Brad Rock: Running up the score is a necessity

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  • Urban
    Sept. 18, 2009 2:28 p.m.

    Urban ran up the score (as did Edwards), and said it was sad that he had to do so.... do I think he was sorry... nope!!!! Do I think he was right... Absolutely!!! YBU should run it up every chance they get, as should Utah and TCU... except for against each other, unless one of said teams has multiple losses. that's how the stupid BSC works now!!

    PS. Good Luck Utes... don't screw it up YBU (for a Ute lifer thats as close as I can get to "supportive")

  • RE utes
    Sept. 18, 2009 7:34 a.m.

    Dude, nobody has anybody beat until they game is over Osu and tcu had to learn that the hard way

  • Getaclue
    Sept. 18, 2009 6:20 a.m.

    Winning big does not necessarily equal running up the score. All of you who claim some teams regularly ran up the score - did you check when the starters were pulled? Did you check starter/sub pass/run ratio? Opponent's late fumbles/interceptions? Late short passes (have to keep the defense honest and the chains moving) that turned into long gains?

    When you pull your starters and change to more conservative play calling, it's not running up the score even if you continue to score.

    Running up the score is when you keep your starters in the 4th quarter and continue to throw bombs or try trick plays when already up by 40+.

  • RE: no clue | 6:35 a.m.
    Sept. 17, 2009 10:05 p.m.

    One or two bcs type bowls in 29 years,

    and I don't have the clue?

  • Melvin
    Sept. 17, 2009 4:18 p.m.

    So running up the score is the topic the Utes have to whine about this week. Even when BYU does well and has impressive wins, there has to be something to complain about. If BYU has a close win it wasn't a big enough win. If BYU blows out an inferior team they were running up the score. "Yeah, BYU has been running up the score for three decades. As a Ute fan, I have no doubt of this." Please. Get a life people.

  • Don't apologize!
    Sept. 17, 2009 12:53 p.m.

    Why are BYU fans apologizing for the scoreboard? Do I want BYU to run up the score and blow everyone out? Of course! If BYU wins every remaining game 54-3, there's no doubt in my mind they play for a National Championship. If they go undefeated, but squeak by SDSU and NM, they'll be lucky to play in the Orange Bowl. Urban Meyer has figured this out and that's the reason Florida challenges for a NC every year...just watch the FLA-TENN scoreboard this weekend.

  • Bronco v Kyle
    Sept. 17, 2009 8:54 a.m.

    The only thing Bronco Mendenhall needed to do last Saturday to be as classy as Kyle Whittingham was call an onside kick after the last touchdown. That one finger salute from the Wyoming coach is still priceless to this day.

  • no clue
    Sept. 17, 2009 6:35 a.m.

    "RE: NevadaCoug | 6:43 p.m | 9:48 p.m. Sept. 16, 2009
    HOW MANY BCS bowl games or "BCS" type bowl games did lavell edwards teams go to?

    Just 1. the cotton bowl."

    You are RIGHT??? - the Fiesta Bowl (1974) isn't a BCS type bowl? - come on do your research before you spout off with your hate/envy.

  • Dennyg
    Sept. 17, 2009 6:06 a.m.

    BYU DID run the score up on Tulane. They run it up as often as they can. They've been doing it for decades. Given the opportunity they would score 100 a week. The excellent part of this, when they lose in a lopsided score the boobirds come out and complain in top form.
    Good form BYU.

  • running up?
    Sept. 16, 2009 9:59 p.m.

    "Mendenhall didn't run up the score and/or pad stats against Tulane, but he DID last year vs UCLA and Wyoming."

    BYU 59 UCLA 0

    No points scored in the 4th quarter, last touchdown at the end of the 3rd was by Wayne Latu (a backup) on a 2 play (both runs) 16 yard drive after another forced turnover. Last pass for Hall came at the 7:43 mark of the 3rd. Doesn't sound like running up the score to me.

    BYU 44 Wyoming 0

    Only a field goal scored in the 4th. The 3rd quarter only had 1 Hall TD to Unga and an interception returned by Nixon. Last pass for Hall 5:50 mark of the 3rd. BYU's 2nd & 3rd string QB's played in the game. Doesn't sound like running up the score to me.

    When teams turn the ball over 4-6 times giving short fields or immediate scores to the opposition you have to expect a lopsided game.

  • RE: NevadaCoug | 6:43 p.m
    Sept. 16, 2009 9:48 p.m.

    HOW MANY BCS bowl games or "BCS" type bowl games did lavell edwards teams go to?

    Just 1. the cotton bowl.

  • Utes
    Sept. 16, 2009 9:46 p.m.

    Utah didn't get respect last year because they got lucky twice and should have lost. Everyone knows that Oregon St. had the Utes beat, had there not been a questionable call in the endzone. And as for TCU, how many times will a kicker miss a chip-shot TWICE and cost his team the game? 11-2 Utes last year and you know it!!!

  • Holes, Your Article Has Em
    Sept. 16, 2009 9:40 p.m.

    Your article has holes. Big ones. What about college basketball? Does the BCS cause blow outs in college basketball? How about the NBA? Is that the fault of the BCS? Is the BCS game to blame for my work league team getting shreaded?

    Perhaps some teams get blown out because they're not as good. Ever think of that?

    Trevor Johnson is right

  • Trevor Johnson
    Sept. 16, 2009 9:33 p.m.

    I don't understand why coaches and players should be asked to "make it respectable" or take out their starters. Play the game to win. Don't play to make the other guy feel good. If you're not going to give it everything you have, then don't do it at all.

    Why would a coach be asked to pull back? To make the other team feel good about its efforts? To not embarass the opposing players? What does that accomplish? Stupidest article I've ever read.

    If the game is 60 minutes, then play 60 minutes. Mercy rules went out the window when you graduated from elementary school. Quit believing that everyone owes you something. We don't owe you anything--Including taking it easy on you during a game. Grow up, or take your purse and go home.

  • BleedCougarBlue
    Sept. 16, 2009 7:30 p.m.

    Article quote: "The Utes won both games, 35-17 and 24-14, respectively. They are now on a 16-game win streak, the nation's longest. But that's not good enough for the voters in the AP poll, because the Utes are dropping even as they win. They started the year ranked 19th, rose two spots after beating USU, then fell to 18th after beating San Jose State."

    Same thing happened to BYU in their 1984 National Championship year....beat a lesser regarded team by a comfortably decent margin and then they'd end up dropping in the polls.

    Makes no sense at all.

  • Darren
    Sept. 16, 2009 7:02 p.m.

    Rock offers Air Force's 72-0 win this year as an example of running up the score. Yeah right. They run the ball all game long. What are they supposed to do when they get a big margin, start throwing the ball? Now that would be running up the score. I had season tickets to BYU for over 20 years, during the glory days, and they ran up the score, and they continue to do it. The problem is people thinking there's something wrong with that. If you are trying to score when you're up, isn't that running up the score? Of course it is. The only way you aren't running up the score is when you aren't trying to score. Enough of people proclaiming that their coach would never run up a score. of course they do. Utah and BYU do it, so does Weber State, and Utah State would do it if they could. That's what you practice all week for, to score. A coach has never sent offensive players onto the field and told them to not score. Unless someone is doing this, they're running up the score.

  • NevadaCoug
    Sept. 16, 2009 6:43 p.m.

    Lavell didn't run up scores in the 90s, that's for sure. I remember several times the 2nd or 3rd team offense was within the 5 yard line in blow out games, and he would make them take a knee to run out the clock. Always infuriated me. It's not running up the score if it's your back ups. If they have a chance to score, you let them so they know what it's like and have the confidence they can if you have to rely on them later.

    Crowton didn't run up the score as much as people like to say he did. A lot of those blow out games his first year saw Staley and Doman sitting on the bench mid-way through the 3rd quarter. How is that running up the score?

    Mendenhall doesn't run up the score either. BYU's offense is pass happy, but when they have had a big lead under Bronco, they largely go to running plays, which, of course, tend to run more time off the clock.

    If your team sucks and can't keep the other guys' backups from scoring on you, too bad.

  • AZ Dave
    Sept. 16, 2009 6:42 p.m.

    Stop with BSC blame.

  • re: ute in philly
    Sept. 16, 2009 4:25 p.m.

    Mendenhall didn't run up the scores in the UCLA and Wyo games. He pulled his starters about the middle of the 3rd qtr in both games. BYU's subs on offense scored the final 10 points against UCLA.

    And why is a ute fan bagging on BYU about scoring a bunch on an AQ-BCS team anyway? U guys should be happy we did that. Makes our conference look better. I think your ute fan twisted-pretzel logic is rearing its ugly head again.

  • MWC Fan
    Sept. 16, 2009 4:22 p.m.

    Great article Brad! Your stuff this year has been really fun to read. Especially the "Chill out, Y fans!" Loving your stuff this football season.

  • Hollywood
    Sept. 16, 2009 3:52 p.m.

    I believe Lavell admitted as much. In the early days of the Lavell era (70's, early 80's), BYU had to run up the score against lesser opponents. It was the only way for BYU and the WAC to get any kind of media attention and respect.

    In the mid-to-late 80's, you had a few things working to keep blowouts in check:
    1. Lavell/BYU no longer needed blowouts to get votes - just convincing wins.
    2. The conference had improved enough that you didn't have the same quantity of blowouts.
    3. 2nd and 3rd teams from the conference were locked into automaic bowl bids.

    Now, with the BCS system, the computer rankings play a much bigger part. And a 1 or 2 TD margin over a weak opponent will hurt you. And with the non-BCS schools competing for 1 possible at-large slot, Boise State, Utah, BYU, etc. will need to run up the score whenever possible.

  • Re: Ute in Philly
    Sept. 16, 2009 3:47 p.m.

    Edwards? Really? Examples please. Trust me, I went to BYU games for 15+ years while Edwards was coaching and he went out of his way to not run up the score. What is your opinion worth anyway? You're a Ute, and you live in Philly. I'd say your anti-BYU bias has clouded your mind.
    You gotta call a Ute fan a Ute fan.

    Re: Coug Doc

    "Utah is the national champ in my book for last year."

    That's why your book didn't sell very many copies.

  • Saw the need?
    Sept. 16, 2009 3:26 p.m.

    "...then climbed to seventh after slaughtering Tulane. Fair enough. The Cougars saw the need and the opportunity, and seized it."

    Hey Rock, did you write that part because that's what Bronco said after the game? Yeah, I don't think he ever said "we saw the need and opportunity and seized it".

    Tulane just isn't very good and BYU is very good this season. So a lopsided blow-out was the result.

    Rock, when you learn to quit making up stuff you'll be a better writer.

  • Ute in Philadelphia
    Sept. 16, 2009 3:20 p.m.

    Lavell DID run up the score. He was a good coach, but you can't revise history.

    Crowton ALSO ran up the score. His penchant to run up the score actually cost him the 2003 Stanford game in Provo. Ha ha!

    Mendenhall didn't run up the score and/or pad stats against Tulane, but he DID last year vs UCLA and Wyoming.

    You gotta call a spade a spade.

  • Coug Doc
    Sept. 16, 2009 2:47 p.m.

    "Utah is the national champ in my book for last year."

    And I also forgot to mention that John McCain is our President in my book.

  • Running up the score
    Sept. 16, 2009 2:25 p.m.

    Anyone who says BYU ran up the score during the Edwards era is insane. I remember, in particular, back in 1990 when Detmer won the Heisman. In a number of games he would have around 250 or 300 yards passing by halftime, and would always be sitting on the bench for the last quarter or quarter and a half. I was always thinking during the year that if he were left in for the whole game each time they played, the records he set could have been way out there. That was always the case with an Edwards-coached football team all the years that I followed them. In other words, there should be no argument for BYU doing it before Edwards retired. Saying they have done it for 25 years is ridiculous. You Lie!!!!

  • Rock's didn't say
    Sept. 16, 2009 1:28 p.m.

    that BYU intentionally ran up the score. That said, it unfortunately is indeed important for rankings--and, therefore, BCS or NC consideration--to beat a weak team handily, and I agree with another comment that 40 points is a good goal if it can be achieved early in the fourth quarter.

    I didn't think Crowton ran up the score. He did the onside kick (which Utah State had done to BYU the previous week) against Air Force, which DeBerry didn't like but indicated Crowton's thinking that he wanted to get a quick jump on the Falcons because of BYU's suspect defense. Mendenhall definitely doesn't run up the score intentionally. One coach that DID run up the score was Boise State coach Dan Hawkins (now at Colorado). BSU's starting quarterback threw a final touchdown pass at 3:45 left in the game at Provo to make the score 50-12. I remember thinking that BYU team couldn't feasibly have been considered a threat to come back and win the game down 43-12 midway through the fourth quarter.

  • akk
    Sept. 16, 2009 1:04 p.m.

    It's not necessary to run up the score. Just win all your games and you will be fine. No non BCS team will ever play for the national championship... the powers to be will not let it happen.

  • Re:Wrong about one thing
    Sept. 16, 2009 1:03 p.m.

    You're wrong about one thing (at least). The touchdown that put the score at 47-3 was a fumble returned for a touchdown by the defense.

  • Darren
    Sept. 16, 2009 12:42 p.m.

    This article brought up some good points. I think that the margin of victory only comes into play when you're talking about two or more undefeated teams. If a team has to explain a loss, the undefeated team is always superior. A one point win beats a one point loss. Personally, I completely support running up the score. If a team is rewarded for doing so, which they are under the current system, then they need to do it. Look at the Utes' game last year against Weber State. Utah was up 37-7 in 4th quarter. Whittingham puts in subs and Weber scores two quick touchdowns at the end of the game. After reading articles about the game, you would have thought that Weber won. McBride was ecstatic and said that even though they're a lower division school they can play with the Utes. He also said that if the game was ten minutes longer Weber might have won. If teams like Florida, Texas and USC feel the need to run up scores then it's much more important for MWC teams to do it against non-conference teams.

  • stupid
    Sept. 16, 2009 12:00 p.m.

    Who is stupid enough to run an onside kick when they are up 40-0?

  • Utah Football
    Sept. 16, 2009 11:54 a.m.

    I'm sick and tired of hearing about Utah running up the score. Did we run up the score on UNLV in 2007? Behind Brian Johnson, Paul Kruger, Stevenson Sylvester, and the rest of the team, we chose not to score at all and let UNLV chalk up 27. What more do you want from us?

  • mike
    Sept. 16, 2009 11:44 a.m.

    Coach Mike Leach, Texas Tech, says: "We throw the football for four quarters, generally with our #1 quarterback. Now that you know what we do, stop us!"

  • Short on writing material?
    Sept. 16, 2009 11:41 a.m.

    The top ten teams in the nation don't have to run up the score to get noticed. In fact, it is the opposite. In order to not embarrass other programs, they have to tone it down at the end of each game.

    Oh Brad Rock, you silly Ute fan. Guess it's hard to find a knock on BYU these days. At least you tried to attach your argument to something we all hate, the BCS.

  • Run up the Score?
    Sept. 16, 2009 11:34 a.m.

    I will admit that when Crowton was the coach, the score would sometimes get run up, but with Bronco at the helm, he does not run up the score. He has too much class for that. He just like any coach in the US wants to see what his back ups can do, but there were only 2 passes thrown by Reilly Nelson and we had second and third string players in on both sides of the ball.

    And for those short memory Utah fans out there, can anyone say onside kick against Wyoming and up by a huge margin?

  • Wrong Again Again
    Sept. 16, 2009 11:02 a.m.

    BYU's touchdown to get to 47 came from the defense. The 2nd string offense was already warming up during the Tulane possession.

  • ute fan= stupid ute fan
    Sept. 16, 2009 11:02 a.m.

    Who's this ute fan? Is he the typical ute grad that you have to get him off your property by paying him for the pizza?

    utah needs to worry about winning games period. utah had a hard time winning last year. In fact, they were lucky in 3-4 games last year that they should have lost & were even outplayed in two of them- Oregon St. & TCU.

    BYU just needs to worry about winning too. The only difference is that BYU plays a much tougher schedule than the utes.

  • Utes
    Sept. 16, 2009 10:56 a.m.

    You wanna talk about dirty play? How about an on-side kick when the team is up 43-0? Getting flipped off by the opposing coach is absolutely deserved.

    I actually think both BYU and the Ute players are all classy guys and generally very congenial towards each other. As for Ute fans... you guys speak for yourselves. Just read the boards.

  • OhioBYU
    Sept. 16, 2009 10:45 a.m.

    To LaVar,

    I'm assuming you are a Ute fan right, and you've been watching BYU football for the past 25 years! Wow that seems kinda odd. As a cougar fan I must thank you for your support over those years of "watching" BYU football. I know that during the Crowton era we did run up the score to try and get into "bigger" bowl game. But we more than paid our dues the years that followed for our "arrogance and entitlement mindset" that ONE year.

    Again thank you for your support of BYU football and I hope that after our "dampened" year last year you will also forgive us. Hopefully your next 25 years of supporting, I mean "watching" BYU football will be just as enjoyable as the last 25 were.



  • Ute in Philadelphia
    Sept. 16, 2009 10:41 a.m.

    There is no "running up the score" in the the 1st 3 qtrs of football. The tdS pulled their starters in the 4th. Max Hall's 4th qtr pass was one of those short-gain 5-yd routes. You can't run the ball every play of the quarter. You have to keep the defenses honest. It's not like he threw deep downfield.

    The "why?"'s defense did a superb job in winning the field position battle and creating turnovers against an inept C-USA team. Those facets of the game are all a part of football and the contributing factor to all those 4th qtr scores.

    GO UTES!!!

  • AP Pollsters
    Sept. 16, 2009 10:32 a.m.

    The AP poll is getting more recognition in newspapers because the voters in the ap poll actually vote. Many of the Coaches that vote in the USA today poll have come out an said that they have assistants do the voting for them, because they can't watch the games. The AP poll is more accurate in my opinion than the coaches poll for this reason. The Harris Poll isn't released until the BCS Poll comes out.

  • Cheap Shot
    Sept. 16, 2009 9:42 a.m.

    I agree that the BCS provides an incentive to run up the score, but BYU did not run the score up against Tulane. As far as I'm concerned, you don't ever call off the dogs until you hit 40 points (look at TCU's 30-14 victory that looks closer than it was because they put the scrubs in when it was 30-0). Once you are in the 40's, aggressive passing and trick plays with your starters rather than putting in the scrubs is running up the score. Once BYU hit 40 points they scored on defense (what was Pendleton supposed to do, just fall on the ball?) and with their second and third stringers (again, do you expect the offense to just take a knee on every play or run draws?). There was ten minutes left in the game and BYU did everything it could to show respect to Tulane, but still scored a couple of touchdowns. Who cares? That's a cheap shot Rock and you know it.

  • LaVar the Utah Cat
    Sept. 16, 2009 9:29 a.m.

    To: BYU did not run up . . .
    Perhaps they didn't run up the score against Tulane, however that has been the tendency over the past 25 years that I have been watching BYU. Rarely has BYU not run up the score when they have had the opportunity and ability. That only says it fits with their arrogance and entitlement mindset (which is curiously dampened after last year).

  • Wrong about one thing
    Sept. 16, 2009 9:28 a.m.

    BYU didn't play their 2nd string until they were up 47-3 in the 4th. They actually had Max Hall try to get another passing TD with the score 40-7 (it didn't work, and they ran it in instead). But they could have pulled the starters much much earlier like Tulsa did the week before or like Boise did.

  • AP
    Sept. 16, 2009 8:33 a.m.

    I'm not sure why the AP Poll is cited in articles any more. It has no bearing on BCS rankings. If I create my own poll that also has no effect on college football will it get quoted? I could probably gather a list of voters at least as relevant as those involved in the Harris Poll (sadly, the one that counts).

  • BYU did not run up the score
    Sept. 16, 2009 8:26 a.m.

    BYU did not run up the score against Tulane. They put in their second string players in the 4th and left points out on the field. Tulane was just that bad and BYU was just that good.

  • S2
    Sept. 16, 2009 7:50 a.m.

    I don't think in this regard and this year's polls that the margin of winning score is so much the point, but that the game was close. If Utah had scored 34 unanswered points, and then gone with reserves and boring straight dives and punts, that might substantiate an argument. However, since those points and final margins were not points scored by the losing team during 'garbage time' with the starting defense already untaped and unpadded, I guess the game was still competitive and the outcome was not necessarily a foregone conclusion. And since both Utah's wins were against, ahem, SJSU and USU, well, that does not say much for either Utah's offense or defense, does it?

  • Coug Doc
    Sept. 16, 2009 6:53 a.m.

    Utah is the national champ in my book for last year. Congrats to a great team.

    To UteFan - you need to stop saying incredibly stupid things that aren't supported by facts.

    To Brad - good perspective. We surely need a playoff system!

  • Blowouts aren't more common
    Sept. 16, 2009 6:44 a.m.

    Here are the % of games decided by 50+ points by season


  • Tom in South Carolina
    Sept. 16, 2009 5:58 a.m.

    Let's throw out some comparisons here. BYU last week played one of the worst teams I've ever seen in major college football. I watched both of Tulane's games (the Tulsa game was televised). If Tulsa had tried harder (opening game mistakes) they should have scored 70 or more. Bob Toledo has to be ashamed. SJSU was trounced by USC. I watched that game as well. SJSU played with USC for a quarter and a half, and then gave up at the beginning of the second half. It was a completely different team against the Utes. Dick Tomey must have run their rear ends off last week, and instilled in them the will not to quit, which they didn't against the Utes.
    I guess I'm just saying don't spout off about opponents if you haven't watched the games, seen their tendencies, etc. Actually watching the games may give you a better understanding of a game most people really know nothing about.

  • re: bogus argument
    Sept. 16, 2009 2:02 a.m.

    ummmm... those two losses were the main reason Utah wasn't highly ranked until late in the season, and why they never really did have a legitimate argument that they should be playing for the NC. No-one was calling for the BCS' collective head BEFORE Utah actually won the game, screaming that they should be playing for the NC. All the noise came later when it turned out they were the only undefeated team left standing. Would they have had a better argument had they beaten Weber and NM by 30 points? Who knows, but I think it is certain they would have been ranked higher earlier, and consequently ranked higher when the bowl invites came out as well.

  • Mighty Ducks Coach
    Sept. 16, 2009 12:53 a.m.

    "Its Not Worth Winning if You Can't Win Big" I am probably the only person in the universe that remembers that line from the movie! BCS outsiders are under pressure to rack up impressive doubt about that!!

  • Bogus Argument
    Sept. 16, 2009 12:00 a.m.

    Brad, come on. A blowout is glossy in the short term, but it's win-loss record that carries a team through a whole season.

    If always having to blow out your opponent to impress voters were true in the long term, Utah wouldn't have busted the BCS in 2008. The 16-point win over Weber State and the 3-point win over the Lobos--both games that should have been larger margins of victory for the Utes--would have both done them in.

    Sure, teams might fall slightly in the rankings early in the season. But consistency wins out, and teams who are undefeated or with 1 or 2 losses usually find themselves in the best position they can find at the end--at least in the current system.

    Of course, under an even more fair and equitable system, we'd have a playoff where who's better than who is actually settled on the field.

  • Football Fan
    Sept. 15, 2009 11:57 p.m.

    Just a note......Boise pulled Moore in the third quarter and cleaned the bench in the fourth quarter. Some of the other teams noted above were playing the first team late in the 4th quarter.

  • CaliFan
    Sept. 15, 2009 11:44 p.m.

    Yeah, the Utes have looked REAL strong this year against really strong teams like SJSU. The problem is can you really consider it running up the score when you have your 3rd string RB in the game and all your reserves? Let's not get crazy. Also, Utah cracked the top 10 late last year for the same reason they don't move up this year. WEAK EARLY SCHEDULE. There is something to be said for taking risks and winning those big games.

  • Consistency
    Sept. 15, 2009 11:43 p.m.

    >Great teams up the score because we can and we are that good

    Utah 24 San Jose State 14

    So apparently Utah can, but they don't...

    BYU 54 Tulane 3

    And apparently BYU can't, but they do anyway...

    Consistency. Gotta love it.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 15, 2009 11:34 p.m.

    that is a funny comment considering how poorly Utah played against San Jose State and barely pulled it out in the 4th quarter; USC only beat san jose state by 53 the week before.

    at the same time, byu did run up the score on a team about equal to san jose state; again, what are you saying about Utah?

  • UteFan
    Sept. 15, 2009 11:09 p.m.

    Not really an option for the cougs. They cant run up the score if they cant win or even score against the noles. Great teams like Florida, Utah, Texas run up the score because we can and we are that good. The Cougs couldnt even run the score up against utah st. Keep trying weaklings.