Tuesday, November 16, 2010 0 comments

Then and Now... A Different Cougars Host New Mexico

byu football
For the BYU Cougars, it has been a very interesting season.  After having one of the best recruiting classes ever, Cougars were stunned when Harvey Unga, the all time BYU leading rusher, dismissed himself from the team and BYU for honor code reasons.  Hoping to be able to move forward, BYU coaches had the tough decision to make of who would be the starting quarterback.  Though many felt that highly touted recruit and true Freshman Jake Heaps would be lock for the job, Coach Bronco Mendenhall was unable to name Riley Nelson (or Jake Heaps) as a backup.  This was until the decision was made for him, when Nelson opted for surgery that would take him out the remainder of the season.

After an impressive and win over Washington to open up the year, BYU went on to lose their next four straight games, including a blowout by Utah St.  After that, many felt that was it for BYU in 2010 and a chance for a postseason was long shot.  To throw another log on the fire, Defensive Coordinator, Jamie Hill, was dismissed following the loss to Utah St.  As an explanation, Bronco said he felt that he needed his team to feel his presence and influence more and the only way he felt he could do that was to take back play calling duties.

The following game, BYU was able to hold off San Diego State and finally snap its losing streak.  Although it had only been a week since Bronco had taken over, you could see very big execution and attitude differences from players on the field.  Following SDSU, the Cougars had the tough task to take on BCS buster, TCU, on their home turf.  Amazingly enough, BYU held on for most of the half, only allowing TCU to score 3 points, however, fatigue overpowered as TCU cruised on to an easy victory while only giving up 3 points from BYU.

Despite the loss, the defense was praised for their execution and effectiveness.  The offense, however, remained as one of the worst in college football, as pass after pass was either dropped or off target.  The cougars were forced to heavily rely on the running game.  This strategy continued into the home game against Wyoming, where Cougars looked to maybe be able to put up some points, only to struggle to barely pull off a win with a defensive stop.  It was a win, but definitely felt like a loss.