Dick Harmon: Big game? Business as usual for Cougs

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  • Bob
    Aug. 17, 2009 11:00 p.m.

    For those that care, there will be about sixty to sixty-five thousand OU fans compared to about 15000 BYU fans. Anything but neutral. BOOMER SOONER!

  • swt
    Aug. 14, 2009 11:22 a.m.

    I suggest that BYU holds off putting the 25th anniversary commemorative sticker on their helmets until they get past the FSU game. Otherwise, it could backfire just like last year's "Perfection" slogan did.

  • hare, not hair
    Aug. 14, 2009 1:19 a.m.

    The phrase is "wild hare," because rabbits act nuts sometimes.

  • Re: Anonymous
    Aug. 13, 2009 10:50 p.m.

    "I'll bet all you ute fans will be watching the BYU game.. who does utah play in their first game? (who cares?)"

    Your right no one cares about our opener bc its essentially already won (USU).

    Let me guess you didn't watch the Sugar Bowl...right-I believe that. Of course we will watch and root for you to finally pull your weight nationally.

    And if you lose of course we will laugh in your face that you chose to continue your 10 year losing streak against ranked teams.

  • RE: Ute Fan
    Aug. 13, 2009 10:32 p.m.

    Obviously your not a true Ute Fan more like one of our many bandwagons jumping on board.

    We are never jealous of our so called "older brothers" we are kicking their trash nationally. Hello did you forget about the Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, etc?

    There is no way we are losing 4 games next year. Utah doesn't rebuild we reload. Watch us continue our win streak. WE AINT sKAReD!!!!

    Go Utes!!!

  • Cougs will get er Done
    Aug. 13, 2009 10:28 p.m.

    Wake up BYU stop endorsing such a defeatist attitude (keep it close-whatever)...We are going to win and win Fantastically!!!

  • Prof27
    Aug. 13, 2009 10:06 p.m.

    Yes, by all means, BYU should run the ball at the heart of OU's defense. The Sooner front 7 is easily one of the best in the nation, starting with monster tackles up front in Gerald McCoy and Adrian Taylor. BYU's young and inexperienced O-line should be up to the task.

    Good plan, Cougar fans. Excellent.

  • Cooger
    Aug. 13, 2009 9:02 p.m.

    Come on, pull your heads out. Of course the Cougars are preparing for this game. Obviously, it all starts with themselves and preparing to put themselves in a position to make plays. The entire season doesn't hang on this game, we simply have to prepare and the atmosphere and adrenaline will take over. If you think there won't be a few new wrinkles and everyone putting it all on the line, you are sadly mistaken. The Cougars will be up for this game and will take every opportunity to exploit OK.

  • bergstro
    Aug. 13, 2009 6:32 p.m.

    Business as usual:

    Max Hall - Throw couple INT's en route to a major choke job
    Robert Anea - dink and dunk
    Bronco - "execute at a higher level..."

  • My own 2 cents.
    Aug. 13, 2009 4:27 p.m.

    As I Bleed blue I can only see us winning this game buy doing a couple of things. First we need to play a good field position game. If we can have OU start back from there 20 to 30 yard line each possession and limit touchdowns to field goals. Its unrealistic to think the Y will score each drive, but to pin them back and make it longer for OU to score. Second we HAVE to run the football. I dont mean the lame HB draw plays that dont get anywhere. Line up in the I formation and pound the ball. It will open play action and passing lanes. Third the Y needs to punch OU in the mouth on the first offense drive and defensive series. I respect the U and how they came out and just shell shocked BAMA and got them on there heels. It will take a great game to wim OU. I am excited and hope we will respresent the MWC well.

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 13, 2009 3:51 p.m.

    You're all so funny - I love reading these posts. If any of you would be a better coach than Bronco, why didn't you get hired to coach? Go back to your lazyboy's, hold tight to your soda (or beer for you ute fans) and get ready for an amazing game against OU.

    You're all just so funny.

    BTW - I'll bet all you ute fans will be watching the BYU game.. who does utah play in their first game? (who cares?)

  • Fact o the matter
    Aug. 13, 2009 3:17 p.m.

    is this. If BYU comes out fired up, which Bronco relies on the team captains to do, like they did against UCLA last year, BYU can win this game. That is the only way they win. They would have to execute perfectly to do this. I personally give BYU a 3% chance of winning. If BYU and Oklahoma played 100 games, OU wins 97 of them. BYU can win, they just need to be crisp, and actually score a lot of points in the Opener, something Anae's offenses haven't been great at.

  • Mr. BYU
    Aug. 13, 2009 2:52 p.m.

    What a bunch of cry babies complaining about the coaching staff having the business as usual attitude!!

    What the staff is trying to say for those of you too immature to understand is that you don't do anything out of the ordinary or you can cause the team to be out of sync and not ready to play. You don't get overhyped or you will play poorly. Are you catching on yet?

  • No Comprendo
    Aug. 13, 2009 2:33 p.m.

    RE: Johnny Moser

    "I can't complain much about the the start of the season, but if we close this season like we have the last few I will have to start wearing black."

    Last year the Cougars finished poorly with losses to the Utes and Arizona. Two years ago the Cougars finished with a win over the Utes and a bowl game win. Same thing in 2007. Save your black for the widows.

  • Keys to the Game
    Aug. 13, 2009 2:20 p.m.

    And I'm not pretending to be the coaching staff but I'm sure they've already thought of this, but I'm just putting in my 2 cents.

    Establishing the run game against Oklahoma is important for 3 huge reasons. Number 1, it breaks in the new offensive line. It easier to tell the new guys to just pound the opposition. Less thinking, more butt kicking. Number 2, it keeps OU's pass rusher's off of Hall. They could be on him all game, not because Hall isn't good, but it again comes down to the O-line being new and playing against a really good team. The pass game is high risk/high return. You can get a big gain, or the other team can get sacks/interceptions. Number 3, it runs the clock down. Our best chance to win is to keep OU's offense off the field. Our best defense really just might be our offense in this game. It also gives our defense rest and allows them to play optimally when they have too. Short passes might be necessary to convert on 3rd down but running the ball early is our best chance.

    Aug. 13, 2009 2:20 p.m.

    OU will not let them score until they pull all their starters. The Defense is the best since 2000. Offense is just as good the O line could have started last year but had NFL talent up front prevented that.. Good luck cougars. I have yOU losing 66 to 10. The Points and the Over safe bet.

  • Johnny Moser
    Aug. 13, 2009 12:59 p.m.

    My only problem with business as usual is this, you typically get the same results from doing the same things, I am not satisfied with previous results. If we are not trying to be better then what's the point. Maybe Business as Usual isn't the right approach. I am tired of coming out early in the season and having high hopes only to have them dashed on the shoals of mediocrity and failure by the time we get to November. I can't complain much about the the start of the season, but if we close this season like we have the last few I will have to start wearing black.

  • A lot will have to go right
    Aug. 13, 2009 12:46 p.m.

    I too hope they'll run and not abandon it so quickly. I hope they'll run from under center and let the o-line do its job (could have pummeled TCU's d-line and somewhat neutralized the speed of their LBs last year if they would have done that). Realistically, though, a lot will have to go right for the Cougs even to have a chance.

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 13, 2009 12:46 p.m.

    Some of these comments make me shake my head. Who knows the importance of this game more than Bronco and his staff? Do you think they have not been looking at film of Oklahoma since the game was announced? Do you think they won't have plays to try to exploit any weakness they see? And by the way, the trick will not to get the Cougars up for the game, but to keep their emotions in control.

    I support Bronco 100%--win or lose. I support his emphasis on character and true principles, and I believe that this emphasis will result in consistently good performance.

    BYU is getting better athletes each year--including ones with speed. There is incredible progress on recruiting. We're getting there, so hold your water, folks.

    BYU will probably get killed by Oklahoma, because it is essentially a home game for Oklahoma, and it has better athletes. The reason we get beat in these games is that we are playing better teams! We have the best chance by playing disciplined ball. And, I truly believe that the gap is narrowing.

    Putting all your eggs in

  • Go Cougs
    Aug. 13, 2009 12:40 p.m.

    We have two very capable teams playing on September 5th. The key for BYU is to with-stand the emotional onslaught of the tens of thousands of Oklahoma fans, and beleive me the UO fans will be loud. BYU will need to stay focused and continue to execute as if they are at home. Oklahoma is a very good team, but if BYU does this it is possible for them to win.

  • montanacutter
    Aug. 13, 2009 12:09 p.m.

    I would hope that BYU would run the ball more and not depend on Max "where is the ball Hall" to make the big plays. He has not shown that he is capable to do this without fumbles or interceptions in the big games. The game with OK is a real big game, and if "where is the ball Hall" can't protect the ball early in the game, then run the ball and keep the ball out of his hands as much as possible. "where is the ball Hall" has to show he can work under real pressure and he has not done so to date.

  • I hope your right
    Aug. 13, 2009 11:15 a.m.

    That may be true that Bronco doesn't want to give away any game plans. I don't know, who's to say? Here's to hoping that this is an amazing win and hopefully a W for the Cougs!

  • Dan in Iowa
    Aug. 13, 2009 10:02 a.m.

    The way some are posting here, one would think that they are head coaching authorities. Perhaps, those of you who feel Coach Mendenhall doesn't have a clue about the Oklahoma game (or any other game) should apply for a position on his staff. Or for the head coaching position.

    After 4 years, you still don't have confidence in what he has done or is able to do. Have you forgotten where the program was when he took over? What he has done is nothing short of amazing.

    I, for one, like Coach Mendenhall and what he has done with this program, from top to bottom. He is the right man for the job at the right time. He is not perfect and is aware of his shortcomings far more acutely than any of us are. Even still, he is far more capable of leading this team than any of us are or ever will be.

  • Coaching
    Aug. 13, 2009 9:44 a.m.

    Bronco is a great team Leader/Manager, a great role model and a good representative for BYU. He also seems to be doing well in the recruiting area. What he and the other coaches at BYU have not established is their ability to win a big/huge game. They have not shown any ability to adjust the game plan or take advantage of the weakness of other teams. It will be interested to see this coaching staff going forward and if they can be flexible and improve with game day preparation and emotion. Do they have the X and O’s knowledge to get the job done??? We will see. GO Cougars get up for this game!!!

  • jefe57
    Aug. 13, 2009 9:34 a.m.

    Anybody remember the loss to the Utes in 2005? It was a home game, and the Cougars came out so pumped they couldn't do anything right. Too much emotion can backfire. The Cougars will be up for the Oklahoma game. They don't need Bronco to do cartwheels in order to be up for the game. My only question is if they have the talent to stay with Oklahoma.

  • jb2willis
    Aug. 13, 2009 9:08 a.m.

    You all are probably believe everything you read. I agree with "Pretty Lame." Bronco does not owe you or the media the courtesy of even hinting that he is doing anything different. If OU thinks BYU is preparing for business as usual, all the better. Bronco is not a stupid man. Why didn't BYU make different adjustments in big games last year? Maybe it was the end of the season and some key players were banged up, which he didn't want to reveal for the other teams to know.

  • Pretty Lame
    Aug. 13, 2009 8:19 a.m.

    Give Bronco a break. You think he isn't thinking of new ways to win the OU game? Why would he reveal anything new so OU has a chance to see? He'll get the team ready and then give the players some new ideas to think about and plays to work on - say a week before the game.

    Oh and Cougs got Drew Phillips from AL! The kid was wanted by a ton of D1 programs! Oh, and U wanted him too. Boo Hoo for U.

    "The 6-foot, 174-pound Phillips also received scholarship offers from Wyoming, Idaho, SMU, Central Michigan, Louisiana Tech, Samford and Tennessee-Martin.

    Other schools who expressed interest in him were Illinois, Louisville, Birmingham-Southern, Jacksonville State, Memphis, Central Florida, Mississippi State, Florida State, Stanford, North Alabama, UAB, Troy, Utah and The Citadel."

    For the next 5 years (minimum) U will be looking up from their backsides after getting run over by the Cougs!

  • Y'zMan
    Aug. 13, 2009 8:18 a.m.

    How big are the ramifications of this game? Well, should BYU beat OK and win out the season and should OK win out after BYU, they will meet again in the NC game if there is no other undefeated team. (I know, lots of ifs). On the other hand if we lose, even if we win the rest of our games, we won't have a chance at the NC game. I'm just saying Bronco has a lot riding on the business as usual approach to this game.

  • firesides#1
    Aug. 13, 2009 7:38 a.m.

    I'm traveling from Florida to attend this game. Unfortunately, the only thing Bronco seems to get excited about anymore are the Firesides the night before the games. What gives, this is football right? What are the requirements to be head coach at BYU? Wait, thats right, showing no emotion!

  • Not business as usual
    Aug. 13, 2009 5:35 a.m.

    This is why we seem to enter the conference schedule with 2 losses. This is why BYU is vunerable to good teams in the conference. Some teams need special preparation - like OU.

  • Howard S.
    Aug. 12, 2009 11:12 p.m.

    Bronco is so inspiring.

  • Prof27
    Aug. 12, 2009 11:01 p.m.

    BYU's only real chance in this game is if OU's talented but relatively inexperienced O-line struggles. It's possible, if unlikely. Otherwise, it will be a long game for BYU. OU has tremendous players at the skill positions, and team speed on defense that will be very difficult for BYU's (even more) inexperienced O-line to handle. The defensive ends, in particular, will have Hall running for his life or on his back.

    Regarding the comment that OU's defense isn't all "that great," I would agree that last year they had problems after losing Ryan Reynolds, the middle linebacker, in the second half of the Texas game. That was the one position where they didn't have depth, and every team thereafter tried to exploit it. Only Florida succeeded, mostly by running Tebow up the middle late in the game. But, Reynolds is back, fully rehabilitated, and his fellow linebackers have developed into formidable players. I don't see BYU scoring a lot of points against them.

    And don't even get me started on what Bradford and the speedy OU receivers are going to do to BYU's smallish, juco-transfer defensive backs.

  • Not business as usual
    Aug. 12, 2009 10:39 p.m.

    This is why BYU never beats the good teams, they act like it's business as usual. When you are playing a team that is better than you, you have to mix it up, you can't just be business as usual. The way you pull an upset is by pulling out all the tricks, think Boise St v OK in the Fiesta. Oklahoma is going to score and score a lot, BYU has a slim chances but must do the following three things 1) make at least one or two major special teams plays, 2) win the turnover battle 3) run trick plays all night long.

  • Ute Fan
    Aug. 12, 2009 10:07 p.m.

    Okay, I will admit it......we are jeolous of the Y getting the opportunity of playing against a #3 nationally ranked team.

    This will be a rebuilding year for us and I only hope that we don't lose more than 4 games!!!!

  • If. . .
    Aug. 12, 2009 9:49 p.m.

    BYU plays very solid defense we can keep the Sooners at 35. That would be really good considering Oklahoma's offense. I would honestly be happy with a close 28-35 loss. I would be ecstatic with a win.

    Business as usual? I can understand that rationale with conference games but this is a big game. A business as usual approach will not win this game. A business as usual approach is just walking in and thinking that if you just play football you will win. That's NOT how you win big games! I can see wanting to keep the players emotions in check and keep them focused on proper execution, but against a monster team like Oklahoma, there needs to be emotion and urgency to win the game. Controlled, focused, psyched up BYU players have a much better chance of winning than a just another day at the office attitude. I somewhat agree with Bronco's approach but there needs to be some flexibility and adaptation to the game plan come game day. And for heaven sakes GET EXCITED FOR THE GAME!!!

  • CBT
    Aug. 12, 2009 9:18 p.m.

    I know that the BYU defense has a goal of holding opponents to 24 points or less. I am not sure that is realistic against Oklahoma, a team was held under that total exactly 1 time last year by Florida. They were held under 40 only 3 times. And held under 50 only 4 times, with 49 being one of those scores. Basically, this team is an offensive juggernaut on the level of the early 80's BYU teams, only more skilled. But in order to win, BYU one to hold then under 35 which is a very tall order. I hope they can do it. If not, I hope the offense can keep up because they are going to have to be flawless.

  • RE: Keys to winning th.....
    Aug. 12, 2009 7:07 p.m.

    "Oklahoma’s 'OFFENCE' is capable of putting up 50 points."

  • RE: BigBYUFan
    Aug. 12, 2009 6:59 p.m.

    Both BYU and Oklahoma have great Offences. It's the team who brings the deffence who is going to win this game.

    Its all about who wants it more.

  • BigBYUFan
    Aug. 12, 2009 6:54 p.m.

    Oklahoma's defense is NOT all that great,

    I would Look for a high scoring game where anything could happen.

  • Big game is right
    Aug. 12, 2009 6:40 p.m.

    If BYU can get the job done at this game they have the skill to run the table. Just saying, this is the BIG GAME!

  • Go BLUE!
    Aug. 12, 2009 6:30 p.m.

    "Anybody remember the last time BYU opened the season against the #3 team on ESPN? BYU vs. Pittsburgh 1984"

    No, that was a long time ago. This is 2009! We need the win this year.

  • Business as Usual
    Aug. 12, 2009 6:24 p.m.

    means the Cougs will lose to another ranked team in their quest for dominating mid-major.

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 12, 2009 6:15 p.m.

    Anybody remember the last time BYU opened the season against the #3 team on ESPN? BYU vs. Pittsburgh 1984.

  • Get up for this game!
    Aug. 12, 2009 6:06 p.m.

    Not even a poster of Sam Bradford with a bulls eye on it hanging by the D lines locker room? nothing?

    COme on cougs. you need to get up for this game. Its the big game! The biggest of the season. Bigger than the one against that other red team up north.

    no wonder why we have a 1-5000 record against ranked teams. nothing special to prepair for this special game?

    Rise and shout the cougars are out! GO COUGARS!

  • "Same Approach"
    Aug. 12, 2009 6:04 p.m.

    Does that mean we can still expect slow, unathletic, skill position players?

  • Quest for Failure?
    Aug. 12, 2009 6:02 p.m.

    Ok, ok... I can try to understand the decision to not change the game preparation from one game to the next, but this is Oklahoma! It's not like the cougs are playing Utah State or Northern Iowa. What would have happened in the Sugar Bowl if the Utes would have prepared the same way? Definitely not a 31-17 beating that's for sure! Come'on Bronco, wake up and smell the decaffeinated coffee! Bronco, seriously... "The focus is still on us"? Football is a chess match, and exploiting the other team's weakness is crutial.

    After Max Hall threw 1 or 2 interceptions against Utah, why didn't you change your offensive strategy? Why didn't you run more? Didn't you know that in the past 2 years against the Utes you were running all over the field? Why don't you find and exploit the weaknesses of Oklahoma? Why does ever other team in America watch film of the teams they play? Isn't that what coaches are supposed to do?

    I sure hope we aren't preparing ourselves for failure...

  • Keys to Winning the BIG game 2
    Aug. 12, 2009 5:48 p.m.

    They will have to be used in all conventional and nonconventional ways. There is no stopping the big play the Oklahoma offence will dish out. But the defense will have to keep their head in the game in spite of Oklahoma fire works. Applying pressure to the QB is essential. Something that has not been done, but that’s not to say it can’t be done.
    BYU’s offence will have to contribute threw controlling the clock and scoring on every drive. The cougars will need a running game to chew up the clock and keep the ball out of the OK offensive hands. The game in Texas is essentially a home game for OK. Controlling the tempo and momentum of the game is not as essential as keeping control and momentum with in team.

  • Keys to Winning the BIG game 1
    Aug. 12, 2009 5:47 p.m.

    Oklahoma’s defense is capable of putting up 50 points a game easily (as seen last year). BYU’s offence isn’t going to win this game. If and when BYU wins this game it will be the BYU defense that will be holding the winnings. The BYU defense will have to hone their attack on an unproven OK offensive line, the only kink in a team ranked 3rd nationally. The BYU corners will have their hands full with extremely talented OK receivers. The defensive line and line backers are going to have to put up a package of pressure consisting of blitzes to get to QB and Heisman winner Sam Bradford. BYU safeties will have to cover the deep ball and help out the corners while showing in a few key blitzes. BYU safeties will be flying all over the field to win.