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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.

This offense is talented. They have the potential to be great. The bad part is they know it. They have allowed themselves to be puffed up because of their lofty recruiting rankings coming out of high school, their star-studded high school careers, and their attendance at camps reserved for only the best high school prospects.

These players have come to BYU where the football tradition at BYU is great. They hear about the national championship, the conference championships, the bowl games, the national rankings, the Heisman Trophy, Doak Walker Award, and other awards. As they start their careers, these players assume that the wins and accolades will just pile up. That’s just the way it goes, right?

With this attitude of superiority, these players have taken the field in blue and white. They think that because they were great in high school, they will be great in college. As they dress for each game, they believe the BYU uniforms must be made from a special material that makes the opposition automatically surrender. These are the symptoms of feeing entitled to win.

This sense of entitlement is why the BYU offense struggles to finish drives. After covering 35 or 50 yards, they assume the defense will surrender the final 20 to 30 with the same amount of resistance.

This sense of entitlement is why the BYU offense hasn’t gotten a first down on the first drive of the second half all season long. They could get first downs in the first half, so they think they can get a first down just as easy after halftime.

This sense of entitlement is why the BYU offense can’t finish games. They don’t come to play four quarters. They jump out to an early lead and think they can just coast the rest of the way. Scoring will come just as easy the rest of the game. By the end of the third quarter, they will be on the sideline with a comfortable 30 point lead.

NEWSFLASH!!! What you did in high school is meaningless. Weekend trips to a private quarterback coach don’t give you better field position or spot you a touchdown each week. Playing in All-American games or participating in camps for elite players gets you zero respect from the defense. You need to get down and dirty. Earn your stripes and prove that you can play with the big boys.

NEWSFLASH!!! The BYU football greats gave an immeasurable amount of effort, sweat, and sacrifice to earn the wins and honors that Cougar Nation holds so dear. These players focused more on working to win games than talking about going to a BCS bowl, going undefeated, or winning a national championship. Everything that BYU has achieved in football has come at a cost paid in large part by the players. If you want to add to the legacy, you need to pay the dues.

NEWSFLASH!!! The closer you get to the end zone the harder the defense plays. Just because you successfully navigated the middle of the field doesn’t mean you get a free pass through the red zone. If you don’t increase your intensity to stay ahead of the defense, you will not score very many touchdowns.

NEWSFLASH!!! During halftime, the other team is making adjustments. They are coming up with new ways to stop what has been working. They are reviewing the schemes that they practiced during the week, but you haven’t seen yet. Defenses don’t show all their cards in the first half. When you get back out there, you have to get a first down the first time you have the ball, otherwise the defense now has the upper hand.

NEWSFLASH!!! The opposition is not going to willingly roll over for you just because you have built a 13-point lead, or scored 10 straight points. They are going to play harder. You have to dig deeper and give more effort with a two score lead than when the game was tied if you want to put the game away. You have to roll them over against their will. Normally that will require you to play all four quarters.

The sense of entitlement that the BYU offense has is blurring its vision of the big picture in games. The offense can’t recognize the critical moments in the game when one more score would give BYU full control of the game or even put the other team away. The offense doesn’t realize how much damage is done by failing to get a single first down on a drive.

It is clear that the BYU offense is suffering. It isn’t turnovers, but bad case of entitlement. If the BYU offense doesn’t cure itself of its entitled ways, the 2011 season will be considered one of the great disappointments in BYU football history. Future NFL careers could be in jeopardy as well. To be cured from this malady and to turn around the 2011 football season, the offense needs to turn that E for entitled into an H for humble.

For more discussion regarding the BYU offense feeling entitled, you can listen to the BYU-Utah Post Game Podcast.

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

5 comments:

  1. Fantastic. I have been trying to put my finger on what it wrong, and I have a hard time arguing with this.

    -Silas

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  2. Great post. I couldn't agree more. I think they would benefit by naming the "Blue" Zone back to RED ZONE. Calling it the Blue Zone feeds into your thoughts on entitlement. "It's the Blue Zone! We belong here." Bringing back the Red Zone would help the team focus on the fact that it's the enemies territory, and we need to fight thru to win!

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  3. I would have to say that the entitlement mentality has been with the cougars for more than just this season. I wish there was a way for this to end, but alas, like all teams who feel this way, this is just their first slice of humble pie and more is on the way. I have been a BYU fan for a number of years and this attitude of being superior to other teams is killing a once great football tradition. Unfortunately, we are seeing the inevitable. The implosion has been creeping up ever so slowly over the past few years and now has reached its climax. The question remains...how many servings will WE, the FANS, have to endure?

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  4. Colorado_BYU_fan has hit the nail on the head. Heaps and his mouth are a prime example of this entitlement malaise that has afflicted BYU football for many years. The other problem I see with Heaps is that he is running scared out there more often than not. I haven't seen a QB in years, on ANY team, that seemed so afraid of being hit as Heaps is.

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  5. I agree about Heaps being a big wussy!!! He probably could gain a lot of yards on his runs when he is scrambling and bring momentum back to his team if he wasn't such a pansy about being hit. You're a football player, suck it up and take one for the team, Heaps!!!

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