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Dick Harmon: Will BYU's O-line continue solid play against rival Utah?

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  • Down under Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 9:53 p.m.

    Good teams will make adjustments in week two. BYU will be fine up front. Hill and the offense will put up some big numbers on the Utes. Look at what the Beavers did in the first half, in SLC of all places. BYU is much better then OSU. Utah is way overrated by their fans. The national experts have it right. Utah should be be ranked, even if they pull out a win tonight.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 15, 2013 12:17 a.m.

    Pressure on the utes. Lose to BYU, and no bowl game this year.

    Can't four after that.

  • Down under Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 12:21 a.m.

    sorry. that should have been....NOT ranked.

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    Sept. 15, 2013 12:26 a.m.

    BYU won't play another team this year that has athletes as good as Texas. But, obviously great coaching and player commitment can make a big difference as it did in the BYU-Texas game.

    I expect the Utes to bring it, especially since they lost a close one to OSU and I do believe they are better coached than Texas with better player commitment. In spite of Travis Wilson's three interceptions against OSU he is a very good quarterback. It will be a fun game to watch, go Cougars!

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 15, 2013 12:42 a.m.

    Yes it's a legit question (BYU's O-line holding up that is) but Oregon State had a make shift line that held up fine on Utah's D-line. So questions abound for both Utah and BYU on the line.

    The rivalry games are never predictable and for me, I have no idea what to think.

    Utah has held together with their defense for years while having a poor offense. Now with Erickson and Travis Wilson getting Utah to put up points, it's the defense that is shaky. Go figure.

    As for BYU, their defense has been outstanding the last two seasons (relatively out of the norm for them) and their offense terrible in that time until last week.

    Think about it. BYU has been losing games 7-6 (like Boise State) while Utah for example, loses 51-48 tonight. It's trippy. The latter score reminds me of BYU vs. San Diego State games in the mid 1990s.

    Too bad for us Utah fans that we couldn't have had an offense the last 4 years when our defense carried us. For BYU, what would their record have been last year if they could have scored a few points?

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 1:15 a.m.

    Pressure on the Cougars. With Texas losing by a big margin again, the Cougars realize that they didn't beat a good team this year. Their showing against Virginia reflects reality.

  • JMT Springville, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 6:08 a.m.

    Utah is a solid team. Wilson is a very legitimate quarterback. This is not going to be an easy game.

    The strategy Utah will likely take is easy: Stack the box against the run and force Taysom Hill to beat them with his arm. I don't think Taysom can do it, which then brings this article to the forefront. If the O-line can dominate again, BYU will impose the new found run. If not, the Utes will stop the option run.

    Go BYU!!

  • FelisConcolor North Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    "Pressure on the utes. Lose to BYU, and no bowl game this year."

    Even if they beat BYU, the Utes are still staring at a 5-7 season at best. The Oregon State game was supposed to be a "W". Washington State no longer looks like a gimme, Colorado is a better team this season than when they beat Utah in SLC, and USC showed yesterday they are quite capable of dominating when they put their minds to it.

    That leaves Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State. I don't see the Utes doing better than 2-7 in the PAC-12 this season.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    Playing a PAC12 schedule gives the Utes a national ranking. UCLA next! Go Utes.

  • RepresentBlue West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    "With Texas losing by a big margin again, the Cougars realize that they didn't beat a good team this year. Their showing against Virginia reflects reality."

    Actually, reality is most likely somewhere in between. Texas showed last night that it has MAJOR issues, and this will be Mack Brown's last season with with Longhorns, if he even makes it to the end of the season. So, yes, BYU's win over Texas is not as impressive as it might have been. However, their performance at Virginia is not indicative either, given that it was the first game of the season with a completely new offensive systems, and was played in extremely poor field conditions, with a two hour storm delay between the 1st and 2nd quarters. Neither game is what you would consider to "typical". The real Cougars are somewhere in between: spectacular defense but the offense still needs a lot of work.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Sept. 15, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    @ekute - "Playing a PAC12 schedule gives the Utes a national ranking."

    Really? Please show me where they are nationally ranked. I think you're reminiscing about 2008.

    The O line still has a long way to go, but the Utes D didn't look great against Oregon St. I suspect the O line will be just fine against the Utes, opening big holes for Williams, Hill and Lasike.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    Big game for the y this week.

    Important Southern Division game in 2 weeks for the Utes!

  • mindgames Aurora, CO
    Sept. 15, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    The offensive line is going to be fine this week. Not as dominant as the Texas game but sufficient to handle the Utes.

    The big question I have is how does that quarterback efficiency thing work?

    Wilson looked to have a pretty good passing game against Oregon State and Hill had (what I thought to be a fairly poor passing game against Texas yet the passing efficiency was:

    Wilson 89.3
    Hill 94.3

    Here's the formula:

    Passer Rating {NCAA} = 8.4 x YDS + 330 x TD + 100 x COMP - 200 x INT all divided by the number of attempts.

    It looks to me that they are pretty even as passers.

    Factor in their running ability and BYU has a huge advantage at the quarterback position.

    The crystal bass says---

    BYU 42-14 over the Utes

    Goooooo Cougars!!!

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    Utah since the 90's has always given BYU a game despite however the rest of the season has gone. I don't recall any blowout victories recently for BYU. This year feels different with everything clicking, playing in Provo and having the extra week to prepare.

    Utah's defense isn't stopping BYU anymore than Texas did. Load the box and Hoffman sets two or three BYU records (he is nearing six all-time BYU records) Saturday. Spread out the Defense and Williams, Hill or both set records. BYU has all the weapons on offense they have lacked during the last three years.

    BYU's defense isn't going to let Wilson have time to throw. The crowd will be loud. The Utes will make mistakes. The Utes couldn't establish what they wanted to do on offense at home against a woeful defense for an entire quarter. Its going to be a whole lot worse for the running Utes in Provo facing KVN and company.

  • ute211 taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    BYU threw 9-26 against Texas, The only thing BYU you did was run.

    Utah has been great at stopping the run in the two games that mattered (utah st, orgen st), but the pass game from mannion and Keeton where the main things that killed them.

    Oregon State doesnt have much of a run game, But they threw for over 400 yards.
    Utah state has both, Keeton is a much better QB then Hill (he has an arm and legs) Utah had a hard time containing him, but did stop him.
    All utah has to do to win this game is force Hill to throw the ball, then they should come away with a victory.

  • Surf is Up Miami, FL
    Sept. 15, 2013 1:09 p.m.

    I'm trying to be objective about this. One close loss to a bad team under surreal circumstances. One dominating game over a team of very talented players but with terrible coaches.

    Both games do not serve as an accurate meter for measuring BYU's potential either way. But I believe that the seniors will do what it takes to win this one.

    What, no comments from Chris B.? Usually he is the first to post. He must be off licking his wounded pride today.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Sept. 15, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    @ Steven S Jarvis,

    ..."BYU's defense isn't going to let Wilson have time to throw. The crowd will be loud. The Utes will make mistakes. The Utes couldn't establish what they wanted to do on offense at home against a woeful defense for an entire quarter. Its going to be a whole lot worse for the running Utes in Provo facing KVN and company."

    I sure hope you're right, but you know and I know that we've been heartbroken way too many times before because of comments like yours that didn't pan out. The consequences after if we don't win is always very brutal and painful to endure. Please think about that!

    Go Cougars! Good luck Utes too after Sept. 21st!

  • LindonMan Lindon, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    I love how after beating an overrated Utah State and Weber High School, Ute fans were all jacked about how good they are this year. Well last night, reality set in. Utah could realistically lose 6-8 of their next 8 games.

  • Black&Blue St George, Utah
    Sept. 15, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    My observations:
    #1- The Utah defense is strong against the run, particularly on the edges. The interior D-line and MIddle Linebackers are vulnerable and I think BYU will take advantage of it.
    #2- Utah's secondary is a definite weak spot. I think utah wil be loading the box all night and will make Hill beat them through the air. I guarantee you BYU has taken advantage of the bye week to improve the pass game.
    #3- Travis Wilson is dangerous on his feet. And can throw well enough, but makes bad decisions. I think that cougar defense will be playing contain and will likely have a backer spying on Wilson all night long. The cougar pass rush is much better than Oregon St. BYU will not give up more than 21pts to the Utes.
    #4- Utah's running game is struggling, and will be facing one of the best rushing defenses in the country.
    #5- Utah has a strong passing game. BYU's secondary will be tested.

    Both teams have glaring weaknesses. BYU having 2 weeks to prepare, momentum from the Texas beat down & home field advantage, will win this game. MARK THAT DOWN. BYU-31 Utah-16

  • WA_Alum&Dad Marysville, WA
    Sept. 15, 2013 2:54 p.m.

    Thoughts on at what point in the season Utah fans will start calling for KWitt's head? I give it three games (three losses) from now.

  • Mildred in Fillmore Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    We are going to beat Utah by 7 touchdowns because our runners are the best and our quarterback is really accurate.

  • Wiscougarfan River Falls, WI
    Sept. 15, 2013 3:55 p.m.

    BYU beat Texas by approximately the same margin a nationally ranked team beat them by... so is Texas overrated or is BYU simply as good as other ranked teams?

    Utah lost to a team that lost to a division 2 team.

    We still don't know how good (or bad) either of these teams are but this week will show which team has more heart. Can't wait. Go Cougs!

  • Scores Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 15, 2013 5:00 p.m.

    I think there is a heck of a game comin' up in Provo. Turnovers will tell the tale. Go Royal Blue Cougars in this one!

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 5:51 p.m.

    @Ute211

    I wouldn't say giving up 173 yards on the ground to USU is a good rushing defense. Its easy to miss how poorly they have done defending the run when they are giving up even more in the air (443 to OSU and 314 to USU).

  • Mountainman56 Alpine, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 6:37 p.m.

    Last week's game against Texas for BYU's offense (and especially the offensive line) felt a lot like the first game after Bronco fired Jaime Hill felt for BYU's defense. They came out with a different attitude and mentality and set out to impose their will on a highly ranked team with tremendous talent and they did it. After having that success, that attitude and mentality will likely continue just as it has for the defense for the last two years.

    Utah's defensive strength seems to be stopping the run and it will be an epic battle of wills early in the game to see if BYU can impose their will and establish the run as they did against Texas. If they do that early, it will be a long night for Utah. If not, it could be another game that goes down to the wire.

    My money is on BYU establishing the run before half time and running away with the win.
    BYU 42
    Utah 17

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Sept. 15, 2013 6:47 p.m.

    It will be interesting to see if the BYU coaches have the confidence in the line and in Hill to pass. Utah did not have a pass rush which allowed OSU's Mannion to pick them apart. The O-Line needs to prove they can protect Hill in the passing game if they want to win consistently. They got one against Texas, but they are not Air Force.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 7:46 p.m.

    "Keeton is a much better QB then Hill (he has an arm and legs)"

    Oh yeah, well Taysom Hill has TWO arms. Take that!

    In all seriousness, it's very hard to predict who will win. The last three years people have been saying that BYU should win, and they didn't. Ute fans will say that because of that, Utah will win the game, but there's no guarantee. I do think BYU will win this one this time.

  • el guapito Provo, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 7:56 p.m.

    U of U getting ready for their bowl game this week. Too bad they ain't gonna play in December or January.

  • BYU DUDE Provo, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 10:31 p.m.

    This BYU fan's Utah recommendation is ,

    Put those Pac 12 Stickers over every square inch of your uniforms to make your fans Happy !

    You Ute Fran's know its the Pac 12 Stickers that matter most.

    At the end of the night BYU wins ! and all you Utah fans will have is those lame Stickers !

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 15, 2013 11:34 p.m.

    mindgames
    Aurora, CO

    The offensive line is going to be fine this week. Not as dominant as the Texas game but sufficient to handle the Utes.

    The big question I have is how does that quarterback efficiency thing work?

    Wilson looked to have a pretty good passing game against Oregon State and Hill had (what I thought to be a fairly poor passing game against Texas yet the passing efficiency was:

    Wilson 89.3
    Hill 94.3

    ...It looks to me that they are pretty even as passers.

    ------------

    Huh?

    Wilson had a QB rating of 130 even with 3 picks. A rating that Hill has never accomplished yet.

    * After 3 games Wilson is one of five PAC-12 QBs ranked in top 20 in yards and in overall QB rating.

    * Hill is one of the top rushers in the nation, but he is the 2nd worst QB in the nation.

    * As of today, Texas has #126 ranked rush defense (last week they were #110).

    If BYU expects to win then Hill better be able to pass on a bad Ute secondary. Running won't get it done against the #28 defense.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 15, 2013 11:56 p.m.

    @Wiscougarfan

    BYU beat Texas by approximately the same margin a nationally ranked team beat them by... so is Texas overrated or is BYU simply as good as other ranked teams?

    Utah lost to a team that lost to a division 2 team.

    -----------

    Utah lost to #41 (with a top 10 QB)
    BYU lost to Sagarin #62

    Sagarin Rankings:

    BYU 33
    ORST 41
    USU 41
    Texas 44
    Utah 47
    Virginia 62

    Yes, Texas is overrated with a #124 rush defense and overall:

    Week 1 AP #15
    Week 2 Sagarin #24
    Week 3 Sagarin #44

    Rush Offense:
    Utah #17
    BYU #18

    Pass Offense:
    Utah #21
    BYU #118

    Pass Defense:
    Utah #118
    BYU #22

    Rush Defense:
    Utah #29
    BYU #15

    So it comes down to the #118 pass offense (BYU) vs #118 rush defense (Utah).

    Wilson has already proved he can beat you with his arm and legs. So the question is can Hill make plays with his arm like Keeton or Mannion?

  • Wiscougarfan River Falls, WI
    Sept. 16, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    RE: Uteology

    Tell the whole story...

    BYU lost to #62 Virginia in the rain, and destroyed #42 Texas in the rain
    Does rain affect statistics? Yes. Taysom hill had a QB rating of 122.4 last season and completed 59% of his passes. He's obviously not going to get those same kind of numbers when it's pouring.

    Utah beat #42 Utah State (quality win), #172 Weber State, and lost to #41 Oregon State.

    "Wilson has already proved he can beat you with his arm and legs. So the question is can Hill make plays with his arm like Keeton or Mannion?"

    Wilson hasn't beat me, I haven't played a down of organized football in my life. He also hasn't proven he can beat the 2013 Cougars, a team that now has a better QB, a better offense, and an equally formidable defense to the 2012 team the Utes beat by three points.

    Can Hill play? Yes, as a cougar he has completed 47% of his passes, has a QB rating right around 100, and averages 131 ypg on the ground. Against the toughest team he has faced (USU) he went 24-36 (67%), QBR 125, 80 yards rushing.

    Go Cougs!

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Sept. 16, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    I like BYU's chances this year, but I also thought they should have won last year (two boinked field goals) and two years before that (blocked field goal).

    I'll be really interested to see if Utah can stop BYU's three-headed monster (Williams, Lasike, & Hill). If they can't, it will be Texas all over again. Packing the box? I don't think so - Hill is a better passer than people think.

    Defensively, BYU is probably the best defense Utah will see all year.

    So it should be a BYU blowout. Will it be? Nah ... BYU in a squeaker.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    @JMT
    "If the O-line can dominate again, BYU will impose the new found run. If not, the Utes will stop the option run."

    Problem for Utah is they don't have the athletes on defense to stop the read option consistently. Utah's DL couldn't generate any pressure on Beaver QB Mannion and he was able to surgically dissect their secondary finding his favorite WR with ease. OSU doesn't even make an effort to establish the run and so their lack of rushing yards is more a by-product of their offensive scheme than it is anything Utah's DL had a hand in.

    Utah's DL is very pedestrian and many of their best recruits in recent years just haven't developed. Their Linebackers are probably the slowest LB group in the Pac12. They have good speed in their secondary but as a whole that group is poorly coached and rely more on speed than they do good fundamentals.

    Utah's defense doesn't have the speed and athleticism up front to be able to consistently hang with the elite speed BYU has on offense with Jamaal Williams or Taysom Hill.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 16, 2013 1:22 p.m.

    Wiscougarfan

    River Falls, WI

    RE: Uteology

    Tell the whole story...

    BYU lost to #62 Virginia in the rain, and destroyed #42 Texas in the rain
    Does rain affect statistics? Yes. Taysom hill had a QB rating of 122.4 last season and completed 59% of his passes. He's obviously not going to get those same kind of numbers when it's pouring.

    -------------

    Blame it on the rain, really?

    It was raining before, during, and after the Oregon State game. Rain didn't affect Mannion and Wilson's stats.

    Ash in the Texas game was: 19/34 251 YDS 2 TDS 0 INT 137 RAT
    Watford in the Virginia game was: 18/32 114 YDS 1 TD 1 INT 90 RAT

    All those QB's played in the rain and outperformed Hill.

  • portlander Arlington, WA
    Sept. 16, 2013 6:46 p.m.

    Looks to me like BYU recovered from the heartbreak back east and is on track to have a very good season. I think that Hill, Williams and Lasike are going to be able to hit the holes in the Utah middle all night. That, along with Hill's work on pass completions will put a final nail in the "old" rivalry. KVN & Hoffman finally get their win.

    BYU 41- Runnin' Utes 17

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    That's definitely the million dollar question.

    The $2 million dollar question is will BYU repeat recent patterns of mindless mistakes, silly penalties, unforced turnovers, panicking when something goes wrong, giving up big plays, falling for gimmick and gadget plays, poor decision making/game management by coaches, indecisiveness during last 2 min of the halves, etc or will they come out focused like a team on a mission and execute their gameplan with precision and yet still play the tough, hard-nosed style of defense and physical offense?