BYU football notes: Cougar cornerbacks still a concern

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  • LocoSoonerFan
    Sept. 2, 2009 8:56 a.m.

    I'm a diehard Sooner fan, and have been since 1982, but I also have a lot of respect for the BYU program. It is has always been a classy program with really outstanding fans/supporters/etc. For this reason, I don't want to see them get blown out. I want to see a good game, one that keeps us all at the edge of our seats. I want to see my Sooners win, but I want it to be a battle. I understand the need for a blowout win vs a top 20 team, but I would rather see a game that both programs can be proud of and that ESPN will talk about for days/weeks/months afterward as being one of the greatest games played. BYU fans, I wish you and your team luck this weekend and this season.

    Boomer Sooner! Let's play ball.

  • CrimsonCrush
    Aug. 23, 2009 8:21 a.m.

    1) Playing outside OU's home field. Yes it is in Dallas but it's more of a neutral site than people think - LOTS of Mormons live here.

    2) Lots has been written about BYU losing O-line players and seasoned players - this could play towards complacency (for OU).

    3) OU will be breaking in a fairly inexperienced O-line. Talented 'yes', experienced 'not so much'.

    4) OU will be breaking in a new wide receiver corp. Is Bradford a Heisman winner 'yes', but does he have a 'rhythm' with them yet? Game day experience is the only antidote for that.

    5) BYU and the fan base is a very classy act. We have OUr obnoxious fans, but I really hope the fan bases of both schools respect the tradition of each other. It is an honor to host a really talented team in the new Cowboys stadium and my hope is all BYU fans leave with an appreciation and respect for OU's team and fans. Respect = Humility = Hard Work = Preparation = Making Your Own Luck = Success

  • Ernest T. Bass
    Aug. 21, 2009 10:05 a.m.


  • One things for sure though
    Aug. 20, 2009 10:44 p.m.

    If we can play Oklahoma the way we played UCLA, this could be a really good game. I'm not saying we'll win, but we need to play with that same fire to stay in it.

    OU fans are giving BYU a lot more respect and credit than the Utah fans are. I don't think that should surprise me but I think that's really interesting.

  • Re Ummm
    Aug. 20, 2009 10:40 p.m.

    To finish your point: BYU thoroughly beat Utah last year except on the scoreboard. Darn it all.

  • Prof27
    Aug. 20, 2009 10:39 p.m.

    "Ummm" needs to read Dick Harmon's column about the supposedly "weak" defenses in the Big 12. He might be surprised to learn that, statistically speaking, OU had the third best defense in the league (99th against the pass, not total defense, btw.) Texas and Nebraska were marginally better (although the vaunted Texas team was even worse against the pass). Does the Big 12 have lousy defenses? Hardly. These top teams have great defenses. So what gives? Last year (and this year, too ) the Big 12 had really dynamic offenses and gifted quarterbacks (McCoy, Harrell, Daniel, Reesing, Freeman, Robinson, and, of course, Bradford) running spread offenses. Example: OU played Missouri 3 times in two years and beat them every time, but Chase Daniel and WR Jeremy Macklin still racked up the yards. BYU fans, of all people, should know why: A properly executed spread offense with superior players is impossible to shut down completely.

    Bad news, Cougar fans: OU played Texas Tech late in the season when Tech was ranked #1 in the country and Graham Harrell led the nation in passing offense. What happened? OU crushed them, 65 to 21. The same defense take the field against BYU.

  • heyBoomer
    Aug. 20, 2009 10:32 p.m.

    Boomer, I agree Oklahoma has more paper talent than BYU, but your statement about nobody on BYU cracking your 2-deep is a bit insane. I'll bet the following would all be on your 2-deep and your coaches would readily admit as much.

    Max Hall
    Harvey Unga (would start)
    Manase Tonga
    Dennis Pitta
    Andrew George
    Matt Reynolds (would start)
    RJ Willing (would start)
    Terence Brown
    Nick Alletto
    McKay Jacobsen (would start)
    O'Neill Chambers

    Riley Stephenson (would start)

    Jan Jorgensen (would start)
    Vic So'oto
    Russell Tialavea
    Brett Denney
    Andrew Rich (would start)
    Brandon Bradley

    There is a reason that Oklahoma is and should be favored. That reason is superiority in the secondary and at LB. However, I think you will find that BYU's DL will give your OL trouble and that BYU's OL is better than any others in the Big 12 sans Texas. The BYU team you will face in Dallas is probably deeper and more talented than the Boise State team you lost to in the Fiesta Bowl. Games like that are why we bother to line up...

    Aug. 20, 2009 9:39 p.m.

    JUCO corners on opening day against OK.

    They will both be so "tight" you could use them for guitar strings.

    One or two bombs thrown over or under these two might make them tentative all year.

    BYU's 59-0 whitewash of UCLA might look like a competitive game compared to what awaits the COUGARS in Texas.

  • Re. Anonymous
    Aug. 20, 2009 8:22 p.m.

    I think your right. a lot of people make this out to be more than it is. college football is great, no matter what it looks like on paper you still have to play the game. demographics boys, demographics. from what population base is BYU drawing its recruits ? and what for Oklahoma ? if you are looking at this from a purely on paper perspective , BYU has no chance. However, thats why we play the games. YOU NEVER NO WHAT CAN HAPPEN. first game of the season last year Tom Brady go's down taking the patriots hopes with him. How foolish it is for MWC teams fans to root against teams in its own conference. What happend to Alabama last year against the Utes ? if you think the Utes are that much better than BYU you are just being foolish. BYU has been a dominate team in the MWC and the Wac for a long time. Prior to last year they were back to back MWC champs with no conference losses. WAKE UP ! and put down your prejudices. Get behind your MWC teams and wish them all the best, Until they play your team.

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 20, 2009 7:21 p.m.

    I am a Sooner, born and raised, and a life-long fan of OU. I am glad that Stoops and OU work out games with schools such as BYU that are strong teams - and that , yes, do not get the respect they deserve. We may play one gratuitous weak team OOC each year, to help that team bring in the majority of their football revenue for the year, but OU does not regularly schedule to play outclassed teams to rack up sure victories. Scheduling BYU is serious and lays it on the line. This should be a good game. I am sorry if you cannot now bring the best of your best to the game, but this happens to everyone in big games. And, as a previous poster stated: Win or lose you can hold up your heads, and you will be the stronger team for it even with a loss. No cup cakes!! I respect youyr program and what you have done and do, year by year. And I think a lot a people out there respect your school and conference more than you think or know.

  • BIGCougarFan
    Aug. 20, 2009 6:26 p.m.

    BYU should do the OBvious:

    Recruit big fast recievers and convert them to cornerbacks.

    5'9 corners can not cover the 6'3 recievers!

  • Speed and Athleticism....
    Aug. 20, 2009 4:52 p.m.

    BYU had trouble with speedy,athletic teams last year. Although they did recruit several fast athletes, they won't make a significant impact this early.

    TCU and Utah proved that it takes more speed and more athleticism to compete with the big boys. It will take Bronco several more years of solid recruiting to catch TCU and Utah. 21.5 points is probably fair. BYU lost by 25 to TCU and 24 to Utah last year. Don't forget, TCU lost by 25 points to Oklahoma last year with all their speed and athleticism.

    Don't expect any miracles this year. The lack of speed was exposed last year by faster, more athletic teams.

  • Knowwhat
    Aug. 20, 2009 2:53 p.m.

    To: optimist
    If bills is the best safety ever to come out of Utah high school why isn't he starting, or does that just prove that cougar coaches are poor recruiters and Timpview players are overrated. It seems there are 2 guys from Utah high schools that are ahead of him on the depth chart. The fact is Weber States top 7 defensive backs are better than YBU's top 7 defensive backs. Living with it is rough isn't it.

  • take your hiatus now
    Aug. 20, 2009 2:50 p.m.

    I would take your year to hand out bibles now......sooners are going to roll.....give you all the benefit of the doubt 56 - 10.....Sooners.

  • To: Boomer
    Aug. 20, 2009 2:46 p.m.

    You're starting to sound like those arrogant Alabama fans that led to the beat down of the tide. Keep it up.

  • optimist
    Aug. 20, 2009 2:36 p.m.

    Bronco and practice observers say that this year's corners are in fact better. Aguirre had 11 picks and something like 4 blocked kicks in JC ball. He's insanely athletic.

    BYU's best corner last year was Scott Johnson. He started at the more cerebrally challenging boundary corner spot and played reasonably well. He could be moved back to that spot at any time if there is a need and the best safety to ever come out of Utah HS football (Craig Bills) could fill his spot. The fact that this hasn't yet happened tells me Bronco is pretty darn pleased with Aguirre. The fact that Aguirre is still playing boundary when he was recruited as a field corner tells me he's pretty happy with Logan too. Eason may have the most potential of any, but it may be best to redshirt him. At some point he will be a starter and likely all-MWC performer.

  • Boomer
    Aug. 20, 2009 2:26 p.m.

    Blue Boy, a "Heisman Prospect" I believe he won... Oh and now he is running the option as well. So the best QB, TE, LT in the country on offense. The best DT, Gerald McCoy, and DE rotation in the country. The other guys are just all Big-12! I dont think anyone on BYU would scratch our 2 deep.

  • Ummm
    Aug. 20, 2009 2:25 p.m.

    Love the comments on how Oklahoma has all these guys coming back from last year. Would that include the guys on the #99-ranked Oklahoma defense? BYU's defense, as bad as it was, was 74th. BYU was #1 in the country last year on 1st down, which leads to short yardage opportunities on 2nd and 3rd down, which leads to 1st downs, which leads to controlling the clock and keeping the OU offense off the field. Even the Ute fans know that BYU was making last year's rivalry game a nail-biter as long as the Cougs kept the ball on the ground (8.something yards per carry for the game). It was only when Anae started calling for more passes from Max that things fell apart.

    You still win the games by scoring more points, and if BYU can hold onto the ball and score points against the 99th-best defense in 1-A football, they have a good chance at winning this one.

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 20, 2009 2:11 p.m.

    8-5,,,,,,,,,,,, You had me until I read Utah and UNLV.......... NO way

  • C. Samuelson
    Aug. 20, 2009 1:54 p.m.

    I am not in favor of playing Oklahoma. I'd rather play northern iowa for a guarnteed win. That way we cougars can start the season right(eous).

  • 8-5
    Aug. 20, 2009 1:11 p.m.

    I've got BYU at 8-5 too. Losses to Oklahoma, Florida State, Utah, TCU and UNLV.

  • Ernest T Bass
    Aug. 20, 2009 12:25 p.m.

    A bad season is in store. DB's alone will account for 3 losses. BYU will go 8-5

  • Ben White
    Aug. 20, 2009 12:13 p.m.

    on paper, BYU is throughly outmatched. But you just never know. With a (potentially) explosive offense, they could hang, keep the OU offense off the field. We shall see. The whole MWC will be cheering for the cougs.

  • Juco Corners???
    Aug. 20, 2009 10:05 a.m.

    This is not good. In fact, it's VERY not good.
    That means lots of attempts and opportunities for Hall and Co. and that means lots of sacks.
    This is going to hurt.

  • C'mon Cougs!
    Aug. 20, 2009 10:03 a.m.

    See if you can hold the Sooners under 70 with that weak secondary. And to anyone who thinks that Cougs +21.5 is "money" you are correct. It's money for those who lay money on OK.

    I'll bet it's 21-3 after 1, 31-6 after 2, then the flood gates open and it starts getting ugly.
    I'd not be surprised to see at least 60 from the Sooners.
    And that's not anti-BYU smack, that, my painfully puritanical friends, is REALITY.

    It's going to be hard to watch. And I graduated from BYU in '99. I'm as big and blue a fan as there is, but I started losing money betting with my heart instead of my head.

    Skyler in St. George

  • Oklahoma
    Aug. 20, 2009 9:41 a.m.

    Hall better stick to throwing to the boundary side. He will get one taken to the house if he throws to Dom's side. OU has 5 DLinemen that will get drafted in the next 2 years. If your Oline is new, LOOK OUT.

    CB is the wrong position to be worried about on defense. Sam will wear you out if you can't cover. Florida gave OU problems last year because they could jam them and still run with the WR's.

    Gresham will be open early and often. You just can't cover him, ask Florida. OU just messed up and stopped getting him the ball in the redzone.

  • Huh?
    Aug. 20, 2009 9:38 a.m.

    "Asked the difference between the field and boundary corner spots, Mendenhall explained that field corner "is the easiest to learn but the most demanding athletically. The boundary corner is comparable to what the rest of the spots are. The learning is difficult there.""

    Just how did that answer the question and explain the difference? Lots of words, no meaning. No wonder the kids are confused in chaotic situations.

  • Knowwhat
    Aug. 20, 2009 9:20 a.m.

    The fact is that the top 7 defensive backs(corners & safeties) at Weber are better than the top 7 defensive backs at YBU.

  • Tulane
    Aug. 20, 2009 9:06 a.m.

    Re: "Even the home game against Fla St isn't looking good."

    No kidding, that's a sure loss. What we need to focus on is the Tulane game. If we're getting murdered by OU we should take out Hall, Unga, Pita and Jacobsen before they get hurt. If we don't win the Tulane game, it's an 0-3 start and who knows where it spirals from there? Tulane is winnable but not if our stars are hurt. It's time to be realistic like a MASH doctor in triage. OU and Florida State are losses, win the game you can.

  • jefe57
    Aug. 20, 2009 8:57 a.m.

    2 inexperienced corners vs. Oklahoma = A big BYU loss. I'm sure our new guys will give it all they have. It's unfortunate they're opening against Oklahoma. If Brandon Bradley can't go at all, I think the Cougs start out 1-2 in the first three games.

  • Re: It's possible...
    Aug. 20, 2009 8:49 a.m.

    Did you just say "The Cougs seem to play better early in the season"? Ummm...all of your losses (with the exception of last year) in 2006 and 2007 seasons came from your early non-conference games! Do you have a change against OU? Of course. Any team has a chance to win any game. But is it probable? Not really. OU is bringing back almost all of their team from last year including heisman winner Bradford. BYU, on the other hand, lost the #1 receiver in the country, don't have an experience O-line, and lost their last 2 games when they HAD Collie and Reed and an O-line last year.

    I agree nothing can be said preseason before games are played. But be realistic Cougs. It's just not looking good. I'm a fan of the Mountain West and want everyone to do well considering we have an amazing non-conference schedule. But just try not to embarrass us too much?

    GO UTES.

  • BlueBoy
    Aug. 20, 2009 8:22 a.m.

    If the BYU corners can't handle "iMax," how are they going to handle a Heisman prospect from Oklahoma?

    Even the home game against Fla St isn't looking good.

  • Tradition
    Aug. 20, 2009 8:08 a.m.

    The tradition continues. BYU is nothing if not consistant when it comes to putting bad DBs on the field. The season hasn't even begun and they're already to #2 on the depth charts.

  • Heads Will Be Spinning
    Aug. 20, 2009 8:06 a.m.

    It is a big jump from JC ball to D-1. I'm sure their head's were spinning going against BYU's first team offense the last couple of weeks. The problem is that going against Oklahoma's offense will be an additional step up in speed and athleticism that simply cannot be duplicated until kickoff in Dallas. I'm afraid there may be 3 quick tds on the board before our JC guys recognize they are not in Provo anymore. I'm sure Buckner will be back to full speed soon but it is dissapointing to hear that Bradley may be limping on and off all season. He is the biggest and most athletic db we have had in years and just can't seem to get and stay healthy.

  • Max Hall = No NFL
    Aug. 20, 2009 7:56 a.m.

    Max Hall will NEVER make it to the NFL because he can't learn to spread the ball around and look at one receiver (draw the defense) and then throw to another receiver. It's the one thing he needed to do in the off season and he didn't do it. It's also the reason we will lose to Oklahoma.
    You will all join me with this complaint after we lose the game to Oklahoma. Max has tunnel vision and will get rattled by Oklahoma's defense and start throwing the ball to the right side of the field to Dennis Pitta and McKay Jacobsen and Oklahoma will be prepared and defend the right side heavily and get a lot of interceptions. Max will throw the ball into heavy coverage and ignore the other receivers. He just showed it in the last couple of practices and that means he will be doing it all year long. He will beat the bad teams and lose to the good ones. They all know where he will be throwing the ball and he won't change it. We lose to Oklahoma; period!

  • the old LaVell strategy
    Aug. 20, 2009 7:47 a.m.

    Get some nonLDS players for the skill positions, get some big Utah farm boys for the lines. Bronco is following the battle plan of a good coach.

  • Angel
    Aug. 20, 2009 7:34 a.m.

    Once again Max puts up great numbers in camp. He's going to set an all time record for pass completion this year. Nobody completes 90% of their passes, ever! Don't worry about Oklahoma. I know they can't handle Hall and our new corners were some of the best in the country at JC. That's right! They are fast and good. Faster than Utah!

  • It's possible
    Aug. 20, 2009 6:26 a.m.

    BYU has a shot at winning this game. Why not? The Cougs seem to play better early in the season. They have time to focus and prepare and they seem to have the talent. DB is a big concern as is OL but I think they will get it worked out. It's not like Oklahoma is unbeatable. The up-side of a win far outweighs the downside of a loss. Can you imagine? But even a close loss wouldn't be that big of a deal. This early in the season and with a tough remaining schedule the cougs could sill recover and not be out of the BCS hunt.

  • How is losing to OU a win?
    Aug. 20, 2009 12:47 a.m.

    Need to be more positive. Let's not plan to lose the first game of the season.

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 19, 2009 10:55 p.m.

    Playing Oklahoma is a win win situation. If BYU loses, they will be tougher. Other teams will seem slower and not as good. If you want to beat Florida State, get used to playing the big boys. I think BYU has a ligitamate shot. If I was a betting man, I would put my money on BYU to beat the spread.

  • Bob in line
    Aug. 19, 2009 10:47 p.m.

    It seems that every year the big concern in our cornerbacks. BYU needs to get really serious about that position, but I will save that post for January.

  • Y This Year
    Aug. 19, 2009 10:31 p.m.

    Why did we have to start with Oklahoma this year... but for that game, we could have a perfect season. Instead we are going to bet a beat down. I hope we leave with less than 2 injuries and no quarterback controversy. This will be the 4th big game Max will lose in a row. The kid is already mentally fragile. Why couldn't we have played OK last year or next year?

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 19, 2009 10:29 p.m.

    Pita plays for Oklahoma?

  • No matter who starts at
    Aug. 19, 2009 9:12 p.m.

    the corners, they are going to have to "grow up" very quickly facing Sam Bradford, a couple of good wide-outs, and the best tight end in the nation.

    Go Cougs!!

  • GENO D'amonte
    Aug. 19, 2009 9:06 p.m.

    I am almost sick to my stomache over the lack of respect we have received over the years, but this team is special and oklahoma is in for a rude awakening. 21.5 points. Is was the vegas line is, that called free money of youbask me, I hope the coaching staff has the courage to show this line to the players, it would only serve a fuel to an unquenchabkle fire. I personally visualize an upset. Nobody gave utah a prayer to beat alabama in the sugar bowl, and from the coin toss total domination by the utes. These boys in the mountains can play