Brigham Young Cougar fans said Jamaal Williams should have been the starting running back against Boise State. In a closely contested race, the "Yes" votes edged out the "No" votes by a 48% to 43% margin. The other 9% of voters were undecided.
My vote is "Yes."
I have seen enough. If you follow the site closely, you know I was skeptical of Michael Alisa coming into this season. Through three games, he had rushed for 163 yards on 39 carries (4.2 ypc average). His longest run was 21 yards. The most yards he had rushing in a game was 56.
In the Boise State game, Alisa didn't do anything to convince me I might be wrong. He had just 47 yards on 17 carries (2.8 ypc) and fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line, which could have led to disaster.
For a junior returning with Alisa's experience, he should be better.
Williams, on the other had, gained 77 yards on 17 carries the first three games (4.5 ypc). He only carried one time against Boise State and gained 6 yards.
While the stats don't display a substantial difference between the two runners, there is a distinct difference watching them play. When Williams carries the ball, I have much more confidence that he is going to get positive yardage, and get at least two or three yards after contact. He looks like he has more speed than Alisa, but just as much power.
To use the catch phrase of the week, I think Alisa has hit his ceiling. We have seen the best he has to offer. Williams seems to have already reached the level of Alisa, and shows no signs of stopping. With more touches, he should do some incredible things for BYU.
The offense needs to make some major improvements, and having Williams start would be a step in the right direction.
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