Boom! Go the Cougars

September 5, 2009    By: Geoff J @ 7:49 pm   Category: Sports

The #20 BYU Cougars took down the #3 Oklahoma Sooners 14-13 tonight. It was a HUGE win for BYU and the first win against a top 10 team since Ty Detmer’s Heisman season in 1990.

Things looked grim when it became clear that star running back Harvey Unga was too injured to go. There were no proven backup tailbacks but sometimes-fullback Bryan Kariya stepped up big to fill Harvey’s shoes. Max Hall made his critics who say he didn’t play well in big games eat crow. Max went 10-10 to end the first half and then was 9-10 on the long game winning drive.

The defense was extremely impressive. They look faster, meaner and the hitting was so violent that Heisman trophy winner separated his shoulder on a clean stick by OLB Coleby Clawson.

Rise and Shout Cougar fans. Now, not only is a BCS bowl possible, there is a slim chance of BYU making the title game with an undefeated season and some lucky breaks. No, seriously.


  1. Yep. Wonder about total time of possession.?

    Comment by Stephen M (ethesis) — September 5, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

  2. 37 minutes for BYU, 23 minutes for OU. That was huge.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 5, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

  3. Huge.

    The D looked goooooooooood. I wasn’t so worried about our offense, we usually can put some numbers on the board, but the defense is what always makes me nervous. And holy cow did they come through tonight. They looked amazing.

    Comment by Rusty — September 5, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

  4. Just shows how stupid and manipulative the pre-season rankings are.

    BYU beats #3Oklahoma; #6Ohio St. got lucky to beat Navy; #22Iowa had to block TWO field goal attempts in the last seconds to beat . . . N. Iowa; Boise St held #16Oregon to 8 points.

    What a joke!!


    Great job, BYU!! The last drive was awesome, as was the final defensive stand.

    Comment by Ray — September 5, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

  5. If Utah wins at Oregon (should happen) and beats Louisville, TCU wins at Virginia and at Clemson, and BYU beats FSU, the MWC would be a MUCH better conference than the Big East and maybe even on par with the ACC and Pac-10 IMO.

    New Mexico also plays Texas A&M, Air Force plays Minnesota, CSU plays Colo., and UNLV plays Oregon St.

    C’mon BCS!

    Comment by Tim J — September 5, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

  6. The great thing was that the defense was as good against Sam Bradford as they were against the backup. The scores came mostly from turnovers. This was a Sooner offense that scored 60+ in a majority of their games last year!

    Comment by Geoff J — September 5, 2009 @ 8:25 pm

  7. Yeah, they shut Bradford down BEFORE the injury.

    Comment by Rusty — September 5, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

  8. From an ESPN blogger:

    Oklahoma was limited to 264 yards of total offense. It was their lowest output since producing 230 yards in a 27-24 loss to Colorado on Sept. 29, 2007.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 5, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

  9. I missed this game because I am in Mexico right now. I’m dying right now but when we found out the score with 3 minutes to go and Oklahoma had the ball, trying to refresh the screen as fast as we could, I was really dying! I still can’t believe BYU won. What a game!

    Comment by Kent (MC) — September 5, 2009 @ 8:45 pm

  10. I loved to see these overhyped big conference teams go down. Anything that disturbs the corrupt BCS system will get a celebration from me. Of course, real football starts next week.

    Comment by Bill — September 5, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

  11. I was mistaken on the previous thread about what my 4-year-old daughter said when I told her that BYU had won. She actually said, “I wanted the *red* team to win!”

    Looks like trouble up ahead.

    Comment by Ben Pratt — September 5, 2009 @ 9:25 pm

  12. I am a BYU grad.
    My husband is an OU grad.
    Tis a tense night in our household.

    Comment by Katie M. — September 5, 2009 @ 9:29 pm

  13. Ha! That is classic Katie. Well tell him there is no shame in losing to the Mighty Cougars. I’m sure that will make him feel great right now.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 5, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

  14. The defensive stand at the start of the 4th quarter was unbelievable.

    It was first and goal at the two:

    1st down run stuffed for no gain
    2nd down run stuffed for no gain
    3rd down pass knocked down but questionable pass interference flag is thrown so it is back to 1st and goal at the two
    1st down pass broken up
    2nd down run stuffed
    3rd down QB sneak to the 1 yard line
    4th down a delay of game moves OU back to the 6 yard line and they are forced to settle for a field goal.

    Seven plays from the two yard line or closer and we stuffed the mighty Sooners. It was that incredible goal line stand that kept the game in reach by keeping the Sooner lead at 13-7. With that stop Max and the offense were able to march down the field for the rest of the 4th quarter and win with a tuchdown.


    Comment by Geoff J — September 5, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

  15. Go Cougs! This from Collegefootballnews:

    Now the table is set for BYU after pulling this off, and now it’s time to talk national title shot even though it’s only September 5th. This wasn’t Boise State beating Oregon at home, this was beating Oklahoma in Dallas. Welcome to the 2009 college football season. It’s on.

    Comment by Hunter — September 5, 2009 @ 10:51 pm

  16. This was a great win. The Cougars may have the team and the schedule to make a serious run.

    I was surprised how little talk there was about how many returned missionaries and married men there are on the BYU team. Usually they talk about that a lot. I don’t remember that stuff even being mentioned.

    The defense was impressive. So was this new offensive line. The OU defense was supposed to be very strong.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — September 6, 2009 @ 5:47 am

  17. Eric: I didn’t hear much about BYU from ESPN all night. Everything was about how challenged Oklahoma was and what this meant for its program. BYU is not merely an afterthought — it appeared they were not really part of the national scene at all. Only Oklahoma mattered.

    Further, we still don’t know how good Oklahoma is. It appeared to be unprepared for BYU. However, I chalks up the confusion of Oklahoma’s offensive line to BYU’s defensive scheme. They would show a front and drop lineman and rush linebackers. It was brilliant. However, we may still need a reality check. Others will be better prepared.

    Still I was impressed with the play of the corners. But I really didn’t see much going their way. That could be because they had great coverage — or it could be that Oklahoma was just super conservative in its play calling.

    Comment by Blake — September 6, 2009 @ 7:19 am

  18. Eric,

    They did talk about McKay Jacobson being away the last two years on a mission. I think that said he went to Japan.

    When they talk a lot about missions it makes me nervous for some reaaon. Plus, after talking about Jacobson’s mission, he messed up that one punt return(of course, he also made the big TD at the end of the game).

    Comment by Chris H. — September 6, 2009 @ 7:59 am

  19. The Dallas Morning News ran a nice, short article on Jacobson a couple of days ago, mentioning his mission and quoting him saying it was the best decision he ever made.

    They also ran a nice article today about how Jacobson was recruited by OU, but that they had no shot at him:

    Comment by Christopher — September 6, 2009 @ 8:24 am

  20. I was pessimistic going into the game. My plan was to watch until the inevitable beat down got to be too much. With each turnover I thought “Here it comes.” But it never came. After a while I gained confidence that BYU could play with Oklahoma and at least wasn’t going to embarrass themselves. I couldn’t believe what the defense was doing; I’ve never seen a BYU defense play that well against such a top opponent.

    When they kicked it out of bounds with three minutes left, I thought, “Oh, ok, here’s where they fall apart and lose the game. But it didn’t happen.

    I was impressed with the win and glad I watched the whole thing.

    Comment by Kevin Barney — September 6, 2009 @ 9:51 am

  21. I have to say the Sooner fans are the classiest fans ever. I’ve only heard praise from them. Very differrent from say Pac-10 fans.

    People at the game said it was like that there too. So it’s not just at blogs or the like.

    I’m really impressed with them and it ought be something BYU fans aim to be like.

    Comment by Clark — September 6, 2009 @ 10:22 am

  22. The MW is starting to get some recognition. Consider that in past years both Utah and TCU have been very good I think this is well deserved.

    I remember 1990 and the Hawaii game too well to even dare say we’ll go unbeaten. (That Hawaii game was a heartbreaker – I still remember Detmer with both arms cast up)

    But it’s nice for the conference to get some recognition. Especially at the Pac-10 melts down as all recruits want to go to USC destroying a lot of the balance the conference once had.

    Comment by Clark — September 6, 2009 @ 10:46 am

  23. Geoff #14: Yeah. That goal-line stand was very nice.

    Comment by buraianto — September 6, 2009 @ 11:08 am

  24. I am still concerned about Hall’s decision-making ability. Both picks were passes he tried to force and should never have left his hand. If he makes those types of decisions against teams that “know” the Cougars two picks will turn into five and the game will be over for BYU.

    BTW Clark… I was at the game. OU fans have zero class. That includes a third of the members in my home ward.

    Comment by PaulM — September 6, 2009 @ 2:04 pm

  25. PaulM: Scoreboard.

    Save the Max bashing for a BYU loss.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 6, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

  26. Well without Max bashing since I think he played a great game against a fantastic defense (McKay was amazing at the end) let me say I was nervous everytime Max threw into heavy traffic midfield. But the OU defense shut down the long ball and with Unga out our running game was limited in some key ways. Throw in a weak o-line (who did step it up and exceeded expectations) and Hall did amazing. Especially when it counted at the end.

    Did his traditional weaknesses emerge? Yeah. But he pushed past them in the 4th quarter.

    Comment by Clark — September 6, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

  27. See here for some cool still photos of the game.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 6, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

  28. Clark,

    Why the constant pessimism about the Cougs? What actual evidence is there that the BYU has a “weak o-line” who just happened to step up? New and untested doesn’t equal weak. Seems more likely to me that BYU actually has a strong new o-line who proved themselves after this showing against OU and who can now tell the doubters to suck it.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 6, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

  29. Paul, you’re the first person I’ve talked to who was at the game who has said the OU fans were anything but classy and respectful. And I’ve talked to about 80 or 90 BYU fans who were there. And on top of that, my many friends who are OU alum who were at the game have been nothing but classy in my conversations with them. Seems you just happen to live in a particularly classless ward.

    Comment by Christopher — September 6, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

  30. Christopher,

    My guess based on that comment is that PaulM is probably a “Hook ’em horns” type

    Comment by Geoff J — September 6, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

  31. Geoff, I’m not criticizing them. They played well beyond my expectations. However one had a partial cast on his hand and the rest were green. So I’m ecstatic about how they played. But you have to admit that Hall was under pressure a lot. It says a lot about Hall as a QB that he didn’t let the sacks and pressure take him out of the game. So my point wasn’t to be pessimistic about the O-line but to praise Hall. Had the O-Line not been as good as they were then Hall wouldn’t have been able to do nearly as well.

    That said, clearly OU’s defense was doing well against the O-Line for much of the game. That’s not a slam against the O-Line considering how solid OU’s defense is.

    Christopher, Paul’s is the first negative comment I’ve encountered about the game too. But what really impressed me was reading the comments at ESPN and many other places by OU fans. I could only wish BYU fans were half as gracious. I’m sure you can find a few were weren’t, just like you could find BYU fans as obnoxious as Pac-10 fans. But I stand by my comments that I wish our fans had half the class OU fans have.

    I’m not alone. I’ve heard BYU fans praising OU fans all over the place.

    I should note though that Bronco’s amazingly gracious and praising comments at the end of the game probably helped. But then Bronco is a pretty class act as well.

    Comment by Clark — September 6, 2009 @ 8:37 pm

  32. I was prepped before the game, by a Longhorn-loving acquaintance, that the OU fans were going to be terrrrrible.

    Instead, what I experienced there was a bunch of the nicest, friendliest, cleanest, and most courteous people I’ve been around. Great people from beginning to end. (As a group, they do seem to struggle with the word of wisdom.)

    But oh how they made that stadium shake when they got loud at the beginning. It was one of the best experiences of my life to watch them quiet down.

    Comment by Ryan Bell — September 6, 2009 @ 9:02 pm

  33. If they knew what the Word of Wisdom was, right? Not that most denominations don’t teach serious self control in terms of alcohol…

    Comment by Mark D. — September 6, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

  34. Hehe. It’s only a “struggle” if you actually care…

    Comment by Geoff J — September 6, 2009 @ 11:37 pm

  35. My guess based on that comment is that PaulM is probably a “Hook ‘em horns” type

    Haha. I’m sure you’re right. But the irony there is that I am, too, but still have no qualms about giving credit to classy OU fans when it is due.

    Comment by Christopher — September 7, 2009 @ 7:16 am

  36. So, what has happened with the ratings?

    Comment by Stephen M (ethesis) — September 7, 2009 @ 10:02 am

  37. Ratings are delayed due to the big game tonight.

    Comment by Clark — September 7, 2009 @ 11:40 am

  38. Max Hall made his critics who say he didn’t play well in big games eat crow.

    He didn’t play well in big games. People who said that were justified. And we were right to be worried about him against OU based on past performance.

    But I’ll be the first to say that he did a good job this game. His performance gives me hope that he has learned from last year’s experiences. He really only made two bad decisions, and those were the picks. The rest of the time he handled the pressure well. He didn’t force things downfield or into coverage, he didn’t freak out under pressure, and he tucked the ball away and took sacks when he needed to. Real solid overall.

    Comment by Tom — September 7, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

  39. Fl. State looked good tonight, despite losing. We’ve got some tough games ahead folks.

    Comment by Rusty — September 7, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

  40. I agree, Rusty. Florida State, even in Provo, will be tough to beat.

    Comment by Hunter — September 7, 2009 @ 9:25 pm

  41. FSU losing tonight doesn’t really help BYU. Better for BYU if FSU loses in Provo but wins the rest of their games.

    I still thing TCU and Utah are more dangerous games than FSU.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 7, 2009 @ 9:43 pm

  42. I humbly and happily eat total crow on my predictions last week. BYU played a level of physical football I have never seen them play before. If you look at many of the writers are predicting a BYU BCS bid.

    The difference between this year and last year so far is how physical the Cougs are on both sides of the ball.

    Comment by bbell — September 8, 2009 @ 7:53 am

  43. BYU moved up to #9 in the new AP poll, 3 spots ahead of BSU. OU dropped to 13.

    Comment by Christopher — September 8, 2009 @ 9:15 am

  44. bbell,
    I actually was impressed with the physicality of last year’s D. They caused a lot of fumbles with hard hits. That’s not something we were used to seeing from them. Before that it was arm tackles and slowness.

    Comment by Tom — September 8, 2009 @ 9:31 am

  45. Yep, #9 in the AP and #12 in the Coaches poll. Nice 10+ position jump in both. AP still has more prestige but the Coaches Poll affects the BCS standings so it matter more at the end of the year. But of course winning is what matters most. Tulane should not be too scary this week but a top 10 ranking will give Florida State more motivation in two weeks.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 8, 2009 @ 10:35 am

  46. I attended the game as a guest of an alumnus of OU. I had very good seats right in the middle of the OU section. Knowing I was outnumbered I was sure to keep my enthusiasm to a minimum. When BYU made the go-ahead score I actually felt unsafe when I cheered that score. During the entire pre-game I had to endure offensive comments about Mormons– though following the game the same individuals largely kept their mouths shut. This is not the first and only time that I’ve seen this behavior on display by OU fans. I also attended the past two Big 12 championship games to cheer on Mizzou and witnessed similar behavior.

    Comment by PaulM — September 8, 2009 @ 11:30 am

  47. This may not be related to anything else, but I thought it was interesting. My wife and I went shopping at one of the local malls on Monday, Labor Day. While we were eating lunch at the food court, there were many, many people wearing t-shirts or jerseys from both college and pro teams. I saw Nebraska, Texas, Colorado, and other college t-shirts or jerseys, but I didn’t see any Oklahoma t-shirts or jerseys. I guess all OU fans stayed home yesterday.

    Comment by CS Eric — September 8, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

  48. CS Eric, I think a social psychologist named Bob Cialdini did a study years ago of how often team paraphernalia is worn after wins versus losses and found that it’s worn quite a bit more after wins. So maybe the OU fans were there, but they just dressed inconspicuously.

    Comment by Ziff — September 10, 2009 @ 8:50 pm