Dick Harmon: Sophomore QBs will be huge in BYU-Utah showdown

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  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 22, 2013 12:01 a.m.

    Wilson is CLEARLY the better QB. better decisions, more accurate, more poised.

  • Hailstorm is a coming Riverdale, UT
    Sept. 18, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    This game is a scary one for my Utes as I think BYU has a strong team this year and could defeat the Utes easily if Hill throws the ball against probably the weakest secondary that Utah has had in years. This rivalry game should be a nail biter ! MAY THE BEST TEAM WIN WITH NO EXCUSES. I am hoping all of the woulda, coulda, shoulda's get thrown out the window and that there are no major injuries to any player during and after the game is played.
    Good luck to all but still I hope the Utes prevail.
    Go Utes ! ! ! !

  • Cougsrock original Maricopa, Az
    Sept. 18, 2013 12:05 a.m.


    The point made was that the recruiting was the reason for 3 straight. Wrong. Missed field goals of the upright or a blocked field goal for a win was shear blind luck. As was "Harlene is still open". Or "4th ans 18". Nothing more

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 17, 2013 8:14 p.m.

    Travis Wilson and the Utes are finally putting up offensive numbers and points. Unfortunately for Ute fans it has come on a year where the usually stout Ute defense has been porous.

    That said, Wilson will face his toughest challenge yet relative to the Cougar defense.

    On the flip side, Taysom Hill goes up against what some would say to be a vulnerable Ute secondary although Sean Mannion was dropping dimes into tight man coverage on the inexperienced Ute DBs. But can Hill who we all know can run the ball be able to expose Utah in the air? One thing I am confident in is Utah not letting Hill run at will like the heartless Longhorn defense did.

    Both QBs have a lot to prove. They are young and will get looks and pressure they have yet to see and feel.

    I have no idea what will happen this Saturday.

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 6:28 p.m.


    LaVell Edwards didn't encourage players to go on missions but helped them if they wanted to go. It's tough balancing the schedule with missionary players and the recent change is going to play havoc for a couple of years worth of scholarships.

    Of course Bronco wants to win but that is not priority one. He will now care for Spencer Hadley more than this coming Saturday's game.

    I am a University of Utah graduate but I saw little of any good in my early days of watching the sport to want to emulate the things I saw at the U.
    I too hold BYU students to a higher standard because they are vowing to hold themselves to a higher standard by agreeing to go there.
    But I also know none of us are perfect so I try to judge how I hope to be judged, with compassion.

    @Guam Bomb
    Time is a great solvent. BYU used to have triple the number of players in the NFL. As LaVell and his staff aged things changed. They will for every team. Heck, used to be all the good athletes went to Army or Navy. Not many do now.

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Sept. 17, 2013 3:17 p.m.

    I'll tell you one reason why Utah will keep on getting the recruits, even in down years. The chance to play in the NFL. Compare the number of Utah players who are not just on NFL rosters, but NFL starting or playing significant minutes. Theres no comparison. Outside of Ziggy Ansah, Dennis Pitta and Brett Keisel I don't see many Cougars making contributions. Compare that to Alex Smith, Star, Beadles, Bergstrom, Kruger, Weddle,Kemoeatu, Steve Smith. If I had a son I'd definitely be pushing for Utah. I think he'd definitely get a much better football education.

  • ChristoperB Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    Surf is up:

    Why has Utah struggled in the Pac 12?

    Are you seriously asking this? I can explain simple concepts to you, but I can't understand them for you.

    You do know that Utah doesn't play byu 12 times a year right?

    If we did, our record would be much better.

    WE play Pac 12 teams who have typically even better recruiting than we do.

    Thanks for helping to further prove my point that recruiting matters.

    Did you really not understand this simple concept?

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 2:53 p.m.

    @Adirondack, I think I agree with most of your post at 2:13, and I apologize if you were only referring to byu/Utah. I still think average stars is extremely important, but I agree both Utah and byu have developed lower star players and will continue to do so.

    You are wrong that currently recruits are being split, well at least not split equally. Chris is right that in recent years Utah has attracted more than byu has, when both schools are going after the same kids. And I agree Utah needs to improve, but same argument holds true for byu. byu isn't exactly on a run of great years.

    So considering the current state of both programs, it is true that more head to head recruits are picking Utah, even with neither program doing great.

    I will say I agree 100% of a college playoff, and in my opinion the bigger the better. Well, I'll say 16 teams would be great.

  • Surf is Up Miami, FL
    Sept. 17, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    Gee Chris. It will be sad that you took all that time (having been the first one to post again and again) only to have every bit of that heavily biased post fall flat as your OSU predictions

    If U are getting such superior recruits then (1) why U suck so bad in the PAC12 and (2) why are you still so closely matched with the filthy unwashed MWC mid major teams?

    Answer: you say how you wish things were, but it isn't grounded in reality.

    I'm counting on you to keep your promise and go away when this is over. And I mean not just posting as Chris B. but the 2+ other monikers you use but don't fool anybody.

  • jdub1942 PROVO, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    Very informative, I'm fairly newer to the college game than I should be. I've been a Utah fan all my life, but did have the opportunity to watch when I was younger so I didnt become as invested as I should have been in the college game until 2002.

    That said, I guess I always figured BYU players were going on missions as much then as they are now. I support BYUs mission if not always their football team, and I get that is Broncos priority, but I think winning games is a very important means to that end. The mission of the team will have failed if people think "I might have heard of mormons, dont they suck at football" instead of "Ive heard of the LDS church, BYU has a darn good football team." So Broncos job is to win, though no one can always win.
    I guess thats why I would like to hold Y fans to a higher standard. But it doesnt work out that way, both fan bases need to get rid of this silly hate we've been carrying around, but we dont have to sacrifice our love of our teams.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    @Justthe FAX and Adironack:

    Even as a BYU fan, I think you're letting your dislike for Chris B cloud your reasoning. It is rare, but I think Chris is stating a very clear and true point. I'll take a better recruiting class over a worse recruiting class all day long. Coaching is a piece of the puzzle, but to deny athletic ability as being a key piece of the puzzle is ludicrous. And while rating services often miss, they overall get it about right. That is all Chris is saying here.

    Let's save the arguing for Chris B when he is wrong, which is usually. It feels like you guys are purposely saying things you don't truly believe, just to try and prove him wrong. He's right. Recruiting does matter. I'll take a better athlete over a worse athlete all day long! Coaching is a totally separate piece of that puzzle. A great coach and a great athlete will produce better results typically than a great coach and an average athlete. I can't figure out how you guys don't agree with this?

    And go win Saturday BYU to make Chris eat crow.

  • Adirondack Cougar Loon Lake, NY
    Sept. 17, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    I was comparing Utah and BYU not BYU and the rest of the country. Both Utah and BYU have gotten a few 3+ star players but most are not, for either team, so both teams/coaches need to find that diamond in the rough and polish it. I believe both teams have done that. I don't believe either team will get to the recruiting level of the natioanl powers you mentioned, but some of that can be overcome. Utah beat Alabama so it can happen. If it couldn't ever happen why play the game?
    I would say Utah and BYU are splitting the best recruits from the State of Utah, but as I asked Chris B. How long will that continue if the U is always around the .500 mark? As with everything, time will tell. Who really knows what college football will look like in a few years, maybe BYU is back in a conference maybe not. Maybe someone wakes up and realizes that a football playoff similar to college Bball would be the best thing. All I'm willing to predict is that it won't look like it looks today.

  • ChristoperB Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    Trying to think of the easiest way to explain an easy concept that byu fans are failing to grasp. Let me say this.

    You think Nick Saban would have several national championships with byu's roster?


    The better the recruiting, the better your chance at success.

    Come on byu fans, this is not difficult.

    Better recruiting often leads to better teams and better results

  • ChristoperB Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    Just the FAX,

    You guys are having a hard time with the simples of concepts. Stars matter. That is our point. No one has said "Stars are everything" Just that stars matter.

    Where does it put Utah relative to Texas, Ohio State? Exactly where we've said all along, at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting. Just as one of the reasons Utah is better than byu is recruiting. Keep saying the same thing, yet you guys are struggling with a very easy concept.

    You byu fans keep trying to make it sound like we're making this an "ALL OR NOTHING" thing. We're not.

    Recruiting matters
    Coaching matters
    Talent matters
    Injuries matter
    Team Chemistry matters
    Mental Prep matters

    No one has ever said "win recruiting and you're guaranteed to win" as you byu fans keep failing to prove.

    Recruiting matters.

    You think Nick Saban would be winning national championships if BYU and Alabama switched rosters?


  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 1:46 p.m.

    Has Chris B. actually made a change for the better?
    If that's really you Chris I salute you for posing reasonable comments and questions.
    I am sorry not all Cougar fans have raised their own game.
    Give them time. I will never argue with your usual tripe but you have posed reasonable questions so I will honor you and give a reasonable answer.

    When I started following BYU 40 years ago their were some great LDS athletes but not all chose to go to BYU. At that time few of BYU's student athletes went on missions.
    Now 2/3's do. I like it because they really are representing the church. That is Bronco's mission. Not to always win. He wants to win with people who want to be at BYU and live by the standards of the church.
    Utah should get good LDS athletes, some who are close to the standards and some not so close. But the church is getting bigger. Ziggy Ansah was maybe the first of many who will find their way to BYU. Not all the great will come to the Y. They will do what they can with what they get.

  • LoveTheKittens The Middle Of, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    Manziel like, really? Why?
    A final of 2-0 isn't a win?

  • jdub1942 PROVO, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 1:10 p.m.


    This game will Match up the #1 and #2 Run EPA QB's in the nation, #132 and #30 EPA rated passers, and #51 and #3 total EPA QBs.

    Who wins? I dont know, who has the better offense? I dont know, but the #'s so far say Utah.

  • jdub1942 PROVO, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 1:08 p.m.


    Travis Wilson:
    QBR: #11 TW 90.8, #2 Mariota (UO) 97.4, #6 Keeton (USU) 91.7, #10 Mannion (Oregon St.), #56 Hill (BYU) 63.1
    Total EPA: #3 TW 27.5, #1 Mannion 37.3, #2 Keeton 32, #4 Mariota 25.6, # 51 Hill 9.6
    Pass EPA: #30 TW 13.1, #1 Mannion 35.8, #2 Keeton 27.6, #31 Mariota 13.0, #132 of 132 Hill (BYU) negative 9
    Run EPA: #2 TW 17.4, #1 Hill (BYU) 21.1, #3 Mariota 14.0, #8 Keeton 7.9, #48 Mannion 1.9

    Team EPA:
    Total EPA: #4 Utah 27.7, #1 OSU 37.3, #2 USU 32.1, #5 Oregon, #56 BYU
    Pass EPA: # 35 Utah 13.1, #1 OSU 36, #2 USU 27.9, #33 Oregon 13.4, #125 BYU (-)9
    Run EPA: #2 Utah 17.6, #1 BYU 21.1, #3 Oregon 14.3, #12 USU 7.7, #52 USU 1.7

  • jdub1942 PROVO, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    How did we get on to talking about recruits, that's not the articles subject matter and its been talked about ad nosium. How did I get sucked in.

    Here are some stats I found for the Utah offense, and I included BYU in some of them, but not all (as they dont have alot of total yards this season having only played two games). These should be interesting:

    Offensive stats 2013
    Total offense:
    Yards: #10 Utah 1617, #1 Oregon 2016, #6 USU 1651, #17 Oregon St. 1526
    Yards/game: #17 Utah 539, #12 USU 550, #22 BYU 520, #27 Oregon St. 508, #70 Stanford 403
    Net Passing yards: #20 Utah 871, #1 Cal/Oregon St. 1316, #9 USU 994,
    Pass Yards/game: #30 Utah 290.3, #1 Cal/Oregon St. 438, #15 USU 331, #109 BYU 152 (Navy is 108 lol)
    Rush Yards/game: #28 Utah 248.7, #2 BYU 368.5, #37 USU, #47 Stanford, #117 Oregon St. 70
    Points: #4 Utah 148 (tied w/USU who also put up 70 on WSU), #1 Oregon 184, #13 Oregon St. 130
    Points/game: #8 Utah 49.3 (again tied with USU), #7 UCLA 49.5, #21 Oregon St. 43.3, #70 BYU 28

  • jdub1942 PROVO, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 1:00 p.m.


    You claim that the World is your broad recruiting base, and that Utah's is limited to small geographic regions. For the sake of argument lets say that is true, lets also agree that the recruiting services have unanimously rated Utah's class over BYU's for several seasons in a row, and that its becoming a trend.

    How is that advantage BYU? The world is your recruiting pool, but you don't have very many strong ties to many places in the world making your recruiting weak in all of those areas. Whereas Utah is strongly establishing its presence in these "smaller" (but yet some of the most fertile in the country, and Texas is not small) getting firm ties to some very good schools.

    Advantage Utah, Utah will continue to get more of the better recruits, and sometimes BYU will get recruits who turn into better players and sometime it will be Utah, but statistically Utah will have the better players OVERALL.

  • jarka-rus Layton, Utah
    Sept. 17, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    The Utes would die to have a player half as good as VanNoy on their team

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    Sept. 17, 2013 12:39 p.m.


    If having a team full of 3-, 4-, and 5-star recruits is the criteria for success, then where does that leave Utah.

    Teams like USC, Texas, Alabama and Ohio State get more 4- and 5-star recruits in a single recruiting class, than the Utes get in 5 to 10 years.

    Utah isn't even in the Top 10 in recruiting California athletes. Besides USC, UCLA, Stanford and California, you also have Oregon, Arizona, and Washington which recruit California heavily, not to mention other nationally prominent programs which frequently pick off some of the best California recruits, as well as SDSU, Fresno St, and San Jose St who also pick up a few of the top California recruits simply because they want to play closer to home.

    Even so, every team goes through highs and lows and has had mediocre to losing seasons within the last 10 years.

    As far as BYU only getting LDS recruits "with rare exceptions", you're obviously either deliberately understating BYU's non-LDS recruits, or you don't know what you're talking about. BYU signs numerous non-LDS recruits every recruiting class.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 17, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    "Utah getting the best Mormons"
    I must have missed that memo. Based on what? Because you (Chris B and Ken) say so?
    Sure Utah gets some great LDS recruits, but so does BYU. And in head to head recruiting battles with LDS athletes, BYU is winning most of those.

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    Sept. 17, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    Both Kyle and Bronco said in radio interviews aired this morning that BYU and Utah only go head-to-head for 4 or 5 recruits per year. There simply isn't that much overlap in their respective recruiting pools, so all of the talk of the outcome of the BYU-Utah game being a signficant factor in recruiting is greatly exaggerated.

    As far as play on the field goes, except for three games during the last 20 years, the teams have been very evenly matched with 13 of the last 16 decided by a touchdown or less in the closing minutes or in overtime.

    Any fan claiming that there has been a significant difference in the teams is simply blowing smoke. With some fortunate bounces, Utah has won the head-to-head, but BYU has had better seasons and has finished higher in the rankings. Even Utah's blowout win in 2010 wasn't all that significant by season's end.

    If overall recruiting stars are really as significant as Chris claims they are, the Utes might as well pack it in now, because they'll NEVER have a "stars" advantage over USC, UCLA, or Oregon.

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 11:26 a.m.


    "it's the team (and coaches) that can take the no-star, 1 star and make them into an impact player, that will have the most success."

    WRONG! It's the team that's has 3, 4, and 5 star recruits that turn them into even better players that will have the most success. Are you saying Alabama, Florida, Oregon, LSU, and other teams with the most success recently have had that success because they've "turned no star and 1-star players into impact players"? WRONG. It's because they have mostly 3+ star recruits and good coaching who makes them better.

    With very few exceptions, byu can and only does get Mormon recruits. And if Utah is usually the "4th choice for California recruits" what does that say about byu, who is losing in recruiting to Utah? Chris is right, overall stars do matter, as does head to head recruiting.
    And currently byu is NOT getting most of the best Mormons. They're picking Utah. So now byu is left to the Mormon leftovers that no one else wanted. Not a recipe for success!

  • Christine B. Hedgefog Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    "I'll quickly eat crow if I am wrong Saturday"

    The only crow necessary is your silence. No need to wait until Saturday to start eating it either!

  • Christine B. Hedgefog Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    Ha, let the back peddling begin. The #1 anti-BYU and anti-Mormon commenter for years on the DesNews sports section up to and including yesterday and now today she starts out with "I apologize I am over the top in most of my comments and I'll quickly eat crow if I am wrong Saturday" and then thinks she can enter civil dialog based on common sense and respectful comments.

    Kinda like she was absent after prefacing last Saturday's game with how significantly better the U was than OSU and how easy of a cake walk her team was going to have. Any crow afterwards? Zero, Zip, Zilch, Notta, None.

    Your credibility has long been cast in crimson goggled concrete sister. Not a single thing you can do about it at this point.

  • MisterDivot Lehi, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    @Chris B,

    Yes, you usually are over the top in your comments, I assume because you enjoy getting BYU fans all riled up, agitated and excited. I admit, there can be some fun in that, but I appreciate when your comments are "insightful", not "inciteful".

    I'm a loyal BYU fan. I used to cheer wildly for BYU and every team that plays against Utah. As I've gotten older, while a part of me has a tidbit of satisfaction when Utah loses (old habits never die, or perhaps die slowly), I have gotten to the point where I can recognize that Utah has a solid football program, and even cheer for them when they are not playing BYU. After all, they still represent our great state, as does Utah St.

    Sometimes your fans tout the PAC-12 more than their beloved Utes. But I agree with your posts today, the PAC-12 has done well for Utah and their recruiting, and wins will/should follow.

    I've never replied to you before, but have read comments. I actually like this side of Chris B better! :)

    Best luck this week - hoping for a competitive game on both sides!

    Go Cougars!

  • Adirondack Cougar Loon Lake, NY
    Sept. 17, 2013 11:06 a.m.

    I said perhaps. Of course it depends on how well we play going forward and it will depend on how big the playoff becomes. 8 teams, 16 teams....... But if we can climb back up and be a consistant top twenty team it is a possibility. On the other hand, if Utah is always the 4th choice for California recruits and can't get to the level of the better PAC-12 teams then being part of a playoff will never happen either. BYU has a broader base from which to recruit because of the church connection (the world) where as the U seems to only have regional tie-ins. BYU's honor code is also an issue and can be a deal breaker, but we understand that and seem to be able to appeal to enough young men that believe in it. I believe each school will continue to get good recruits and some will be be highly touted and others will not, but it's the team (and coaches) that can take the no-star, 1 star and make them into an impact player, that will have the most success.

  • jdub1942 PROVO, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    I dont care about the rivalry game going a way a couple of years every once in a while. But as far as QB matchups go, this is a very inopportune time. Two very exciting, young QBs that I wish we could watch match up 3 times.

  • jdub1942 PROVO, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    This was such a disappointing article. With the subject matter this could have gone into way more comparisons about this years teams, but decided to go with BYU's QB history and its impact on the rivalry games. It boiled down to, BYU QB good= BYU win, BYU QB bad = BYU lose. So silly. I spent a fair amount of time compiling some stats yesterday, maybe I'll post them here in a few following posts.

    Chris, Wow! Real discussion! some of the replies responded in kind, some didn't. Hope we see more of this, good comments Chris.

    Go Utes

  • jarka-rus Layton, Utah
    Sept. 17, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    Too bad all those Star recruits just lost to OSU,,, a team that lost to an FCS team, so whoop dee dooo Chris B, guess the Utes should start scheduling NFL teams they are so unstoppable with all those Blue chip recruits

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 9:53 a.m.


    I never said higher stars always leads to better teams.

    Where do you guys make this stuff up from?


    I simply said recruiting is HUGE and it makes a big difference.

    And yes, the difference between an team with an AVERAGE of 2 stars is significantly different than an AVERAGE of 3 stars. HUGE difference

    Just as there is a difference on AVERAGE with kids with a 3.5 GPA and kids with a 3.0 GPA

    Throwing out Boise doesn't disprove anything. I've always said coaching can have a big impact.

    But answer this, as well as Boise has been, how do you think Coach Peterson in Boise would have done if he'd been getting 3 star recruits instead of mostly 2's?

    His teams would have been even better.

  • nhatch82 Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    @Chris B

    I am not gonna lie buddy this is probably the first legit comment you have made. I have to agree with overall stars converting to better team to some point. (ie. alabama Oregon ect.) I thing I would disagree with is that I don't always believe that this leads to better teams. I think the very top rated recruiting classes see the difference. a team that averages 2 1/2-3 star recruits to the team that averages 3-4 star recruits doesn't necessarily mean a better team. case in point Utah BCS teams Boise State BCS teams ect. If we are all being honest there is not much difference in talent between the two teams. Individual stars are worthless! Jake Heaps is the poster boy of that. Elite 11 passing MVP Top star athlete no. 1 Quarterback in the nation, and he is terrible not just with BYU but Charlie Wiess cant even get the dude to play well.

    Being completely honest I believe that byu has the edge in talent this year, but its close and I think coaching and quarterback play are going to be the keys to the game. CONT.

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 8:18 a.m.


    So we call it an anomaly when Utah wins by more than usual? Chris's point is recruits are saying themselves the Pac 12 is a big factor in their decision. Chris is also correct about Utah having beaten byu in head to head recruits the last several years.

    What a ridiculous comment to say only if a team blows another team out year after year after year can we make any determination as to why. Don't kid yourself. The better team usually wins the game. Better athletes usually make better teams. And more stars are usually better than less star guys.

    If Mormon kids like the Pac 12 over indy byu now, why wouldn't they like the Pac 12 in the future over indy byu? Because we all know the Pac 12 wont be calling. You should actually try addressing Chris's point if you disagree.

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 8:11 a.m.


    "If Utah continues to have losing seasons how long will they be able to continue to recruit the higher starred athletes? I say maybe one or two more years at most. Why would a kid want to come and play for a losing team without a bowl game when they could go to the Y and play all over the country on a top 25 team and get national TV coverage, and perhaps get into a playoff?"

    First of all, if Utah continues to struggle, the more likely scenario is these good Utah recruits will leave the state. BYU hasn't done anything in recent years, and even your own fan base admits in the last 4 years you're something like 2-12 against good teams. No recruits care about all your WAC wins.

    And playoffs? Please tell me you're joking. When has byu proven they would have been close to or invited to a playoff? Utah has 2 seasons in the last 10 years where we'd have made the playoffs. Byu? Zero. What has byu shown they'd be in contention for playoffs?

    What year? Utah 2003 and 2008 would have been in. And byu?

  • goforit Provo, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 7:37 a.m.

    All objective fans will see that neither program is elite. They are slightly above average. Neither team has had a huge win in the last three years. They beat who they should beat and lose to who they should lose to. Once in awhile they lose to a team they shouldn't. Utah with Colorado ad BYU with Virginia. I don't see the trend changing that much in the near future. This year the teams are close again

    I predict a Ute victory because both teams are going to have to pass, and Utah has the better passing quarterback. He won't have to worry about interceptions because BYU hardly ever gets turnovers. Taysom Hill cannot pass right now. Maybe he will improve next year, but this year he will continue to struggle with accuracy. It's hard to work on mechanics enough to help during a season to change much.

    I am not a fan of either team, but get entertainment from both fan bases who think they are so close to playing for a national title. It's nice to hope but it isn't close to happening so quit calling for your coaches heads.

    Utah 31 BYU 17

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 7:21 a.m.


    Fair question. If(big if) Utah continued to have losing seasons I agree recruiting may dip down until we got things turned around. Fair point.

    Cougs rock,

    you clearly chose not to read my posts. You incorrectly try and suggest that I am saying whoever has the higher stars is guaranteed the win. Far from it. I never suggested anything like that. Coaching comes into play, making mental errors comes into play, injuries come into play.

    I am simply pointing out the last 3 years more often than not the best Mormons are picking Utah and saying the PAC 12 is a big reason. Also I remind you that all recent national champions have had great recruiting classes in the years leading up to it. Utah will still be in the PAC 12 next year and the year after and the year after and the year after. Byu won't.

    So if most of the best Mormons are picking Utah for our PAC 12 membership, byu is in trouble

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Sept. 17, 2013 7:07 a.m.

    While I agree that recruiting is important, ultimately it's the talent on the field that makes a difference. I agree that PAC12 membership has improved Utah's recruiting, but on Saturday BYU will have more talent on the field. Look at the number of pre-season nominations BYU players have received versus the number for the Utes. It's how they play in college that matters, not how they played in high school.

    KVN will be the most talented player on the field on Saturday. This game is the reason he came back for his senior season.

    The QBs will make a difference. In the end, it was Riley's fumble that was run back for a TD that made the difference last year. That one play was the difference between a W and a L. It's no secret that Utah will load the box. This game will come down to Hill's ability to pass. If he's above 50%, I think the Cougs will break the 3 year drought.

  • Adirondack Cougar Loon Lake, NY
    Sept. 17, 2013 4:28 a.m.

    The facts are the facts. I will trust what you have said regarding the past three years, because I don't follow the recruiting too closely. From what I can see, the Y has to look beyond the largest sized high schools, where most of the higher stars are (because that is the only place the services follow) and find those that are considered "not as good due to a lack of competition." Case in point is Jimmer Fredette, from my home ward. He played in a high school that only had about 150 grads per year. There are plenty of other examples on the football team, I just don't know their history.

    My question to you is: If Utah continues to have losing seasons how long will they be able to continue to recruit the higher starred athletes? I say maybe one or two more years at most. Why would a kid want to come and play for a losing team without a bowl game when they could go to the Y and play all over the country on a top 25 team and get national TV coverage, and perhaps get into a playoff? It won't be PAC-12 membership.

  • Cougsrock original Maricopa, Az
    Sept. 17, 2013 1:36 a.m.

    Chris B. Other than that anomaly with Heaps, the games have come down to last play dink and dunk plays at the end. Sometimes just blind luck. Do you realize prior to the Ute run BYU won 3 in a row with Hall and Beck? Have you heard the term,"what goes around comes around"? If the Utes had blown BYU out 3 straight instead of blind luck your theory might hold water. They didn't and it doesn't.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 8:55 p.m.

    final comment(assuming others were posted)

    Even Vai Sikahema said this week he thinks the reason Utah has won the last 3 is due to Pac 12 recruiting.

    There are facts that cannot be denied:

    1. Utah is 3-0 against byu since our Pac 12 invite

    2. Utah has had a higher AVERAGE star recruiting class EVERY year(3-0) during this time

    3. Utah was won HEAD to HEAD recruiting every year(3-0) during this time

    4. If byu isn't getting the best Mormons(which you aren't last 3 years), you're in trouble

    I would sincerely like to hear byu fans opinions. Please just dont say stars dont mean anything. Any single persons stars don't matter, I agree. But OVERALL stars and OVERALL head to head recruiting matter, big time.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 8:47 p.m.


    Every year since Utah's Pac 12 invite, Utah has a higher AVERAGE stars in recruiting AND has won HEAD TO HEAD recruiting(if you refuse to acknowledge the importance of AVERAGE stars).

    Utah is 3-0 in head to head and average stars in recruiting. Utah is also 3-0 on the field. If you listen to most of the head to head recruits, almost all have stated the Pac 12 as a big reason for picking Utah. I ask sincerly, if Utah has gotten the best(most, not all) Mormon recruits every year since Pac 12 invite, who CAN byu get?

    Some byu fans will want to throw out Utah's Pac 12 struggles in trying to disprove my comemnts, but I shake my head at that "logic." Utah doesn't play byu 12 games a year. The average Pac 12 team has had even better recruiting than Utah has, and its something Utah has to continue to improve.

    If Mormon recruits are typically picking Utah(and mention the Pac 12 as a strong reason), I see Utah contining to be the better team when the two teams meet.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    byu fans:

    I apologize I am over the top in most of my comments and I'll quickly eat crow if I am wrong Saturday. I highly doubt I will be, but I will if I am wrong. Here is an honest assessment of the two programs if I may:

    Recruiting is HUGE. That can't be overstated. We can all point to 2 stars guys that became NFL stars and 5 star guys that became busts, but history has PROVEN that stars and recruiting matter. A 5 star has a higher probabilty of going to the NFL than a 4, a 4 higher than a 3 and a 3 higher than a 2. This has been proven. If you look at all recent national champions, they all had extremely high average star recruiting classes for a few years leading up to that championship.

    With that, I dont think any single recruit is telling(2 star or 4 star), but the AVERAGE is very telling. Of course coaching and other things impact a team, but again the higher the star, history has proven the higher the likelihood of playing in the NFL. Average stars matter!

    continued next post...