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Friday, December 30, 2011

BYU Weathers the Storm, Rides Hoffman to Beat Tulsa 24-21

The Brigham Young Cougars fell behind 14-3 to Tulsa in the first half of the Armed Forced Bowl. Cody Hoffman caught three touchdowns in the final 30 minutes and 15 seconds of the game to give BYU a 24-21 win.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

BYU Football: Did you know? (Bowl Appearances)

For the 30th time in the last 37 seasons, the Brigham Young Cougars are preparing for a bowl game.

The Armed Forces Bowl: One Last Chance For Redemption

The Brigham Young Cougars (9-3) have one last chance to prove their worth in the Armed Forces Bowl against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-4). Win and the Cougars can make a claim to join the national rankings.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Brigham Young Cougars 2011 Bowl Primer

Brigham Young Cougars are two days away from playing in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. It is the 30th bowl game in school history. Here are some BYU bowl game facts to help prime everyone for the 2011 football finale. (Where possible the Armed Forces Bowl vs. Tulsa is already included.)

Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 31, Oklahoma Sooners 6 (1994)

Tomorrow, December 29, marks 17 years since the Brigham Young Cougars faced the Oklahoma Sooners in the Copper Bowl. In the first ever meeting between the two schools, BYU schooled Oklahoma in the forward pass.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Is a BYU Win the Best Outcome for the Armed Forces Bowl?

The Brigham Young Cougars will face the Tulsa Golden Hurricane this Friday, December 30, 2011, in the Armed Forces Bowl. Like any good fan, I want BYU to win this game. In the back of my mind, however, I am wondering, “Is a BYU win the best outcome?”

Friday, December 23, 2011

Jake Heaps to Kansas? This Won’t End Well

Former Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jake Heaps has announced that he plans to finish his college football career as a Kansas Jayhawk.

Heaps will sit out next year, 2012, per NCAA regulations. He will have two years of eligibility remaining and is expected to start for Kansas in 2013 and 2014.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

BYU Football: Did you know? (Bowl Opponents With 8 Wins)

The Brigham Young Cougars are eight days away from playing an 8-4 Tulsa Golden Hurricane team. This is the seventh consecutive season BYU has gone to a bowl game under head coach Bronco Mendenhall.

BYU QB Riley Nelson Joins A Select Group

If you follow the site closely, then you have probably become accustomed to finding some sort of new content every week day, at a minimum. You probably also noticed on Tuesday this week there was no new content. I took the story I would have posted on Tuesday, and submitted it to KSL.com to be published on their BYU page.

I tried to do it enough in advance so that it would be published by Tuesday, and I could post the link for you. Although it was done and approved by an editor, KSL didn't put it up until Wednesday afternoon. Sorry for the delay. Here is the link:

BYU: QB Nelson played his way into select group


Enjoy!

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 24, Michigan Wolverines 17 (1984)

It was 27 years ago today that the Brigham Young Cougars and the Michigan Wolverines met in Holiday Bowl VII. BYU had played in all seven Holiday Bowl games, but none were quite like this one.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Poll Results: Which former BYU player in the NFL do you follow the closest?

Austin Collie, Indianapolis Colts, is clearly the most followed former Brigham Young Cougars player in the NFL. Collie received 53% of all votes cast. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens, and John Beck, Washington Redskins, tied for second with 19% each. Max Hall, Arizona Cardinals, was a very distant fourth with 4%. Brett Keisel, Pittsburgh Steelers, had 2% of the votes. Bryan Kehl and Brady Poppinga, both with the St. Louis Rams, and Chris Hoke, Pittsburgh Steelers, were the only other former Cougars to receive votes with 1% each.

Collie gets more of my attention than any other former Cougar, as well.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

BYU Football: Did you know? (Two QBs Passing For 300 Yards)

When Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Riley Nelson passed for 363 yards against Hawaii, he became the second BYU quarterback to eclipse 300 yards passing in a single game this year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Luke Staley Talks Doak Walker Award 10 Years Later

This month marks the 10th Anniversary of former Brigham Young Cougars running back Luke Staley winning the Doak Walker Award. The intent of this award is to recognize the best running back in college football. BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL recently spoke with Staley about his experience in 2001 and what the award means to him 10 years later.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Legend In The Making?

What does it take to make a legend? There isn’t one particular formula to follow. The popular cliché legends aren’t born, they are made implies that to be a legend is the end result of a series of events. It appears that one such series started during the 2011 Brigham Young Cougars football season.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Poll Results: Do you agree with Jake Heaps' decision to transfer?

A solid 80% of voters do not agree with Jake Heaps' decision to leave the Brigham Young Cougars football team and transfer to another school.

Normally I wait until after the poll closes to voice my opinion, but this time I stated my disagreement with the decision in a piece written last week.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

BYU Football: Did you know? (Longest Run From Scrimmage)

Brigham Young Cougars reserve running back David Foote had a 56-yard run against the Hawaii Warriors last Saturday. It was the longest run from scrimmage by any BYU player this year. Foote may be a reserve, but he has done something that several starting BYU running backs haven’t done.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Flashback: #6 BYU 28, #20 Wyoming 25 (1996)

On this date, exactly 15 years ago, the Brigham Young Cougars faced the Wyoming Cowboys in the inaugural WAC Championship game. The game was an overtime classic.

My Questions for Jake Heaps

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jake Heaps publicly announced that he would transfer from BYU this month. Heaps released a statement that he would not do any more interviews for at least a week. With that moratorium in place, I will rhetorically pose my questions for Heaps.

Poll Results: Who do you start at QB against Hawaii?

Jake Heaps edged out Riley Nelson in this poll by a 53% to 47% margin.

I was on record, before the game, that Nelson should start.

BYU Engulfs Hawaii With 28-Point Third Quarter

The Brigham Young Cougars scored 28 points in the third quarter to build a commanding 38-13 lead. It was too much for the Hawaii Warriors to overcome, and BYU left the island with a 41-20 win.

Friday, December 2, 2011

BYU and Hawaii Both Have Something To Play For

Both the Brigham Young Cougars (8-3) and the Hawaii Warriors (6-6) have seen their seasons fail to measure up to preseason expectations. That doesn’t mean they don't have some good reasons to play well in their regular season finale.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

BYU Football: Did you know? (Hawaiian Statistical Leader)

The Brigham Young Cougars take a trip to Hawaii this week to play the Hawaii Warriors. The state of Hawaii is the place many BYU football stars called home before coming to Provo.

BYU Distraction Free in Hawaii

The Brigham Young Cougars have had some miserable trips to Hawaii in early December. When the 2011 football schedule was released, red flags immediately went up next to the December 3 game at Hawaii.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Flashback: Jason Buck Wins The Outland Trophy (1986)

Yesterday, November 29, 2011, marked the 25th Anniversary of Brigham Young Cougars defensive tackle Jason Buck winning the Outland Trophy.

Jadon Wagner Returned With Honor

Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Jadon Wagner played his best game of the season against the New Mexico State Aggies. Wagner was honored following the game as one of 19 seniors playing their final home game. Six months ago, Wagner wasn’t expected to be part of this game.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Conference Realignment A Test of Faith For BYU

The Brigham Young Cougars have been at the forefront of both the Big XII and Big East conference expansion talks this fall. It was a major disappointment when BYU was left out of the conference realignment changes in 2010. That disappointment quickly dissipated when BYU announced it would become a college football independent in 2011.

The move was a bold one and would present several challenges, but the movement quickly picked up steam among the Cougar faithful. The outlook was bright, and there was great confidence that independence was the right choice for BYU football.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mendenhall: Nelson Will Start If Cleared To Play

In his Monday Morning press conference, Brigham Young Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall reaffirmed that Riley Nelson would be the starting quarterback when he is healthy.

Poll Results: Should Kyle Van Noy wear the number 1 for the rest of the season?

The results are in, and 76% of voters were against the proposition that Kyle Van Noy continue to wear Jordan Pendleton's number 1 jersey.

I completely agree.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

BYU Football: Did you know? (10 Win Seasons)

The Brigham Young Cougars can finish 2011 with a 10-3 record. That has happened four other times in BYU football history.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Will 10 Wins Be Enough?

The Brigham Young Cougars will play one final regular season game at Hawaii on December 3 and will play in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forced Bowl on December 30 against a Conference USA opponent. If the Cougars win both games, they will finish the year with a 10-3 record.

Even with a current record of 8-3, BYU received zero votes in the most recent Associated Press (AP) Top 25. Seeing BYU completely shut out in the voting process, leads to the question: Will 10 wins be enough for BYU to finish 2011 nationally ranked?

Condolences to Joshua Quezada and Family

BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL extends its deepest condolences to Brigham Young Cougars running back Joshua Quezada and his entire family.

Saturday night, at approximately 6:30 PM, Quezada's older brother Joseph died due to injuries suffered in a hit-and-run car accident, as reported in the Deseret News.  Joseph died in La Habra, California.

More information regarding the funeral services and how to donate to the Quezada family can be found in the Deseret News report.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Numbers Don’t Do Jake Heaps Justice

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jake Heaps’s stat line against the New Mexico State Aggies wasn’t flashy. Nevertheless, Heaps should get credit for playing a good game.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Seniors Shine in BYU’s 42-7 Route of New Mexico State

Several Brigham Young Cougars seniors made big plays in their final home game to help BYU post a 35 point win over the New Mexico State Aggies.

Poll Results: Would BYU beat Boise State?

The votes are in, and 45% voted "No." The next highest vote getter was "50/50 Chance" with 39%. The "Yes" voters comprised only 16%.

I struggled to answer this question.

Friday, November 18, 2011

BYU Seniors Play Final Home Game In First Ever Meeting With New Mexico State

For the first time ever, the Brigham Young Cougars (7-3) and the New Mexico State Aggies (4-6) will square off on the gridiron this Saturday. For 19 BYU seniors, it will also be the last time they don the blue and white for a game at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

BYU Football: Did you know? (Diverse Scoring)

The Brigham Young Cougars aren’t exactly lighting up the score board in 2011. However, the whole team has gotten into the act, and the BYU scoring has been very diverse.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

BYU QB Jake Heaps Goes Retro

Saturday against the Idaho Vandals, Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jake Heaps finally played the way everyone expected him to play in 2011. Heaps’ play also had a retro look to it.

Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 28, #4 Air Force Falcons 21 (1985)

Exactly 26 years ago today, November 16, 1985, the Brigham Young Cougars continued to control the series with the Air Force Falcons. This Air Force squad was a perfect 10-0 and ranked number 4 in the country, but in the end they suffered their seventh loss in eight games, all-time, against BYU. However, it didn’t look like the game would end that way early on.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Van Noy Lays It All Out on the Line In Pendleton’s Absence

In the first game since it was announced that Brigham Young Cougars outside linebacker Jordan Pendleton would miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, fellow outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy paid tribute to Pendleton in a way only he could--with some Van Noise.

Riley Nelson Should Start When Healthy

The quarterback position is, once again, the center of attention for the Brigham Young Cougars. Against Idaho, junior Riley Nelson, who had started the last five games, left the game in the first quarter with a broken rib and pneumothorax. Sophomore Jake Heaps, who started the first five games, played well in Nelson’s absence, and BYU cruised to a 42-7 victory.

In Cougar Nation, this turn of events can mean only one thing: an all out debate over who should be the starting quarterback.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jake Heaps Leads BYU to Blowout Win Over Idaho

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Riley Nelson left the game with a broken rib with 8:26 to play in the first quarter. Backup Jake Heaps came in and BYU scored 35 consecutive points with Heaps at the helm. The Cougars cruised to a 42-7 win.

Poll Results: Will BYU win its final three regular season games?

This poll has closed, and by an 85% to 15% margin, "Yes," BYU will win its final three regular season games.

I am going to say, "Yes," as well.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Idaho Looks Like BYU and Oregon State

As the Brigham Young Cougars line up against the Idaho Vandals on Saturday, November 12, 2011, the Cougars will see a team in the same situation they were not too long ago.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

BYU Football: Did you know? (Multiple Opponents From The Same State)

The Brigham Young Cougars will play the Idaho Vandals on Saturday. This marks the second game this season that BYU plays against a team from Idaho.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Flashback: BYU Takes A Huge Step Forward

Exactly 37 years ago today, November 9, 1974, the BYU football program took one of, if not the, biggest steps forward in its history. The Brigham Young Cougars defeated #16 Arizona State to take control of the WAC title race.

Playing Favorites?

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Riley Nelson has started the last four games. He replaced Jake Heaps at quarterback about half way through game five. Doing the math, that means both Nelson and Heaps have approximately the same amount of playing time this season—4 ½ games.

Monday, November 7, 2011

BYU Head Coach Addresses Bye Week, Conference Realignment, and Kicking Game in Press Conference

Brigham Young Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall addressed the media this morning in his weekly news conference. Topics ranged from how the team used the bye week, to the ongoing conference realignment talks, and to the Cougars kicking game—both punting and kickoffs.

BYU Linebacker Jordan Pendleton Out For Season

Brigham Young Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced that senior linebacker Jordan Pendleton is out for the season with a new knee injury that he suffered against TCU on October 28, 2011.

Poll Results: Who would you start at running back the rest of 2011?

This poll has closed and the results are in. By a 65-35 margin, BYU fans would start Michael Alisa at running back over J.J. Di Luigi for the rest of 2011.

My vote would have been for J.J. Di Luigi.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

BYU Football: Did you know? (Family Ties)

The BYU Football: Did you know? for this week is a little random, but something I have wanted to take a closer look at for awhile. With this being a bye week, it seemed a good time to fit it in.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Nickname For Kyle Van Noy

After two weeks of campaigning for a nickname for Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Kyle Van Noy, during the TCU game I found one that suits me best.

Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 40, UTEP Miners 18 (1996)

When JD Falslev returned a third quarter TCU punt 67-yards for a touchdown, the 2011 BYU Cougars became the first BYU football team to return both a punt and kickoff for a touchdown since the 1996 team did it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nelson Following The Same Path As Heaps

Riley Nelson and Jake Heaps are a curious pair of quarterbacks for the Brigham Young Cougars. The skill set for each quarterback are polar opposites. Nevertheless, their careers on the field, so far, are following the same path.

BYU-TCU Post Game Podcast

Some final thoughts about the Brigham Young Cougars' game against the TCU Horned Frogs.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Poll Results: What are BYU's chances to beat TCU?

From the six percentage ranges, the 25-49% chance range received the most votes totaling 31% of the vote. The second most was 50% with 24% of the votes. The 51-75% range was next with 19% of the total vote, followed by 76-99% with 12% of the vote. The final two percentage ranges, 100% and 0-24%, tied with 7% each.

My vote before the game would have been for the 25-49% range. The reality, I think, was different.

A Little of Everything Causes BYU to Lose to TCU

The Brigham Young Cougars (6-3) lost to the TCU Horned Frogs (6-2) for the fourth year in a row. As the 38-28 final score indicated, the Cougars did not lose because they were overmatched. This time, a little of everything cost BYU the game. Defensive miscues, special teams mistakes, offensive breakdowns, poor coaching decisions, and bad officiating.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Different BYU-TCU Match Up

The Brigham Young Cougars (6-2) will play the TCU Horned Frogs (5-2) for the fourth consecutive year in October. While these teams are playing in the same month, that is where the similarities between this year’s game and the previous three stop.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

BYU Football: Did you know? (Less Than 100 Rushing Yards Allowed)

The Brigham Young Cougars gave up 20 yards rushing against Idaho State. It was the fifth time in 2011 that BYU has held its opponent under 100 yards rushing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 37, Arizona Wildcats 13 (1974)

Exactly 37 years ago today, October 26, 1974, the Brigham Young Cougars stunned the #16 ranked Arizona Wildcats, 37-13, in Tucson.

Same Old Jake Heaps

One of the more anticipated events of the Brigham Young Cougars win against Idaho State was quarterback Jake Heaps taking snaps for the first time since being benched in game five. Heaps was experiencing a major sophomore slump. After three weeks without playing, how would Heaps respond?

BYU-Idaho State Post-Game Podcast

Final commentary and insights into the Brigham Young Cougars' 56-3 victory over the Idaho State Bengals.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Poll Results: Who impressed you the most against Oregon State?

Cody Hoffman was overwhelmingly (57%) chosen as the most impressive player in the Brigham Young Cougars game against Oregon State. The other fourty-three percent of the vote was pretty evenly split between Brandon Ogletree (13%), Riley Nelson (11%), Michael Alisa (9.5%), and Kyle Van Noy (9.5).

I agree that Cody Hoffman was the most impressive.

BYU Wins, But Was It Impressive?

As expected, the Brigham Young Cougars (6-2) beat the Idaho State Bengals (2-6) easily, 56-3, and the Cougar reserves saw plenty of action. On paper, the 53 point margin of victory looks impressive. After watching the game live, however, fans were scratching their heads and asking was this win impressive?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Game Preview: BYU Should Have No Problem With Idaho State

The Brigham Young Cougars (5-2) will play the Idaho State Bengals (2-5) at LaVell Edwards Stadium this Saturday. This is just the fifth time that BYU will play a FCS team.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Doman and Nelson: A Classic Case of Master vs. Apprentice

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Riley Nelson and offensive coordinator and QB coach Brandon Doman present a classic case of Master vs. Apprentice. Doman quarterbacked BYU from 2000 to 2001. His final season, he had a pass efficiency rating of 159.7. In Nelson’s first two complete games at quarterback, he has a pass efficiency rating of 159.7.

BYU Football: Did you know? (Interception Return Yards)

Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Kyle Van Noy had a 43-yard interception return against Oregon State. He has totaled 79 return yards on three interceptions in the first seven games of 2011.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 55, Tulsa Golden Hurricanes 30 (1996)

Exactly 15 years ago, October 19, 1996, the Brigham Young Cougars extended their win streak to five games with a 25-point road win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes.

BYU Football: Problems With Pass Defense

The Brigham Young Cougars are 5-2 on the season and have a four game win streak. The team is showing improvement in many areas. One area that has experienced problems all season long, however, is pass defense.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Nickname For Kyle Van Noy

Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Kyle Van Noy, yet again, made a couple of big plays in BYU's most recent game at Oregon State. This sophomore is proving he is the real deal. Big plays have become a regular occurrence for the super athletic Van Noy. In addition to his big play and athletic capabilities, he has become a fan favorite. It is about time the fans come up with a nickname for Van Noy.

Cody Hoffman's Potential

Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Cody Hoffman had more than just a career game against the Oregon State Beavers. He made plays that beg the question: How much potential does he have?

Monday, October 17, 2011

BYU-Oregon State Post Game Podcast

The Brigham Young Cougars are fresh off a 38-28 win over the Oregon State Beavers. The podcast is bonus postgame coverage from the Editor. A full write up of the game can be read here.

BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe Speaks About Big XII

Brigham Young Cougars Athletic Director Tom Holmoe spoke to the media on Saturday (October 15, 2011) about BYU being a candidate to join the Big XII conference. In previous statements issued by the BYU Athletics Department, BYU had given no hints to anything that might be happening behind the scenes. This time, Holmoe was much more open, and what he said should make everyone more comfortable.

Poll Results: Which would you prefer? (Big XII or TV)

This poll has closed, and the majority (58%) said they would prefer to see BYU join the Big XII than have access to watch every football game.

Add my vote to seeing BYU join the Big XII.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Game Recap: BYU Survives Sloppiness To Win 38-28

The Brigham Young Cougars scored 14 points on their first two possessions, and 17 on their final three possessions. In between, the Cougars relied on Oregon State turnovers and missed field goals to come out on top, 38-28.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Game Preview: BYU Better Be Ready For A Fight With Oregon State

The Brigham Young Cougars (4-2) travel to Corvallis, Oregon, to play the Oregon State Beavers (1-4). While the Beavers record is almost the exact opposite of the Cougars, BYU better not let its guard down. Otherwise, this game could be another Pac-12 punch to the gut for BYU.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Comes Early For BYU

The calendar says Halloween is still over two weeks away, but for the Brigham Young Cougars it might as well be this Saturday.

BYU Football: Did you know? (Coaching Against Alma Mater)

Brigham Young Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall returns to Corvallis, Oregon, for a game against his alma mater Oregon State. BYU football coaches have a long history of coaching against the school they once played for.

Final Thoughts on BYU and the Big XII

The Brigham Young Cougars are still on the outside looking in with regards to the Big XII. It looks like that will continue to be the case for awhile. While I stayed out of the fray when everything was rumor and speculation, I did follow the situation. As we move on from the latest round of conference musical chairs, I have a few final thoughts.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 28, San Diego State Aztecs 0 (1985)

On this date, October 12, twenty-six years ago, the Brigham Young Cougars shutout the San Diego State Aztecs. The shutout didn’t come easy.

Brigham Young Cougars Mid-Season Awards

With the Brigham Young Cougars halfway through the 2011 football schedule, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL handed out grades yesterday for the team. The mid-season review continues today by handing out 10 awards for the play thus far.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Brigham Young Cougars Mid-Season Grades

The Brigham Young Cougars have reached the halfway point of the season. Six games are in the books, and six games remain on the schedule. Time for some mid-term grades.

Overall, I give the first half of the 2011 season a B-.

It is easy to see how the season could be worse than it is. It is also easy to see how this season could be better. That goes for both the product on the field and the overall win-loss record.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Poll Results: Besides the winning TD, which play was the biggest to win the Utah State game?

The 40-yard pass to McKay Jacobson was voted the biggest play, besides the winning TD, that helped win the Utah State Game with 58% of the votes. Stopping the fake field goal was second with 24%, and the first touchdown pass to Cody Hoffman was last with 18%.

While I can understand why the majority would vote for the 40-yard pass, my vote would be with the minority.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Game Recap: BYU Uses Big First Half to Coast to 29-16 Win

The Brigham Young Cougars took control of the game by scoring three touchdowns in a 15:20 second span during the first and second quarters. With a 23-6 lead at halftime, the Cougars coasted in the second half to beat the San Jose State Spartans 29-16.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Game Preview: BYU Trying For A Homecoming Spectacular

The Brigham Young Cougars take on the San Jose State Spartans in the Cougars’ annual Homecoming game. BYU is coming off its second double-digit, fourth quarter comeback win of the season. San Jose State is coming off its second consecutive win.

BYU and the Big XII--What Now?

Yesterday, it was reported that the Big XII had formally invited TCU to join the conference. This turn of events caught the Brigham Young Cougars fanbase completely off guard. It has left everyone asking, "What now?"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

BYU Football: Did you know? (California Style)

The Brigham Young Cougars face San Jose State this Saturday. The Spartans come from California, which is a state BYU has a long history with on the gridiron.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 54, Utah State Aggies 34 (2001)

Exactly ten years ago, October 5, 2001, the Brigham Young Cougars didn’t need last minute heroics to beat Utah State, but the Cougars did trail at halftime 27-21. Thanks to Luke Staley exploding in the third quarter, BYU won this game comfortably, 54-34.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What to do with Jake Heaps?

Almost everyone agrees that Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jake Heaps is under performing this year. Almost nobody can agree what to do with Jake Heaps.

Monday, October 3, 2011

BYU-Utah State Post-Game Podcast

The Editor for Blue Cougar Football gives his in depth reaction to the comeback win over Utah State.

Topics include:

New BYU Football Rallying Cry

The Brigham Young Cougars had a nice 27-24 comeback win over Utah State. It had a similar feel to two other comeback wins in BYU football history. Given their similarities, the team may want to consider adopting a new rallying cry.

Bronco Mendenhall Gets Second Chance to Manage QBs Right

A year and a half ago, Brigham Young Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall had to replace his starting quarterback. With a little experienced backup and a blue chip recruit battling it out, Mendenhall let the quarterback position battle become a long, drawn out process that was eventually resolved by default—Riley Nelson got injured. The quarterback position again needs to be managed. Mendenhall now has a second chance to get it right.

Poll Results: Should Jake Heaps get benched?

The majority voted in favor of keeing Jake Heaps as the starter (64%). To be fair, most of the votes received came before the Utah State game Friday night. When the game started, the percentage of votes in favor of not benching Heaps was 67%. While a dip from 67% to 64% doesn't appear to be substantial, I calculate that 60% of voters who voted after the Utah State game voted in favor of benching Heaps.

The Utah State game changed my vote.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Game Recap: Double Deja-Vu in BYU Win Over Utah State

The Brigham Young Cougars rallied to beat the Utah State Aggies 27-24 as backup quarterback Riley Nelson threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, the final one coming with 11 seconds to play.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Game Preview: It's Strength vs. Strength in BYU-Utah State Game

For the second time in three weeks, the Brigham Young Cougars look to avenge a loss from a year ago to an in-state foe. The game against Utah State is game three in a four game home stand for BYU.

This is a game featuring strength versus strength. The Cougar defense led by its stingy front seven will go up against the Utah State offense powered by an unstoppable run game.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Utah State, Get Your Backup QB Ready

As the Utah State Aggies prepared to play the Brigham Young Cougars this week, it would have been wise for head coach Gary Anderson to make a slight change to his normal plans. What would that change be? Give the backup quarterback some extra reps.

BYU Football: Did you know? (300 Yard Passing Games)

The Brigham Young Cougars gave up 318 passing yards to the UCF Knights. The Cougar defense doesn’t allow that many passing yards very often.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Part 2: Fixing the Run Game is Not A Priority For BYU

Last week, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL argued that the Brigham Young Cougars offense should wait to fix the run game until the passing game was fine tuned. Offensive coordinator Brandon Doman did not heed this advice, and BYU worked on fixing the run game. After the UCF game, it is even more evident that working on the passing game is more important for BYU than the run game.

5 Reasons to Bench Heaps, 5 Reasons to Keep Starting Heaps

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jake Heaps has had a rough start to his sophomore season. As is the case for almost any quarterback who has a rough stretch, some are calling for Heaps to be benched. Should he lose the starting job? BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL looks at five reasons to bench him, and five reasons to keep starting Heaps.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Strength of Joe Sampson

Sampson is the Greek spelling of Samson. As we all know, Samson is the Biblical character known for his great strength. Brigham Young Cougars cornerback Joe Sampson displayed his great strength Friday night against UCF.

Defense’s Depth Pays Dividends For BYU

A lot of hype surrounded the Brigham Young Cougars coming into the season. In many ways, the hype has failed to materialize. Against UCF, the Cougar defense validated some of the hype.

Poll Results: Who should take the most blame for the Utah loss?

Offensive coordinator Brandon Doman edged out Jake Heaps by the slimest of margins (44% to 43%) as the one who should take the most blame for BYU's loss to Utah. The running backs received the remaining 13%.

I put the most blame on Jake Heaps.

BYU vs. UCF Post Game Podcast

Welcome to the Brigham Young Cougars Post Game Podcast on BlueCougarFootball.com! A more indepth look at BYU's 24-17 win over UCF. This week the podcast includes:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Game Preview: More At Stake For BYU Than UCF

The Brigham Young Cougars take on the UCF Knights as both teams look to rebound after losses to in-state opponents last week. While both teams had similar results in their most recent game, it is much more important for BYU to win than UCF.

Tyler Anderson Talks UCF, O’Neill Chambers, and BYU Wide Receivers

Former Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Tyler Anderson coached football for four years in central Florida at Harmony High School. Earlier this week, Anderson shared with BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL his unique perspective about upcoming BYU opponent UCF, his former player O’Neill Chambers, and BYU’s wide receivers.

Past Player Profile: Tyler Anderson

Position: Wide Receiver
Years Played: 1988, 1991-93

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BYU Football: Did you know?

The Brigham Young Cougars play the UCF Knights from Orlando, Florida. This week's "Did You Know" looks at BYU football and the Sunshine State.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 26, Temple Owls 24 (1985)

On this date, twenty-six years ago, the Brigham Young Cougars escaped Philadelphia with a win over the Temple Owls. It was the first time the two schools had ever met.

Does Travel For UCF Give BYU A Bonus Home Field Advantage?

The Brigham Young Cougars will host the UCF Knights Friday night. This will mark the tenth time since 1986 BYU has hosted a team from the eastern United States. A direct flight from Orlando, Florida to Provo, Utah is roughly 1,875 miles and it takes approximately four hours. Playing at home has long been considered an advantage in sports. Is hosting a team that has traveled far an added bonus?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fixing The Run Game Is Not A Priority For BYU

Every aspect of the Brigham Young Cougars offense is under scrutiny this week after scoring less than 17 points for the third consecutive game. One aspect, the BYU run game, has been particularly poor the last two weeks. While the poor run game is cause for concern, fixing it should not be a priority.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Diagnosing BYU's Ailing Offense

Anyone who has watched the Brigham Young Cougars play the last two games will agree that the offense is sick. What is this ailment? Here’s a hint: It starts with the letter E. No, it is not execution. The problem isn’t experience. The sky high expectations placed from fans aren’t the problem, either. The real problem with the BYU offense is that they feel entitled.

Poll Results: Would you trade the Ole Miss win for a win against Texas?

This poll was very close and went down to the wire. In the end, 51% of voters said they would trade the Ole Miss win for a win against Texas.

I, too, would switch the results of the two games.

BYU vs. Utah Post Game Podcast

In depth reaction to the Brigham Young Cougars' loss to Utah. Some of the main points are:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Game Recap: BYU Offense Self-Destructs Against Utah

For the first time in the Bronco Mendenhall era, the Brigham Young Cougars lost two in a row to the Utah Utes. For the second straight year, BYU gave the win to Utah by self-destructing.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Remembering the Rivalry: Brigham Young Cougars 48, Utah Utes 17 (1991)

November 23, 1991—Appropriately, the Brigham Young Cougars played Utah, in Provo, in the final game of 1991, Ty Detmer’s senior year. In true rivalry spirit, the Utes were poised to rain on the parade. After one quarter, BYU trailed by three, 17-14.

Game Preview: BYU and Utah Follow Same Path to Get to Rivalry Game

The Brigham Young Cougars and the Utah Utes aren’t in the same conference anymore, but that hasn’t stopped them from following the same path to their historic 2011 meeting.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Remembering the Rivalry: Brigham Young Cougars 35, Utah Utes 21 (1986)

November 15, 1986—The Brigham Young Cougars used a different offensive approach in the 1986 rivalry game. BYU quarterbacks had passed for at least 249 yards against Utah every year since 1975. You have to go back to 1972 for the last game that BYU didn’t throw a touchdown pass. Steve Lindsley ended both these streaks. He completed 80 percent of his passes (12 of 15), but netted only 119 yards. While the passing streaks ended, a more important streak was extended. BYU won its eighth straight against the Utes.

BYU Football: Did you know? (Rivalry Edition)

It is rivalry week for the Brigham Young Cougars and Utah Utes. It is only natural that this week's "Did you know?" be about BYU-Utah.

Vai Sikahema: I’m always going to be a BYU guy

Over the last several months, former Brigham Young Cougars football player Vai Sikahema has written and done some things that has caught BYU fans off guard. Some of Sikahema’s curious deeds have involved BYU’s arch rival Utah Utes, which has raised some questions regarding his loyalties to BYU. With it being rivalry week, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL asked the BYU Hall of Famer point blank: Are you still a BYU guy?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Remembering the Rivalry: Brigham Young Cougars 56, Utah Utes 28 (1981)

November 21, 1981-For the first time in the Brigham Young Cougars and Utah Utes rivalry, the winner would win more than just bragging rights. A conference championship was on the line. With the stakes raised, 47,163 people crammed into Cougar Stadium to form the largest crowd ever to witness a sporting event in the state of Utah.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Remembering the Rivalry: Brigham Young Cougars 34, Utah Utes 12 (1976)

November 20, 1976-This win by the Brigham Young Cougars over the Utah Utes ran head coach LaVell Edwards’ career record against Utah to 5-0, which matched BYU’s win total in the series from 1922-71. This win also gave BYU a share of the WAC championship, and set a new school record for most wins in a season (9).

Reaction to the Rankings: Week 2 (2011)

The Brigham Young Cougars fell to 1-1 on the field, but they didn't fall in the national rankings. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Post Game Podcast:: BYU-Texas

The Post-game Podcast is thoughts and reaction to the last BYU game. It is deliberately done one to two days after the game to let everything sink a little more and give a better perspective of the game.

BYU Needs The Mind of A Champion

The Brigham Young Cougars have shown during the first two weeks of the 2011 season that they can match up physically with any team in the country. Whether it be an SEC team with one of the biggest and best offensive lines in the country, or a Texas team that annually signs some of the very best high school talent in the country. BYU has played these teams tough, and in some respects even outplayed them. There is little question whether the BYU Cougars belong on the field with these teams.

The weakness of the 2011 BYU football team is mental. BYU lacks the mind of a champion.

Poll Results: How do you rate Jake Heaps' play against Ole Miss?

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jake Heaps was "average" in the season opening game at Ole Miss according to 67% of poll voters. Heaps was "bad" in the eyes of 18% of voter, and "good" according to 13%. The final 2% was split between "very good" and "very bad."

I agree with the 2/3 majority that Heaps was average.

Remembering the Rivalry: Brigham Young Cougars 35, Utah Utes 13 (1966)

November 12, 1966-With the Brigham Young Cougars fourth win ever over the Utah Utes, Virgil Carter became the first BYU quarterback to beat Utah twice. At 2-1 in the WAC (6-1 overall), BYU was still in contention for its second consecutive WAC championship.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Failure to Finish Drives Dooms BYU

The Brigham Young Cougars could have put the game away in the first half, maybe even the first quarter. BYU scored on its first two drives, but it was just two field goals. The Cougar defense was dominating, but the offense could not finish drives with touchdowns. In the end, that doomed BYU to a 17-16 loss to the Texas Longhorns.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars at Texas Longhorns

The Brigham Young Cougars (1-0) face the Texas Longhorns (1-0) in game two. Both teams are still wondering just how good they really are. While they both won the season openers, neither team was particularly impressive.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Former BYU Running Back Talks About Playing at Texas

For the second time in school history, the Brigham Young Cougars will play the Texas Longhorns in their home stadium. The first time it happened was 1987. BYU came out victorious, 22-17. Fred Whittingham was a running back on the 1987 Cougar squad. BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL recently caught up with him and talked about his experience playing in Austin.

BYU Football: Did you know?

The answer to last week's trivia question, "What BYU quarterback threw the most touchdown passes in a season opening game, and how many did he throw?" is Steve Sarkisian with 6 touchdown passes against Texas A&M in the 1996 Pigskin Classic.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ross Apo: Right or Wrong to Sign With BYU?

Ross Apo was a wanted man. Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Cal, Kansas State, BYU, and Tulsa all wanted him. Most importantly, the marquee team in his home state wanted him—the Texas Longhorns.

Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 22, Texas Longhorns 17 (1987)

The Brigham Young Cougars have never won a game on September 7. However, exactly 23 years and 360 days ago, BYU played on the same field the 2011 Cougars will play this Saturday.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reaction to the Rankings: Week 1 (2011)

The Brigham Young Cougars are now 1-0. That has done little to improve BYU’s standing in the national polls.

In Jake Heaps we trust?

All off season, expectations for Brigham Young Cougars sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps grew by the week. BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL is guilty of indulging in the hype and speculation. (See exhibit A, and exhibit B.) However, it wasn’t like the high expectations weren’t unfounded. Heaps finished 2010 on fire. He played at a high level in spring and fall. History even provided support that big things were in store this year.

Game one at Ole Miss did more than put a damper on the Heaps hype. Cougar fans worldwide are scratching their heads wondering what to make of Heaps’ play Saturday.

Does BYU have an “SEC” defense?

The Brigham Young Cougars went to SEC country and came home with a win. They got the win on the strength of their defense, and it was more than Kyle Van Noy scoring the winning points on a fumble. The BYU defense was physical. They didn’t get pushed around by the behemoth Ole Miss offensive line. They played well from start to finish.

The numbers prove just how good BYU was on Saturday.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Poll Results: Who will score BYU's first points this season.

The leading vote getter was J.J. Di Luigi with 27%. He was followed by Ross Apo with 20%. Joshua "Juice" Quezada came in third with 16%. Cody Hoffman (11%), Justin Sorensen (10%), Bryan Kariya (8%), McKay Jacobson (5%), and Jake Heaps (3%) were the other players receiving votes.

As we know now, Ross Apo scored BYU's first points this year by catching a 19-yard pass from Jake Heaps. Congratulations to the 20% who voted for Apo.

My vote would have been for Sorensen.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 14, Mississippi Rebels 13

The Brigham Young Cougars were in trouble. With 14:15 to play in the game, they trailed 13-0. They needed help, so they called on the three amigos. Jake Heaps, Ross Apo, and Kyle Van Noy are best of friends off the field. They proved to be the winning trifecta for BYU against the Mississippi Rebels.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars at Mississippi Rebels

The Brigham Young Cougars will play an opponent from the SEC for the fifth time in school history when they face the Mississippi Rebels on Saturday. The last time BYU played an SEC team was at Mississippi State in 2001.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thursday Trivia: Most TD Passes In A Season Opener

Starting this week, the first person to correctly answer the trivia question will win a $10 gift card to the business of their choice.

BlueNtheFace correctly answered the last trivia question, "What year is the only other time that BYU opened the season on the road against an SEC team?" is 1998. BYU went to Alabama and lost a hard fought 38-31 decision to the Crimson Tide. 

On to this week's question.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 58, Arkansas State Red Wolves 9 (1996)

Editor's Note: With the football season starting up this week, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL will return to featuring a past football game in the weekly flashback.

On this date 15 years ago, the Brigham Young Cougars followed up a stunning upset of Texas A&M in the Pigskin Classic by slaughtering Arkansas State. The Red Wolves were a replacement for Alabama on the schedule. If there was any doubt after the Texas A&M win about how special this 1996 team could be, then game two of the year answered those doubts. Not only could BYU beat the big boys, but they could also destroy the little ones. (Something a 10 win BYU team struggled to do just two years earlier.)

The Ole Miss Defense is Decimated; Brigham Young Cougars Offense Should be licking its chops

The Brigham Young Cougars are going to face an Ole Miss defense this Saturday that has been decimated from a year ago. Jake Heaps and company should be licking their chops.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Poll Results: How many games will BYU win in 2011?

BLUE COGUAR FOOTBALL poll voters have much higher expectations for BYU than the AP and USA Today voters.

With blue goggles firmly in place and clearly focused, the number of wins that received the most votes was 13 with 27%. The second leading win total was 11 with 23%. Ten wins was third with 17%. Twelve (14%), nine (8%), less than 8 (6%), and eight (5%) round out the results.

I honestly believe that BYU can win every game. I really, really want to see BYU win every game. However, I am not ready to predict a perfect season.

Time For The Jake Heaps Fairy Tale To Continue

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jake Heaps’ career, to this point, has all the makings of a fairy tale. As the number one high school quarterback recruit, he committed to play for BYU the summer before his senior year of high school in a self-orchestrated press conference. Heaps used his influence to reel in two other prized recruits for the Cougars the same day as the press conference. In the time between his commitment to the day he enrolled at BYU, Heaps went to the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp and earned MVP honors, won his third straight Washington 4A state championship, and was named All-American.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Brigham Young Cougars: Reasons for optimism against Ole Miss

The Deseret News has electronically published a piece I wrote about the game this week.

Reasons for optimism in game one vs. Ole Miss

It has been a big day for recognition for BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL. Over the weekend and into today, FoxSports.com was promoting the site as a featured publisher on their college football page for a piece I wrote last week.

Dear Bronco: Going Undefeated is Very Hard

If you haven't read it, then do it now. Robbie Bosco, Luke Staley, Brandon Doman, and Matt Bellini give their thoughts about what it would take for BYU to go undefeated. Going undefeated is the first step in fulfilling Bronco Mendenhall's goal to play for a national championship.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Past Player Profile: Fred Whittingham

Position: Running Back
Years Played: 1986-1989

Reaction to the Rankings: 2011 Preseason

The Brigham Young Cougars football team kicks off the 2011 season this Saturday. As the Monday before the first game, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL is ready and kicking it into game day speed.

With the start of every season comes the feature Reaction to the Rankings (R2R). R2R was short lived last year, but it makes a return for the preseason. The game at Ole Miss will have a lot to do with whether R2R is back next week.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Daniel Sorensen's "White Boys" Comment Getting National Attention

Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Daniel Sorensen's recent comments about the BYU football team being "a bunch of white boys" is now getting national attention. Sorensen's comments were first reported by Daily Herald reporter Jason Franchuk. Now, Sorensen's words have been broadcast to the nation.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Highlights: Boys of Fall

Well, this is it. The final week we have to survive on highlights to get our football fix. One week till kickoff. BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL is stoked for the 2011 football season. 

Boys of Fall

Enjoy!

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dear Bronco Mendenhall: Going Undefeated is Very Hard

The Brigham Young Cougars don’t have a conference championship to play for anymore. BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall is very cognizant of that fact. Therefore, he has set his and his team’s sights on the only other championship that matters: the national championship. Going undefeated is essential if BYU is going to convince voters and the computers to rank them number one.

On Tuesday, this site gave a fantasy scenario for BYU to win the 2011 national championship. Today, it is time for a reality check: going undefeated is very hard. BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL reached out to former BYU football players to help explain to Coach Mendenhall and the 2011 football team what makes going undefeated so hard.

Thrusday Trivia: Season Opener In SEC Country

The correct answer to the last trivia question, "Who is the last BYU linebacker to be named All-American (on any level: 1st team, 2nd team, honorable mention) in high school?" is Zac Stout from the 2010 class. After that you have to go back to the 2000 recruiting class that featured two High School All-American linebackers: K.C. Bills and Lawrence Cowan.

On to this week's question.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Flashback: Killer Kicking

The last two weeks the flashback has focused on cornerbacks and tight ends from the past with hopes that it can somehow rub off on this year’s units, which are two of the concerns/question marks of the 2011 team. One final position in question is the place kicker: Justin Sorensen. He has been inconsistent in practice, so this week is in honor of killer kicking to help Sorensen get on track.

Brigham Young Cougars to play Houston Cougars in 2013 and 2014

The Brigham Young Cougars have announced that they will play the Houston Cougars. The two game home-and-home series will be played October 19, 2013 in Houston, and September 27, 2014, in Provo, Utah.

The full press release can be viewed here.

The 2013 game will mark the first meeting between the two schools, unless they play this year in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Although the two teams have never met on the field, they have been connected in college football history.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Brigham Young Cougars' Road To The National Championship

Before getting started let me make one thing clear: Even though I believe anything is possible in college football, understand the chances for what I am about to put forward is slim to none. This is intended to be a fun, wouldn’t this be great, type of post. Brigham Young Cougars fans have a small reputation of thinking every year that BYU is going to win every game and finish ranked number one in the polls. In reality, there is nothing wrong with that. It is a sign of a healthy fan base. (Don't worry, I’ll tackle this issue from the opposite angle on Thursday. Stay tuned.)

This year, 2011, is a little different. BYU has moved on to independence. Now Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall is talking about playing for a national championship, and it is rubbing off onto the players. All the more reason to look into the future and predict why BYU will finish the season undefeated and look at what else will happen so BYU will win the national championship.

Poll Results: Should BYU leave independence if invited to the Big XII?

The results are in and the clear majority (59%) said BYU should tell the Big XII "no."

I happen to disagree on this one.

Monday, August 22, 2011

BYU Cougars Football: Fall Camp Superlatives

The Brigham Young Cougars held their final fall scrimmage on Saturday, and will start preparations for game one at Ole Miss today. With the conclusion of fall camp, BLUE COGUAR FOOTBALL unveils its annual fall camp superlatives.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Brigham Young Cougars: 2011 Special Teams Preview

Not even the Brigham Young Cougars special teams were immune from dark moments in 2010. For the most part, the special teams were solid and quietly did what they needed for BYU to win. Matt Marshall successfully executed a fake FG against San Diego State. However, it can be real easy to focus on how the BYU record holder for most kickoff return yards in a career was kicked off the team, and that a last second field goal attempt to beat Utah was blocked.

Friday Highlights: Brigham Young Cougars vs. Utah Utes (2006)

This one was an instant classic, and not only for the fantastic John Beck to Jonny Harline finish. The 2006 rivalry game with Utah will forever stand out as being a turning point in history. It ended a four game win streak in the series for Utah. It capped a perfect 8-0 season in the MWC. It was the year BYU football became BYU football again.

BYU vs. Utah (2006)

Enjoy!

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brigham Young Cougars: 2011 Defensive Line Preview

Along with the rest of the team, the Brigham Young Cougars defensive line was very disappointing during the first 1/3 of the season. Once head coach Bronco Mendenhall fired defensive coordinator Jaime Hill and assumed responsibility for the defense, the defensive line became one of the most feared in all of college football. Not even #4 TCU could manage much of offense for most of a half.

Thursday Trivia: High School All-American Linebackers

The correct answer to the last trivia question, "How many receiving yards did Itula Mili and Chad Lewis combine for in their sophomore seasons (1994)?" is 831 yards. Mili had 503 and Lewis had 328.

On to this week's question.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Luke Staley Compares BYU Football 2011 with 2001

As the Brigham Young Cougars get set to kick off the 2011 football season, this year’s team is facing a situation similar to the 2001 BYU football team. The 2001 Cougars finished the year before with a disappointing 6-6 record, but the team did finish the year with some momentum after two big wins. The 2001 season saw several new coaches on the sideline for BYU as Gary Crowton took over for the retired LaVell Edwards. As part of this change in leadership, Crowton came in and made some adjustments to the BYU offense.

The 2011 team enters the season with the momentum of finishing a disappointing 7-6 season on a 5-1 run, including a 52-24 bowl win. Several new coaches have joined the BYU coaching staff, and new offensive coordinator Brandon Doman has vowed to make some adjustments to the BYU offense.

Brigham Young Cougars: 2011 Linebackers Preview

Just a year ago, the Brigham Young Cougars linebacking corps returned only one starter (Jordan Pendleton). In 2011, it is the exact opposite. Just one starter from 2010 needs to be replaced (Shane Hunter). Returning three of four starting linebackers is just one reason the expectations for this unit are very high going into the season.

Flashback: Shutdown Corners (1996)

The preview yesterday of the 2011 Brigham Young Cougars defensive backs pointed out that Corby Eason and Preston Hadley would be the starting cornerbacks. Both Eason and Hadley are junior college transfers. Eason has playing experience at BYU, but Hadley has none. This scenario sounds familiar.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Brigham Young Cougars: 2011 Defensive Backs Preview

The defensive backs were the most experienced part of the Brigham Young Cougars defense a year ago. This year, it is the biggest question mark. Gone are multi-year starters Andrew Rich (strong safety) Brandon Bradley (cornerback) and Brian Logan (cornerback). These three combined for 201 tackles, 8 interceptions, and 19 pass breakups in 2010. Free safety Travis Uale (42 tackles) is the only returning starter.

Poll Results: How WIll Brandon Doman do Calling Plays?

The final vote was a tie between "Excellent" and "Great." Both received 35% of the vote. "Good" came in third with 22%. "Average" received 5%. "Bad" and "Terrible" evenly split the remaining 3%.

That means, I get to cast the deciding vote. I think Doman will be great at calling plays.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Past Player Profile: Luke Staley

Position: Running Back
Years Played: 1999-2001

Brigham Young Cougars: 2011 Offensive Line Preview

With the exception of the Florida State game, the Brigham Young Cougars offensive line had a solid season. The men up front paved the way for BYU’s best season running the ball since 2001. They also improved from allowing a sack on 5.5% of pass plays in 2009 to just 4.9% in 2010. The overall win-loss record, however, left a negative perception. Left tackle Matt Reynolds saw his very high NFL draft stock fall appreciatively enough that he decided to return for his senior year.

Joining Reynolds on the line in 2011 will be three other starters from the 2010 campaign. In total, BYU returns 107 career starts on the offensive line.

BYU Would Stabilize the Big XII

The Texas A&M Aggies aren’t going to the SEC after all. At least not yet. The real concern for the Big XII is not whether Texas A&M is staying or leaving. The SEC vote to decline an invite to the Aggies does little to stabilize the volatile Big XII. For all we know, the SEC could be delaying the invite to A&M until team number 14, or 15 and 16, can be chosen and persuaded to join. One thing is certain, the Big XII needs to stabilize itself, and there is an easy way to do that.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Brigham Young Cougars: 2011 Running Backs Preview

The Brigham Young Cougars used a running back by committee approach in 2010. J.J. Di Luigi, Bryan Kariya, and Joshua Quezada shared reps as BYU replaced its all-time leading rusher a year earlier than expected. While the numbers didn’t show any drop off, the run game came up short at key moments early in the season. However, it was the strength of the run game that carried BYU to wins over San Diego State and Wyoming. These two wins proved crucial in the Cougars late season push to qualify for a bowl.

Friday Highlights: Brigham Young Cougars vs. Oregon Ducks (2006)

Well, just a few more weeks and we won't need to survive off of highlights. I have been saving the best of the 2006 season for last. This week is the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl against Oregon.

BYU vs. Oregon, 2006

Enjoy!

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Brigham Young Cougars: 2011 Wide Receivers Preview

The Brigham Young Cougars receivers struggled, collectively, in 2010 with dropped passes. Timing with new quarterback Jake Heaps was off, as well, for the majority of the season. The two veterans that the team was counting on to elevate their games failed to rise to the occasion.

By season’s end, the sun was shining again. Luke Ashworth had tied the school record with four touchdown receptions in a game. Cody Hoffman had emerged as a playmaker. The early season transgressions had been washed away by fans drooling over the possibilities in 2011.

Thursday Trivia: Itula Mili and Chad Lewis Combined Receiving Yards (1994)

The correct answer to the last trivia question, "What is BYU’s record at LaVell Edwards Stadium under Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall?" is 30-6 or 83.3%. BYU was 3-3 in 2005, 6-0 in 2006, 2007, and 2008, 4-2 in 2009, and 5-1 in 2010. Congratulations to the anonymous responder who had the correct answer.

On to this week's question.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Flashback: Sophomore Tight Ends Stepping Up

The Brigham Young Cougars need a tight end to step up this year. I have been calling for 500 yards receiving this season in the season previews by one of the four sophomores vying for the starting spot. Three former BYU tight ends have done just that.