October 24, 2009    By: Geoff J @ 4:35 pm   Category: Sports

I’ll blog as we go.

First Quarter
– First defensive series has BYU coming hard after Andy Dalton and it really works. Three and out.
– First offensive series for BYU is a steady diet of Harvey Unga and quick passes. When Hall takes longer to pass he gets sacked.
– TCU gets the ball back and starts moving the ball. The D-line again can’t get the QB and that leads to big pass plays (like we have seen a lot this year).
– On the second series the TCU offense completely bullies the BYU D. It results in a Frog touchdown that seemed too easy.
– Three and out for BYU followed by another easy touchdown for TCU. 14-0. Something big needs to change or BYU will be blown out of this game.
– Next BYU possession — three and out again. That is just the first quarter. This could get reeeal ugly folks.

Second Quarter
– BYU defense start Q2 with a three and out. Good news but then again that is how the last quarter started.
– BYU offense starts clicking and moving the ball. Misses FG attempt.
– TCU gets the ball and Denney gets huge 12 yard sack on first play. TCU converts on 3rd and 15. Lovely. BYU is too slow. Convert later on 3rd and 6. TCU scores again. 21-0.
– BYU takes another whack at offense. Moving the ball nicely and protecting Max well. Get stuffed three times on runs at the goal line. Then finally pass and get in. 21-7.
– BYU D holds and the half is over.

Third Quarter
– BYU starts with the ball. Moves things along but a pass bounces straight up off of Kariya and TCU intercepts it for its first turnover. Not a good sign.
– BYU stops TCU on third but get nailed with a bad roughing the passer call so TCU gets first and goal.
– Defense holds again. FG. 24-7 TCU.
– BYU tries again on offense. Harvey looks good again picking up good chunks of yardage. BYU fails to convert on 3rd and 4 at midfield.
– A good punt starts TCU at about their own 10. Bailed out on 3rd and long on a pass interference call. 80 yard long bomb TD. No pressure on QB makes it look easy. The rout is on folks. 31-7.
– The crowd is mellow now. BYU tries offense again. Sacked on third down. Another three and out. This game is over. Really looks like a worse beat down than last year at this point. The only question left is how bad the final score will be and if BYU can salvage a little pride.
– BYU defense gets a three and out and the offense tries again. One first down then a punt.
– Dalton fumbles in next drive but TCU recovers.

Fourth Quarter
– BYU forces a punt. Offense starts at about their own 27. Moves it to mid field. Hall gets called for intentional grounding and BYU must face 2nd and 27. Next play Jerry Hughes crushes Max on a sack. Fumble. TCU ball. BYU turnover #2.
– TCU marches in for another touchdown on short field. 38-7 TCU. The shellacking continues.
– BYU tries again. Harvey continues to be a real bright spot. BYU gets to the 10 then gets nailed with a huge holding penalty. Then gets nailed with a 15 offensive PI penalty. 2nd and 30.
– Color guy for Versus is incredibly annoying.
– BYU goes for it on 4th and 20 and it is not close. Now everyone just wants this thing to mercifully be over.
– Backup QB Riley Nelson comes in. No score.

Final Thoughts
– TCU is a lot better than BYU in 2009 and that is why they won. They have better athletes and were significantly faster than the Cougs. As ever, BYU can’t handle speed.
– I doubt BYU will be ranked after this week. Thankfully BYU can still beat Utah this year.
– The silver lining here for BYU fans is that TCU has a very good chance of surpassing Boise State in the BCS standings if they win out. That is good for the Mountain West because another BCS game helps and TCU is good enough to beat anyone in the country right now. Another BCS game win will do wonders for the chances of the Mountain West becoming an automatic qualifying league in a few years.


  1. Running it on 3rd and long and then a missed field goal … oh man this is depressing.

    Comment by Don — October 24, 2009 @ 5:19 pm

  2. Awhile back the announcers said the crowd was booing because they didn’t like the play that was called. But I thought they were booing because TCU was off sides and it wasn’t called. Anyone?

    Comment by Katie M. — October 24, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

  3. BYU scores! Nice drive. This game is on Versus, which is available on Dish Network, for those that might make a difference too, by the way.

    Comment by Mark D. — October 24, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

  4. Max Hall does not believe in film study and it shows in every big game. Even animals learn from negative consequences, so what is his problem?

    Comment by Anonymous — October 24, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

  5. It’s pathetic. Really really bad.

    Comment by Ben — October 24, 2009 @ 7:19 pm

  6. TCU SCORES! Nice drives! Hey this buttkicking is available on Versus. If you want to see Max Hall pretend he might be considered for a Heisman watch Versus. Then again, I got an idea watch film!!!!

    Comment by Anonymous — October 24, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

  7. Ummm… Anonymous. The game was long over over before you even commented.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 24, 2009 @ 7:41 pm

  8. The game was not technically over, but in the sense that BYU was going to lose you are right. But if I adhere to that there would have been two games this year that I could not make a comment after five minutes of the 1st quarter (on their home field no less). My comments are fine, accurate and I only explain them to be polite. If you have nothing in reply to say to the specific comments about film study, then I take your opinion to believe that I am wrong and Max Hall is the most prepared big game quarterback BYU has seen in some time. Well, if that is your opinion I respectfully disagree.

    This is a mediocre team at best. Their best win is against a 4-3 offensive line depleted Oklahoma team. Which now in retrospect would have been a disappointing lost even for a mediocre team like BYU. But hey they won, they could not run the table , but they beat Oklahoma. I feel that QB play has hurt them, you don’t, it is not that big a deal.

    Bronco’s belief is that criticism reflects the level of education and I am o.k. with that. The harshest critics of this team attend the Y. My hope is, according to Bronco, that BYU improves its academic institution so that students can get the education they are paying for.

    Comment by Anonymous — October 24, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

  9. Correction: Paragraph 2 line 2 of post 8 should read disappointing loss and not lost. I apologize for any misunderstanding to post 8.

    Comment by Anonymous — October 24, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

  10. Anonymous,

    What do you base your claims that Max Hall refuses to study game film on? Did you make it up or is there some source you can point us to so we can verify it?

    This is a mediocre team at best.

    What definition of mediocre are you using? BYU is still 6-2 after all. They did beat Oklahoma and despite your assertions to the contrary, Oklahoma is still a good team. (They killed a top 25 team today for instance). It remains to be seen how BYU will respond but a 10-2 regular season is still a real possibility and teams that win 10 (or even 9 in many cases) are not accurately called “mediocre”.

    Having said that, TCU is definitely better that BYU this year.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 24, 2009 @ 8:35 pm

  11. Still, there is the possibility of Utah beating TCU and BYU coming back to beat Utah. Good for BYU maybe. But for the conference, maybe it looks better if TCU wins out.

    Comment by WVS — October 24, 2009 @ 8:56 pm

  12. I’d prefer TCU winning out at this point. TCU losing a chance at a BCS game isn’t going to make this BYU team any better than they currently are. I’d love a 10-2 season for BYU and since BYU has no shot at a BCS game why not root for TCU to get there instead?

    Maybe I should care about the MWC title more than I do. But I don’t.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 24, 2009 @ 9:29 pm

  13. Geoff, Hall felt he had things down for Utah-BYU last year and my understanding was he elected to forgo extra film-work. If I were held to the highest of Journalistic Standards I would find the source, but I don’t care. Mediocre is probably strong in the context of all of college football. However, I take the angle when BYU beat Oklahoma everyone and their dog in the Utah market was speaking of a national title. Even last year their season was dubbed a “quest for perfection”. Based on the coaches rhetorical marketing ploy and having to listen to national title and heisman hype after a game (BYU V OK)it is stacking up by those standards to be mediocre. People here in Utah were actually irritated that UTE fans did not compare the OK game to the Alabama game of last year. To compare them is demeaning to the perfect season Utah had last year. In no way can a bowl game against a top 10 team be compared with a season opener. Especially considering the bowl game capped off Utah’s quest for perfection and BYU’s win was over a team that will be very lucky to be in the top 25 by years end. I hope this does not make you mad, it is just mediocre by expectation and hype.

    Comment by Anonymous — October 24, 2009 @ 9:37 pm

  14. Anonymous: my understanding was he elected to forgo extra film-work

    I’m calling BS on your claim about Hall’s film room habits. My “understanding” is that Max is practically a film room addict. Since neither of us have any real data to go on I guess we’re at a stalemate on that subject for now.

    Also, the talk about BYU being a candidate for the title game was not limited to Utah. They were talking about it in all the national media outlets too. Why not? Oklahoma was seen as a favorite to reach the title game in the pre-season so knocking them off in Dallas was a big deal at the time. It was good fodder for the press and fun to dream.

    But of course BYU is no where near good enough in 2009 for that in reality. So I agree with your general point on that front.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 24, 2009 @ 9:53 pm

  15. My thanks to the Cougars. I was sorely tempted to drop $400 for tix to the BYU / UT game since I will be in Provo that weekend.
    Tonight brought me back to my senses. Losing “on TV” is torture enough. (Of course, I don’t remember what winning on TV is like, Thanks mtn.)

    Comment by mondocool — October 24, 2009 @ 10:23 pm

  16. Go Utah — Beat TCU.

    Comment by Boise State fan — October 24, 2009 @ 11:10 pm

  17. Hehe. I would say the same thing if I were a BSU fan.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 24, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

  18. P.S. I liked your live-blogging approach for this game, Geoff J. It was interesting to read, even if I read it after the game was already over. Thanks.

    Comment by Boise State fan — October 24, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

  19. Re: 8 and BYU improving its academic institutions so kids get what they’re paying for. Even the harshest BYU critic would have to concede one enormous advantage BYU has is its ridiculously low tuition. To be sure, BYU is no UCLA, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt but it doesn’t charge like those schools either. I’m not a BYU fan and get annoyed at the pretensions of BYU groupies, but it’s not a bad school and is ridiculously cheap for the quality of education delivered.

    A 10-2 or 9-3 year isn’t so bad.

    Comment by rbc — October 25, 2009 @ 8:21 am

  20. I read earlier in the year when Bronco discounted speed as being very useful in selecting who would play. He indicated the players that met team goals would play where those that didn’t would not. I do not know if that was because he did recruit speed or if he really believed what he was saying. So any team with speed will run circles around any Mendenhall coached team until he wakes up. The biggest problem with this team is coaching. You listen to Meyer at Florida or Boise States coach and they alway talk about a need to improve and build up the opponent as better than tthey are so they will play as if thtey have something to prove. Thi is the way BYU did play against Oklahoma and did not play against Floridat State. I constantly read Bronco talking about all of the strengths of this tetam and seldom calling out the shortcomings. I know it is a coaching style but the results of this style are apparent – Good solid wins and head scratching losses.

    Comment by Jerry — October 25, 2009 @ 10:53 am

  21. Well maybe TCU obliterating BYU at home (and for the second straight year) will serve as a wake-up call to the BYU coaching staff. What they are doing isn’t working against the better teams on the schedule right now. Time to try something else for the top tier opponents.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 25, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

  22. What the TCU game shows is that BYU’s coaches didn’t learn anything at all from last year’s game. The same old vanilla approach. When BYU applied the pressure defense it worked well (with the exception of one glaring missed tackle when a our favorite corner was 1-on-1). Mendenhall’s vanilla, no risk approach doesn’t work against better teams. The OK game the defense work because it used a confusing pressure defense. What happened to it?

    That said, no way BYU is going to play on the same field as TCU. The O-line for TCU was blowing the Y defenders easily 4-5 yards off the line every play. The Y’s defensive strategy of holding the line instead of pressuring doesn’t work when the QB is mobile. It shows in the stats — BYU is dead last in stops behind the line of scrimmage. This is a combination that ain’t working.

    We’ll see if the Y coaches learned anything from last year’s U game — but the results so far are not encouraging.

    Comment by Blake — October 25, 2009 @ 8:43 pm

  23. Must be a lot of sinning going on with the BYU players and coaches for them to get crushed at home two times in the same season.

    Comment by Mike — October 26, 2009 @ 8:29 am

  24. Bronco is having a really hard time getting his players ready for big important games the last couple of years. Same with Max Hall. When BYU loses its big. Not in tough close games. To me this shows a real lack of quality coaching.

    Comment by bbell — October 26, 2009 @ 8:54 am

  25. Really Mike? You think that teams that win always win because they sin less? 100% of the time? Really??

    Comment by Geoff J — October 26, 2009 @ 8:54 am

  26. It is convenient to blame the coaching and certainly there were assignment errors and mental errors by players that could have been prevented. Maybe some scheme changes would have helped a bit. Maybe more emotion would have helped the Cougs.

    But the elephant in the room is talent. TCU has better players than BYU. So when TCU played with sufficient intensity and discipline like they did Saturday this BYU team basically had no chance to actually win. BYU coaches can influence some things but they can’t make their current guys more talented than they are. Getting more talent on the field happens during recruiting season.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 26, 2009 @ 9:01 am

  27. Mike,

    As a fellow “not a BYU fan” (I am a tailgating, season ticket holding, sober mormon Ute fan) I think it’s better that you quit being such a douche and drop that crap. Austin Collie isn’t there anymore so to keep projecting that on the current BYU team is getting really old. Try being original and come up with something new and novel.

    Comment by Riley — October 26, 2009 @ 9:07 am

  28. in 2006 I sat in the stands at TCU and watched the visiting Cougs demolish TCU. Guess who caught the go ahead TD? McKay did. I am pretty convinced that there is a coaching issue at BYU. The last two years in big games BYU is not even competitive.

    Comment by bbell — October 26, 2009 @ 10:19 am

  29. bbell,

    While I think there is plenty of room for improvement in the BYU coaching staff, I see no reason why we should put a majority of the blame for this loss on them. They are working with the talent they have. Why not blame/credit the TCU coaching staff for figuring out how to get more out of their clearly superior athletes in the last two meetings? It looked like that’s what happened to me.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 26, 2009 @ 10:40 am

  30. Would it help anyone feel any better if I were to say I never attended BYU, but took a history course on the Tudors and Stuarts at TCU once?

    Comment by Rameumptom — October 27, 2009 @ 5:15 am

  31. Geoff,

    Boise State wins with less talent on the field. They have had 1 NFL pick in the top 3 rounds where BYU has had many. Coaching isn’t the only problem it is the biggest problem. Inconsistentcy and inflated egos are a coaching problem. Lack of focus on the game at hand and not thinking about two games dowm the road is coaching.

    Comment by Jerry — October 28, 2009 @ 7:56 am

  32. Jerry: They have had 1 NFL pick in the top 3 rounds where BYU has had many

    Tell me more about this stat. What time period are you comparing? Remember, BSU has only been a D-1 program for about a decade so we would have to compare the last 10 years for the comparison to be remotely useful.

    According to this site BYU has had 19 players drafted this decade and Boise State has had 12. That is not a massive difference. It looks to me like the teams are pretty comparable with BSU being in a weaker conference than BYU.

    And contrary to your comment, in this case it looks more like BYU was burned by taking things one week at a time. TCU’s players this year were so much more physically talented than BYU’s that one week of preparation was no where near enough.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 28, 2009 @ 8:54 am

  33. I think it probably has a lot to do with recruiting. That doesn’t explain everything, such as the O-Line problems two years running. But to be honestly I called a 9-3 season at the beginning of the year. After seeing the post OK games and then seeing where Florida and OK ended up I was convinced we were nowhere near what the hype portrayed.

    I’m still shocked at the O-Line breakdown. But honestly, a lot of the big problems were on the defense as well. And our problems there have been primarily due to recruiting issues for years running.

    Comment by Clark — October 28, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

  34. What happened to all you smart dudes at the New Cool Thang? Did you finally get day jobs so you can’t post interesting stuff anymore? hehe

    Comment by Hal — October 29, 2009 @ 4:29 pm