Commentary: BYU's special teams especially important against tough schedule

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  • ImaCaMan Oceanside, CA
    July 16, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    Re Tators: "It's really too bad you weren't able to see him 100% healthy with even a half-way decent offensive line in college".

    Then he should have stayed at USU.

  • Blue Rampage Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2013 9:24 p.m.

    I've seen Scott Arellano punt enough to believe that he could be better than Riley Stephenson.

  • 32843 PROVO, UT
    July 15, 2013 8:40 p.m.

    This article causes this Cougar fan to be a little skeptical of BYU's chances of improving over 2012. One has to wonder why, if view of how important the kicking game is, not one scholarship could be set aside to secure a field goal kicker that isn't struggling to regain his form after a series of unfortunate physical setbacks. Only time will tell if Bronco's faith in Sorensen is justified or if he, once again, let his support of a single player put the remainder of the team in jeopardy. We've already lived through one season where the coaches exercised poor judgement.


    BYU has a great deal of team speed. You're simply allowing yourself to believe something as being true based on perceptions of teams from the 80's and 90's. That is no longer the case. BYU's greatest challenge isn't a lack of talent or speed, but, whether or not the coaches can step up their game and get their players ready to compete to their potential week after week.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    July 15, 2013 7:14 p.m.

    @ Cougar Claws:

    You couldn't be more wrong about Riley Nelson. He had tons of natural ability. He was just as athletic and accomplished every bit as much (if not more) in high school as Justin Sorenson did. After all, he was a national Parade All-American and even to this day still holds many state high school quarterback records that may take a long time, if ever, for some to be broken. I watched him play several games in the high school playoffs leading to an overwhelming state championship in his senior year. I was always totally amazed at his abilities.

    It's really too bad you weren't able to see him 100% healthy with even a half-way decent offensive line in college. You too would've been amazed... guaranteed. As it was, he played much of his college career with serious injuries, including multiple broken ribs and a seriously damaged disc in his back... and very poor offensive lines for protection. He still led his team to winning seasons and post season bowl victories. Please be careful about judging him like other uninformed fans sometimes do. He truly was awesome!

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    July 15, 2013 12:04 p.m.

    While the kicking game remains a concern, another underrated aspect of special teams is going to be punting. With a less formidable defense than last year, the loss of Riley Stephenson will be felt. There will be shorter fields for opponents to score on, which will lead to more points for the opposition. The hope of BYU's season for this year rests on the offense's ability to finally pull their own weight since the 2009 season.

    The difference between Sorensen and Riley Nelson is that Justin Sorensen actually has a lot of natural ability. Where he has struggled the most is with his accuracy from distance, and for that matter his accuracy from anywhere outside the hash marks. Justin Sorensen is kind of like the Ryan Mallett of kickers, a cannon for a leg but little to no accuracy. If he is healthy as he claims, and can overcome his mental demons, he can be a good kicker in his last season. The other difference is that BYU actually had options at QB, whereas at kicker there really are no options.

    I also think a good kicker and a good punter are worth 2 scholarships because of their potential impact.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    July 15, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    BYU can't move forward with a guy that was great in high school. The fact is, Sorenson is a sub-par college kicker. Deciding to keep him based on what he did in high school is not a good decision. I'm sure his family and friends want him to remain, however he's had 2 years? to "Get back to form" Folks, it ain't coming back. How is Sorenson different than Riley Nelson? Does BYU keep playing an injured athlete?

  • OH-I-O Montville, OH
    July 15, 2013 7:37 a.m.

    Bronco gives walk on athletes a chance. There may be a surprise kicker trying out the first day of school. I hope Bronco and his staff are paying attention.

  • hamaca Baton Rouge, LA
    July 15, 2013 6:12 a.m.

    @Howard S.

    "DN states the plainly obvious as if it were insightful commentary."

    The article was written by a columnist for the Bleacher Report.

  • Rockarolla West Jordan, UT
    July 14, 2013 11:03 p.m.

    Go Justin!!! all of you supporters in Cougar and Miner nations wish you the best!!!

  • FatMan86 West Jordan, UT
    July 14, 2013 10:25 p.m.

    The Arkansas HS coach that never punts has phenomenal team speed compared to his opponents.

    Team speed is not exactly a BYU staple.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2013 10:01 p.m.

    I suggest BYU coaches and fans google "Arkansas coach punts traditional game plan." Punting isn't all it is cracked up to be. A four down offense is difficult to defend against (Will they run or pass on 3rd and long? Do you remain in your base defense or go nickel?). It makes it difficult for a defense to platoon or substitute, wearing down the defense. Add to that BYU's hurry-up pace, it could be an even deadlier combination.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    July 14, 2013 9:59 p.m.

    To know the importance of the kicking game, one only needs to look at last year. With a solid PAT, FG game; a couple of games could have turned into Ws. But without Stephenson, we could have had a couple more Ls.

    I'm predicting an 8 win season, but an outstanding kicking game could lead to 1 or 2 more wins. However FG, PAT results like last year could cost us a game or two.

    Stephenson will be missed more than most expect. He was one of the best punters I have seen in many years at BYU. I'm expecting the punting game to be down slightly from last year and the FG, PAT results to be improved.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    July 14, 2013 8:37 p.m.

    "And, if truth be told, Sorensen never did fully recover last season."

    DN states the plainly obvious as if it were insightful commentary.

    July 14, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    Since the comment that BYU will 'go for it' more often on fourth downs than last year has been quoted in many BYU articles it makes me wonder if that is the truth. Seems like an odd comment for a coach to tell other teams a coming strategy. But, perhaps it is just too obvious to worry about?