SPORTS: BYU Football Weekly Roundup (Week 7)

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Sports

Week 7: BYU vs. San Diego State

When I picked up Monday’s edition of the Daily Universe, there was a large headline talking about BYU’s dominating victory over UNLV. It said something to the effect of “BYU offense comes alive.” I thought about this headline and then came to the easy conclusion that it was false.

Sure, BYU did flash 59 points on the scoreboard but, when you are playing a team that has a defense that would struggle to contain my freshman year intramural flag football squad, then you can’t really count it as an “awakening.”

For all we know BYU could still be sleepwalking offensively. When they can put up good numbers against a good defensive team (say TCU or Utah), then I will be okay with the Daily Universe publishing such headlines.

Harvey Unga and the rushing attack are the key to BYUs success.

Harvey Unga and the rushing attack are the key to BYU's success.

291 + 0 = Victory
For the first time this year, the Cougars put up 250-plus rushing yards in a game. It was also the first time that Max Hall didn’t throw a pick all season. I am not a betting man (especially when the bets involve Max Hall), but if BYU rushes for more than 250 yards in any game the rest of the season, I guarantee a victory. The best thing for any quarterback is a strong running game.

Just look at college powerhouse Florida. While it is true that Tim Tebow might be the best college football player ever, he throws the ball about as well as JaMarcus Russell. Gasp! Yes, I did just insult his holiness but, in all reality, people need to know that his ability to throw the ball is not all that blessed.

Watch a highlight video of Tebow and you will see that defenses are more concerned with stopping the ground game of Tebow and Jeff Demps than focusing on the passing attack. Because Tebow is the benefactor of Urban Myers perfect offensive concoction, his slow delivery and average arm strength isn’t exposed. That will happen when he goes to the NFL.

That being said, Max Hall will never be able to run the ball like Tim Tebow. However, if BYU can establish a strong presence running the ball then Max should have no trouble finding wide open receivers. It’s just a matter of finding the perfect balance between run and pass.

Drama in The Hills… of the Wasatch Front
Last week, there was a lot of drama floating around before the UNLV game. Safety Shiloah Te’o was kicked of the team for a DUI incident and Bronco Mendenhall made a scandalous comment that was a supposed slap in the face to BYU football fans. The local media is obviously starved for good stories when they need to make these molehills into mountains.

In regards to the Te’o situation, Mendenhall dealt with the situation in an orderly fashion. To think that Mendenhall would hide knowing about Teo’s DUI is ridiculous. Te’o had value on special teams and as a backup strong safety, but Bronco is a no-nonsense coach that would put the honor and integrity of the program before pretty much anything.

Some folks (Utah fans) are saying that Bronco knew about the DUI back when it happened, but didn’t do anything until it went public. I’m glad these Utah fans discovered BYU’s new tracking system that monitors football players 24/7, with an alarm sounding whenever said player violates the Honor Code. Bronco may be a smart man, but he is not all-knowing and he doesn’t have access to police records.

And to all those in the blogosphere peanut gallery (I’m sure none of them will actually read this), BYU nor its honor code should be at fault here. BYU is a private institution and you commit yourself to a certain way of living upon enrollment. It is not forced down their throats. If someone doesn’t want to accept that kind of commitment, then they can go somewhere else and have a “typical college experience.”

Speaking of no-nonsense, Bronco is not afraid to speak his mind. Pundits went ballistic when he commented on the lack education of fans who make unintelligent criticisms of the program. A certain columnist called for Bronco to make a public apology for his rude remarks. While it might be true that his statement was slightly unnecessary, no one can doubt that it is true. I haven’t been to one game this year where everything said in the stands was intelligent.

Was Bronco calling the entire fan base of BYU dumb? Absolutely not. He just used simple logic to clarify his feeling that, if someone says something stupid, they probably are stupid. Basically, stupid is as stupid says.

A head coach isn’t supposed to coddle his fan base and make them feel like they know more than he does. Just ask Josh McDaniels, head coach of the Denver Broncos. He went against much of the Bronco faithful by trading away Jay Cutler and making other controversial moves. Many called him stupid and wanted him fired before he even coached a game. The Broncos are currently 5-0. Enough said.

SDSU — So Don’t Screw Up
Okay, back to football. This week’s game against San Diego State shouldn’t be much of a game. SDSU’s two meager wins have come against the “powerhouse” programs of New Mexico State and Southern Utah.

The schedule couldn’t have worked out better for BYU. They get UNLV and San Diego State on back-to-back weeks before facing conference heavyweight TCU. A lot of people think the Cougars will overlook the Aztecs in anticipation for the TCU game. It’s probably true that most everyone will have their attention on the Horned Frogs, but there is no way that BYU fall short in this game.

San Diego State defensive coordinator Rocky Long is a great defensive mind, but he doesn’t have the athletes necessary to run his potent 3-3-5 defense. Long and head coach Brady Hoke will have this program on the rise in the next couple of years but, as for now, they will have to work out the kinks.

Prediction
BYU shouldn’t have any trouble taking care of business on this road trip. The Aztec running game is non-existent and quarterback Ryan Lindley has more interceptions than touchdown passes this season. I am going to make a bold prediction and say that Harvey Unga will run for 100+ yards and Max Hall will throw two touchdown passes. Okay, maybe it’s not so bold, but it’s becoming the norm. The defense will probably give up a few points while Scott Johnson and a few other defensive starters will be get some much-needed rest. I am feeling palindromes this week. BYU 42, SDSU 24.

Three Cheers
1. Harvey Unga — Give this kid some real competition. Please?

2. Scott Johnson — This kid is the heart and soul of the defense.

3. Brett Thompson — Could he be the next Collie? They did go to the same high school…

Three Jeers
1. UNLV Fans — They don’t have much to cheer about, but seriously, show up and support.

2. Matt Bauman — Great person, great scholar, not-so-great speed.

3. Special Teams — Giving up a touchdown on a kick-off confirms my fears that our return coverage is weak.

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