Oregon State Gets The Full Nelson From BYU

October 15, 2011    By: Geoff J @ 10:36 pm   Category: Sports

BYU took down the Oregon State Beavers this afternoon 38-28. Here are some thoughts on the game:

- For the second straight week QB Riley Nelson played the entire time while Jake Heaps watched from the sideline. Riley continued to show signs of brilliance mixed in with stretches of ineptitude. The good news is that Riley showed more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff this week. He and the offense seem to be getting better week by week.
- HUGE game for sophomore receiver Cody Hoffman. This kid was virtually invisible the first few weeks while Jake Heaps was QB. In the last few weeks Hoffman has put up great numbers.
- Conversely, Ross Apo who was clearly a favorite of Jake Heaps has had quiet games as of late. Hopefully he can get more involved going forward as well. (more…)

BYU vs. SJSU recap: Half Nelson

October 9, 2011    By: Geoff J @ 1:28 am   Category: Sports

BYU started Riley Nelson for the first time this year and for most of the first half it looked like a genius move. Then Riley started throwing interceptions and the offense stagnated in the second half. In the end it was good enough to get a 29-16 win over a below average San Jose State team.

Some thoughts on the game:

- Riley did not pull away from Heaps in the QB competition. He looked like he would and then he started fumbling and throwing knucklehead interceptions.
- Doman needs to only play QB’s he is willing to let pass. After Riley’s second interception Doman stopped calling pass plays and the offense stopped moving the ball. BYU needs pass yards to be effective.
- The offense looked good in the first half but scored only six points in the second half against a weak team. That is really disappointing.
- BYU has a new #1 running back. Mike Alisa emerged out of nowhere to be the best option at tailback after playing a little fullback up until now. He looked great gashing big runs up the middle. Looks like fewer carries for Kariya and Quezada going forward (although DiLuigi will still be the outside runner).
- The defense looked ok but Bronco said he was going with a bend don’t break scheme so there were more yards given up than BYU fans would have liked.
- Special teams were ok. Two made FGs were good. Kickoffs didn’t go out of the end zone though. And believe it or not there were zero BYU punts this game.
- Kyle Van Noy and Jordan Pendleton are fantastic outside linebackers. That position is the best on the team this year.
- Too many drops by receivers today. Jacobson dropped a sure TD in the endzone. Hoffman dropped a hard catch in traffic. And Matthews dropped an easy and sure first down catch late in the game.

Overall there were some nice things today but not enough to make me think “yeah, BYU finally has things figured out”.

Regarding the BYU and Big12 thing:

- The odds of BYU joining the Big12 took a major hit this week with The Big12 inviting TCU ahead of BYU
- Rumors circulating are that there are snags of some kind — presumably with TV rights — that are keeping the Big12 from inviting BYU
- It is still possible that BYU and the Big12 will work things out but I think the odds are much more slim this week than they looked last week.

Sound off in the comments BYU fans.

You gotta feel for the Aggies after last night (and other BYU football news)

October 1, 2011    By: Geoff J @ 5:46 pm   Category: Sports

BYU completed a shocking comeback with about 11 seconds to go en route to beating the the Utah State Aggies on Friday 27-24. The Cougars were playing generally solid defense against a good Aggies offense for most of the game but Jake Heaps and the BYU offense were getting killed (as usual). So the BYU coaching staff decided to put Riley Nelson into the game near the end of the third quarter with BYU losing 24-13. Nelson was actually the starting quarterback at USU his freshman season before leaving on a mission. Nelson decided to transfer to BYU after his mission. It was a controversial transfer — so much so that the NCAA instituted a new rule after the transfer requiring RM’s to sit out a year if they transfer after the mission. Anyway, this game seemed over before Heaps was benched and Nelson came in. BYU appeared to have no chance of coming back with Heaps at QB. But obviously BYU could come back with Nelson.

So with that I’d say BYU has a new starting QB. If Heaps wants to start again he’ll have to earn it.

Some thoughts on the game: (more…)

Cougars night ends better than Knights night

September 24, 2011    By: Geoff J @ 10:21 am   Category: Sports

After being humiliated at home last week by Utah, the BYU football team did enough to beat the UCF Knights in Provo last night by the score of 24-17.

Here are some thoughts on the game:
- Despite some blown coverages and occasionally inept tackling, the BYU defense got the job done again for BYU primarily through ferocious hitting and creating turnovers. In the end “points allowed” is the only stat that really matters for a defense.
- Huge night for BYU special teams. A successful fake punt, a booming punt that resulted in BYU getting the ball back, and a kickoff returned for a TD were all crucial to BYU winning this game.
- The offense remains painfully inept. But there were some signs of life in the running game. (more…)

So it turns out this BYU football team isn’t as good as fans hoped…

September 17, 2011    By: Geoff J @ 10:06 pm   Category: Sports

BYU was completely blown out tonight by Utah by the score of 54-10. After going up 10-7 the Cougars gave up 47 straight points (yes, 47). It’s hard to say what happened but turnover after turnover (seven total, three in the first quarter) might have led to the wheels falling off for BYU. Maybe it was the fact that BYU has no run game. Whatever it was, the wheels did indeed completely come off for BYU in this game.

The Utes were just better than BYU tonight. A lot better. At this point a 7+ wins seems like a solid goal for BYU football this year. Bummer.

I imagine there will be complete hysteria among BYU fans this week. I think I’ll try to avoid the BYU fan message boards for a while…

BYU loses by one point to Texas

September 10, 2011    By: Geoff J @ 9:03 pm   Category: Sports

It was close, but the BYU offense sputtered in the second half and Texas pulled out a 17-16 win over BYU today.

Here are some observations from the game: (more…)

BYU football ekes out a win at Ole Miss

September 3, 2011    By: Geoff J @ 5:22 pm   Category: Sports

The BYU football era of independence began with an ugly win. But then again, a W is always a lot more pretty than an L in sports. BYU overcame a mistake prone and largely ineffective day on offense and pulled out a 14-13 win over Ole Miss in Oxford MS with a lot of help from the defense.

Fans were no doubt surprised that BYU’s offense had accounted for -7 points heading into the 4th quarter of this game (0 points scored and an interception for a touchdown). QB Jake Heaps was mediocre for most of the day missing several wide open receivers. The BYU offense made enough plays to control the ball for most of the game but not enough plays to actually score until the 4th quarter. On the other hand the BYU defense gave up only 6 points the whole game on two field goals. Then in the 4th quarter with BYU trailing 13-7 outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy sacked the Ole Miss quarterback causing a fumble and then scooped the ball up and scored the touchdown the in the end proved to be the game winner. (more…)

Jimmermania sweeps America

January 28, 2011    By: Geoff J @ 2:55 pm   Category: Sports

JimmerYou have to be pretty sheltered to not have heard the name “Jimmer” in the last week or so.

Jimmer Fredette, the senior guard for the BYU basketball team, has somehow vaulted from a pre-season all-American and the top scorer in college hoops to a household name this week. See a recent WSJ blog post on the transformation here. In the last few weeks Jimmer has been the lead story on ESPN’s SportsCenter on multiple occasions for his incredible feats of excellence on the basketball court. But after his virtuoso performance Wednesday night against #4 and previously undefeated San Diego State University, Jimmer has suddenly catapulted into superstar status. He is a huge hit on Twitter and NBA stars like Kevin Durrant, Steve Nash, and John Wall have been tweeting in admiration of Jimmer. The whole situation has been somewhat astonishing to witness.

I am very happy for the kid. It is fun to watch. Best of all, the pressure seems to make Jimmer perform better on the court rather than cause him to wilt. Maybe that’s the real reason why he is becoming a superstar.

BYU men’s hoops back in the top 10. It’s Jimmertime in Provo.

January 11, 2011    By: Geoff J @ 2:22 pm   Category: Sports

I figured this could be a bloggernacle catch-all thread for the awesomeness that is BYU hoops this season. BYU cracked the top ten in the coaches poll this week after going into Las Vegas and completely stomping the Runnin’ Rebels. (Jimmer Fredette dropped 39 points on their noggins.) The Cougs are now 16-1.

I’ll use this post to update progress of the team over the next few week. BYU heads to Salt Lake tonight to play the struggling Utes.

Have you been keeping up on the BYU hoops team this year? If not you should be.

Sound off below.

The BYU-Utah Rivalry Game + Jimmertime

November 21, 2010    By: Geoff J @ 8:07 pm   Category: Sports

Remember when I used to post about Mormon theology a lot? No I can’t remember that far back either…

Anyway, this Saturday the BYU Cougars football team will head up I-15 to play the Utah Utes in the annual rivalry game. In recent years fans on both sides of this rivalry have gotten pretty nasty. Hopefully the meanness will recede over the next few years with the teams leaving the Mountain West Conference to go their separate ways. But this year should be pretty intense still. BYU has rebounded from an atrocious first half of the season and has won four in a row in convincing fashion to become bowl eligible again. More importantly, the BYU offense and defense both appear to have found their stride (even if it was against weak teams). Utah is trying to steady the (pirate?) ship again after rising all the way to #5 in the country and then being beaten soundly two weeks in a row. But the Utes did manage to hang on against a solid SDSU team this weekend so perhaps the Utes are back.

The real surprise is that BYU has a legitimate chance in the rivalry game this season. Five weeks ago it looked like BYU was going to be terrible all year and that Utah was practically a juggernaut. Utah will still be favored this weekend but as “Holy Wars” go this one looks more evenly matched than anyone would have thought a few weeks ago.

Jimmertime

In the meantime the NCAA basketball season has begun. BYU is led this season by its first preseason AP All-American player since Danny Ainge in senior point guard Jimmer Fredette. The Cougs are currently 3-0 and ranked in the top 25. It is hard to tell how good this BYU team will be but I think they have a decent chance of being even better than the BYU team last year that won 30 games and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. The biggest win of the season so far was a victory over a solid Utah State squad last Wednesday. BYU didn’t look great but a win over a good team is always a good thing. I expect to see BYU hoops in the top 20 soon.

Anyhow, sound off about the football season or hoops season in the comments. Oh, and Go Cougs!

Welcome back BYU football

November 6, 2010    By: Geoff J @ 12:36 pm   Category: Sports

Well it looks like the BYU football team has finally made an appearance in the ninth game of the year. For the first time this year the offense, defense, and special teams all did their jobs. BYU went up 38-0 against lowly UNLV by halftime. It was 55-0 until the last minute when the BYU defensive backups gave up a TD. Final score: BYU 55 UNLV 7.

Sure, it was just hapless UNLV but this was by far the best the BYU offense has looked all year. The defense pretty much shut UNLV down as well.

BYU has a history getting better as the year progresses under Bronco. There is no better example of that than this 2010 team. This bodes well for BYU’s chances of winning at least six games and going to a bowl. And it bodes even better for years to come with the BYU underclassmen getting the hang of things.

Hapless BYU squeaks by even more hapless Wyoming

October 23, 2010    By: Geoff J @ 5:17 pm   Category: Sports

The good news is BYU football won a game today. The bad news is that BYU is fielding a painfully inept offense still. Baby steps I suppose. I expect the cries to fire offensive coordinator Robert Anae will only get louder.

The good news is quarterback Jake Heaps connected with Luke Ashworth for a touchdown. The bad news is Jake connected with a Wyoming linebacker for a TD as well. He seriously lobbed the ball directly to the Wyoming player. The further bad news is that BYU has tossed a grand total of 4 TD passes through eight games this season placing BYU near last in college football in touchdown passes. Yes, you read that correctly.

But through it all BYU is 3-5 now and if BYU can beat even more hapless UNLV and New Mexico then take down CSU, the Cougs could still get to a bowl game this year. Hard to believe but still true.

Wow. BYU wins.

October 9, 2010    By: Geoff J @ 6:30 pm   Category: Sports

I guess that’s why you play the games. Two weeks ago SDSU crushed USU. Last week USU crushed BYU. So SDSU should really crush BYU right? Wrong. In a rock-paper-scissors-like twist, BYU beat SDSU this afternoon 24-21.

BYU did it with some really solid defense, a bruising running game, only a few passes, and some lucky calls by the refs. On the defensive side, Bronco’s decision last week to fire defensive coordinator Jaime Hill and take over that role himself looked really smart today. This was easily the best defensive performance of the year by BYU. They were especially effective at stopping the run. On offensive side, the o-line really showed up today and the running back committee of DiLuigi, Kariya, and Quezada pounded and pounded all afternoon. BYU ran the ball more than 70% of the time and completely dominated the time of possession by a 3-1 margin. As for the lucky calls, there was a borderline pass interference call late in the game that was useful to BYU. But the real doozy was the DiLuigi fumble that should have gone to SDSU in the 3rd quarter. BYU somehow was awarded the ball even after an officials review that showed it really was a fumble. It was likely because the line judge blew the whistle really early, perhaps before either team secured the ball. Aztec fans will be angry about that one for a long time (and rightfully so).

The game was as close as it was because of some silly mistakes by BYU. Jake Heaps made a bad pass into the end zone that was intercepted. Chalk that up to him being a freshman. One of the young tight ends had a really silly fumble that BYU lost as well. And the punter Stephenson shanked another 12 yard punt which didn’t help. Nevertheless BYU did just enough to win. Interestingly, BYU’s magic number is 24. When BYU scores 24 or more or holds the opponents to less than 24 BYU normally wins. Both of those happened today.

Perhaps this will be a turning point for this team. BYU fans sure hope so. BYU will face a top 5 team next week at TCU so that one will be very hard to win but there are some much easier games on tap after that. One think is for sure — this season looks better for BYU than it did after the game in Logan. This was a huge win for BYU and dramatically improves the Cougars’ chances of going at least 6-6 and making a bowl game.

BYU Football is Staring a 1-6 Record in the Face

October 1, 2010    By: Geoff J @ 10:06 pm   Category: Sports

After the 31-16 loss tonight at Utah State the Cougars of BYU drop to a 1-4 record and are likely to lose their next two games as well. (Congratulations to the improved Aggies BTW.) Next up is SDSU which has a BYE this week after destroying this same USU team last week. So in all likelihood The Aztecs will handle this anemic BYU team fairly easily. The following week BYU is at #4 TCU and that will likely be a severe beat down for the Cougs.

The BYU defense has been hapless all season, giving up gobs of points every game. To make things worse, the best player on defense, strong safety Andrew Rich, went down tonight with what looked like a pretty serious injury in the first half. Then star linebacker Jordan Pendelton had to be helped off the field in the second half. This follows on the heels of our starting nose tackle Romney Fuga getting his knee blown out on a dirty play by a Nevada lineman last week. The defense runs the real risk of going from weak to awful.

But as bad as the defense has been, the offense has been significantly worse. SDSU put up 41 points on USU; BYU only managed 16. The problem for freshman QB Jake Heaps is that while he is missing some passes, even when he is on target his receivers are dropping the ball way too often. BYU has been spoiled with mature NFL-caliber talent on offense for the last 5-6 years. The offensive talent on the field this year is either not experienced enough to win yet, not NFL-caliber, or both. It makes for a very non-BYU-looking team out there when BYU has the ball lately.

The upshot of it all is that BYU is now probably going to finish 5-7 or even 4-8 this season. Rebuilding year indeed.

Florida State stomps BYU

September 18, 2010    By: Geoff J @ 4:13 pm   Category: Sports

Turns out the BYU football team isn’t very good this year. Florida State beat BYU this afternoon 34-10. Bad tackling on defense hurt all game long.

At least it appears the Jake Heaps era has begun. Jake throws a beautiful ball but he looks like a freshman out there. Still I hope Jake starts going forward. The offense needs to find a rhythm and there were some moments that it almost looked like things were starting to click today.

Anyhow, Nevada looked great in crushing Cal last night. They could crush BYU next week if the team doesn’t pull things together. I am now thinking that going 8-4 would be a major accomplishment for BYU this season.

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