Ryan Teeples: BYU's offense is right on track, except for the second half of games

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  • Hawk Littleton, CO
    Nov. 4, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    Good reminder from ute fans that they beat both BYU and Stanford by not allowing a TD on the final drive of each of the games. Puts BYU in pretty good company -- apparently Stanford v. BYU would be a GREAT bowl match-up and very evenly matched. And considering that BYU has righted the offensive ship since that game, Taysom and co. would have their way with the Stanford D and it would most likely be a comfortable win for BYU.

  • Griz Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    I would kill to see BYU play a full 60 minutes on offense and not take their foot off the gas. Look at the play calling in those prolific 1st halves and you see a nice mixing of runs and passes on 1st and 2nd down. There is no discernable pattern and it keeps the defense off balance.

    In the 2nd half play calling gets ultra conservative and you see a heavy dose of "run on 1st down, run on 2nd down, pass or run on 3rd and long, punt".

    It's really not that hard to figure out. Go back and watch the games. Bronco has stated publicly he'd rather win close game than a blow out. It seems like it's been a team philosophy since he's been HC to get a small lead by half time and then in the 3rd quarter hand the game over to the defense and special teams to win much like in baseball when the Manager pulls the starting pitcher in the 6th or 7th and hands the ball to the bullpen to close out the game.

    Makes for some seriously boring football

  • HammerTime Kansas City, MO
    Nov. 1, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    BYU is better than Utah. That is why BYU is ranked higher than Utah LOL.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    @ Christopher B:

    If you can actually remember when Utah last "enjoyed significant BCS glory", then you must be a lot older than most of us thought you were.

    Because right now, most significant BCS football programs are looking at the Utes as somewhere between an embarrassment and an "LOL"... (the way you always sign off your BYU obsessed comments). But then again, because Utah has been contending for their conference cellar spot each and every year since joining, that's perfectly understandable.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    @ Chris B:

    Your bet about BYU winning individual quarters in their rivalry games with Utah is absolutely correct. In fact, BYU has statistically beat Utah in the number of first downs and also more offensive yardage in 3 of the last 4 games they've played. Only a special teams play and/or bad-timed penalty has been the only differences in the outcomes. It's no wonder Utah fans storm the field whenever they're fortunate enough to pull out such close wins. It appears in video replays that Chris B is leading that charge with the most relieved look of all their fans.

    Interesting that that is so obvious to even a hardcore Ute fan. Just a few minor tweaks and BYU will soon be owning Utah.

  • cy1951 Arlington, VA
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:05 p.m.

    Peeples has raised the right issue, but addressed it with conjecture, when an easy review of stats would quickly provide the answer. Do an analysis of the game tapes, comparing first and second down play calls in the first half and the first and second down play calls in the second half of each of the last five winning games (not counting Houston for the reason stated by Peeples). You will see that in the first half BYU's offense is throwing the ball on 1st and 2d downs, but at the beginning of the 3d quarter with a lead the offense runs the ball on 1st and 2d down, leaving 3d and long far too often, putting pressure on improving but still only a sophomore THill to make critical 3d and long pass plays to keep a drive alive. Anae is afraid to keep the "petal to the metal" on offense at the beginning of the 2d half with a lead.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Oct. 31, 2013 12:40 p.m.

    In basketball, when the opposing coach calls a time out, Dave Rose switches his defense from zone to man to man or vise-versa. He nullifies the other teams adjustments.

    Perhaps two game plans need to be prepared for a single opponent. One for each half. The other team adjusts to what we did in the first half and they come out and none of their adjustments work because we are not doing that any more. Through in a little triple option just for the fun of it. Almost anything to through them off guard.

  • nhatch82 Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 11:58 a.m.


    Christy The utes are so much further from going to a bcs bowl this year than the cougs are. There actually still is a slim outside chance that if the cougs win out they could get into a BCS bowl, however there literally is no chance the utes will play in the coveted "rose" bowl. It might as well be a unicorn or a Pot O'Gold at the end of a rainbow to you guys!

    What cracks me up the most is your constant blather about how awful the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is, but as recently as last week you wrote "I am starting to warm up to a rematch at the hunger bowl" Haha you don't even have a chance to get into that one! 2 straight years couch bowling. Must be miserable.

  • oddman ,
    Oct. 31, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    As stated Coach Mendenhall makes significant defensive adjustments at half time. Why would we not think the opposing coach does the same thing? This would give a partial explanation why the second half is more defensive leaning.

  • Lledrav West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    Its interesting how EVERY football article commentary becomes a U vs Y contest.

    Anyone remotely objective can tell how deep that rivalry goes. Despite U fans continual crowing about PAC membership, a poll last spring showed their most passionate game is against BYU. "In the original Twitter poll conducted by the blog Ute Football Central, 64 percent of respondents said they would prefer a rivalry win over a bowl season."

    Its obvious that MANY U fans are more against BYU than they are for Utah. That suggests that their motivation as fans will diminish without BYU on their schedule.
    Eliminating BYU from their schedule will prove to be a big mistake for the U,
    and given conference mediocrity, interest and attendance at U games will decline.

    But I'm guessing as Utah dwells in PAC and national obscurity, the fans who are more anti Y than pro U, will continue to brag about their conference.

    Its an interesting study in why people brag - about anything. It makes me wonder if those "fortunate" enough to get a ticket on the great and wonderful Titanic were still bragging to someone while bobbing in the ocean.

  • So. Cal Reader San Diego, CA
    Oct. 31, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    I find Teeples articles to be very insightful and not nearly as "homerish" as other DN sports writers. He seems to include much more constructive criticsm of the team that I find refreshing. I thought this article was spot-on.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Oct. 31, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    USC third-stringers and walk-on
    Just showed Utah they are the bottom of the AQ
    1-4 lol

  • Christopher.B Salt Lake, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    Can't wait to see Wisconsin treat byu like the non-AQ WAC school they are.

    Wisconsin, just like Utah, has enjoyed significant BCS glory the last decade and that very well may continue under Gary Anderson.

    byu's "quests" will likely continue to end in game 1 or game 2. Even if the playoffs had been going, with a loss to Virginia, your "quest" would have been over just the same.

    Go Wisconsin!

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Oct. 31, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    @ Uteology.
    pardon me I was look @ the sagarin rankings.
    But they still have 3 quality wins and two losses with 2 other decent wins in there.

  • Frozen Chosen Savage, MN
    Oct. 31, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    Anae lacks offensive imagination and is unable to adjust to the opponent's defensive adjustments made at halftime. You can call it going conservative if you like but it's still the same thing - failure to mix up the play calling to keep the defense off balance.

    I fear this lack of creativity will cost BYU the game at Wisconsin as BYU won't be up by 3 touchdowns at the half there.

  • M.T. Noggin Atlanta, GA
    Oct. 31, 2013 6:05 a.m.

    Ryan Teeples is right on with this article. Many of us have been wondering the exact same thing. Opponents seem to make Defensive adjustments at the half, as BYU’s offense comes out in the third quarter with their patented “3 and out in less than a minute.”

    An article yesterday noted that BYU’s Defense seems to be getting more tired because of the increased amount of time they are on the field this year. When your offense is on and off the field in one minute (due to the “go fast go hard 3 and out”), there isn’t much time to take a breather. Even KVN talked about that he’s tired. The “bye” week couldn’t have been more timely.

    While hoping otherwise, this “first half only offense” will lead to two more losses at Wisconsin and Notre Dame if it continues. BYU has to play consistent offensive football for all four quarters to beat either of those teams.

    Query: Could BYU sell ½ game ticket packages for ½ price? We’ll buy tickets for the first half of all home games!

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:56 p.m.


    "Keep dreaming that you were one quarter away from a win."

    No dreaming required; the BYU-Utah game wasn't decided until the final play of the game.

    Sure, BYU needed to complete a Hail Mary pass on the final play to send the game into overtime, but any fan who says that's out of the realm of possibility in this rivalry, either doesn't know anything about the rivalry, or is just blowing smoke.

  • Y's little brother Sandy, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:48 p.m.


    BYU beat THREE teams that are ranked higher than Utah in the BCS (Houston, Texas and Georgia Tech), plus Boise State, a team Utah has never beaten in 4 tries since the Broncos became an FBS program. BYU also thumped a Utah State team in Logan, that Utah barely slipped past in RES, with the help of some questionable PAC 12 officiating.

    Despite your always frantic spin:

    BYU is ranked 28th in the current BCS standings; Utah is ranked a distant 45th.

    Obviously, the rest of the country isn't nearly as impressed with your record as you are.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:28 p.m.

    Cheyenne, WY

    I am glad that is 6-2 BYU team can beat the higher quality opponents on their schedule while struggling during 1 quarter.
    Too bad those two bad losses they couldn't have had better third quarters.
    oh well 6-2 against the 21 SOS is pretty good.


    Higher quality opponents on your schedule, who would that be? Current BCS rankings:

    #31 Houston W
    #33 Texas W
    #42 Georgia Tech W
    #45 Utah L
    #55 Boise State W
    #78 Utah State W
    #79 Middle Tennessee W
    #89 Virginia L

    So you beat TWO teams that are significantly better (+10 ranking) than Utah at this point in time.

    Struggling in one quarter? Let me jog your memory. BYU hasn't lead in ANY quarter against Utah since the 2011 beat-down by a #109 ranked offense at home. Keep dreaming that you were one quarter away from a win.

    BYU is playing good and will have a chance to prove it self at Wisconsin.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:35 p.m.

    Too smart......

    I'm one of many fans who is with the author on this. We see the great potential of this offense in the first half over the last several games only come to a standstill after halftime. So yeah, we DO expect 4 qtrs of potent offense. The let-up after the break almost cost us in the Houston game and WILL cost us against better teams. The fact that we are seeing a pattern here is concerning. It's like both Anae and the offensive line decide to take a nap after the break. I would like to see Hill audible out of the called play more often, especially in the 2nd half.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 5:17 p.m.

    If BYU wants to play conservatively and eat up clock in the second half, how does it help to "go fast, go hard?" When you're going 3 and out, doesn't the fast pace just give the ball to the other team several more times? Seems more like they're employing a "go fast, go easy" strategy in the second half, and if they are bent on being conservative, they should at least "go slow, go hard" and eat up the clock.

    I'd like to see the killer instinct until the opponent is very safely put away. The author is right that a conservative approach without a dominant lead will come back to bite the Cougars, sooner or later. With Wisconsin approaching, sooner seems more likely with that approach.

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 30, 2013 4:57 p.m.

    Here's the difference between BYU and Utah - BYU wins the 1st two quarters and the game, while Utah loses all 4 quarters and the game. But hey, the Pac-12 patches are cute.

  • Grunao Provo, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    Taysom explained clearly why in last week's post-game interview - he stated that the play calling got "conservative". That is the coaches - Anae & Bronco - plain and simple. It is unbelievable.

  • Farid @ Pocatello Pocatello, ID
    Oct. 30, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    My guess is that the offense is trying to go a little conservative and eat the clock in the second half. But when they try to slow it down a bit they lose their rhythm and things come to a screeching halt.

    Were it me, I'd add a second-teamer every series but keep up the frenetic pace.

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    Robert Anae's play calling is the reason for 2nd half offensive woes. Even Taysom Hill said after the last game that the play calling became too conservative in the 2nd half.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Oct. 30, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    @ solo
    be careful logical arguments or math are not understood by some

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 1:34 p.m.

    I think as long as BYU keeps winning, no one will complain about the difference in offensive production. The worry is that a team will come along and capitalize to the point that we find ourselves behind in the 4th. It happened in Houston and we pulled it out but it's risky in a game that relies so much on momentum. It's hard to just turn things on and off. With just a few minutes left before half time against BSU, I said that I'd feel more comfortable if we had one more score knowing the tendency to let up in the 3rd. It turns out we got a turnover and got 2 scores after that. I agree that keeping it going longer is easier said than done but certainly something to look at.

  • Solomon Levi Alpine, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 1:24 p.m.

    Chris B

    "That's like a BYU fan, brag about winning one or two quarters."

    It's interesting that Utah fans don't apply this same logic to the entire season; winning one or two games is nice, especially if one of them is against your biggest rival, but wouldn't it be even nicer to be better for the entire season?

    Of course, when you're totally obsessed with BYU, beating BYU is the season; nothing else matters. Beating Stanford was just frosting on the cake, another chance for a dig at BYU. Unfortunately for you, the meltdowns against Arizona and USC destroyed that narrative.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    That's like a Utah fan that says "Mark it down" all the time, predicting wins that never happen and "going to the Rose Bowl."

    Has Oregon sold out their stadium for the Utah game, Chris B?

  • Kouger Lehi, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 1:06 p.m.

    Ok, here’s my own take on BYU’s second half blues. With games in which they are ahead (this season) after halftime, BYU starts to play conservatively. They want to run out the clock sooner. And it’s not because they are BYU with its “Christian” spirit of not wanting to run up the score. The truth, personally, is that they lack the confidence in playing well consistently. They seem to believe that sooner or later they will stumble and become vulnerable, in addition to being mistake/penalty prone. So they resort to running the ball and just wanting to sustain the drives - not really want to score. In doing so, they become lethargic in play calling and execution as well. I noticed this at the Boise State game. The Houston game was different because it was a back and forth game. C’mon BYU play a full game of football every time.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Oct. 30, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    I am glad that is 6-2 BYU team can beat the higher quality opponents on their schedule while struggling during 1 quarter.
    Too bad those two bad losses they couldn't have had better third quarters.
    oh well 6-2 against the 21 SOS is pretty good.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    Why is it that other teams are allowed to use the reason that BYU made adjustments at halftime that slowed their offensive production but the same standard doesn't apply to BYU? Don't both teams make adjustments? So it turns the game from an offensive show to a defensive slug-fest....so what? Even though they didn't reach the first half production the Y still is out-scoring or tying the other teams second half production so why are you inventing issues?

    I guess you need to bark about something. First it was that BYU couldn't pass; now it's that they don't score as much in the 2nd half as the 1st half. My, what's next?

    Also, keep in mind when the offense scores easily at the start of the game the team seems to think they've already won and they rein in the horses a little. That's a human reaction that is natural. We've seen others do it, too, like USC settling for field goals but yet the point spread and margin of victory kept expanding.

    If you think BYU football is low scoring, maybe you ought to watch soccer.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:51 p.m.

    That's like a byu fan, brag about winning one or two quarters.

    In fact, I'll bet there are some individual quarters in the last 4 years of rivalry games that byu "won"


  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:45 p.m.

    Unfortunately I think that this has something to do with wanting to ease off of the pedal too early. I would like to see a game where BYU does not let off the pedal at all. But, I think that the likelihood of BYU holding down the pedal and securing a blowout is about as high as BYU running a trick play.