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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.

The Bengals love to throw the ball. In fact, that is about all they do. They don’t run the ball, and they don’t play much defense, either. Naturally, the deciding factor in the game will be BYU’s pass defense.

While Idaho State is pass happy, the passing attack is not outstanding. Twice, the Bengals have passed for less than 200 yards in a game (versus Northern Arizona and Montana). However, they do have a 500 yards passing game and two 400 yards games to their credit.

In all honesty, Idaho State is a bad team. In case you missed it above, they are 2-5. They are a FCS team. They were shutout by Montana, and scored only three points against Northern Arizona. BYU should destroy the Bengals.

In many ways, it is the right opponent at the right time for BYU. With a short week to prepare for the biggest game left on the schedule (TCU), BYU can rest the starters. BYU can work out some problem spots, and gain confidence.

Things to watch for:
  1. BYU Pass Defense. I detailed my concerns about the BYU pass defense earlier this week. This game will show just how serious these concerns are. If Idaho State moves the ball up and down the field, regardless of how many points they score, then it is time to hit the panic button.
  2. BYU Pass Offense. BYU should take advantage of this game to focus on the passing game. Let Riley Nelson work on his pocket passing. Ross Apo has disappeared lately. BYU should focus on getting him involved again. With Richard Wilson gone for the season, tight ends should be emphasised. Kaneakua Friel and Mike Muehlmann can use as many reps and throws as possible.
  3. Jake Heaps. Heaps should see his first playing time since being benched against Utah State. When he comes in, Brandon Doman should give him quality reps. Let him throw the ball just like he would if it was still the first quarter. That is the first step to coaching Heaps back to where he was last year, and getting him ready to start again, whenever that may be.
  4. Resting players. With several injuries last week, BYU should start getting players off the field early. Idaho State is so bad, even the second string players should score at will. Let the starters play enough to keep them in rhythm, but then get them out. Remember, the TCU game is on Friday and BYU has to travel. As far as Hebron Fangupo, I wouldn’t play him a single down. Let him fully recover and be 100% for TCU.
  5. Unknown Players. When the game gets ugly and you find it hard to pay attention, try this. Count how many BYU players get their names called that you didn’t even know were on the roster. EVERYBODY, except those redshirting, should get into the game this week.
All-time series: BYU leads 3-0
Last: BYU won 27-7 (1951)
Streak: BYU won 3

TIME: 1:00 PM (Mountain Time)
TV: BYU-TV
Radio: KSL 1160 AM, 102.7 FM, http://www.ksl.com/

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

2 comments:

  1. Scott, I think the most important thing in this game is getting the offense in the rhythem they were in by the end of the season last year. Therefore, I think Nelson should stay in as long as necessary to establish that. But I also agree that this is a good time to get Heaps in and let him play real, quality minutes, see how responds to having been benched. I think about mid-way through the third quater they ought to put Heaps in and let him run the regular offense. Maybe even right after the half if the game is going well enough. It's not like Jake, as the back up, is inexperienced. If they have a 4 TD lead and everything is running smooth on the offense going into half-time, I see no reason Heaps shouldn't get to start the second half, and play through til the end.

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  2. I agree about Ross Apo! Where did he go? Its like he disappeared when Jake Heaps did! I think they should definitely get him back involved, he is a good player that needs to be utilized.

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