expecting to win every game. I look at every teams schedule and go game by game. You do that you find that BYU was going to have an 8 and 4 or 7 and 5 record. Sure you will have upsets both ways which can change a record slightly, but it will always be close. Rest of the year should go.

    Wins against Idaho, Idaho State, New Mexico State and San Jose State.

    Losses against TCU AND Hawaii.

    Either way UCF, USU and Oregon State. I think they win 2 of these and lose one. BYU ends year at 7-5. Hope for more because fans should do that, but don't overreact and want wholesale changes if 7-5 happens. What better coach is out there than what you have. If you think a change is in order give some names of Head Coaches or Offensive Coordinator that might come to BYU, remember Kyle Whittingham said no.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Sept. 21, 2011 6:23 a.m.

    I'm one fan who's not optimistic at all after watching last week's fiasco. I actually threw up and bad taste is still lingering in my mouth. The way I see it, there are at least 3 more losses in our UCF, Utah State, and TCU, and then possibly two more to Hawaii and Oregon State. I hope they will prove me wrong because I don't want this nightmare to continue.

    We wanted exposure and we got it, except it's not the kind we hoped for. No fan wants to see their team being humiliated like that on national tv. It was tough watching that game, very painful to say the least.

    I hope they can turn things around this Friday. UCF is no pushover despite one poster referring to them as an "airport", not a football team.

    Go Cougs! And hope you won't quit anymore before the game is over! That was downright shameful!

  • StocksOnTheRocks Lehi, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 11:50 p.m.

    Bronco is a defensive coordinator, Bronco is not a good Head coach.
    Good Head coaches, put the best assistant coaches around them, and good head coaches take responsibility for the teams performance,Bronc has nothing to do with the offence, "zero" and points at problem areas, people, never stands up as the head coach, and takes responsibility for the whole team, Bronco's a traffic cop, pointing everywhere, except at himself.
    Broncos defense was just as bad against the Utes, as the offense was.
    turnovers are not responsible for 50-60 yard "3-run plays Utah touchdowns.
    sure the ball was intercepted or fumbled, but the Coug's Defense cxould not stop the Utes run game, in the 2nd half. if anyone has access to the 2 halftime speaches given by Bronco & Whittingham, It would be fun to compare them. to validate what actually happened to the close 14-10 halftime score.
    cause someone dropped the ball at halftime in the locker room, a real turnover.

  • Northern Logan, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 8:53 p.m.

    Bottomline, Heaps plays without confidence, he plays scared you can't argue with that.

  • Carnak Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2011 8:53 p.m.

    This one's easy. The approach all summer was how good the team was going to be, how great the new young assistant coaches are and how BYU is "3 deep" at every position. As always, to draw favor with Cougar nation and sell papers and airtime, the local media bought into how great the team was going to be. To compound the problem, Bronco gives the team a few days off during training camp because "we have accomplished what we need to and are ready to go." The team, composed of young men looking for real leadership from their coaches, buys into the theory that "this is the best group I have ever coached" though they wre coming off a 7-6 season and hadn't proven anything. What do you now get? We see the result.

    One of these years, expectations will be kept at a reasonable level and both players and coaches will develop before the accolades.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Sept. 20, 2011 8:31 p.m.

    I'm beginning to thing Bronco is great at getting a lot of hard work out of players during practice, even maybe teaching them to be better players. He seems to be able to motivate, which only goes so far, though.

    HOWEVER, I am also beginning to think that he's not so good at creating TEAm confidence. Mis-represented highly thinking of yourselves is one thing, but deep down self confidence is another.

    Then again, Bronco could be right---circumstances.

    Oddly, in most of those 1-2 starts, didn't BYU win the first game, and often against good foes? Kind of like Bronco needs too much time to prepare a team.

    Maybe THAT's the issue.

  • Laser Iowa City, IA
    Sept. 20, 2011 8:18 p.m.

    Go Bronco! You will be just fine. The system is just fine. It won't take long but the naysayers will be scratching their heads saying, "How does he win so much?"

    I think it's lost lukewarm fans how many new coaches are being broken in, including a OC.

    Let ute fans mock, and Kyle Whitt take his shots. What you're putting together isn't just for a season, it's going to last a long, long time.