BYU spring practice preview: Offensive backfield

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  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    Feb. 27, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    mnsave - That's why Bronco is the coach and you, I, nor anyone else is not. He is on the field with the players. All in all, he has done pretty darn well don't you think. He was more interested in Ziggy's development than in selfishly using him "ahead of his time". Kudos to Bronco.

  • UteJunky70 midvale, UT
    Feb. 27, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    In case BYU fans wonder why I comment on these articles it's because I love football and am already experiencing withdrawals from its absence.

    Cougar fans should be justifiable stoked about Hill and Williams. They both showed last year that they are potential studs. I would have some concerns about whether Anaes system will take full advantage of there skill set. I know Anae says he learned a lot fron the Rich Rod scheme, but it's 1 thing to say your going to add wrinkles to an offense and another thing to actually implement them and coach them. (See UTE OC's for the past 7 years).

    I hope the Des News runs the same type of spring preview articles leading up to our spring practices. It's always fun to be thinking football.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2013 8:28 p.m.

    at Blue husky, your post has me rethinking my position some. Good observations. Next at black and blue, I agree with that one. Level headed Cougars are refreshing today. BYU has some RBs that with Anae's strengths of putting together an O line have me worried the Cougs could be tough to beat.

  • Gilmore in Milford Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 26, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    Byu is going to need more than Williams this year. Utah had the best front seven in the country last year and rumblings on the hill say we'll be the best this year too. Go UTES!

  • Mildred in Fillmore Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2013 1:05 p.m.

    I'm so happy with the Cougar running backs for this year. Very few teams, if any, have the talent at runnung back that the Cougars do. Our depth at that position is like a SEC team.

  • LouisD Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 26, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    I was not impressed with Prichard. I think that was a wasted scholarship. Hacing said that, BYU has a lot of talent in that backfield and under Anae's system, all may be able to display talents that were buried in Doman's offense of bubble screens and option pitches. Anae has a lot more trap and pulling rotation blocking schemes planned. That will create more and better holes than the zone read and reaction blocks that cause BYU's running backs to stumble and paw for holes at times. Prichard may be of value as a lead blocker, but again, that person has to be able to hit the (A & B Gaps usually) hole and not stumble in which blocks it for the ball carrier.

  • Gorum The Old Madison, AL
    Feb. 26, 2013 12:51 p.m.

    Continued from first post...

    The nice thing is that they have different strengths. Williams has quicker feet and has a cutback ability that Alisa doesn't. While Alisa is signifficantly bigger and stronger than Williams, that isn't only part of the story. The more important, and more surprising part is his speed. He is at least as fast as Williams, if not faster.

    Williams can do a lot of dammage on options and shovel passes because of how quickly he can get to full speed.

    Alisa can be the most dangerous up the middle. His long runs don't usually come of of sweeps,opions, or streatches that go out wide. They happen in the middle of the field. If he can get into the second level of the defense, he is only a missed or broken tackle away from a long run and/or TD. Once he is past the LB, he has the speed to beat the safeties in a foot race, which he did several times in 2011.

    Summary: BYU has a great pair or running backs. Go Cougars!

  • Gorum The Old Madison, AL
    Feb. 26, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    People have short memories. Everyone raves about Williams and relagates Alisa to a blocking/back up roll. The funniest comments are the ones about how Williams proved he was better than Alisa.

    I don't know who is better, but Alisa has shown he can be is at least as capable as Williams.

    Alisa's first year at RB, he averaged 5.4 ypc.
    Williams' first year at RB, he averaged 4.7 ypc.

    Most say that Williams has a much greater big play ability. At least as of last year, that is incorrect, or at the very least unproven. In 166 carries last year, Williams had two runs that went for over 30 yards. In 2011, Alisa has 3 carries that went for over 30 yards, in only 85 carries.

    Now, it must be said, that Alisa definately did have better blocking, so I won't say that he performed better. What I will say is that both Alisa and williams are good backs and could become a great ones.

  • Aisake23 Lawndale, CA
    Feb. 26, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    Cant wait to see what this year holds. Last year was a disappointing, but I'm very eager to see what this group will do with a better Quarter Back at the helms. A healthy O-line wouldn't hurt either. Skilled positioned wise we are as good and deep as any team in the country. Some question whether Anae will let certain players play their game, throw that out.....Anae will coach to the strengths of the team. I see a lot of passing and running just like it was when thunder and lightning were playing in the backfield. I also see Hill running for at least 6-700 Yards along with 2500 plus passing. We have great receivers and tight ends. Look for Devin Mahina to have a great year. Anae will love going to him early and often. Mahina just lost his Father (my role model growing up) and will have a fire in him to say the least this year. I know im writing a novel, but this WILL BE A GREAT YEAR for BYU football. Quote me please. lol
    GO Cougars.

  • flatlander Omaha, NE
    Feb. 26, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    I hope this isn't like last year where the press plays everyone up with BYU having all conference at every position in the spring and then in the fall "wow what happened to our team they were so good in the spring and pre season"

  • Y Eng Ann arbor, MI
    Feb. 26, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    Apparently we BYU fans are prone to amnesia. Just a few years ago most of us were greeting Anae's firing and Doman's hiring with great enthusiasm and now we're hailing Anae's return as the Second Coming? It does seem rather contradictory.

    Granted there are some good things that are happening. Riley Nelson is gone, we have some good players, and Anae got some good experience while away. While I think it's fine to be cautiously optimistic about this season I think that's about all. Anae hasn't demonstrated yet that he has overcome his previous weaknesses that led to his firing/resignation. And that won't happen until fall.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    Feb. 26, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    Excited to see what BYU can do this year. Great schedule and lots of new players to watch. Should be a fun year.

  • Sjense90 SANDY, UT
    Feb. 26, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    In an interview with 1280 the zone, when he was asked who was most responsible for the decisions to start Riley, lark pointed at doman over bronco, which is consistent with his tendency to delegate and proverbially wash his hands of the offense. With anae at the helm, hopefully the best players will play.

  • Black&Blue St George, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    Anae is going to have full reigns as Offensive Coordinator. If you look at the signs, this is Bronco's last season as HC and he will be replaced by Anae in 2014. Bronco's contract goes up after this year, a contract he chose to cut short, and the fact Anae has been hand picking his entire offensive staff says it all.

    Anae's experience at Arizona will bring a whole lot of excitement to the BYU offense. He was the only member of Stoops staff that Rich Rod kept on staff last year. Anae was able to play a vital part in one of the best offenses in the country last season as O-line coach and running game Coordinator.
    We will see a very strong running game and an efficient passing game with the no-huddle. Many of the chips are in place on offense to have a very good and balanced attack. QB, RB, WR, and TE are all very deep with a lot of experience and talent. And with all the JUCO O-Linemen coming in it is obvious that the focus is on improving the line.
    Either way, good change is coming to Provo.

  • That's A Good One Meridian, ID
    Feb. 26, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    gdog3-Some good observations about both Bronco and Kyle. Kyle hanging his hat the past 2 seasons on Jordan Wynn, without a viable backup plan when he obviously wasn't going to last very long is right up there with Bronco throwing at least 3 winnable games by sticking with Riley Nelson when he obviously should have been holding the clipboard on the sidelines.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Feb. 26, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    I love Ernest. The other trolls completely lack his wit. Keep it up, Dude.

    Forget the Riley Nelson debacle. Won't happen because Anae will be running the show. But fans always second guess the coach if anything goes wrong. Strange that nobody questions Bronco's defensive player choices ... but blame him for the offense. Well, the offense may or may not be great this year, but it will be better than the last two.

    This year I'm excited to be going back to my old stomping grounds when BYU plays UVA. And Nashville? Goodness, what a fun stop!

    I just love independence.

  • Jim1027 St. George, UT
    Feb. 26, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    You may note that we have an new offensive coordinator this year. Athough he's had that position before, and at this school, you can be sure that he will be given lots of authority to put his team on the field.

    That said, why keep harping about who Bronco will start?

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Feb. 26, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    I'm excited to see my Cougars get 6 wins this year. I hope they can sneak a good win or two into the mix. Now THAT would be news. PLEEZE exceed my low expectations this year.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2013 1:42 a.m.

    Whoa, slow down Mildred. BYU's offensive backfield is not close to one of the best in the nation. I will say Williams looks very promising to me. And he could blossom. But if I was a BYU fan I would be very worried that Bronco puts Alisa into the backfield as the RB the majority of the time.

    If that happens (Alisa over Willimas) you guys might pull your hair out next year. It would be like; Oh no last year it was Riley Nelson over the rest of the QBs and now it's Alisa over Williams. I am not saying that scenario will happen but I wouldn't be surprised at all. I can see it now. Imaginary quote; " Alisa just oozes leadership" (hypothetical Bronco twist there).

    Coaches everywhere get judged for their lineup and roster choices. Sometimes they are right or wrong. Sometimes we will never know (Lark example last year). But to me Bronco and Kyle, despite being solid coaches have made some insane choices relative to starters at key positions in recent years. I believe both teams have had their seasons fall apart the last two years because of it.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2013 1:31 a.m.

    I can't help but get excited whenever I hear spring ball until I stop to realize how far away September is.

  • hobbes1012003 Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2013 12:30 a.m.


    I agree, Bronco seems to go with upperclassmen rather than talent. 10 bucks says Alisa is the starter again even though Jamaal proved he was the better RB.

  • Billy Budd Saint George, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 11:33 p.m.

    If Adam Hine is buried on the depth chart at RB, WR would be a good alternative to help him see the field. Adam has amazing jumping skills. It would be tough to see a DB out-jump him on one of those fade routes in the end zone.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Feb. 25, 2013 11:07 p.m.

    @Clark -

    You fell right in the hole, buddy. Watch out next time. And there will be a next time.

  • mnsave Rigby, ID
    Feb. 25, 2013 10:31 p.m.

    It's hard for me to understand why an NFL caliber RB (Williams) and a first round pick (Ansah) start the season on the 2nd string. It's hard for me to have confidence in Bronco when he can't recognize who the best players are until the 3rd or 4th game. This happens every year.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 9:55 p.m.

    Nomber one in state!

  • BaneOfHedgehog Bothell, WA
    Feb. 25, 2013 9:26 p.m.

    Yes, and "Mildred" aka "Earnest" (same Troll) has been using this same tired schtick for years now. It's really old and lame and (s)he's the only one who thinks its oh so clever... Vapid Ute Troll, if you ask me... /waves at "Mildred". "Hi Mildred! Good to see you again! Welcome to yet another BYU article...

    Go Cougs - looks like a great backfield coming together.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Feb. 25, 2013 9:23 p.m.

    Ouch, Clark! It's one thing for Mildred the Troll to dupe BYU fans - we are after all naive and gullible. But for a Ute to get sucker punched by Mildred is just embarrassing.

    By the way, if you are going to be a regular on Y boards, you need to know that Ernest T Bass does it better than Mildred, and the jury is still out on Chris B as to whether s/he is really a snotty Ute fan or a really clever BYU fan posing as a Ute troll to give Utes a bad rep. There goes the neighborhood.

    Well, cheers!

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Feb. 25, 2013 9:14 p.m.

    Of all the names listed, I'm most excited about Williams. Has there ever been a Freshman RB, nationally, with as many carries as he had and no fumbles? The kid is what I thought Juice and Hine (both of whom had more stars) would be. Alisa will be a fair amount of carries but Williams could have 1,000 yards rushing and 300 receiving.

    I'm most hopeful about Hill. If he can deliver an accurate ball, his legs will make him a real dual threat QB. However with Anae, he'll run 5 or 6 times a game, not the 20 times we saw Riley rumming. If Hill struggles with accuracy, Olsen or Green could get the nod. I don't expect we'll see Munns unless he is clearly a notch ahead of the others.

    With Williams, Alisa, Hoffman, Apo and Falslev, there is no reason for Hill to struggle. He has every tool at his disposal, along with hopefully an improved O Line.

  • sparkey Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    TROLL ALERT - *Mildred in Fillmore* is trying to make Y fans appear to be obnoxious!

    Having said that, I'm more excited about Spring Football than I have been for a number of years! I just hope, but it's probably wishful thinking, that Bronco will actually let the team do a REAL spring game!

  • Stop The Nonsense El Paso, TX
    Feb. 25, 2013 7:50 p.m.


    Just so you know, Mildred is a troll Utah fan who writes sarcastic things that make BYU fans sound dumb so that people such as yourself will take him seriously. Don't be fooled.

  • Clark W. Griswold Sandy, Utah
    Feb. 25, 2013 6:24 p.m.

    @ Mildred in Fillmore

    "This may be the best offensive backfield the Cougars have ever had and is definitely one of the best nationally".

    You Y fans say that every year!

    Who cares who BYU has coming back this year. Until the Cougs start beating the good teams on their schedule, they're only a mediocre football team who consistently loses to the Utes every year.

  • sls Columbia, MO
    Feb. 25, 2013 5:18 p.m.

    I would expect Michael Alisa to be right there with Williams when fall comes around. There is a reason that Alisa was the starting running back at the beginning of last season when BYU beat Washington State.

  • Mildred in Fillmore Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 25, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    This may be the best offensive backfield the Cougars have ever had and is definitely one of the best nationally.

  • cdchttrtn meridian, idaho
    Feb. 25, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    Comments about BYU spring practice preview. I enjoyed this article very much and I hope you
    have many more. Everyday thur spring ball would be great. Here in Boise the coverage of spring ball is almost as great as it is during the season. Keep up the good work.