Kalani Sitake deflects criticism for receivers' mediocre performance against Portland State

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  • london_josh lincoln, CA
    Aug. 31, 2017 12:09 p.m.


    Whoever officiates the game should be pretty good on Saturday.

    The PAC officials have stepped up, historically they were bad all over, simply bad rather than biased, although i do recall a BYU TD getting called back against OrSU on a penalty from a guy who wan't on the filed at the time, that was pretty bad.

    MWC officials have always seemed to have it out for BYU, they seem biased rather than bad.

    Playing major teams the officiating is usually pretty good, what is hard are the different styles of officiating. Against Michigan 2 years ago the Wolverines were holding and interfering in ways that I think in the west would have been called multiple times but nothing was called - not unfair, they were equal in their application of the rules, but a slightly different take on the rules.

    It always seems that the officials don't like us, in a normal game both sides probably think that the officials were against them.

    this game comes down to a top level performance on both sides of the ball - will be tough, I still think that Wiscy is our hardest game, but if we win this one what a way to start the impossible gauntlet!

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Aug. 31, 2017 11:35 a.m.

    "unless I'm thinking of the wrong dumb penalty (there were several), it was the key guy who would have kept it at an okay gain rather than a huge gain that got held by a WR."

    I was at the game so my view wasn't as good as what those who watched on TV would have seen. We might be talking about the same play, but my impression was that the flag was thrown at the line of scrimmage about halfway through the play, after Fonua had already received big yards, and Mangum was very upset that a holding that didn't impact the play completely negated the whole play. Like I said, I could be wrong though (and I haven't re-watched the game on TV, even though I should probably bear the pain and do it anyway).

    I do know for a fact that there was a blatant Portland State holding that caused Portland State to get decent yardage (rather than a stop for no gain or even for a loss) that the refs refused to call, even though it happened in front of his face (and mine). That made me upset. But seeing BYU players commit penalties did not make me happy and I'm especially sick of stupid penalties that don't affect the outcome but negate a big play (like late hits).

  • london_josh lincoln, CA
    Aug. 31, 2017 10:51 a.m.

    The WRs are going to have to spread the D and keep them honest - that's our only chance.

    This is an SEC team, they are heavy on the runs up the middle, if simply putting in smaller guys got the job done then the SEC would constantly fall to D2 teams, they don't.

    Cahoon needs to have his guys threaten the backfield - hard to do against stellar DBs, but Mangum must send a few deep balls out to keep the D spread out. The TEs need to be a part of that spread also.

    If we do that then our scatbacks have a chance, because they only have a few big guys to beat.

    I think our D has a much better match-up early on but will really struggle as the night goes long. We play a different style of football and Takitaki and Kafusi coming in from the sides are a different body-type and package than what the SEC is used to. The key will be containing Guice up the middle and as we contain him our D will not be spread out like what we intend to do to their D so our D needs to be on it. Guice is aiming for a Heisman run, LSU wants a ring, they aim to put on a show, hope we give a good game.

    I hope we compete, I don't think we win, but lets make it a game!

  • BobbyPaluga Austin, TX
    Aug. 31, 2017 1:19 a.m.

    Please send Ben Cahoon back to Canada. Fool me once, Ben's fault, fool me twice it's on Sitake. Against LSU the passing game will resemble BYU's success vs Michigan a couple of years back playing in Ann Arbor. Why, because the Tigers pass defense is top 3 in the country. BYU MUST run to stay in the game. LSU's run defense is mediocre at best. Can the O line open holes? This is a game where the little scatbacks can do well. If the blocks are crisp, the pitchouts, handoffs or shuffle passes to Dye and Hall are well executed, BYU may stay in the game. Cahoon's weak coaching won't play a role in this game. The wideouts will need to block, I see two tight end sets. If Ty comes out passing on 1st and 2nd, it will be a long night. Hopefully he has seen the same film many us us have and the Cougars will run. LSU may well start a sparingly used senior QB or a true freshman, if the DL can penetrate we could see fumbles as the new QB tries to work under pressure.

  • london_josh lincoln, CA
    Aug. 30, 2017 9:03 p.m.


    unless I'm thinking of the wrong dumb penalty (there were several), it was the key guy who would have kept it at an okay gain rather than a huge gain that got held by a WR.

    But we had some stupid plays, I could be wrong.

    Generally speaking they only flag the holds that would have meaningful impact on the game, which if you think about it is most of them.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Aug. 30, 2017 2:29 p.m.

    "Another way to look at it. If we don't hold or chop block, maybe Fonua gets stopped for no gain.

    Just sayin...."

    While I generally agree with you that BYU played poorly, I believe on that particular play the holding that was called was after Fonua had broken through, one of those stupid penalties that happened apart from the play (meaning the lack of holding would not have changed the outcome; I can understand if the holding is what caused the play to be so successful, as is often the case).

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    Aug. 30, 2017 1:30 p.m.

    The O line was lethargic and missed blocks. Especially on trap plays. They either gave up or were too hot--At least 95 degrees plus the humidity from the grass moisture and no wind.

  • Just Observing Provo, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 8:17 p.m.

    What would be nice to know is did BYU really plan to go vanilla and not show much because if that is the case it point blank contradicts what Ty Detmer was saying in a presser two days before the game about how it does the team no good to hide plays.

    I am going to assuming he was not exactly telling the truth in that presser and purposely left things out of the game plan.

    However, what would scare me if I was a BYU fan is the lack of separation on the corners, thats not a schematic problem that is an athletic problem.

    Matt Bushman looked good but 100% of the time he got on the field it was a pass play so if that continues it will be very easy for strong safeties and linebackers to spy on him (as he isn't used to block.)

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Aug. 29, 2017 4:54 p.m.

    @ JelloIsGood - I have no problem with a BYU fan who says that we will win 8 or 9 games (that's you). What I DO have a problem with are the (supposed) BYU fans who say we are now utterly doomed to maybe 5 or 6 wins and will be lucky to qualify for a bowl game.

    THOSE kind of BYU 'fans' I can do without.


  • 81Ute Central, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 4:50 p.m.


    "The offense PSU ran against BYU was something different. They also have great pro-potential players. "

    Uhhh, NO! There is not that potential in Portland. It is the fact that byu played so poorly and you can't see that. Therefore, PSU must have good players.

    If your team can't gel and very soon there will be teams that put up video game numbers on you. Then you all will quickly turn and eat your own.
    Sitake et al will be sacrificed to invalid expectations of a clueless fan base.

    Just like Mendenhall.
    Just like Rose (this season will not be pretty for him)

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Aug. 29, 2017 3:51 p.m.

    Yeah, I'm with Jello - I miss Hill too. I miss his killer pick-6s that cost BYU games at Utah and West Virginia. I miss the way that BYU's defense scored more points than Hill's offense in the BSU game. Yeah - those were the days.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Aug. 29, 2017 3:37 p.m.

    BYU will have to be more creative in their schemes to get guys open. More "rub routes" and clear outs, etc. If that doesn't work - call Oregon.

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 3:21 p.m.

    The negative comments are a joke. Those complaining we don't have athletes are wrong, we have 2 or 3 receivers( Trinimann, Tanner, Simon ) that run under 4.4 in the 40 and that is fast and can match any team. Athleticism is usually determined by speed, quickness, strength, hops, and these receivers have all that , in fact we probably have better athletes now than we usually have. Being athletic and putting that to work along with running good routes and having hands that catch the ball is sometimes different. Getting separation is a key and although I was disappointed in how the offense played I did see things I liked. Shumway went and got the ball, that is what we need from our receivers, Neil Pau looked good, Trinimann actually caught the ball that was called incomplete, he also would have caught the long sideline pass but the defender grabbed his face mask as he went for the ball on the rebound and looked like he would have had it if not for the face mask being grabbed. Bushman looked good. Canada and Fonua looked good. All in all some of the players actually looked good. Penalties / mistakes cost us a lot . I was impressed with the athleticism of our players, just need PT.

  • Jello is Good ,
    Aug. 29, 2017 12:56 p.m.

    @Flashback - Kearns, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 11:15 a.m.

    "The Fonua kid looked good, just the stupid penalties on his long run hurt."

    Another way to look at it. If we don't hold or chop block, maybe Fonua gets stopped for no gain.

    Just sayin....

  • steve24/7 Sandy, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 12:54 p.m.

    In the photo with this story, caption says Trinnaman couldn't make the catch due to coverage by Portland State. Yeah, I'd have a hard time catching the ball too if the defender had grabbed my face mask and twisted my head around. No penalty was called on that play either. Sheesh.

  • Jello is Good ,
    Aug. 29, 2017 12:53 p.m.

    @BleedCougarBlue - Enid, OK
    Aug. 29, 2017 10:47 a.m.

    "Loyalty: give it or get out."

    Really? No.

    How about, "Reality: Get it or get out."

  • Jello is Good ,
    Aug. 29, 2017 12:52 p.m.

    @BleedCougarBlue - Enid, OK
    Aug. 29, 2017 10:47 a.m.

    "I am amazed, absolutely amazed, and GREATLY disappointed.

    By the game last Saturday?

    No, by all the feckless BYU 'fans' who are ALREADY wailing "woe is us" after just ONE game."

    Dude, relax. It's my right as a fan to have an opinion. And no, I am not changing my opinion after one game. This was my opinion all along. People have been putting waaay to much credit on Mangum and Detmer. This is who they are. We competed last year soley on our defense and on the backs of the talent and athletisism of Williams and Hill. As I have said all along, 8 or 9 wins.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 12:49 p.m.

    Lsu is going to be shocked by us and are talent and speed.

  • Jello is Good ,
    Aug. 29, 2017 12:48 p.m.

    @CaliCougar - American Fork, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 9:49 a.m.

    "It was the first game of the year guys....lighten up already.

    Let's wait to see what happens against LSU before BYU fans start piling on our HC and OC, if these commenters are in fact BYU fans.

    The game plan against Portland State was pretty obvious....get a win while giving multiple players game experience and minimizing injuries....Mission accomplished."

    Dude, just because we have an opinion doesn't mean we are on the edge of a cliff. Here is my completely unemotional and rational evaluation. Mangum was exactly who he has been every game he has played. He goes to the first option and if that is not there, he roles to his right and throws it long. It's either a jump ball or under-thrown. I have yet to see him hit a medium to long pass in stride. He is a good G5 QB. If BYU is going to win this year, they are going to have to do it the way they stayed in every game last year: Defense and running the ball. Those that were waiting for that high-flying BYU offense need to wait until we have the tools.

    And in case you are wondering, yes I am wishing Hill was still here.

  • steve24/7 Sandy, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 12:35 p.m.

    Yes! We've got LSU right where we want them. Bwahahahahahahaha!!!

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Aug. 29, 2017 12:24 p.m.

    @ Riverton Cougar - Riverton, UT - Aug. 29, 2017 11:23 a.m.

    Riverton Cougar, if you read my comment above (the first part) please be aware that my rant is not so much directed at posters on THIS article, but meant towards anyone who is predicting gloom and doom based on the first game of the season. I read all the posts here, twice, and most are at least cautiously optimistic for the season. Other articles and other posters?....not so much. Guess I just had enough of the 'woe is me' posters from other articles.

    I'll be cheering Saturday night. I'm bummed that I probably won't be able to see the whole game. I'll be on the east coast Saturday night and need to get up early on Sunday AM.

    Go Cougars!

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Aug. 29, 2017 11:43 a.m.

    The Truth:

    Unfortunately Not athletic enough to compete.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 11:23 a.m.


    Hold on there, we're not all predicting doom and gloom because of one disappointing tune-up game. I saw sluggish play, I saw BYU struggle with things that we were expecting them to not struggle with, and I saw that the offense in particular has much improvement to be done.

    However, I'm not saying or suggesting that BYU's in for a rough season simply based on one game. And even if they do go 7-6 or something this year, I'm still going to be watching them and cheering them on. I don't think they will, but honestly their performance last Saturday didn't inspire me much. I still think BYU is a lot better than they showed, and they know it.

    The good news is that BYU is now going to be overestimated and many of their opponents are now going to be considered even heavier favorites; BYU's FPI on ESPN and winning percentage have dropped dramatically (although ESPN had BYU at a 66.4% chance of winning the Utah game, it is still above 50% at 52.8%, which will most likely change after this week).

  • BobbyPaluga Austin, TX
    Aug. 29, 2017 11:17 a.m.

    The wideout position at BYU has been uncharacteristically poor from what has always been a strength even when the receivers were short and relatively slow. Regardless of the size and speed Cougar wideouts ran excellent routes and they DID NOT drop the ball through the long and glorious career of coach Edwards. Bronco upgraded the position recruiting tall kids with good hands and decent speed. It's interesting that Bronco hired Ben Cahoon 2011-2012 as receivers coach, but let him go because the position lack of progress, moving from a team strength to a weakness. Sitake returned Cahoon to his former coaching spot in 2016 allowing the top assistant on staff, Guy Holiday to move 45 miles north. Again, under Cahoon's tuledge the outstanding level of play in. 2015, fell to what fans have been witnessing today, an unproductive mess of drops, poor routes and lack of development. What's wrong overall with the offense? Try the least experienced group of coaches in the FBS. Ty Detmer had never coached at the FBS level, neither had Reno Mahe, or Steve Clark. Mike Empey last coached on the university level in 2004, Ben Cahoon had only coached those two troubled years at BYU.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 11:15 a.m.

    The Fonua kid looked good, just the stupid penalties on his long run hurt.

    Give it to the big East High kid. Let him run.

    Squally doesn't have the speed that Jamal had. Remains to see if he has the toughness Jamal had.

    Tight Ends did good.

    Having Butch back will help the defense immeasurably.

  • Wolfie Colorado Springs, CO
    Aug. 29, 2017 11:11 a.m.

    The offense PSU ran against BYU was something different. They also have great pro-potential players. I don't understand why the team is being criticized when they won the game. There are many power 5 teams that have lost to FCS teams, Washington State was the latest victim in 2015. WSU also had a strong year in the same year. I think BYU played excellent considering the offense plays were limited to show not too much for the LSU team who was watching the game on TV. There were few key passes if they were completed it would have been a different score. The penalties were a killer especially the chop-blocks. I think we have a great team and they are going to do great this year. BYU has done well in the past at the neutral fields. There is something about playing big teams like LSU. When the team is challenged, the level of intensity and urgency are raised to the highest level. I believe we are going to see a different and confident team this coming Saturday. BYU loves playing big teams like LSU. Go Cougs!

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Aug. 29, 2017 11:01 a.m.

    @ at long last. . . - Kirksville , MO - Aug. 29, 2017 10:30 a.m. - "The team is lacking in talent. Mediocre recruiting as an independent is responsible. Learn to live with it."

    If BYU (at 9-4 last year, finishing only 8 points shy of an undefeated season) is "lacking in talent" then what does say about your Missouri Tigers who went 4-8 last year?

    You: "Well....uh.....er....."

    Me: "Exactly."

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Aug. 29, 2017 10:47 a.m.

    I am amazed, absolutely amazed, and GREATLY disappointed.

    By the game last Saturday?

    No, by all the feckless BYU 'fans' who are ALREADY wailing "woe is us" after just ONE game.

    (NOTE: I'm NOT calling out any BYU poster on THIS article but I've read a lot of DesNews articles in relation to Saturday's game so it's a general critique.)

    Many BYU 'fans' should be ashamed of themselves. Would THOSE 'fans' like to be supported in the same manner that they are 'supporting' your Cougars? I remember once as a kid going to a BYU home game. It was the 80s.....when BYU football ruled the mid-west and we regularly were in the top 15 and often top 10 nationally. At this particular home game we weren't playing so hot for about a quarter and some 'fans' started to boo their own team. I couldn't believe it. It not only was embarrassing, it made me angry. 'Fans' like that are ungrateful and disloyal in their extreme impatience, demanding that everything be perfect (winning and winning big) at all times.

    If BYU 'fans' are so easily pushed off your loyalty go cheer for Utah.

    Loyalty: give it or get out.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Aug. 29, 2017 10:30 a.m.

    The team is lacking in talent. Mediocre recruiting as an independent is responsible. Learn to live with it.

  • Stringer Bell Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 10:22 a.m.

    "I'm more concerned with having long-down and distance situations. I just mentioned how Sitake believes BYU's answer to attacking defenses this month, and all season, is when there are third downs, to have it third and three or third and seven. That, he says, makes play calling and execution a lot easier.'

    Wow, that's real innovative thinking. I'm surprised other coaches haven't thought of this. A QB that appears to be overrated plus WR's that are slow and can't catch isn't something you can fix in a week. Just can't see these guys keeping up with LSU.

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 9:52 a.m.

    I am not concerned with what Detmer wants to do and what his offense is designed to do. I am concerned with who he has to do it. Our receivers MUST be big, fast and very strong. We don't have that. Speed in Trinnamon, but strength to battle for the route we don't have. Defense against BYU for the near future is going to be easy. Mangum will get better as the year goes and the game will slow down for him. But we do not have depth, experience or great talent at receiver. We just don't. Love the tight end development though.. bright spot. NO rushing attack. O-line is simply average. BYU will win the ones they are supposed to. They will have no upsets.

  • CaliCougar American Fork, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 9:49 a.m.

    It was the first game of the year guys....lighten up already.

    Let's wait to see what happens against LSU before BYU fans start piling on our HC and OC, if these commenters are in fact BYU fans.

    The game plan against Portland State was pretty obvious....get a win while giving multiple players game experience and minimizing injuries....Mission accomplished.

  • H8 Red Centerville, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 9:28 a.m.

    Wasn't Ben Cahoon fired from BYU as receivers coach once already? I wonder why he was fired the first time and I wonder why they brought him back. I guess he had a great career in the Canadian Football League as a possession receiver, but maybe this is just too different.

    I just hope they can do a better job of getting some open looks down the field. Otherwise it might be a long afternoon.

  • cy1951 Arlington, VA
    Aug. 29, 2017 9:07 a.m.

    I think the problem is more receiver selection by the QB than separation by receivers. Mangum is telegraphing his receiver selection -- he progresses from receiver to receiver, but did he ever look at a receiver as deception in order to pull a safety off coverage? That was not evident. He looked intently at his first option and then moved to look intently at his second, etc. He did not appear to read the defense and select a receiver at the line of scrimmage -- which is, apparently, a key to running Ty Detmer's NFL-like west-coast offense. It appeared to me that he came out of the huddle with a specific receiver in mind and locked on to that receiver. Did he ever first look at a DB in man-coverage on a wide-out to see if he was a step off, and only then go to his short game option if there was no room to throw deep to the wide-out? Never saw that. More than once, I saw Trinneman had a step on his DB on a deep route, but Mangum was staring down his TE instead, because it appeared that the TE was the pre-designated first option on the play. And why can't he throw a deep ball that hits a receiver in stride? When the QB gets better, the offense will work.

  • Chris from Rose Park Hartford, CT
    Aug. 29, 2017 5:36 a.m.

    (continued from above)

    1st down throwing was mediocre. We had some good plays but there was also a sack and a run for no gain.

    2nd/3rd and 7+ was not good. There were two big plays with the touchdown and 1st down conversion. The rest was atrocious.

    2nd/3rd and 6 or less to go was great. All 6 completions were for 1st downs. There were two incomplete passes on 3rd and 6 that were not good though, but that is long yardage.

    As I went through the passing plays it looked to me that we needed to clean up 1st down and penalties. If we do that then the stats look pretty good.

  • Chris from Rose Park Hartford, CT
    Aug. 29, 2017 5:37 a.m.

    Here are some passing stats compiled by me (ESPN play by play is my source):

    - On 1st and 10:
    - 3/4 51 yds (2 1st downs)
    - 1 sack
    - 1 0 yd run by Mangum

    - On 1st and 11+
    - 0/1

    - On 2nd and 7+
    - 3/6 11 yds
    - 1 0 yd run by Mangum

    - On 2nd and 6 or less
    - 4/5 59 yds (4 first downs)

    - On 3rd and 7+
    - 4/6 71 yds (1 touchdown, 1 1st down)
    - yardage is deceptive, the touchdown and 1st down completions were great, but the other two completions were several yards shy of the 1st down

    - On 3rd and 6 or less
    - 2/4 13 yds (2 first downs)
    o 2 incomplete passes on 3rd and 6

    - On 4th and 5
    - 0/1

  • Sportsfan123 Salt lake, UT
    Aug. 29, 2017 4:04 a.m.

    Not buying the excuse that it was the recievers not getting open. That offense is punchless, Detmer may think he is coaching a NFL style offense but it lacks creativity. The offense needs to run technique that forces a defense to change its coverages and puts defenders in conflict with their assignments. If Jonah trinneman is so fast why is the defense playing so tight and he is not running away from corners, usually if that is the case corners will give the reciever a 5 to 10 yard cushion.

    Where are the old school rub routes, the fb or hb delays out of the backfield. The only thing that looked good was the reemergence of the tightend. The O line was not creating big holes for the rb's, mangum did not have time to throw the ball. This offense is bad, Robert Anae offenses did not have these problems, if Detmer is a offensive guru, then why did the offense look like this.

    I was there, all I saw was the same punchless lackluster offense from last year, except Williams and Hill are not there to make plays - sad.

    It's going to be a long year....

  • afro14 Sandy, UT
    Aug. 28, 2017 11:42 p.m.

    I'm sorry... "former Oregon star Chris Seisay"? Really? The guy started in place of an injured Ekpre-Olomu for a few games in 2014, was part of an Oregon defense in 2015 that finished 125th nationally in passing yards allowed, and then transferred before the 2016 season because he couldn't get playing time on a defense which would eventually finish 112th against the pass.

    I think the kid is a solid FCS-level cornerback, but let's not kid ourselves, it's not like BYU's receivers where out there struggling against a first-team All-American. If they couldn't put together a solid performance against Portland State, they may not even reach 150 yards passing against actual All-American caliber corners this Saturday.

  • The Jimmer Henderson, NV
    Aug. 28, 2017 10:07 p.m.

    Some of Dick's articles are very informative, but this one was way too cheesy.

  • Eastern CO Coug Elizabeth, CO
    Aug. 28, 2017 8:58 p.m.

    Speaking of play calling how about giving the ball to a big RB on 3rd and one plays? Somebody like the 255 lb RB not the lightest RB not he team. Not buying the separation excuse. They need to take a page out of the PSU playbook and use the same short crisp passes against LSU. Mangum was under throwing the long ones. Well maybe intentionally to fool LSU? Hope this is not Michigan again. Mangum looked so lost in that game. I am a big fan of his. Hope he does well.

  • still_thinking Draper, UT
    Aug. 28, 2017 8:56 p.m.

    If the defense knows your going to pass on third down so it's hard to create separation then how did Portland do it all game long? Which the writer had followed up with that question.