Dick Harmon: BYU football: Offensive miscues too much for Cougar defense to overcome

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  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Sept. 17, 2012 6:00 p.m.


    "... we have a shot at the Rose Bowl" LOL

    And I complimented Hays.

    patriot blabbered...

    "How long will fans be content with this mediocre football program under Bronco and Tom H.??"

    Unlike a fickle Ute fan that calls for a coaches head each year in basketball, BYU fans are loyal with their coaches and team. Look no further than Salt Lake Commuter College for the 'band wagon / fair weather fans'.

    What's a BYU fan that's not content to do, become a Ute fan??? We have a team that wins consistently and gets ranked... we will gut it out.

    Your team barely beat BYU and lost to USU... Definitely roses, definitely. LOL


    "... worry about their team and get off the Utes backs." boo hoo

    The day the swarms of BYU haters and/or Ute fans move off of the BYU articles I'm out of here. I'm just waiting for day the Utes to grow up and take their place in the PAC 12 and act like the mighty team and fans they want to be but it seems everything a Ute does is continually compared to BYU.

    Go figure.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 17, 2012 5:03 p.m.


    Actually it is probably time you start worrying about utah. I predict a poor rest of the season for them as they were very poor offensively in the game Saturday. Now part of that has to be credit to BYU's defense, but a lot of it is that they are just plain bad on offense. You realize they never had one sustained scoring drive against BYU don't you? They actually only drove the ballacross mid field one time all game and on that possession they didn't even score. All three of their offensive scores came on short fields. Their other score came on a defensive play.

    Yes you should spend your time worrying about that, not me or Sammyg. I do like being in your head though. LOL!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 17, 2012 4:59 p.m.


    Uh...those remarks about hays came from utah "fans" like you, not me. I just agreed. I still agree, he is not particularly good but he is all you have so get what you can get out of him.

  • Carson Provo, UT
    Sept. 17, 2012 3:45 p.m.

    I think it's time that Ducky and his little pal Sammy start worrying about their team and get off the Utes backs. Your team needs your support...You Lost! Again!

  • ImaCaMan Oceanside, CA
    Sept. 17, 2012 1:06 p.m.

    Look at the stats; utah isn't very good; we gave it away with mistakes and turnovers, etc., blah, blah, blah.

    An old football axiom that is still true today- you make your breaks.

    And to Duckhunter, et al- anymore snide, small nobody-school remarks about John Hays? I didn't think so. Your A team got beat by our B team. And we still have a shot at the Rose Bowl. At least you can do your part to fight hunger.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 17, 2012 12:07 p.m.

    Hate to say I told you so but I told you so. Nelson would be overwhelmed in this game and sure enough he was. It seemed like nearly every time Nelson touched the ball it was either a fumble or an interception. Some of his fumbles were recovered by BYU. BYU has some good receivers in Hoffman and others but no QB to get the ball to them. Bronco and Doman have ruined BYU football.

  • HCB63 Orem, UT
    Sept. 17, 2012 10:38 a.m.

    That was the funnest time I have ever had rooting for Utah! Watching the Riley Nelson love train derailed was hilarious! I can only hope that other Cougar fans can see what I've been telling everyone for over a year about that guy. A BYU legend in the making...

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!....

  • manaen1 Buena Park, CA
    Sept. 17, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    Just waiting to see whether Mendenhall announces Lark or Hill as the starting QB this week.

  • Gunny Spanish Fork, Utah
    Sept. 17, 2012 9:24 a.m.


    Nice write up. Keeping on point, missed field goals even after a second chance to tie the game is poor. Riley has the heart of a loin, but can’t throw to talented “OPEN” receivers. The miscues and mistakes kill this offense in the last few years in every big game played. A loss only bothers me when we repeatedly make the same mistakes in every major game that counts. There should be no more talk from Bronco about being in the top 10 until he can win a big game at home or on the road. Until the head coach can beat the TCU's,Utah's and win a BCS game, we will just be a good football team NOT a great one! The players are hardworking kids that deserve some fire from the side line, not a fire side.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Sept. 17, 2012 8:04 a.m.

    I give more credit to the crowd. Nelson postgame said they did not handle noise well. So true. Strange to see BYU choke year after year against Utah. But here's the deal. Offensive play calling was strange. Why all the options? Where are the rollout passes? Did Nelson just run on all the rollouts? Where was the pocket protection? Nelson said his arm got hit six or seven times. Certainly twice that we all saw in slow motion.

    I don't expect to see the center snap the ball early again this year. What was up with that? Twice? Crowd noise? Fact is, ugly as the game was it was winnable. BYU's defense is really real. They'll keep us in every game.

    Last post on this game. Boise is a must-win. Lets focus on that one. The Holy War is over. Move on.

  • Duckhunted highland, utah
    Sept. 17, 2012 1:02 a.m.

    Unforced turn overs or the nameless BYU center wondering witch way STAR was going to throw him!! I will admit Van Noy can do the same thing to teams!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 10:40 p.m.

    BYU has turned into Utah State. The little brother that tries to play spoiler but never quite gets the job done against the U. The real Utah STate did get the job done so where does that put BYU - the worst of the 3 in the Utah. How long will fans be content with this mediocre football program under Bronco and Tom H.?? I guess as long as the stands fill up with 55-60k then that's good enough. That is what the Y is anymore - just a team on the level with Bowling Green, and other mid American teams. Such a long drop off from where they were under Lavell or even when they had Robert Anae. Remember John Beck and Max Hall? Geez it seems like forever that BYU had an actual QB that could throw the ball and an offense designed to get the ball downfield instead of the little 5 yard dink and dunk passes along with a alot of boreing runs.

  • SoCalUtahFan Irvine, CA
    Sept. 16, 2012 10:15 p.m.

    "...And that's a shame for a very good BYU defense.
    One of two defenses on the field that did not deserve
    to lose...."
    Interesting thought from a sport writer.

    While one may think BYU defense did not deserve to lose,
    Utah's defense won the game for the Utes.

    Hays looked good. But JW was not there and Utah offense
    struggled at times. They could not burn the clock at the end to
    close the game out.
    Utah offense will improve with JW back and better O-line play.

    But Utah D saved the day and the game.

  • Jazzsmack Holladay, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 9:21 p.m.

    3 serious problems for BYU have been revealed.


    They need a new offensive line coach, Weber has been there over year and is not getting the job done.

    They struggled last year and they are struggling again with the o-line


    They need a offensive co-ordinator that believes in the forward pass and a quarterback that can throw confidently in a forward pass system.

    BYU most best success and most successful offenses come with the pass,

    BYU is not an option team nor a running team, they must be passing teams BYU, having good running back should not change that, thier best success and highest success (a NC) came with the pass.

    While they had success with the run in recent history they have not dominated offensively.

    They need to be throwing atleast 40 times a game and have atlest a 60/40 pass run ratio

    BYUs best offensive success comes when they are averaging over 12 yards a pass,


    Mendenhall is not a motivator, BYU players never look motivated especially on the offensive side.

    Until these 3 things are corrected BYU will continue low scoring games, may have winning seasons, but no BCS.

  • NevadaCoug Overton, NV
    Sept. 16, 2012 9:14 p.m.

    "hahahaha you byu fans excuses are getting more and moer hilarious every article"

    Where did I make excuses? Would you please quote any part of my comments that you deem an excuse please?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 8:44 p.m.


    Yes I'm sure. Nothing utah did last night, other than win, was particularly impressive. I'm not trying to run them down either but their offense is really bad. The defense is good although not the "great" unit utah fans have proclaimed them to be. I believe BYU had more sacks, more tackles for loss, and frankly looked much faster in my opinion. Sadly BYU's qb is not very good, sure he's gritty and all those other descriptions but he is just not good enough. Also Cody Hoffman was easily the best offensive player on the field last night, Van Noy and Star probably tied for best defensive player.

    If the talent gap is what utah fans claim this game would not have been close and since you are one of the more reasonable utah fans around here I'm sure in your mind you do realize utah was very fortunate to win that game, not saying they didn't earn it, but they in no way dominated or really even outplayed BYU. They did justbarely enough to win by 3 points.

    As a utah fan you should enjoy it for what it is.

  • 27-20 Aggieville, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 8:07 p.m.

    Look at all these gloating Utes! After nearly blowing this game by having fans rush the field they think they really accomplished something on their own. Quite funny.

    So after the warm fuzzies of this game cool down just remember this...

    Aggies put you down and in a couple of weeks that same opportunity might happen for the Cougars.

    After losing to Colorado last season, the Ute loss to USU is a stinging reminder that the Utes are nothing special. And after last night's game it was just confirmed again.

    You got the win but very few respectability points for doing anything.

    Sad that my Aggies blew it on a FG. Ugh.

  • sportsfanforlife salt lake city, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 7:30 p.m.


    "Utah's D played well. They always do. But they did NOT force all of BYU's mistakes. Two plays directly led to 10 of Utah's points: the interception and the bad snap that was picked up by Utah and returned for a TD after TWO Cougars failed to fall on it. Utah didn't cause either of those. On the INT, Nelson had time"

    hahahaha you byu fans excuses are getting more and moer hilarious every article. this is like christmas morning listening to all the spinning coming from you y fans. dizzy yet?? haha and int is a FORCED TO whether you like it or not. its called a great play by the defense. dont know what your ramblin on about.

  • Troy06 OREM, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 6:19 p.m.


    Please ask Bronco what he will do to help Riley break through his ceiling? Next time you're in a press conference ask Bronco what his game plan is for Riley and the O'line. And please write a story about it. We need to hold Bronco accountable for his $1M+ annual salary.



  • trentster TUSTIN, CA
    Sept. 16, 2012 6:05 p.m.

    Here is an example of how far the Cougar program has fallen. After attending church today, a member of our ward who played for the cougs in the mid 50's approached me and told me how frustrated he was after watching the loss. He indicated that he was inclined to not watch any more games due to the pain these Utah losses cause him. I said to him, "what has happened to the Cougar offense that we have grown to expect these many years?" He looked at me in dismay, and said "What we saw last night WAS the Cougar offense I experienced when I played at BYU in the 50's!" Sadly he was right.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Sept. 16, 2012 5:27 p.m.

    As Dick suggests, the Utah State Aggies are for real and they showed the Utes what needed to be fixed. I don't think BYU had been tested until last night's game. Weber State is an FCS team and Washington State is still operating at an FCS level. I suspect that we will see a very different team go into to Boise State this coming Thursday, and don't be surprised if they come away with a win. The crowd up there is loud and they are used to seeing their team win on the Smurf Turf. I think BYU will be prepared for it though, courtesy of the MUSS. Best of luck to our Cousins at the Team Down South!

    A Ute Fan.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 4:56 p.m.

    "Sadly it seems that BYU has issues when it comes to playing these guys and it isn't a talent gap. "

    Are you sure?

    Utah was able to win this game without their starting quarterback, running back, and two defensive backs. Is it a great talent gap? No, but it is growing. Certainly in the "MWC days" Utah wouldn't have beaten BYU while missing 4 key starters. Perhaps you don't see a talent gap because of the over-confidence gained from beating Weber State and a Washington State team that barely got by UNLV.

    Curious. Did you see something last night that gives you confidence against Boise State and Utah State?

    You're right that Utah has a great challenge ahead with conference play. What was projected to be a two-team race in the South, just got rougher with the improvement of UCLA and the Arizona schools. Utah has to overcome some set backs, but its a lot better than last year when we were asking "who is Jon Hays?"

  • cdchttrtn meridian, idaho
    Sept. 16, 2012 3:45 p.m.

    I am really surprised that people aren't calling for a new offensive coordinator.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 16, 2012 2:22 p.m.


    "I still predict that BYU will not field a team in 5-6 years...the writing is on the wall."

    I am intrigued by this. I have heard this from other wishful thinking Uties. Why does BYU's existence in the Sports Realm bother you so much? Are you (Utah) not getting enough attention? It is like the Muslim countries in the Middle East claiming Israel has no right to exist. You're saying, "We beat you so you shouldn't be playing football." Does that mean Utah should give up Basketball? I am just trying to understand your logic here.
    BYU WILL field football and other sports for many decades to come.

    "So he credits the Utes' defense at several points for intimidating the BYU O-Line into 2 errant snaps and multiple false starts, and then he finishes with, "And that's a shame for a very good BYU defense. One of two defenses on the field that did not deserve to lose"? Umm, so Utah's defense DID deserve to lose? "

    Read it again Proud. Dick is saying both defenses played very well and neither deserved to lose.
    A little sensitive are we?

  • jim l West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 1:56 p.m.

    Did you not look at the stats? Byu had more total yards. The game was pretty even. It was not dominated by anyone. Without the unforced fumble, Byu wins. Utah did not force the bad snap, just the received a gift on that one.

    Last year the y got thumped, but they turned it around and had a better year. Top 25. Utah cant say the same.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 1:40 p.m.

    Oand gonefishn, yes utah won, no utah is not a very good team. Sadly it seems that BYU has issues when it comes to playing these guys and it isn't a talent gap. It starts with Bronco, who simply does not prepare his team very well for this game, and then ocntinues on down the line. Pretty pathetic.

    But please do celebrate as this will once again be the sole highlight for utah this year. It is always the biggest game they play and you can tell they consider it to be that by how emotionallly hight they get. If BYU cannpt ever match that then BYU will not beat them very often.

    You need to prepare yourself for a bunch of utah losses the remainder of this season though. Nothing they did last night, other than win I guess, was particularly impressive. Far from it really.

    Sept. 16, 2012 1:18 p.m.


    Yea and I don't want the byu athletic dept to get any of my tithing money. Show me where the State of Utah Legislature gives the UNIVERSITY OF UTAH Athletic Department 10 million dollars.

  • NevadaCoug Overton, NV
    Sept. 16, 2012 12:57 p.m.

    Utah's D played well. They always do. But they did NOT force all of BYU's mistakes. Two plays directly led to 10 of Utah's points: the interception and the bad snap that was picked up by Utah and returned for a TD after TWO Cougars failed to fall on it. Utah didn't cause either of those. On the INT, Nelson had time. He didn't have anybody on top of him. He just threw a horrible pass. On the other, it was just a lack of focus. It may be the crowd factored into that one, but it wasn't the Utah D. In fact, I give a ton of credit to the crowd. They made it hard for BYU to hear and I'm sure were the cause of many of the false start penalties on BYU.

    Again, Utah's D played well. BYU's did also, except for the last drive that allowed Utah to bury the Cougars deep at the end. But the Cougars' miscues were largely their own doing.

    Sept. 16, 2012 11:19 a.m.

    You can say whatever you about the game, the truth of the matter is that Whitt is in BUY's head, the Ute's defense forced BYU's mistakes, the Ute's exicuted when they needed to. This was the Ute's games last night from start to finish.

    I still predict that BYU will not field a team in 5-6 years...the writing is on the wall.

  • gonefishn Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 10:12 a.m.

    Where is Duckhunter with his snide comments and ridiculous decorations? I'm sure he will stick his head up sometime around July.

  • Ben H Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 10:01 a.m.

    The BYU defense deserves much more credit that you are giving them in this article. This game could have turned into a blowout in the 3rd quarter, but the defense held firm and gave their team a chance to win. Yes, there were pass plays and breakdowns on 3rd down that gave fans headaches, so they do not deserve an A+, but they do deserve an A-.

  • Proud Ute ,
    Sept. 16, 2012 9:48 a.m.

    "Like a rerun, a haunting repeat of a year ago, BYU's magic, luck, living right, whatever ran out of the blessing piggy bank."

    Really Dick..... BYU blessing piggy bank?
    How inappropriate for a football game.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    BYU plays its worst game against Utah every year. I actually think BYU is now intimidated...as much as that pains me to admit.

    Wrubel and Lyons were right. BYU played "jittery" the whole night. 8 false starts, fumbles, mis-snaps, and missed easy field goals.

    Look forward to basketball season...

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 8:46 a.m.

    There could be four plays from the game in "ESPN's" NOT Top 10". The two goofy snaps past Riley, the Ute fans and players on the field, and the last play-clanking the ball off the left upright.

  • Joe Schmoe Orem, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    Spin it however you want but neither of these teams is very good right now. Riley has the heart but not the skills. Utah has a good D line but that is about it. If BYU had a decent blocking game, a good QB could have tore apart their secondary. 4th and 12 and BYU converts it? How do you let that happen? Go watch the last play when 1 second was put back on the clock at the end. BYU's receiver had once again burned his coverage and was wide open. If BYU had a QB with a decent arm (which they do in Hill but for some reason he isn't seeing the field much), that would have been a game winning TD.

    Both teams are in for a long year.

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    Sept. 16, 2012 8:13 a.m.

    Right on the money! No offensive creativity by Doman at all in the 2nd half. Every snap was from the shotgun, and therefore, our offensive production was limited to scrambles and good hands on sloppy throws by Nelson. The stronger team won. There should have been 7 more turnovers last night.

  • Barney Google Beaver, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 8:01 a.m.

    Great Teams Force Turnovers.

    The Utes are in the Cougies heads.

    Last year it was a Thump. This year it is a Thunk!

    Thunk; the sound a football makes when it hits the goal post at a football game.

    Like the Y's commercial, "Its Game Day Every day" for the next 365.25 days!

    Hang in there Band of Little Brothers.

  • SyracuseCoug Syracuse, ut
    Sept. 16, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    I posted this on another article, about sums up how I feel-

    First off congrats to the Utes, they played hard and wanted it more. Once again out-coached and out-played. I was quite happy with how the defense played, they really only gave up 17 points, should be good enough to win. The offense? Yikes, they looked awful at times, I love Riley and he has the heart of a lion, but he looked and acted shell-shocked the whole game. For a senior qb, it was just really strange. I am sure we will beat the WAC nobodies, but it looks like Riley will get flustered against good defenses. And how about the line block somebody on field goals at RES? Good grief. Utah owns us, nothing else to say, congrats again Utes.

  • indycrimson Franklin, IN
    Sept. 16, 2012 6:41 a.m.

    Nice article Richard! Spot on...

    Not one me tion of John White joy playing however! It would have benn closer to last years score with him around.

    Right Duck and Worff? Right? You all must still be sleeping I guess. Sleep must have been hard to find last night...nightmares are hard to sleep thru!!!

  • ProudBigBrother NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 4:22 a.m.

    Wait, wait, wait... So he credits the Utes' defense at several points for intimidating the BYU O-Line into 2 errant snaps and multiple false starts, and then he finishes with, "And that's a shame for a very good BYU defense. One of two defenses on the field that did not deserve to lose"? Umm, so Utah's defense DID deserve to lose? After forcing five fumbles (and other near fumbles), one interception, scoring 1 TD, blocking 1 FG (on special teams defense), and making Riley Nelson's demeanor appear absolutely defeated at certain points in the 3rd and 4th quarter? Yeah, I'm pretty sure the Utah defense earned that one.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 1:47 a.m.

    BYU football: great people. Just not a very good team.

    Sept. 16, 2012 1:37 a.m.

    Thanks to the BYU and Utah teams for working hard and giving us a great game. Both teams are filled with men of conviction, grit and toughness that requires the best out of each other.

    I hope that the fans can practice the same type of sportsmanship and talk about what a great game this was - played by two very good teams. These men played their hearts out and deserve the kind of sportsmanship and good wishes from both sets of fans.

    Congratulation to my rival Utah. You played a great game. I wish you the best of luck until next year.

  • Silent Lurker Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 1:20 a.m.

    So much for the senior quarterback bologna! Perhaps the cougars were over rated again. After all Utah got the win without their starting quarterback, their leading rusher, a pair of their best densive backs, and a very poor showing from their punter. BYU even got some help from the Utah fans. Other than that, they can spin the story of BYU fumbleing away the game.

  • rhappahannock Washington, DC
    Sept. 16, 2012 1:18 a.m.

    Cougar fans - Utah beat you with your own tax dollars - $10 million per year of them. No BCS athletic department should ever receive a penny of taxpayer subsidy. We can't do anything about the loss tonight, but we can work together to end the subsidy of the Ute athletic department.