BYU football focused on halting trend toward slow starts

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  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 1, 2012 2:30 a.m.

    2nd/4th vs 1st? You're going to lose that argument everytime. Look at it this way, when they talk about all time greatest QB's in NFL history what do they say about 2 time Super Bowl champion John Elway vs Super Bowl runner-up Dan Marino? None of the experts give Dan Marino the nod ahead of John Elway because Dan never won the big one. Being 2nd just doesn't cut it no matter how many stats he compiled.

    On no planet in the Sports Universe is 2nd place or 4th place ever better than 1st. Look, don't feel bad for 2004 or 2008, those were both very good seasons. You should feel proud considering where the Utah program has come from. 2nd/4th place isn't something to be ashamed of.

  • Serenity Now Highland, UT
    July 31, 2012 6:22 p.m.

    The reason for slow starts and strong finishes for Bronco's team? Who knows? Could be SOS, having a deeper, well conditioned team that plays well into November, playing most tough September games away, breaking in new offensive coordinators, etc. It's hard to be too objective about it. But even with Naval Vet's accurate and discouraging stats, BYU still attracts 64k fans to its stadium, and is the most popular team in TV ratings in the state. And as long as college football remains a beauty contest, BYU remains the top attraction in the state and one of the most watched teams in the West.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 31, 2012 5:10 p.m.


    Oh and uteology please tell us exactly how much credence, and respect, you put in barry switzers opinions and predictions before the 2009 sugar bowl? I love utah "fan" hypocrisy!


    It's what people said after the bowl game not before.

    Barry wasn't saying much by half time of the 2009 Sugar Bowl when the only "12-0 from a real conference" was being dismantled.

    While in 1984 he couldn't stop LOL when BYU backed into a national tile by playing the worst SOS in history of college football.

  • Papa Smurf UTE Herriman, UT
    July 31, 2012 11:55 a.m.


    So was the 08 game gift wrapped for the Utes as well with Max having several interceptions, and 1 fumble? It seems to me that the Y gift wraps a lot of games for the Utes. I think that it is actually the superior Ute defense that is stopping the Y, and forcing those turnovers. The Y is not gift wrapping anything. So Max was a an inept QB as well then, and that game was also a fluke huh? Like the 04 game along with that. It was actually the 98 game with the doink off the upright, or the 4th and 18 play games that were flukes. That doesn't happen all too often, but the big turnover games for the Y, and the huge Ute beatdowns seem to be a common occurance the last 10 years

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    July 30, 2012 1:03 p.m.

    "Cougars will always struggle with decent opponents."


    Utah will always struggle with decent opponents. Just look at the last three years. They lost to ASU(6-7), Colorado(3-10), Washington(7-6), Cal(7-6), USC(10-2), Notre Dame(8-5), TCU(13-0), BSU(12-1), BYU(11-2), Oregon(10-3), and TCU(12-1). You could even argue that every now and the Utah loses to really bad teams such as a 3-10 Colorado team last year whose only win on the road was at Utah, or ASU who appeared average at best last year, or to go back more than 3 years, UNLV who was beyond bad.

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2012 11:39 a.m.

    To state the obvious, the slow starts are due to the level of competition at the beginning of the season vs the consistent weak opponents at the back end of the schedule.

    Cougars will always struggle with decent opponents.

  • truecoug1 Provo, UT
    July 30, 2012 11:21 a.m.

    @Uteology "Without looking it up, can you tell us who won the last 10 SUPER BOWL trophies."

    I can't give you ten, but I can give you around 5 without looking it up.

    You can check me on these, but I think it goes like this:
    Giants, Packers, Saints, Steelers, Giants

    As for the last five Sugar Bowl winners, I have no idea.

    All of this is moot, however. The U's best team ever ended up 2/4 in the polls and the only 1st place vote they got in the coaches poll was from Kyle Whittingham, who subsequently got a slap on the wrist.

    Kind of sad that the only coach in the country who thought their team was good enough to be number one was the U's very own coach.

    Meanwhile, BYU finished 1984 ranked 1/1 in the polls and they have the trophy to prove it. It doesn't matter what U think of it, or BYU haters think of it, or Bryant Gumbel and Barry Switzer.

    Only thing U need to know is BYU has a national championship and ESPN. Utah has KJZZ and trailer park football facilities.

    Go Cougars!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 30, 2012 8:28 a.m.

    Oh and uteology please tell us exactly how much credence, and respect, you put in barry switzers opinions and predictions before the 2009 sugar bowl? I love utah "fan" hypocrisy!


  • sammyg Springville, UT
    July 30, 2012 6:54 a.m.


    Gladly, 7 fumbles, a gift wrapped win for the Utes, several unforced stupid mistakes, an inept QB, it was a fluke, etc. BYU recovered the season and ended up winning its bowl game and the respect of several coaches votes to end the season in the TOP 25 Coaches Poll.

    And how does one explain losing to a 10 loss team who had not won a road game in 4 years? This could be, as they say, one of those 'breakout moments' in a therapy session.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    July 29, 2012 9:45 p.m.

    It's all about preseason preparation.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    July 29, 2012 6:37 p.m.


    The haters have a hard time seeing things logically through their hate clouded red goggles.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 29, 2012 6:00 p.m.


    If as you claim the bcs system was "put in place so that 1984 won't ever repeat" then BYU's 1984 NCAA Football National Championship is the most important and most relevent National Championship in the history of college football and yes it is widely remembered by just about everyone including bitter utah "fans".


  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 29, 2012 5:54 p.m.


    Actually Bronco is 5-2 in bowl games with wins over 16th ranked osu, oregon, and ucla. For a Cougar "fan" you sure don't know much about them.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    July 29, 2012 3:13 p.m.


    They may not respect it, but they definitely remember it. Utah fans keep trying to wish it away, but it is not going anywhere. And yes, I can actually tell you the last 20+ Super Bowl winners. You see I am a football fan, not a hater.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 29, 2012 2:04 p.m.


    Without looking it up, can you tell us who won the last 10 SUPER BOWL trophies.

    Not many people outside of Utah remembers BYU's 1984 national title, but those that do really don't respect it (see Bryant Gumbel and Barry Switzer).

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    July 29, 2012 9:33 a.m.


    Without looking it up, can you tell us who won the Sugar Bowl trophy for the last 10 years. It's hard to remember bowl games, but most people remember National Champions.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 29, 2012 12:56 a.m.


    Yes that BCS system that...

    A) Was put in place so that 1984 won't ever repeat
    B) Was taken down in part due to the success of Utah, Boise, and TCU.

    Actually, yes we did get a trophy:

    A) Utah received the Sugar Bowl championship trophy
    B) TCU received the Rose Bowl championship trophy

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    July 28, 2012 8:51 p.m.

    "That ONE top 15, actually top 4, team that Kyle had is the highest ranked non-AQ team under the current system (16 AP 1st votes vs TCU 2010 with 3)"

    You mean the current system that is getting scrapped because it was deficient? Yes, that's certainly something to hang your hat on. Your BEST effort was 4th runner-up in an irrelevant system that is going to be replaced.

    Do you get a trophy for that? I know in youth soccer everyone gets a trophy, even the last place teams. You can talk about that for years.

    "Why young whipper-snapper, I remember it like it was yesterday. When I was a boy, the Utes took 4th place. Woo-hoo (cough-cough) that was quite a team (cough-cough)"

    "Gee Great Granddad, 4th place...that's quite an accomplishment! did they give out a trophy for 4th place?"

    " We didn't get anything for 4th place and in the grand scheme of things it was of no consequence. Nobody remembers 4th place."

    "Gee Great Granddad, what is it that people remember?"

    "National Championships young whipper-snapper. That's why they play the game."

  • train34 SANDY, UT
    July 28, 2012 8:11 p.m.

    Sammyg, could you break down the utah v. byu game last year?

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 28, 2012 7:40 p.m.

    Washington State
    Weber State

    Most likely 2-2 or 1-3.

    Most unlikely 3-1 or 4-0... I think 4-0 will lead to "airport celebrations".


    That ONE top 15, actually top 4, team that Kyle had is the highest ranked non-AQ team under the current system (16 AP 1st votes vs TCU 2010 with 3).

    You wish you could accomplish those "Quests".

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    July 28, 2012 4:24 p.m.

    @Wayne Rout
    "The poor start problem must be laid at the feet of the coaches. The teams are not prepared. Even some of the wins, like Mississippi and Washington in the last couple of years, seemed to be good wins at the time, but later in the season we could see that those teams in their respective years were not really very good so they were very ordinary wins."

    Good comments Wayne. I think one fundamental change that has to be made is with Bronco himself. He has relaxed the demand on himself and his coaches in recent years and that needs to change. Also, he has said that he doesn't do special game plans for particular opponents and instead rely on superior execution to beat them. Meanwhile many of our opponents treat the BYU game on their schedule like it's the Super Bowl (see Utah last year). We need to exceed them in energy, effort, innovation, strategy and execution. Stop treating those games like they're just another game.

    Also I'd like to see coaches stop taking their foot off the gas in the 2nd half of games and play to win until the final gun.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    July 28, 2012 3:48 p.m.

    The poor start problem must be laid at the feet of the coaches. The teams are not prepared. Even some of the wins, like Mississippi and Washington in the last couple of years, seemed to be good wins at the time, but later in the season we could see that those teams in their respective years were not really very good so they were very ordinary wins. I assure you that Washington State will be well prepared when they come to Provo. They won't be alternating quarterbacks that's for sure.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    July 28, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    @Riley Nelson
    ""No one's really talked about that. It has been a focus of ours. We can't afford to do it anymore. We did it again last year. It's over, man. It's the same old song. We're tired of doing the same stuff."

    Oh, it's over simply because you say it's over? I think the problem is we hear rhetoric every year how "this year" is different. This year we have "senior leadership" to lead the young guys, or some new miraculous approach to workouts that individualizes it based on the position, or a renewed focus with higher expectations, etc. Then when fall camp starts we see the continuing trend of easier routines, lighter drills, fewer practices in pads with live situations, coaches going home earlier so they can have dinner with their families, easier weekends, fewer two-a-days, etc.

    The bottom line is, if you want to get better you need to work harder and smarter. We're great in week one, it's weeks 2 and 3 that the focus and execution suffer. We've had some pretty embarrassing and inexcusable losses in weeks 2 and 3.

  • Duckhunted highland, utah
    July 28, 2012 3:38 p.m.

    BYU continues to dominate the WAC just like 1984!!

    July 28, 2012 1:53 p.m.

    to Uteanymous - it is easy to explain how Bronco finishes in the top 25 so often. He beats teams like Idaho, Idaho State, and NM State then beats teams like Tulsa and UTEP in bowl games to finish with 10 wins.

    It is funny how many of the posters make comments about Naval Vet's post (too much time on his hands, closet Y fan, explain Colorado) yet not a single post refutes his argument. A sub 40% winning percentage agains stronger teams further support my point above.

    All that said, win 10 games with the schedule you have this year and the Y will deserve to have a top 25 ranking. Let's see how the season plays out.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    July 28, 2012 1:47 p.m.

    Veritas wonders "did the Utes run away from BYU football because they knew there was nothing to be gained by a BYU beatdown."

    Yes, and ESPN agrees. In their article on the upcoming Utah-USC game, ESPN notes "The Utes can't do much to help their national credibility with wins over Northern Colorado, Utah State, BYU or Arizona State."

    With the exception of ASU, Utah doesn't have to schedule those non-impact teams, so why do it in the future? Sure, the Utah-BYU game can be locally amusing, but nationally nobody cares that Cougar fans were streaming out of the stadium in the 3rd quarter.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    July 28, 2012 1:10 p.m.

    Oh... Wow...

    Another BYU football article where Naval, ChrissyB, Utah Hawaii Alum, Mildred, Bass, Uteology and the rest get to post how BYu doesn't matter anymore. How they will give up football like Ricks College, and how irrelevant a top 25 program is?

    No Wisconsin home and home? They wish...

    I'm just curious, did the Utes run away from BYU football because they knew there was nothing to be gained by a BYU beatdown. The alumni want the game, the citizens of the state want the game, but is Dr. hill to smart to avoid the rematch. Pretty weak.

    Post what you want about last year... If BYU smacks down Utah this year, how much does Utah gain by not playing again? The kids posting the score of last year, good luck of posting this year's score as Utah will be beat down by an indy_WAC team, which is what Utah is...

    If BYU Beats Utah, regardless of last year, Utah will be regarded as kids running away from men. Pretty accurate, if you ask me.

    Go Utes, the only way to save face...

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    July 28, 2012 12:43 p.m.

    Question for Directv owners, sorry for posting here, but does anyone know when BYUHD will air on Directv?

  • truth_avenger Lehi, UT
    July 28, 2012 12:26 p.m.

    They start slow and need to beat teams that have a winning record. I respect and admire all that Bronco has accomplished but his record against teams that are .500 and above still needs to improve. They seem to be in some of the games but still lose. I admire Bronco's stability and enforcement of rules. BYU needs more players with a Riley Nelson heart, the one's that eat adversity for lunch.

  • cougar76 Raleigh, NC
    July 28, 2012 11:25 a.m.

    I am happy that the team will have more game situation work in Fall camp. We no longer start the season with cupcakes that allow us to gear up to the tough games that came later. Three of our first four games will be challenges to win. Lets go out and win them. As for dingy boy who loves to troll BYU articles, would you please apply your vast statistical knowledge to explaining how u lost to colorado with the conference title game on the line.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    July 28, 2012 10:53 a.m.

    What about our slow finish? BYU has a deplorable record vs. quality opponents in bowl games going back to the Edwards' era. Meanwhile, TCU, Boise St. and Utah have all gone to and won 2 BCS bowls. It's about time we stepped it up and made a whole season of it.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    July 28, 2012 9:48 a.m.

    I am certainly no BYU fan--but I have to say that Riley Nelson is a really sharp kid and a fine QB. It's great to hear a college player who doesn't speak in sound bites and cliches.

  • OC Fan Orange County, CA
    July 28, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    @ CougarFaninTX wrote: "I don't think there's much to the "trends" in college because each year is a new team."

    Problem is that each new team is coached by the same staff. The staff needs to put together a game plan and play calling that gets the team out of the gate faster.

  • AntelopeValleyUte Palmdale, CA
    July 28, 2012 9:08 a.m.

    kokua, right on! tired of teams and their fans talking smack. just put up, or shut up! do it on the field, not with your mouths!

  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    July 28, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    The time coming to either put up or shut up. I love it when all these blogs yammer away at one another. Now that we have heard from the peanut gallery, lets fouces on the athletes and what they need to find and there collective hearts and individual commitment.

    The team that quickly finds its mental tuoghness, team tempo, collective and individual drive to push themselves will see success early. Enough of the sideline, arm chair quarter backing of all these never was and wanna-be's

    I love it when you see any team, any young man or young woman give all they have, leave it out on the field so to speak, and walk away content with themselves and there effort.

    This strange funny football will bounce alot of unprodictable directions, and the team that adapts will win. Its not always the better team it is the team who is better in that moment

  • HawkAlum SANDY, UT
    July 28, 2012 7:58 a.m.

    BYU starts out 2-2 with losses at Utah and Boise State. But I think they can win out after that, including getting a victories at South Bend and Georgia Tech. The cougars will have a solid year, it will just take a bit to get it together. I think this team will be similar to the 2006 squad under Bronco. Two tough road losses early in the season, but then finishing strong with 10+ wins.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 28, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    Thank you for that detailed analysis, Naval Vet.

    Now maybe you can analyze why Bronco has been able to finish in the Top 25 FIVE of the last six years, including THREE Top 15 finishes, while wunderkind Kyle with all of his "big" wins, has only been able to crack the Top 25 THREE times, including only ONE Top 15 finish.

    Take you time; if you're objective, you'll eventually be able to figure it out.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    July 28, 2012 7:27 a.m.

    Naval vet

    Could you break down last year's Colorado game with the Utes while you are at it?

  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    July 28, 2012 7:24 a.m.

    Naval Lint is one of the biggest fans of BYU I have ever seen. He will spend all his spare time reading and studying anything BYU. I am beginning to think that he may be locked up somewhere and just can't get out into the world. He just can't get over hate. This is just a perfect example of BYU fans concentrating on their team and the many, many ute fans who brag about being in the mighty pac whatever but have a Peter Pan syndrome, they just can't leave the past and are forever going to be little kids reliving their Jr. High School days.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    July 28, 2012 7:21 a.m.

    Looking forward to Fall camp starting this week so we can read some real stories. I don't think there's much to the "trends" in college because each year is a new team.

    BYU has the chance for a great year. I think our defense could be the best it's ever been. I don't think any team will blow us out, because Van Noy and company will give the offense many chances to succeed.

    On offense, there are question marks. Will Nelson be able to stay healthy and deliver consistent, accurate passes? He has three outstanding receivers in Hoffman, Apo and Falslev. WR are probably the only position without question marks. Will one or two of the Tight Ends step up and deliver crushing blocks for the running game and soft hands on passing downs? With Quezada gone, will Alisa be able to carry the load and be an every down back? Will Foote or Hine or Jamaal step up and make an impact on the running game? Will Pritchard stay healthy and play as well as Bronco says he can? How will the OL hold up? And finally, can BYU keep their helmets on?

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    July 28, 2012 5:59 a.m.

    Win or lose BYU still commands the attention of all kinds. They are the focal point of football in the state of Utah.

  • Hatch Sandy, UT
    July 27, 2012 11:25 p.m.

    Naval Vet I am also impressed with your statistics. Here is another statistic of interest.

    On July 23 two stories appeared in the DesNews one about the Ute’s John White. The comments to that story included ONE comment from a BYU fan (a complimentary one). The other story was about BYU's scheduling Wisconsin to which there were over 60 comments posted by UTE fans (all that I read were derogatory).

  • Ironhide Salt Lake City, UT
    July 27, 2012 10:47 p.m.

    Wow thanks for spending all that time on breaking down BYU's wins Naval Vet. It's even more interesting that such a weak team as your insinuating has finished in the top 25 more times than your stunningly dominant team. And spare me that the u plays or beats more better teams than BYU does, because you know there is no argument there. The u smoked the cougs last year, spend your time on that since that's all you have.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    July 27, 2012 10:18 p.m.

    It's clear that the slow start vs. fast finish the Indy-WACers have been experiencing over these past 7 yrs is due front loaded schedules vs. good teams, and followed up by embarrassingly weak SOS. Bronco's 15-13 record in his first 4 games really should be viewed more closely. For example, 2 of those wins were vs. FCS teams (E. Illinois and No. Iowa). Versus FBS opposition, Bronco is really 13-13.

    Of his 13 wins (vs. FBS competition), his opponents posted a collective record of 59-101, or .369. That average is actually quite similar to their total postseason record. Coincidence? I don't think so. Only 4 of those teams posted winning records, and only 5 were from BCS conferences.

    Of his 13 losses, his opponents posted a collective record of 112-56, or .667. Not surprisingly, nearly 62% of those losses came vs. BCS schools.

    With Wash. St, Utah, Ore. St, Ga. Tech, and Notre Dame on the Y's schedule, the cougs 38% W/L percentage should statistically net them 1.9 wins.

  • PAC12Fan South Jordan, UT
    July 27, 2012 9:57 p.m.

    BYU does take the Utah game serious. Just don't have the horses to hang anymore.

  • ShmittyWitty Maple Valley, WA
    July 27, 2012 9:55 p.m.

    Beat Washington State in week 1 and I like our chances of going 3-0, though beating Boise the week following Utah won't be an easy task. I hope Bronco takes this game as seriously as Utah does and uses week 2 to start preparing for Utah.

  • ShmittyWitty Maple Valley, WA
    July 27, 2012 9:53 p.m.

    Beat Washington State in week 1 and I will like our chances of going 3-0, but beating Boise State in week 4 won't be easy. I seriously hope though that after week 1, that Bronco has the team use both weeks to prepare for Utah and take this game as seriously as Utah does.