Dick Harmon: Offensive line play will determine how many games BYU wins this fall

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  • Taysom4Heisman Heber City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 8:59 p.m.

    @Who am I sir?

    "Why do Y fans think that beating such weak teams make you a great team?"

    I never said that's the case. If you'll notice the end of my first comment, I said "Let's all own up to the fact that it's a combination of how many games you won and the schedule you played against."

    Beating weak teams does not make BYU a great team. But taking care of business and crushing those teams, along with beating good teams like Texas, USU, and UCF does make BYU a great team.

    I don't know why you think BYU fans think beating weak teams makes them great. Sure, some do. But the vast majority (like myself) do not believe that, as evidenced by my first comment. You are simply stereotyping BYU fans with very little evidence to back it up as fact.

  • BlueNtheFace Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Aug. 19, 2014 8:17 p.m.

    Two For Flinching: "Fans like watching their team win games that matter. I know it's always better to win. but I can't imagine there being very much satisfaction watching your team roll up teams like MTSU, Savannah St., UNLV, UCONN, UVA, and then landing in a third tier bowl game."

    BYU can't control who they play to the extent that you may believe. Again, congrats on that very special SOS you have. It can't do a thing for you unless you win. It won't even keep KWhitt around much longer.

    Go Cougs.

  • BlueNtheFace Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Aug. 19, 2014 7:56 p.m.

    Yay for Rufus T. Firefly and his Utes. They are now relegated to touting wins against BYU (a contest that has once again become their bowl game) and playing the role of spoiler in the PAC 12. Must be exciting.

    Meanwhile they are also awarded the state's SOS trophy yearly. Not too hard playing against a schedule that guarantees games against 9 PAC 12 teams + another P5 team every year.

    BYU will play any takers, any year, anywhere. Some have started to dodge us though (you know who you are...).

    Go Cougs!

  • Sendero1 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 19, 2014 7:03 p.m.

    Boiling it down to yet another level of simplification: Taysom Hill will go as far as the left tackle can take him, and no further. No amount of improvement in the receivers, or in his ball delivery will help him, if he gets blindsided in the pocket every time he tries to deliver a ball on third and eight -- as we saw in the Washington game that ended last season, and against other decent opponents.

    It really is a simple game. Someone has to pass block on obvious passing downs, and run block on power running plays inside the 20s. If we're improved enough to do that, we'll be back in business, and perhaps an undefeated, or maybe one-loss team, against a somewhat lighter schedule. If not, we'll lose at least 4 games -- Texas, Central Florida, USU, and Boise State, (and maybe more) and the season will be a near rerun of last year. It's a simple game of fundamentals when you get down to it, and offensive line play is one of them. Barring an injury to Hill, the season goes as the offensive line goes, plain and simple.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 5:13 p.m.

    @ Objectified

    "Fans don't enjoy watching their team lose. And they very much enjoy watching their team win."

    Fans like watching their team win games that matter. I know it's always better to win. but I can't imagine there being very much satisfaction watching your team roll up teams like MTSU, Savannah St., UNLV, UCONN, UVA, and then landing in a third tier bowl game.

  • amagnetick AV, CA
    Aug. 19, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    I'm wondering if any of you guys actually work, pay attention to your wives, kids, etc. Seems like you spend a lot of your time "discussing" a sport that in the eternal scheme of things means absolutely nothing.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 4:25 p.m.


    In that ranking from which you found BYU placed at #97 in the nation, did you happen to see who occupied the #95 and #93 spots?

    Let the spin begin!

    And as for the question about who does BYU play that's relevant, when BYU put the schedule together some of the teams, like Cal and Nevada, where a lot stronger. Despite that, Boise State and UCF have respect and relevance. Probably more than the Utes, considering the talk on ESPN and stuff.

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 3:50 p.m.

    I still believe you're wrong about your total correlation of national legitimacy to strength of schedule.
    As proof, look at yesterday's article concerning pre-season poll rankings. BYU received 8 votes in one poll and 1 vote in the other poll. Utah has much stronger schedule, but never received a single vote in either poll.

    So BYU is already receiving attention and will keep moving up in the polls each time they win, regardless of whom they play.
    On the other hand, almost every team that loses also falls each time in the polls, regardless of how tough their SOS is.

    Boise State almost made a science out of adding 1 or 2 tough, recognized opponents to their schedule while the rest of their schedule was (is) considered almost a cakewalk. And they often ended up as a top-10 ranked team and even qualified for BCS bowl games.

    Believe it or not, every top-20 ranked team is considered legitimate. Otherwise, they wouldn't be getting the votes necessary for such a ranking.

    Besides Texas, other teams on BYU 's schedule, such as Houston and Utah State could eventually end up getting ranked too.

  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 3:13 p.m.

    I knew we had old o-linemen, but I had no idea they were old enough to be silver beavers. Go O line. I'll be cheering for you.

  • Objectified Richfield, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 3:11 p.m.

    @ Rufus T. Firefly:

    It's not earth shattering news that Utah has a tougher schedule than BYU has. But Utah also loses more games than BYU does.
    See how that works? Tougher schedules usually equate to more lost games. And guess what? Fans don't enjoy watching their team lose. And they very much enjoy watching their team win.

    That makes it very easy to figure out why BYU fans are apparently so much happier than Ute fans. BYU plays with schedules they can be very competitive in, win most of their games and then go to bowl games at the end of each season. Lots of fun.

    Utah, on the other hand, can brag about having a tougher schedule. But they also lose a lot. That makes for unhappy fans, especially when they and their team keep sitting home during each bowl-game season.

    Maybe that makes it easier to understand why BYU fans are not jealous of Ute fans and why we definitely would not like to change places with Utah. We wouldn't want to have to start looking for excuses for our team losing more than winning, as Ute fans now do.

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 2:49 p.m.

    @ Kamute:

    If Utah has " learned how real football operates" as you mentioned, how come they still can't even win enough to qualify for a bowl game? And why do they have to hire a new offensive coordinator after each season? Apparently, when out on the field, they aren't even half as good as many of their fans, yourself included, like to pretend they are.
    It still seems to most the football world, myself included, that Utah still has a lot more to learn about how being competitive with real football works.

    Why do Ute fans incessantly harp about how tough their schedule is and how weak the schedules are of other teams? In all honestly, what good does it do for anyone to have the toughest schedule ever if that team can't win games?

    Answer: It doesn't do any good. Idaho State could have a tougher schedule than Utah. But if they then lose all their games, it means absolutely nothing.
    In a similar vein, Utah has been getting tougher schedules but is now consistently losing the majority of their games. Nothing to brag about. It simply allows more excuses for losing.

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    There are definitely a few things that can be counted on in life. One is the sun coming up each morning. Another is Ute fans weighing on BYU articles and subjects... and usually with negative slants to whatever the subject entails.

    @ Who am I sir:
    Interesting how you conveniently forgot to mention the other 5 opponents on BYU's schedule that received votes in the national preseason poll rankings. Each of those teams is considered to be better than Utah. When the Utah game was dropped, it didn't hurt BYU's strength of schedule. Doesn't leave much for Ute fans to crow about.

    @ KamUte:
    It's ALWAYS a big deal for any team to go unbeaten over the course of a 12 game schedule. Very few ever do it regardless of their SOS. Utah has had many weaker SOS's seasons in their history when they didn't even come close to going unbeaten. Do some research.

    @ Rufus T. Firefly:
    So half of BYU's opponents have stronger SOS and half are weaker. Congratulations on becoming a expert in finally figuring out how simple averages work. Very impressive.
    All 5 opponents ranked better than Utah and receiving national votes are noteworthy.

  • WA_Alum&Dad Marysville, WA
    Aug. 19, 2014 12:50 p.m.

    "There is no jealousy on the Hill."
    Good to hear. It's often hard to tell with how many Ute fans have to comment on every BYU story.

    I don't pretend to speak for my team's entire fanbase as some do, but I can tell you that for me there is no jealousy going the other way either. As an "out-of-state'er," I can watch every game my team plays ih HD, and most on-demand, and they are visiting their fans all over the country, and playing storied programs every year. They have a post-season, and are generally in or knocking on the door of a national ranking. What's not to like?

    Good luck figuring it out.

  • Old But Not Stupid Moorpark, CA
    Aug. 19, 2014 12:48 p.m.

    Idaho Falls, ID

    "I am not too sure this "chippy" attitude and "fight back" culture .... I am a big fan of confidence, but not a fan of cockiness and dirty play. I get the impression the coach is condoning the latter.."

    Oh, ida, guess you've never played in the trenches. There isn't a decent P5 O-lineman who I would not consider as one who plays "dirty." But then I'm a purist and more of a basketball fan. So I'm confident the coach is merely teaching survival skills.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    I love this preseason hype. I'm getting white knuckles waiting for the season to begin. It would be OK with me if both BYU and Utah have a good season. An often forgotten part of a good season is when the teams and the fans emulate good sportsmanship!. I don't mind at all some bantering back and forth that is in good taste but some of the comments posted are just plain juvenile in nature. Just sit back and enjoy college football, root for your favorite team and have some fun. Don't get hernia over it.

  • Old But Not Stupid Moorpark, CA
    Aug. 19, 2014 12:32 p.m.

    Riley Mendenhall
    Provo, UT

    "I could be in there at offensive line and the cougars would beat: UNLV, Savannah St, UConn, Virginia, Nevada, and Middle Tennessee State."

    Gee, Riley, we didn't know you were such a stud!

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    If the offensive line contributes to Taysom staying healthy...

    The season will be amazing.

    If Taysom stays healthy, he will put up numbers BYU hasn't seen in years.

    If Taysom stays healthy, BYU will go undefeated.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    I am not too sure this "chippy" attitude and "fight back" culture is a good thing as Tujage says. I believe it leads to lack of discipline and costly penalties. I say let your play do your talking but keep your emotions under control, especially after the whistle has blown.

    I am a big fan of confidence, but not a fan of cockiness and dirty play. I get the impression the coach is condoning the latter..

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    @What in Tucket?

    ".Utah has a good team perhaps somewhat better than BYU, but sorry I don't watch them." I'm sorry you don't watch them also. If you did you would get to see #9 Oregon, and #19 USC playing in RES. In addition you would see them playing #11 Stanford, #16 UCLA and #21 Arizona State on TV. In addition to four additional teams from the second hardest rated conference you could also see Michigan away... (or wait a year and see Michigan in RES also) As Dana Greene said when asked which schedule he would rather see... "As a fan you want to see the best teams..!

    "Why do ute fans think that a weak schedule makes you a bad team?" Good question. Now, Why do Y fans think that beating such weak teams make you a great team?

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    Utah fans are always critical of everything BYU does. I continue to be amazed how interested they are in anything BYU. Hope they watch the games so BYU has a big TV audience. I mean a bigger TV audience. Utah has a good team perhaps somewhat better than BYU, but sorry I don't watch them.

  • fan in orem Orem, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    Firefly: Who are you going to beat that's noteworthy?

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Yes, what about the kicking game? I'm very concerned as well. All we've heard is that it's still a wide open competition for who will start. That could mean good depth or that everyone is equally mediocre. Which is it?

    Also, we should all keep in mind that there are good wins and bad losses but there are no bad wins and no good losses. Remembering that takes care of a lot of the ridiculous SOS talk. Win your games, then and only then, is it relevant to talk about the quality of those wins.

  • coloradoblue Grand Junction, CO
    Aug. 19, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    We have heard about the O-line, Defense, the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers. Is there a reason we are not hearing anything about the kicking game? Let's face it, the kicker could have made a world of difference in several key games over the past 5 years. What about that part of the team?

  • KamUte South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 8:56 a.m.


    Utah and BYU would not have had breakthrough seasons had either been in a good conference. Our two BCS breakthrough seasons helped us get into the big boy league but now we realize it isn't that big of an accomplishment if BYU were to go unbeaten with their easy schedule.

    There is no jealousy on the Hill. We are in and learning how real football operates.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Aug. 19, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    How about if the O-Line calls the plays inside the red-zone, errr, blue-zone.

  • CG Orem, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 8:45 a.m.


    BYU fans weren't the ones ragging on schedules, that was our jealous little friends from the hill who can't accept the fact that Utah's regular season 2004 schedule wasn't even weaker than BYU's 1984 regular season schedule. At least BYU played a team the finished #24 in the Final AP Top 25.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 8:28 a.m.


    Now let's look at 1984.

  • IndeMak South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    Richard Harmon,

    How about saying, "If byu scores more points than their opponents they will win more games."
    or. "If our defense gives up less points than our opponent, byu wins more games."

  • CG Orem, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 8:02 a.m.


    It's interesting how critical Utah fans have suddenly become of BYU's schedules after all of the chest beating Utah fans did in 2004 following a regular season that included only three opponents with winning records, none better than 7-5.

    Talk about hypocrisy!

  • Taysom4Heisman Heber City, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 11:02 p.m.

    @Riley Mendenhall

    You're right, BYU will win those 6 games even with a bad O-line.

    But last time I checked BYU is playing 12 games this year, not 6.

    So there are 6 games where good O-line play will be necessary for a win.

    Why do ute fans think that a weak schedule makes you a bad team? If Alabama played BYU's schedule, they aren't bad. I'm not trying put BYU anywhere near Alabama, I'm just saying that as long as BYU wins a lot of games, it proves they are a good team even though they don't have the toughest schedule out there.

    And why do ute fans think a strong schedule makes a good team? If Weber State played utah's schedule, they would also miss a bowl game. The schedule doesn't make you good.

    Let's all own up to the fact that it's a combination of how many games you won and the schedule you played against.

  • ex patria cougar Australia, 00
    Aug. 18, 2014 11:02 p.m.

    One correction to the article: we will not really see how great BYU's O line is at the UConn game. The real test will be Texas. BYU must win that game to even have a chance to have what could be considered a great season.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 10:22 p.m.

    It's true. The O-line will (help) determine if BYU wins over 10 games this year. Other than that the waltz through 6 games, favorites in 2 others, toss-up in 2 and finally a contest to win the last 2.

  • Scores Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 18, 2014 9:32 p.m.

    Well Riley, I'm glad you're not suiting up for the Cougars. From what I've seen, this O-Line is going to be pretty good. They were not horrible last year like some people think. They were mainly young and inexperienced and that showed against teams like Notre Dame and Wisconsin. I think a lot of fans are going to be pleasantly surprised.

  • Riley Mendenhall Provo, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 7:49 p.m.

    Correction: The easy schedule will determine how many games BYU wins.

    I could be in there at offensive line and the cougars would beat:
    UNLV, Savannah St, UConn, Virginia, Nevada, and Middle Tennessee State.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Aug. 18, 2014 7:30 p.m.

    Hmmmmm. If you say, "All is not well in Zion," it's Captain Obvious.

    If you say "All is well in Zion," it's Blue Kool-Aid.

    Of course, under the criticism, it's spot on. Good line play is like good organ play in church - nothing gets noticed until there are mistakes. But personally, I like to hear what they are saying, obvious or not.

    it fill the time till the first game.

  • Robyuuki Lewisburg, PA
    Aug. 18, 2014 7:26 p.m.

    As the O.L. goes so does BYU. 1995 was the last time a serious O.L. provided enough time for real offense. Dick H. is so correct. I hope that this is the year they jell, work hard and move fast.

  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 7:25 p.m.

    The team will only be as good as it's the BIG'S !!! Souptwins nailed it!!

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 6:35 p.m.

    Is this a new realization for Harmon? Line play is always key to having a great football team. It's just become glaringly obvious BYU's had issues there lately. The O-line is one of those fundamental positions that most people take for granted when it's good and becomes very obvious when it's bad. Everyone plays better when the line is controlled. If you watch the Wisc. game from last season, watch the up front push and how their O-line opens up the running lanes by pushing the D in the right direction. That's what a good O-line should be doing. With a bad one, you see your lead RB running up people's backs up the middle (watch Jamaal on nearly any 1st down run play). We all hope it's better this year and in the mean time, we'll just file this article under "Captain Obvious."