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Dick Harmon: BYU's terrific defense might need to start scoring points itself to overcome Cougars' anemic offense

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  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    Sept. 22, 2012 8:32 p.m.

    Totally Agree with Dick Harmon. The defense is solid and should be commended for their gritty play. Unfortunately we have not been able to watch James Lark throw the ball down field. He is the only QB that has proven he can throw the ball.

  • Old Navy Provo, UT
    Sept. 22, 2012 8:44 p.m.

    Since the offense is completely inept, the defense will have to carry the extra load.

  • Upson Downs Sandy, UT
    Sept. 22, 2012 9:09 p.m.

    This performance just goes to show that Bronco Mendenhall picked the wrong guy with Brandon Doman. Mendenhall may like Doman but Doman doesn't have the experience needed to be the offensive coordinator for any college team. Well......maybe Utah.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Sept. 22, 2012 9:39 p.m.

    Why do they keep trying to run the option to the narrow side of the field? It has become very predictible.

    And after Boise called time out to adjust to the way the players lined up to go for 2, why didn't we just then kick it for the PAT and have the effect of Boise wasting their time out? Geesh, football isn't that tough to figure out after you see what your opponent does to adjust to what you are going to try and do. But tunnel vision of "go for it come heck or high water" leads to defeat.

    I'd like to see Doman get the ball DOWN FIELD and not just a 6 yd pass play when we need 10 yards of offense.

    Common Bronco, adjust, adjust, adjust.

  • Jake2010 bountiful, ut
    Sept. 22, 2012 9:51 p.m.

    Or an in season firing of the most anemic OC in Cougar football history could solve all our woes and the defense could actually start being showed some offensive appreciation for kicking so much tail each game.

  • BYUfaninWashSt Everett, WA
    Sept. 22, 2012 10:14 p.m.

    Really? ...Now we need the defense to score our points? Good grief! A group of kids in a sandlot playground can draw up better plays that make more sense than the QB "run for your life" scramble that BYU ends up running on nearly every play. You can't scramble for your life on every play and expect to have some kind of passing game. Yes, you need a QB who can make some throws. That's what recruiting and practice is for!! Holy Cow!! A BYU QB cannot make small completions to TE's, RB's, and WR's? Pocket protection, ... what happened to the holding calls we used to see in years gone by? We don't see any, because they don't even try to install a true passing game. No pocket. These coaches have no focus or vision for what they could have if they resurrected the passing game with an all out effort, practice & focus. Instead they will continue doing what they are doing, cause they are in love with the "tough gritty warrior" types. That's fine for defense, but for offense ... sorry ... that will never be a winning formula for BYU.

  • manaen1 Buena Park, CA
    Sept. 22, 2012 11:19 p.m.

    "BYU's terrific defense might need to start scoring points itself to overcome Cougars' anemic offense"

    I'm dead serious in suggesting that the Cougars take this to the obvious conclusion: have the defense play both ways like in football's early days. They play better together and seem hungrier to win. Sub in as needed to avoid fatigue and keep the best of BYU's two teams on the field. This, of course, includes keeping Doman away from the play calling.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 23, 2012 12:35 a.m.

    I, for one, was never in favor of dumping Anae. He got blamed for Bronco's shortcomings as a head coach. Great D-Coordinator, but no game management skills at all. He costs the Cougars at least a game a year.

  • the hawk Sandy, UT
    Sept. 23, 2012 1:17 a.m.

    I dont like you cougars but we know exactly how you feel just a little north here

  • buryme Mesa, AZ
    Sept. 23, 2012 7:10 a.m.

    good article Dick, but you are only pointing out the obvious. Get bold, start putting some heat on some coaches. Read Gordon Monson's article from today about Bronco and see if you can't come up with some similar ideas.

  • ex patria cougar Tokyo, Japan
    Sept. 23, 2012 7:43 a.m.

    Apparently, defense doesn't win championships. Which is too bad because BYU's defense is really amazing to see.

  • DC Alexandria, VA
    Sept. 23, 2012 7:45 a.m.

    I'm willing to give Doman some slack. It's not easy to have a productive offense when your offensive line cannot pass or run block. It would make any OC look like he doesn't know what he's doing. What I think is more questionable (and I believe this is Bronco's call) is the decision to play Nelson when he was obviously hurt. Not only does that continue to hurt the team, but it could hurt Nelson even worse, something that would then be on the coaches for letting him play when they knew he was hurt. It also again limited what this team could do on offense, since Nelson apparently can't throw downfield due to his injury.

  • SameJersey Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 23, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    I would say all three Utah teams have great defenses this year. However, I think that neither the U nor the Y has been able to get anything going offensively. Here's to being an Aggie fan this year.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Sept. 23, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    Think you naysayers. Our offensives line is horrible. They are like a sieve. They let the opposing team through gaping holes and you you think Doman's play calling can overcome that. No offensives coordinator can overcome a horrible offensives line. Riley has to admit he is hurting and thus not able yo throw effectively. He is hurting the team by his thinking he can play through the pain. Doman cannot design plays that a very poor offensives line cannot execute. If we had players who could do what they have been called to do he would look great. I sincerely doubt any of you has played any serious football. His play calling is not the problem. The offensive line is the problem. Get that fixed and his plays will work.

    As for not going for the PAT that was a very poor decision.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Sept. 23, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    The defense shines because the offense is so dismal.
    I'm guessing the entire world will get an opportunity to see what the defense is all about next week.
    It's going to be ugly.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Sept. 23, 2012 10:42 a.m.

    BYU needs to become a pass oriented offense with a scrambling QB like Hill. Forget the run this year. The offensive line is non existent. Bring in a good blocking tight end with soft hands and two tough fullbacks that can catch for extra protection and do what BYU used to do years ago; go crazy with the pass. Opposing defenses will most certainly key on Hoffman and Apo but must also respect the possibility of flat passes to the rb's and tight end and Hill's ability to break tackles. The advice is free coach Doman. AIR IT OUT.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Sept. 23, 2012 10:56 a.m.

    i'm not sold on whether BYU's defense is terrific. I would say good to very good. Boise State isn't the Boise State of old. They didn't score an offensive touchdown vs. Michigan State either. Utah's offense, as witnessed Saturday vs. ASU, isn't good either. Utah State isn't an elite offense. If the Cougs can shut down Oregon State with two high profile WR's and an offensive coach, then I'll say the Cougs have a terrific defense. They do have a very good defense, probably their best in a long time but the offenses they have faced have been sketchy at best. Even WAZZU got beat by CU.

  • Ironhide Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 23, 2012 11:24 a.m.

    It's confirmed, Riley has three cracked vertebrae. That's from two players on the team. How in the world is Bronco letting him play? He's tough, check the box and sit him down. I don't know that this is Brandon's fault. I do have issue with his play calls at times, but when he got a healthy qb in the game that got into a rythm, he scored. Riley is fine when he's healthy. I believe the outcomes are different if he's not hurt. However, he is hurt and allowing him to play and hand these last two games to the other team is on the coaches for not doing their job and taking his helmet from him. Apparently Bronco makes the call on who starts, and since he has a bleeding heart for sacrifice and honor, by all indications, he's completely blinded by it.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Sept. 23, 2012 11:56 a.m.

    Y should play Lark, hold Nelson out til totally healed, and use the other guy in wildcat situations. My sense is that Nelson has overdone workouts and been hit too many times to be effective, Lark would spark the offense, the other guy is too green and not that good a passer. We cannot afford to wast such good offensive ends as Hoffman, Apo, Falslev, etc. to become a quarterback run type team.

  • Cougar Nation #1 Provo, UT
    Sept. 23, 2012 1:51 p.m.

    Bronco & Doman need to wake up. Riley Nelson was never good enough to be a starting QB at BYU. I don't know what they ever saw in him. Nelson has yet to beat or put BYU in a position to beat a top 25 team. I often wonder if Bronco and Doman are glad they chose nelson over Heaps. I really hope these coaches wise up and put nelson on the bench as the 3rd or 4th string QB and play Hill & Lark the rest of the way. BYU should be undefeated, but nelson, doman & Bronco have ruined a great defensive performance this year.

  • Topher Herriman, UT
    Sept. 23, 2012 2:52 p.m.

    Too bad the Offensive coordinator cannot use the deep threat of receivers due to the quarterbacks inability to throw a decent pass. Head coach will hang on to the quarterback and we will witness a lackluster year of football.
    It's too bad that they don't work quarterbacks in like they once used to. They will pin their hopes on a freshman quarter back and hope that it will get the job done. Reminiscent of last season.
    Let's hope the offensive coordinator can put together something that isn't so predictable.
    Love the cougars, but don't see quality coaching at the quarterback and offensive side of the team.
    Good luck

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Sept. 23, 2012 3:09 p.m.

    It might be more practical to learn to kick field goals. If you start taking risks in hope of a pick six, somebody is going to blow past you with the ball.

  • Real Bass Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 23, 2012 7:04 p.m.

    Remember bronco is head coach and responsible for the offense as well. He chooses the quarterback, chose the oc. Both of whom are killing us!

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Sept. 23, 2012 8:10 p.m.

    Gotta change QBs this week.

    Either Lark or Hill. Nelson, healthy or not needs the pine time. A wounded duck throwing QB who can't hit wide open receivers from 30 yards away should not be starting, no matter how tough and gritty. And we need to forget this option offense - run Alisa up the middle with Mendenhall blocking. Send backs on sweeps and off tackle. Only let QBs run if the play is broken up or of a giant hole opens up. No planned QB runs. Open up the offense now. And for love of all things BYU, forget this option stuff. And bench Nelson. Let him heal and earn his spot.

    Jazz great Jerry Mulligan once said "If the cat can play, let him play. If not, let him do something else." He was talking about white jazz musicians, but the phrase applies to QBs too.

  • idaho cougar fan Twin Falls, ID
    Sept. 23, 2012 11:24 p.m.

    Bronco does have some blame as well as a little on Riley. Most of the blame needs to rest on Doman. If you look at the play calling from BSU game, Doman never called a pass play over 15 yards. NOT ONCE! Riley is trying to fit the ball into tight windows because safties, linebackers and corners are not honoring anything past 10 yards. BSU tried to go deep twice (never connected), but in the back of BYU's minds they knew they might try it. Doman never put it into BSU's mind that BYU could go deep. If offense does not improve, I can see another mid season firing coming.

  • CougarinVegas HENDERSON, NV
    Sept. 24, 2012 10:41 a.m.

    You're a diplomat Dick.

    1. Offensive line is not getting it done.
    2. Play calling is horrific. Coaches need to stretch the field with a credible passing attack before the run will open up. Hill can be a great weapon but not if we are qb run first.
    3. Bronco is not holding his OL and OC accountable. He needs to make the tough calls like he did with Jaime Hill. Riley Nelson was obviously hurt and playing sub par but he may never admit it if he is limited. He couldn't throw the ball at all last Thursday. Time to move on. Pick the QB who can best stretch the field with his arm--Hill, Lark, Olsen, or even Kuresa if we have to move him back.

    Notre Dame kept Denard Robinson to six points on Saturday. Our qb run offense will not scare Notre Dame. We need to try something different.

    Bronco has the loyalty side of the equation down to a fault. Now he needs to focus on the accountability side of the equation and make needed changes--whether with coaches or position players.

  • MarkWACougar Richland, WA
    Sept. 24, 2012 2:49 p.m.

    Why was Lark not playing? Really, why was Lark not playing? I am serious, why was Lark not playing?

    We played a potentially good RM just learning the offense over a guy who has been in the program for years. He is a senior.

    The sky is not falling. But, there are some terrible choices being made by coaches.

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Sept. 24, 2012 4:21 p.m.

    Ironside: if he's got a cracked back, he should not be playing. That's nuts to risk.

    I dismissed last year's offensive play as Doman learning the ropes, but this year the play calling is just wack! Doman has no imagination. He's just trying to remember all the plays that worked for him. Crowton was horrible too Doman. There's a reason he moves from one team to another so fast. In fact, he moves from conference to conference. Do not try and replicate Crowton.

    Bronco needs to step up and hire an experienced OC, or he needs to step down as a head coach and stay on as DC.