BYU had a rough game. I suppose you didn’t need me to tell you that after the drubbing they took at the hands of LSU this past weekend.
In case you didn’t read my initial blog article a couple of weeks ago about my prediction of BYU going 10-3 this year, I’m here to confess that I was completely wrong. After a suspect game against Portland St., I was hopeful it was just a case of first-game jitters, and BYU would make adjustments and work on some of the areas where they were deficient.
My hope is lost that the Cougars will even sniff at a 10-3 record after what I saw on Saturday. In fact, I’m not even going to start out writing about what I saw, but rather what I didn’t see.
For starters, I didn’t see an offense. I mean that literally and figuratively. BYU wasn’t on the field for two-thirds of the game. LSU had the ball for 41 minutes and 54 seconds while BYU had it 18 minutes and 6 seconds. When BYU did have the ball, they didn’t do anything worth noting. In fact, they never once crossed into their opponent’s territory.
I didn’t see a running game. Squally Canada, BYU’s starting running back, rushed the ball five times for 8 yards. He was the leading rusher for BYU. The Cougars had -5 yards rushing on the day. BYU finished the day with 97 total yards of offense.
I didn’t see much of an offensive line. Because of the lack in the running game, LSU’s defense pinned their ears back and put a ton of pressure on Tanner Mangum. The offensive line barely put up a fight while blocking for their QB. Mangum was on his heels most of the night.
Speaking of the QB, I didn’t see the sharp passing by Tanner Mangum that I’m used to. He seemed like a shell of the quarterback he was two seasons ago when he looked like the second coming of Ty Detmer. He didn’t show he could scramble very well or make an accurate pass down field. He seemed to have regressed.
Did I mention Ty Detmer? You know, the guy that was supposed to bring in a bona-fide offensive scheme to fix the one Robert Anae had. Yep, I didn’t see it either. BYU didn’t show it had any dynamic plays offensively. I thought the vanilla play-calling against Portland St. was a ruse to keep LSU from scouting the real play-calling. It turns out that BYU just doesn’t have any good plays in their playbook. It was predictable and boring.
In the end, I didn’t see the heart of a champion on the field. I didn’t see leadership from any of the players or coaches. I didn’t see passion or much desire to fight. I blame the coaches for that.
Here’s what I did see:
A defense that did their best against a very stout offensive team. If someone would have told me before the game that LSU would only score 27 points, I would have thought BYU had a chance to win.
Derrius Guice was everything I imagined him to be as a running back. He literally pounded the rock, bowling over defenders at every turn. Rarely could one defender bring him down. It took many players to tackle him, but often only after gaining positive yardage. He’s going to be a handful for most teams in the SEC. Fortunately for BYU, they probably won’t face another running back like Guice this year.
I foresee a long season ahead for the Cougars. The dream of going 10-3 this year is over. I believe I have a greater chance of winning the lottery at this point than that. Realistically, I see them going 6-7, or 7-6.
I see grumbling from Cougars fans about coaching and people calling for coaching changes.
I see another loss at the hands of the team up north.
I see some hope in the latter part of the season against some lesser talent.
I see BYU going to another mid to lower-tiered bowl game this year.
I see that Utah’s inclusion in the PAC-12 has made them a much better program while BYU has seemingly gotten worse.
Coach Sitake has already called out the offense, or rather, the lack of offense. I believe that is a good thing. I also think BYU needs to look for a new OC, and soon. I love Ty Detmer, but he doesn’t have the experience needed to compete in the FBS as a coordinator. It would be wise to bring in a co-offensive coordinator to help Detmer, similar to what Utah did a couple of years ago.
I see many fans wishing BYU had never left the MWC.
And finally, I see hope for better years ahead. BYU will recover and give fans something to cheer about the second half of the season. Down seasons happen to all teams at some point. I remember USC, Florida St., LSU, and Alabama having bad years too. They have survived just fine. So will BYU.