BYU football: Practice fights elicit smiles and excitement from Cougar coaches

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  • Jake2010 bountiful, ut
    March 9, 2014 10:18 p.m.

    I can see that there are among these masses a contingent that failed to recognize the Golden Bears finishing lower than the Utes.... They only got one victory all season and I'm fairly certain that it wasn't against in conference foes... So, the 'we' Chris was referring to was in fact as it always is and his 2013 10th place Pac-12 Utes.... (Both Colorado and California finished the season with worse records)

    Tis okay... It is fun to see the oh my shining bright from fellow cougar fans. Will either BYU and or Utah both stand up and show some heart this season and finish 75 percent victorious! Yes, tis the usual spring practice over excitement that by September's end is the resulting heartache for our teams... Neither BYU nor Utah have any excuse to finish less than 10-2 this season... There is heart in both camps that should equate lots of great headlines in Utah papers and online forums! Just for the love of Saint Pete go out and beat your opponents!

  • bigirish OREM, UT
    March 7, 2014 4:48 p.m.

    I'm sorry people, but I find fighting amongst the troops and the coaches being excited about it a little disturbing. Would we turn that on another team and start fighting on the field? Would that be ok? I think it's stupid frankly, and especially to tell our young future guys that it's ok to come to camp with a chip on your shoulder and take it out on the guy you're supposed to be working with to win games. Intensity is one thing but unbridled fighting? To show or do what? Hitting is one thing, but "hitting"? I don't think it shows our best side or accomplishes our purposes out there. Let's play fair, play ball, not act like thugs. I know, I wasn't there, but from what I've read, it doesn't impress me as a loyal fan.

  • Go Utes! Go Yale! Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    "Practice fights elicit smiles and excitement from Cougar coaches"

    What a joke. Fighting in practice was a sure way to have the entire team running poles when I played. My head coach was old school, but brilliant that way. You win as a team, you lose as a team. Most importantly the chemistry has to be established from the get-go. Multiple fights in early spring practices do not indicate unity. Yet, here are the band of brothers horsing around, and their leaders condoning the childish behavior. Classy, cougs, classy. By all means, keep smiling and promoting this pathetic behavior.

    I guess this is what gets a team going when they know they'll be facing a daunting home schedule featuring Utah State as their most formidable opponent. Zipadedooda...

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 7, 2014 10:04 a.m.

    What are the odds this be the subject of a new t-shirt slogan in Provo?

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    March 7, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    I totally disagree with the idea that fighting is a good sign. Losing your temper and getting into fights is for losers. It's usually a lack of discipline and focus.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    March 7, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    Not clear to me why this is something to be proud of. Remind me how BYU's football team furthers the mission of the university and the church that owns it?

    March 7, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    Yes RG - we would and when we got there we would all be bored and start a football league.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 7, 2014 7:14 a.m.

    Please define a "big fight". How many players were injured? Who needed medical attention? How many went to the hospital? How many bones were broken?
    Two players were asked to leave....big deal. Sounds like real pansy stuff to me.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    March 7, 2014 7:09 a.m.

    Wow BY is excited because their players get in a fight. Not quite the image the Brethren probably want to project. As for the U being a bottom dweller, they could always move to the JV circuit as BYU has done in football and basketball. Maybe BYU should add Timpview and Provo High to their schedule to remain bowl elligible.

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    March 7, 2014 7:04 a.m.

    In remember the titans, the coaches let the players fight to see if they could "work it out". Next we'll hear the chants of "Strong Side!!!...Left Side!!!"

    Maybe warmups will be a little different too...

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    March 7, 2014 6:17 a.m.

    If we all had the same type of passion for loving our neighbor, spreading the gospel, and getting educated in things both spiritual and temporal as we seem to have about football, we would be translated like the City of Enoch.

  • JD Las Vegas, NV
    March 7, 2014 12:38 a.m.

    Utah was in 11 of the 12 games they played last year and they were competitive despite losing their QB. BYU fans can sure dish out the "dwellers of the Pac-12" phrase over and over, but do they understand what it is like to be Utah and play 10-11 BCS teams every year, in an actual conference. BYU has never played that many and would surely struggle if they did. BYU does not know what it is like to have every game mean so much and to have to play with 100% intensity every down all season long. The season is fun playing all BCS schools and is better than playing 8 games against just pitiful competition. BYU's most recent bowl game was against a type of team that the Utes play all season long, every week, every play. I'd take 11 games of worthy opponents versus, one bowl game. The bowl games that Utah can qualify for are worlds apart from the bowls that byu is still trying to line up, pre-Christmas bowl games are sad bowl games. Utah will bowl this year, every week. Just maybe, they will get an extra game at seasons end.

  • Jimmy James Salt Lake City, Ut
    March 6, 2014 9:15 p.m.

    The most positive take away from a preseason practice is that the offensive line is "passionate"? Any bozo can pick a fight. Discipline (not passion) is what wins games. And it sounds like BYU is lacking in that department at the moment.

  • RonBergundy SANDY, UT
    March 6, 2014 6:14 p.m.

    Surprising that they allowed the media to mention this. There's a lot of things that go on that people don't know about

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 6, 2014 6:13 p.m.

    If you fight with love in your heart then it's ok.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    March 6, 2014 5:03 p.m.

    Brace yourselves, here comes the hype up to another lack luster season.

  • MileHighCougarFan Brighton, CO
    March 6, 2014 3:36 p.m.

    @Chris B

    Not sure of your logic, which is interesting as you have espoused your belief in science.

    No team, school, or administration can influence the quality of play of an opponent or how good or bad they are. You postulate that somehow BYU chooses to schedule weak opponents. How do you propose that BYU is able to know how good a team will be that is scheduled anywhere from 1 to 10 years in advance.

    Cal may not be great now, but has been excellent in the past. Stanford was terrible a decade ago, look at them now. And Oregon in the past was a joke.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    March 6, 2014 3:29 p.m.


    thank you for explaining that to me. I did not know.

  • TheBleak West Jordan, UT
    March 6, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    How is it a good sign when the players fight each other?
    It is not a sign of toughness, rather a sign of their not being able to control their emotions and acting childish.

    I hope they break out in a fight in their first game so Mendenhall and crew and really enjoy the toughness; will over skill, after all.

  • RSLfanalways West Valley, UT
    March 6, 2014 2:46 p.m.

    I hope BYU and Utah does better this year since they were at times an embarrassment for our state last year. USU showed that there was one team in Utah worth paying attention to.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    March 6, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    To Ronald Uharriet: The reporter said the coaches "smiled" then sent the perpetrators to the showers. They smiled because it was good to see their players had passion. If they had been condoning their actions, they would not have sent them to the showers. They do want passion, but controlled passion. Sending them to the showers sends the message that, "yes, we want you to be passionate, but we want you to control that passion." End of story.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2014 1:40 p.m.

    Football is by nature an aggressive, violent sport and competition for playing time happens. It can be good as long as no injuries result and you understand that in a game the rules are different than in practice.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    March 6, 2014 1:21 p.m.

    May seem a little off, but bear with it here. First you guys say Bronco plays with too little passion (and by extension, his team), then you mock when he is pleased that they are playing with passion. Bronco, and BYU football, is NOT what I'm getting tired of.

    Before you can direct and focus your passion, you have to HAVE passion. The level of passion is coming up on the offensive line. The level of focus needs to as well. Hopefully it will.

    My level of passion, and focus, is on the rise!

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    March 6, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    Conflict! Competition for positions! Spring football! Yahoo!

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    March 6, 2014 12:55 p.m.


    Take the average margin of victory during the current streak instead of pretending 54-10 didnt happen and doesn't apply.

    Most games are 20, 30, or 44 point blowouts. But when one team wins year after year after year after year, yes it says something about the difference between the two teams. The only thing that matters is the SCOREBOARD. And year after year after year utah scores more. only to byu fans does that mean nothing

  • labman Pocatello, ID
    March 6, 2014 12:44 p.m.

    so much talk over so little action. no fighting?.....funny how it seems to only apply to BYU and not to any other program. Football is fighting with rules. it usually involves someone's ego getting hurt.... as longs as there are to cheap shots, let them play football.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    @ Bdamajd

    BYU is not a Utah school. They are a religious institution, that happens to be in Utah.

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    March 6, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    Yes, looking in from Federal Way, fighting in a game can result in a penalty. But this was not a game. Go fish!

    Some of you folks need to start looking at the glass as half-full and filling up. Why the kumbaya attitude? I'd rather see some spunk that could result later in a penalty instead of a hand-holding experience where everyone gets a ribbon for participation and good sportsmanship.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    March 6, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    Chris B.,

    I not only think that we might be able to beat Va. this season, I expect to beat Va. this season and I believe that it was lack of proper preparation for that game last season against that team. that caused us not to beat them. This was a game that we should have won. This season, we will take that game more seriously and we will beat them.

    Regarding our game vs, California, I not only think that we might be able to beat this team, I expect to beat this team. The last time we played them was under HC Gary Crowton and we destroyed them at Cal. Homo was their HC at the time.

    Beating Cal, this season, will not show the football world that we can beat any team in the Nation, You must remember that Cal was dead last in the pac 12 last season. Next to dead last, at #11 was Colorado. Third from dead last was #10 Utah, so-----no, beating Cal this season, will not prove that we can beat any team in the Nation, however, it could be a disaster if we do lose to them.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    March 6, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    While the intent is something to be commended, I fear the danger or the precedence being set with coach approval. I hope that the coaches, condoneing violence among it’s players, in the name of coming out tough and playing tough, does not backfire on them.

    I hope that when a Cougar is ejected from the game, for un-necessary roughness, the coaches will remember that it was they, that promoted the enviroment for such ejection.

    While I do enjoy a highly spirited game, un-nessary roughness, in my opinion, is no substitute for intelligent play.

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 6, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    Wendall Hoop - If by "crushing" you mean barely winning and then going on to collapse after the most important game of your season then you have a point. But since BYU has gone on to have a much better season than Utah every one of the past 5 years I doubt that is what you mean. By your awesome logic Utah is a better team than Stanford.

  • Picardy Provo, UT
    March 6, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    Remember that these guys are not only going fast and going hard, but they are fighting for playing time and starting slots. It's only natural for there to be some scuffles. What excites a coach is to see intensity that runs high enough to send some to the showers. If you don't have that at practice it will translate into playing soft in games. The coaches are not grooming these players for failure and comments about sportsmanship fail to recognize that BYU builds character unlike most other Universities at the same time it prepares its players to win in a very violent game that requires participants to match or exceed intensity to be successful. Come to a fireside on most Friday nights in the fall, then go to the games on Saturday. You will love the remarkable balance our coaching staff teaches. Saints at the pulpit, beasts on the field!

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    March 6, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    @ Chris B:

    It always makes me smile when you refer to your own ute team as a "doormat", even though they aren't quite. In truth, they've barely avoided that distinction the past few seasons. That sad part is that they keep putting themselves in the running for that title every year.
    If all you can brag about is squeaking by against BYU the past few years, then have it. But that seems to be not all that great if that's truly all you've got.

    At least BYU bounces back from their early season losses to Utah and gets stronger as the season progresses. They set their sights on having a winning season and going to a bowl game each year... things they then accomplish. Sadly, the same thing can't be said about the Utes. They seem to expend all their energy against the Cougars and usually go on 4 game conference losing streaks afterward, and then fight like heck to avoid their conference basement.

    To keep hearing you say "but at least we beat you guys," when we all know there's nothing else in your bag, truly makes you sound quite desperate.

  • CougOrUte..Naah Nibley, UT
    March 6, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    Curious item to be excited about, fighting during practice. In a game where discipline and team work are so important, it is amazing that a coach is excited about fighting among teammates. What happens when the offensive linemen get hot during a game and end up punching a defensive lineman? A flag,15 yards, and ejection. Being excited about your team being physical and aggressive is one thing, but being excited about "fighting" seems like it sets the wrong precedent. Penalties are a result of poor practice and poor coaching, penalties lose games, it would appear that the coaching staff should focus more on discipline than on fighting should BYU want to get in the Top 25. However, with their schedule they should end up at least 9-3 by just showing up.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    March 6, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    @ eastcoastcoug:

    Where do you come up with this "both teams are a joke" stuff? I can't and won't speak for the Utes (unlike Chris B tries to do for the Cougars), but I will for BYU...

    They beat some very good teams last year when they went on their 5 game winning streak... including an unbeaten Houston team on the road. They trounced a ranked Texas team which was later ranked again. They also gave USU one of it worst defeats of the year and on the road no less. Same with Boise State.

    That in no way can be categorized as being "a joke". And considering some of their additions for this next season, there's no reason not to believe they will be even better. It's your assessment that is truly the joke.

    @ Wendall Hoop:

    Considering Utah beat BYU by a single score in 3 of their last 4 games... and with BYU having better offensive stats in most of those games, it's ridiculous for you to say that Utah "has been crushing BYU". In truth, they've barely been squeaking by them with the slimmest of margins. You lost your credibility.

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    I have noted in "real" life, outside of the Internet, that the childish types who say things only to provoke a reaction in others will eventually realize just how lacking they are, and shut up or leave, *if* all in the target audience consistently refuse to reward their childish behavior with responses. I know that will likely never happen here, but I can make the appeal again. Depending on the article, I am interested in reading what others with valid opinions have to say. Since I don't feel it worth my time to read the comments of known inciters, neither am I interested in reading the responses to them. And since the revised commenting policy doesn't seem to have actually changed anything, perhaps a new update could be made to allow users to identify certain comments as "troll" and "response to troll" so that those who are interested in an intelligent, relevant discussion can get right to the worthwhile material.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    March 6, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    In the words of Herman Boon from Remember the Titans. "Any 2 year old child can throw a fit. Football is about harnessing that aggression in a team effort to achieve perfection".

    I love to hear that players aren't backing down and being aggressive, but as others have said, I want to see that aggression and swagger against Texas, Virginia, Houston, UCF, & Utah's twin brother cellar boy- Cal. I want to see it harnessed into performing with precision and efficiency on gameday. Otherwise it's just hype.

    Chris, yes once again you are right that BYU, for whatever reason has struggled with U lately. The difference is BYU doesn't squander the rest of the season away, often times losing to teams they shouldn't (how was that 12 pt beat down at the hands of Wazzu...we owned them and Mike Leach last time we played...we own a respectable .500 record against their buddies, the Huskies while U haven't sniffed a W from them in 8 tries). Yet we struggle with U, which is certainly frustrating. The only thing more frustrating would be preparing for a THIRD straight bowless, mediocre season.

  • ArgoFY Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 6, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    "BYU stipulates that media observers can't mention specific names of players involved."

    Well, it was either Tradition, Spirit or Honor (ironic) that was involved, which narrows down the list considerably.

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    March 6, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    Great! Aggression and push by the offensive line, that's what we need.

    Now where is this aggression during the game?

    Use this aggression to maul fools we're playing against, not just against each other in practice. The biggest problem BYU has had is being beat at the line of scrimmage. Let's win the battle up front and we should win most of our game.

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    March 6, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    Hey, football is a physical sport - fight on! By the way, since many Utah fans seem to loiter here for their football news, I thought I'd share what Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News said about the revolving door that is the Utah Offensive Coordinator's office:

    "Two teams have new head coaches (USC and Washington), and three have new offensive coordinators: UW, Oregon State and Utah.

    (It wouldn’t be spring in SLC without a new OC!)

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    March 6, 2014 8:20 a.m.

    Chris B referring to BYU as "we"?

    OK, you can have him. No tradebacks.

  • Wendall Hoop Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    re: eastcoastcoug - "Utah is only marginally better than a bad BYU program" ????? Really????? Where did you discover that, b/c it's news to me. Utah has been crushing byu in the rivalry and also has the BCS wins. Utah has struggled in the win/loss in PAC12, but Utah is still the premier program. Saying otherwise is baffling.

  • Bdamajd Centerville, UT
    March 6, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    I tend to agree with Chris on this one,(at least as far as the "we" thing), in that he should be saying "we" when referring to BYU. I am a Cougars fan, but when the Utes are not playing BYU, I am also a Utes fan! I attended USU so I always want them to do well also. I get the whole "in-state rivalry" thing and I am a part of it. But I also think we should be rooting for ALL of our Utah teams to do as well as they can, with the exception of when they are playing our own personal favorite Utah team! My wife is an avid Ute Fan and I root for the Utes no matter who they are playing EXCEPT BYU and USU! Maybe there would be less animosity and more sportsmanship if we as Utahns would support each other except in those rivalry games.Just sayin'.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    March 6, 2014 7:28 a.m.

    Correction: both Utah and BYU are a joke at this point.

    ....maybe USU can make the state of Utah proud...

  • DonO Draper, UT
    March 6, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    Okay, I'm a prude. And I understand coaches' desire for aggressiveness in their players. But I can't help but think what a headline like this teaches kids. "Smiles and Excitement" for fighting? Really? If it's okay among "team mates" isn't it okay everywhere else? IMO, there is enough conflict among today's youth without the media...especially the Deseret News... encouraging it.

  • Tajemnica West Valley, Utah
    March 6, 2014 6:54 a.m.

    Well at least they're not a perennial PAC 10 celler dweller steadily getting used to a lack of post season play.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    March 6, 2014 6:39 a.m.

    Sounds like church basketball! lol

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    March 6, 2014 4:58 a.m.

    What a weird article. I'm tired of all the elation and projection coming out of Spring practice. By the end of September, our bubble is burst. Every year. Tujague is correct: it only matters if you win on a Saturday in season.

    As for Chris B - move on, buddy. Utah is only marginally better than a bad BYU program and has been the cellar dweller of this PAC you are so proud of. Utah (and its fans) spend way too much time obsessing on one game. It will be interesting to see how they do with no BYU to focus on this year, playing with the obviously better programs of the PAC.

    IMHO both Utah teams are a joke at this point.

  • Sweater In Rafters Franklin, IN
    March 6, 2014 3:43 a.m.

    I thought this school teaches to be "of the game but not In the game". Is fighting part of the CODE? It sure seems like it should be...

  • LadyMoon Crestucky, FL
    March 6, 2014 3:32 a.m.

    Yes, a little fight, a lot of grit is sorely needed! Interesting, Chris B., in talking about BYU said, "...we"! Has he finally converted!

  • Sore loser tampa, fl
    March 6, 2014 3:14 a.m.

    They should bring in a microphone and some chairs and stuff and then let them go WWE style.

  • hardball1 Highland, UT
    March 6, 2014 12:23 a.m.

    Chris B, haven't you heard? We aren't playing the "#12 Pac12 Team" this year. Utah wanted to take a two year break. How does it feel to be the doormat of the Pac12?

  • MileHighCougarFan Brighton, CO
    March 5, 2014 11:03 p.m.

    So glad a Cougar fan beat a Ute fan to comment first on the article. But why exactly would a U fan care about spring practice at the Y when we don't even play each other this year?

    Must be that a story of unnamed individuals getting overly worked up at each other at practice must be more intriguing than anything going on up on the hill.

  • Outside-View Federal Way, WA
    March 5, 2014 11:00 p.m.

    I thought fighting in a game was a penalty?

    I understand the coaches liking tough players but to encourage fighting as a sign of toughness is just another strange twist involving BYU coaches.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 5, 2014 10:46 p.m.

    There is a ton of fight in this group.

    If the guys can perfect this go fast go hard I can see byu beating Virginia this year.

    And if things really one together beating cal might even be possible. We haven't done well against PAC 12 teams lately, but lets see if we can beat the #12 PAC 12 team. If we do, that will prove we can beat anyone in the nation and deserve playoff talk.

  • MileHighCougarFan Brighton, CO
    March 5, 2014 10:43 p.m.

    My money would be on Kearsley being involved. And I am good with that. We need some fire on the line.