BYU vs. UCF from a UCF insider perspective

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    Sept. 23, 2011 12:02 a.m.

    I see UCF winning the game. I remember a relatively bad Florida State team coming into storied Provo and vastly overwhelming what was one of the best teams BYU has recently had (I found it funny watching the NFL draft that when Christian Ponder was drafted surprisingly high, nearly all of the highlights showed came against BYU). This BYU team is not as good as that team was, and UCF is probably close to the level of that FSU team.

    BYU's best chance offensively is to deactivate diLuigi for the game and give the ball to Kariya 30+ times. UCF has probably a little bit more team speed than Utah does and we saw how JJ's east-west style "attack" did against the Utes. He rivals Heaps as the offense's biggest liability. The best way to negate the disadvantage in speed is to utilize the underused Kariya's strong running.

    Experience at WR shouldn't matter. After DeVonte (the only experienced Utah WR) got hurt and wasn't targeted the rest of the game, it was RS frosh Dres Anderson and Jake Murphy that came up big pass catchers in the game. Those "raw" WRs could be looking at breakout games.

  • CougarForever Holladay, Utah
    Sept. 22, 2011 7:08 p.m.

    Regarding altitude:

    A detailed multivariate analysis that you can easily find on the internet found that a large altitude differential between the home and visiting team (i.e., home team at a considerably higher altitude) confers a significant advantage in Super Rugby even when adjusting for other potential confounding factors. I know that football is not rugby but the extrapolation seems reasonable and anyone who has traveled to a place with an altitude 5000 feet higher than your home turf and engaged in vigorous physical activity knows that you feel the effects quickly. Those living at high altitudes have a number of potentially advantageous physiologic adaptations besides just higher hemocrits. Altitude differences aside, the poor state of UCF's passing game (both in terms of receiver development and pass protection) will allow BYU to limit their offense. Again, we win this one easily.

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    Sept. 22, 2011 2:36 p.m.

    Naval Vet, don't knock Florida International. They are 3-0 including a road win at Louisville. Central Florida destroyed Boston College and are 2-1.

    Yes, there are four relatively new schools in Florida--although Central Florida has been playing football since 1979. Orlando (Central Florida), Tampa (South Florida), and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach (Florida International in Miami and Florida Atlantic in between Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach) have grown substantially over the years. There are more people in the 8 or so counties Central Florida serves than are in the state of Utah. Three of the four--all but Florida Atlantic--are doing very well this year and they did well last year.

    Enough to beat BYU in Provo? I don't think so, unless BYU discounts them. I happen to believe that both Utah and Texas are in the low 20s based on the consensus of the computer polls collected by Kenneth Massey, while both Central Florida and BYU are in the 50s, out of 120 FBS schools. BYU is hardly the worst team out there. They have a quality program and I think they should beat Central Florida at home.

  • first2third Elmo, UT
    Sept. 22, 2011 11:50 a.m.

    looking at past history Chris B's predictions are always way off even when predicting a cougar loss and getting the side right. He wasn't close even on the Utah game! I'll go BYU 20 UCF 10.

  • mgr63 DALLAS, TX
    Sept. 22, 2011 9:18 a.m.

    BYU's defense is terrible! A gimpy Jordan Wynn could of come out of the huddles with a lawn chair, a hibachi, a cooler full of ice cold ones, cooked himself a hamburger, eaten it, downed a few and still have over an hour to find an open receiver or a Ute that had a BYU player grabbing their jerseys because they don't have any ability to cover them without getting a pass-interference flag. And then, an OK JC transfer is all, John White, with a scrapped-together injured Ute O-line, ran all over the slow slow slow BYU defense like he was all alone on the football field. I almost turned the tv off because the carnage was so unreal. However, it was factual, brutal and embarrassing to a school that thinks they can play football? Why, I simply don't know.

  • mgr63 DALLAS, TX
    Sept. 22, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    BYU will lose to UCF and USU is that simple......for about 10,000 reasons. A very young, shallow, injured, inexperienced Utah squad pounded BYU into submission in historic fashion......and it could have been much worse. The BYU "glory" days are decades' old. I really think that the "storied" BYU football program is close to having the LDS church curtailing such embarrassments that have occurred against good teams that have demolished BYU, not just won, but destroyed them........and now on national tv? Uh, well, it ain't tolerable. No exposure is ten times better than horrific exposure.

  • Unlucky HEBER CITY, UT
    Sept. 22, 2011 7:47 a.m.

    BYU's defense is way overrated. They did play good against a horrible Mississippi team, but got manhandled after the quarterback change at Texas. They gave up almost 300 yards of offence in 2 and a half quarters. Utah with a questionable offensive line dominated the line of scrimage for 2 and half quarters. They aren't deep at any position nor are any one on the team in good condition. The more I look at the previous games statistics the bleaker it looks. BYU losses tomorrow and might lose 7 games this year. Conditioning is gained from January through March, Idon't think many of BYU players did much until Spring Ball. As for Utah they win the South easily, there is no one else capable of it with USC on probation and the others paying both Stanford and Oregon. In the championship game with their defense I believe they beat in one game not a series either Stanford or Oregon, neither team is good on defense and defense wins championships. Life is bad for Cougar fans right now and will only get worse.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 11:21 p.m.

    To niners: IF the Utes get to the PAC 12 conference playoff game, that is. Then they might have a chance. Even then, they will be up against a tough team. Don't look for them to win that game, even if they do qualify to play in it.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 10:56 p.m.

    Just an FYI, for everyone talking about the altitude "disadvantage," it is actually an advantage in primarily anaerobic activities (like football) to come from a lower elevation to a higher elevation. It probably will become a negative later in the game as fatigue sets in and aerobic conditioning becomes a larger factor, but I think at best it's probably a wash overall. Now if we were talking about marathon running (near 100% aerobic), then it would certainly be a disadvantage for the competitors coming from a lower elevation.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 10:36 p.m.

    I suppose as long as sports writers think people believe that altitude makes a difference, there will be a reference to it. I can't recall the last time I saw a visiting team in Provo or SLC, even one from near sea level, look any more tired than a team from higher elevations.

    Top conditioned players perform well at any elevation although I suspect that high humidity and hot temperatures are slightly more challenging than thinner, drier air.

    If UCF players are tough in Florida, they'll be tough here. Besides, Coach O'Leary is a great coach.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 21, 2011 10:23 p.m.


    I appreciate your optimism, but I don't think this team is capable of scoring 17 points, let alone win by 17 points. . . .not unless they have made some drastic changes on offense. . . .and I don't see "drastic changes" as being a part of Bronco Mendenhall's "higher plan" for the team.

    Sorry, I'm still pretty grumpy after that last game. I hope I'm wrong.

  • niners SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 10:06 p.m.

    @ cougarnate

    Weren't BYU fans the ones saying BYU was better than Utah this year, last year, in 2008 and from 2002-2005. Yep, I think it was them. Also I remember them all saying we would lose to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl because Alabama was better than Utah. So don't make a fool of yourself by saying Stanford and Oregon are better than Utah before we have a chance to prove it in the PAC-12 Championship Game.

  • We wear Blue ogden, ut
    Sept. 21, 2011 9:53 p.m.

    @ Naval vet
    Please research what your talking about before posting. FIU and UCF are both very good teams. UFC was in the top 25 last year and was chosen as a BCS buster by SI this year. FIU is 3_ 0 ,beat Louisville at Louiseville and arguably have one of the best running backs in the country.
    BYU will be playing a quality team this Friday
    Unlike the Utes patsy Montana State

    Sept. 21, 2011 9:46 p.m.

    Chris b. the utes are not going to the rose bowl. Oregon and Stanford are both better than utah. Utah will finish 9-3 and finish third in the Pac12 south.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Sept. 21, 2011 9:18 p.m.

    I don't see the cougars losing to UCF, and especially not at home. The Knights aren't that good. They lost to FIU!

    Let that sink in....FIU!

    There are no teams that can be even remotely described as challenging and/or competitive who have lost to a Sun Belt team. FIU is the sort of opponent Mendenhall fantasized about when he remarked how "the model has been set" after Hawai'i backed into BCS bowl after playing an extremely weak schedule. Bronco has been on the lookout for FCS and weak-WACish teams ever since. And now, with his NEW model of playing all over the country [rather than all over WAC country], I'm sure Holmoe and Mendenhall have already reached out to the Panthers' Athletic Director.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Sept. 21, 2011 9:07 p.m.


    "I have to laugh at the mighty u, who has to 'warm up' against the likes of Montana State, while the Y goes against a powerful SEC team."

    The "warm up" was supposed to be Iowa State, but they had to renege their return game of a Home-&-Home series due to the Big 12's move to a 9-game round robin league play. But you knew that. It's been stated over and over ad nauseum. You were just desperate to find something to disparage the Utes. So desperate, that you had to employ deception.

    And speaking of employed deception, I have to laugh at Y fans who would refer to Ole Miss as "a powerful SEC team". Ole Miss lost to Vanderbilt, and their only win came against the FCS' Southern Illinois. Just because you guys got lucky in Oxford doesn't mean they're a powerhouse SEC team.

  • GoGetter Sandy, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 8:47 p.m.

    Byu is going to lose again. They can't bounce back yet, there is too much mayhem to readjust. They may get close, but a better attitude or a "change in heart" can't replace the physical condition of someone. If UCF sees how out of shape their team is, and how their QB is not a leader, they WILL exploit them and do some major damage.


  • Hawkyo SYRACUSE, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 8:34 p.m.

    I'm not a betting man anyway, but if I were, I wouldn't feel good about a bet on the Cougars at all anymore. Still, a fan, but would never put my money on them. GO Cougars! Get out of the funk!

  • We wear Blue ogden, ut
    Sept. 21, 2011 8:22 p.m.

    As you say your a "fair weather fan" . Seriously I cant speak for all BYU fans , but we really dont need or want you as a fan.
    Only "strong, unyielding, never say die, warriors" need apply. Who will stand with us?

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 7:54 p.m.

    Get ready for a breakout game for the Cougars. They are due for a great game. They have too much pride to go 1-3. Look for BYU to fire on all cylinders, both offense and defense. BYU by 25!

  • CougarForever Holladay, Utah
    Sept. 21, 2011 7:36 p.m.

    UCF clearly has some athletes but BYU prevails in this game. Although UCF has reasonably capable running backs, if you read some of the UCF insider commentaries it appears that their receivers are really raw and hadn't even mastered basic route structures on some of the plays called in their last game. Their offensive line and backs were totally confused by blitzes. You just can't correct those types of problems in four days. Granted their defense seems solid but we will have a marked size advantage at the line and our running game should finally emerge. The home team has additional preparation advantages in a short week and this is a long trip for the Knights. The UCF players will feel a definite altitude effect (elevation of UCF is about 90 feet). Contrary to what others here are predicting this game won't be close. BYU by 17.

    Unfortunately, neither the impending victory over UCF nor the coming invite to the Big-12 will completely assuage the pain still present from this past Saturday.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Sept. 21, 2011 7:32 p.m.

    "And I have to laugh at the mighty u, who has to "warm up" against the likes of Montana State, while the Y goes against a powerful SEC team."

    Ole Miss in an SEC team. Powerful? Not so much. I won't begrudge a win on the road, much less to a team from the SEC, but they are/will be the worst team in that conference this year. And it won't be close.

    As tough a time BYU has with scoring, UCF can also struggle. This will be a grudge match. If BYU pulls this off, I see them having a nice respectable season. A 1-3 start, even with a schedule full of WAC-ites, puts them to last season-esque.

    BYU 16
    UCF 14

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 7:32 p.m.

    hard to gin up any care after the 54-10 season sinker last saturday. Hats off to the fans lining up to rise and shout back at the scene of the crime. Here is one admittedly fair weather fan signing off for this season. I will tune in again if and when the Y gets invited to the Big 12.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Sept. 21, 2011 6:11 p.m.

    Whoa Nellie,

    Maybe you're right - maybe UCF is better than Utah. But I can't find a publication that agrees with you on that.

    Let's see how the two teams compare at the end of the season, shall we?

    Good luck, Cougars. I know you're better than what you showed last Saturday.

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 6:00 p.m.

    Re: davidutefan

    I appreciate the vote of confidence. I hope you are right. BYU had better come ready to play though. Offensively BYU has to play much better to win. I think they can win the game but they need to be firing on all cylinders, and if they do win it won't be by a huge margin.

  • We wear Blue ogden, ut
    Sept. 21, 2011 5:48 p.m.

    Chris B do you need a hug? I wanted
    to say something mean but I suddenly felt sorry for someone thats only joy in life is wishing bad on others.
    All I m going to say is I hope BYU puts it together and plays a hard fought game. I am hoping for a win, but mainly for a game they can be proud of.
    Hugs and kisses to chris b, navy vet, and all the others.
    Go Cougs!

  • mgr63 DALLAS, TX
    Sept. 21, 2011 5:36 p.m.

    BYU fans had better be very worried about UCF. BYU is slow, has very little talent, maybe 3-5 OK athletes and has the worst coaching staff in NCAA football by far. They are last in the nation in rushing, and as I've posted before, good teams can run the ball and play defense for 60 minutes, not just the first half. This is a must-win game for BYU......... but I think that it is going to be another beat-down for the Y. Good luck however.

  • Keisels Beard Overton, NV
    Sept. 21, 2011 5:33 p.m.

    "now i'll play devil's advocate. ucf is a running team and the past 2 games byu's d has shown that they tire out if you keep chipping away at them and if that offense can't put points on the board, ucf's run game tires that byu front 7 out."

    BYU's D tired out against Utah and Texas because they were always on the field. When the offense goes 3-and-out every time, like they did in the 2nd half against Texas, then it's hard to stay sharp on Defense. Guys get tired if have to play nearly every minute of a half.

    If the offense can avoid going 3-and-out every time, the D will be fine.

    I still don't know if BYU will win. It comes down to whether or not Hypes can pull his head out. Yeah, I've reached the point where I'm using that nickname for him. All I've heard from the announcers for the games is that he doesn't look comfortable. If he can't handle the pressure, maybe it's time for Lark to get a shot. Show us something or sit, Mr. Hypes.

  • davidutefan Evanston, WY
    Sept. 21, 2011 5:00 p.m.

    I can't believe the Cougar fans are so willing to throw the team under the bus the way they are. Yes, I believe Utah is a much better team than BYU but, the potential of this team is so much better than what they have shown. So far, I have a hard time with his statement that Heaps is the best qb he'll face all year. He may end up that way but, he'll need to throw more than 1 TD pass per game and find someone other than Apo. I think this cougar team will have more pride than most of their fans believe and I'm not one of them though I don't hate BYU any more than anyone else on Utah's schedule. I think the couars bounce back this week mainly on the strength of their own defense. BYU 17- UCF 13

  • Go_Utes111 MIDVALE, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 4:27 p.m.

    @defibman, do you watch football, powerful SEC team? Ole Miss just got destroyed by Vanderbilt.

  • BYU-Virginia Mesa, AZ
    Sept. 21, 2011 4:25 p.m.

    UCF, USF, FIU, FAU...its hard to separate these teams that have popped up to FBS football in the last 10 years or so (especially since South Florida is in Tampa, which doesn't register with me as south FL). Back in the day, it was always UF, FSU and Miami.

    UCF dominated BC, then lost to FIU/FAU whomever, they got caught being arrogant. Now they venture on what will be the longest flight of their lives for most of their players, and first time in the mountains also, with BYU looking for a rebound. It doesn't look pretty for them, or does it?

    BYU simply needs to recall when FSU came to the mountaintop. They weren't mesmerized or winded at all. The Cougs got a beatdown that night also. Be wary of Central, they are big, mean, and will get ugly on you. The beatdown just might continue..

  • defibman Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 4:17 p.m.

    @ Navel Vet

    And I have to laugh at the mighty u, who has to "warm up" against the likes of Montana State, while the Y goes against a powerful SEC team.

    So using logic of u fans, you have won two games against a lower tier team and one against the worst offensive team in the nation.

    Boy, that is a lot to be proud of! You ute fans never cease to amaze everyone.

  • defibman Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 4:09 p.m.

    @ Chris B

    "byu never does well against speed and athletes"

    Soooooo what are you saying about the u?

    NEVER? does well?

    WOW ! ! !

  • butters Salt Lake city, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    i'll give byu the benefit of the doubt. historically, they've been able to bounce back from embarrassing losses. i think they can regroup, but that offense has to score more than one td to give the defense a chance to make stops.

    byu - 27
    ucf - 22

    now i'll play devil's advocate. ucf is a running team and the past 2 games byu's d has shown that they tire out if you keep chipping away at them and if that offense can't put points on the board, ucf's run game tires that byu front 7 out. also, ucf has either the 1st or 2nd ranked pass d in the country right now (i heard that on the radio this morning, haven't really fact checked it yet), so heaps and co have their work cut out for them.

    ucf - 28
    byu - 14

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 3:24 p.m.

    I usually like watching BYU footbal and hope they win. However, their offense is simply terrible. I expect Heaps to complete only one touchdown to Apo (as in the previous three games) with three more field goals because of their inability to score touchdowns in the red zone. UCF should get at least two touchdowns and a feild goal beacause the defense will be tired again from playing the whole game with BYU's 3-n-out offense.

    BYU 16
    UCF 17

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 2:38 p.m.


    We're going to the Rose Bowl. Deal with it.

    Enjoy another 1-4 start.

    I will.

  • Runner Chandler, AZ
    Sept. 21, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    This is what I'd like to see BYU focus / improve on in this game.

    1- Offensive tempo. They are still slow. Slow in getting in and out of the huddle, slow in getting the blocking sceme called and slow in getting the ball snapped. They must improve in this area.

    2- Turnovers. Obviously.. Heaps has to protect the ball. The reason I call him out is because he will face pressure, get hit, and it will be interesting to see how he responds. Will he freak out and drop the ball, freak out and pout and blame his linemen, or will he man up, take the hit and get after it on the next play?

    3- Heaps playing with more aggression and being less scared. He is playing scared and needs to get over it and be a leader on this team.

    BYU 24
    UCF 17

    Two other questions:
    1- What does Chris B do other than sit around and comment on every BYU article
    2- Is he going to have the same cockiness when his Utes loss their next 4 games?

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Sept. 21, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    Whoa Nellie:

    The Y already faced the best team they will have faced all season last Saturday. I laugh at your desperate, frantic and emotional, sour grapes dismissal of Utah's obvious superiority over your mid-majored, Indy-WAC-ey program.


    Go Knights!

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    BYU needs to play angry. Last Saturday was humiliating. If they go into Saturday with a chip on their shoulder they have a chance. If they don't learn from Saturday's game they could lose by two touchdowns. I think the keys to the game are:

    #1 Field Position: BYU's offense needs short fields and the defense needs long fields. Plain and simple. If UCF makes BYU earn everything it could be a long day. Special teams play can facilitate field position and so can turnovers. As bad as the game was against the Utes, BYU got a couple turnovers of their own. They need more this Friday.

    #2 Third-and-Short: They need to avoid penalties that put them in 3rd and 10, 3rd and 15, and 3rd and 20 or they could be in for continued 3 and outs that increases the defense's time on the field. 3rd and longs have killed BYU in these first 3 games.

    #3 PUT THE BALL IN THE END ZONE! When BYU puts itself inside the 30 or 20, they need to use their red zone weapons. They have tall tight ends and receivers. Doman has to dial up plays for them.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 1:58 p.m.


    byu has one of the worst offenses in the nation

    UCF has one of the best defenses in the nation

    BYU can't run

    BYU can't score more than 1 offensive touchdown per game(self imposed limit)

    UCF if FULL of athletes

    byu has maybe 5 athletes on the entire team

    Speed kills

    byu never does well against speed and athletes

    It's a no brainer

    UCF 31
    byu 10



    Soon to be 1-4.


    GO UCF!

  • Badman Houston, TX
    Sept. 21, 2011 1:46 p.m.

    I am a huge BYU fan, but the Cougs have not proven capable of scoring and UCF can do so at will more often than not.

    UCF 34
    BYU 13

    Heaps gets booed off the field in favor of Nelson in the 2nd half and BYU goes cold again down the stretch.

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 1:44 p.m.

    UCF is probably the best team BYU will play this year. I hope I'm wrong because Texas looks to be getting better but UCF is better than Utah, maybe not against BYU but overall UCF is probably better than Utah and Texas. The season could get old and cold this Friday.

  • Unlucky HEBER CITY, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    After reading this article and knowing BYU has trouble with dual threat quarterbacks and UCF'S tough defense, I think BYU LOSES 21-14.

  • Ragnar Danneskjold Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 21, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    BYU has had a lot of struggles in the past in containing a mobile QB. I think that will be the key to them winning. Also, they will have to put up points. BYU should win this game unless they are still licking their wounds from last weekend. If they come out flat and lose this game, I think the team is in a lot of trouble for the rest of the season.
    They will either come out with their hair on fire to prove they aren't as bad as last week, or let it get to them and the whole season will likely slip away. This is a very important game right now.

    BYU 31
    UCF 21