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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

BYU turns over turnover battle

Every week there’s something for a football team to improve. For quite some time, the Brigham Young Cougars have needed to improve the turnover margin in big games. Against Boise State they did just that.

Monday, October 28, 2013

BYU Football Game 8 Statistical Milestones (2013)

Tracking the accomplishments of the Brigham Young Cougars football team each game during the season. Below are the season and career milestones, as well as new career highs, reached by BYU football players during the Boise State game. At the end there is a list of players who are approaching a milestone and should appear on the list next week or the week after.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

BYU vs. Boise State: Game Changing Plays

The Brigham Young Cougars offense was impressive in its route of Boise State Friday night, but it was the BYU defense that made the game changing plays. There were three of them to be exact--two turnovers and one big fourth down stop.

BYU vs. Boise State: 5 Story Lines Revisited

The Brigham Young Cougars earned a major 37-20 win over the Boise State Broncos last night. It is time to revisit the five story lines that BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL provided before the game.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

BYU vs. Boise State: 5 Story lines to follow

The Brigham Young Cougars will face the Boise State Broncos Friday night. It is one of the most anticipated games of the season. As such, there are some great story lines to follow.

Friday, June 28, 2013

BYU Football Top 10 One Hit Wonders: #1 - Jay Miller

Editor's Note: Just as in years past, a list of honorable mention players is included at the end. 

Coaches like LaVell Edwards, Dewey Warren, and Doug Scovil get their fair share of credit for the Brigham Young Cougars becoming the greatest passing attack in college football. Quarterbacks Virgil Carter, Gary Sheide, and Gifford Nielsen also get the credit they deserve. One player who doesn't get the credit he deserves is wide receiver Jay Miller.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

BYU Football Top 10 One Hit Wonders: #2 - David Mills

As a senior in 1984, senior David Mills appeared to be keeping the tight end seat warm for someone else to become the next great Brigham Young Cougars tight end. Three-year starter, and future College Football Hall of Fame member Gordon Hudson had just graduated. Little did anybody know that Mills would do something not even Hudson--a two-time consensus All-American--had done.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

BYU Football Top 10 One Hit Wonders: #3 - Ted Nelson

Like a few of the other players on this list, middle linebacker Ted Nelson became a star for the Brigham Young Cougars at the expense of another player. However, when he got his chance, Nelson proved he was more than just a replacement player. He deserved to be out on the field.

Fans hold the key to BYU getting better bowl deals

When the Brigham Young Cougars left the Mountain West Conference to become a college football independent finding good bowl partnerships was identified as one of the four major risks that BYU was taking. BYU's athletic director Tom Holmoe quickly secured three agreements with smaller bowl games for the Cougars' first three years of independence. Under the conditions, many fans were satisfied, but they expected that BYU would be able to ink some deals with bigger bowls starting with the 2014 season.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BYU Football Top 10 One Hit Wonders: #4 - Ethan Pochman

Football coaches like to say that special teams is an equal one-third of the game, but it isn't uncommon for coaches to resort to unconventional methods to fill those spots. This is especially true when it comes to placekicking. Brigham Young Cougars head coach LaVell Edwards found his team lacking a placekicker in 1996. Rather than find a high school senior and recruit him to kick for BYU, Edwards found a senior from the BYU soccer team and converted him into a football player.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cougar Kickoff Countdown: 68 Days until BYU at Virginia

BYU Football Top 10 One Hit Wonders: #5 - Ryan Hancock (1992)

The Brigham Young Cougars have one of the richest quarterback traditions in the nation. The list of great quarterbacks is long, and it usually takes multiple seasons of play to earn an enduring place in the hearts of Cougar fans. One quarterback has defied the odds, and in one season built a unique legacy.

Former BYU LB shares his experiences with Kyle Van Noy, Ezekiel Ansah, and talks about his one-of-a-kind business

BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL is continually reaching out to former Brigham Young Cougars football players to learn where the road of life has taken them since they left BYU, as well as get their thoughts and opinions about some of the current affairs in Cougar football. Jadon Wagner is the latest.

Wagner was a linebacker for BYU from 2007-11. He was teammates with Kyle Van Noy and Ezekiel Ansah. During Wagner's time at BYU, the football program left the Mountain West Conference to become an independent.

Although it has not been long since Wagner's playing career concluded, he has already started his own business. A business that carries on the tradition of BYU football being at the forefront of monumental changes. BYU's use of the forward pass in the early 1970s forever changed the game of football. Wagner's company Coached By Pros is on the verge of forever changing the development and recruitment of teenagers across the country.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

BYU Football Top 10 One Hit Wonders: #7 - Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah

As stated from the outset, the focus of this top 10 was inspired by one player on last year's Brigham Young Cougars' football team: Ezekiel Ansah. His story about going from not knowing anything about football before 2010 to meteorically rising to the top of the NFL draft has been told and retold countless times already this year. Nevertheless, his play on the field in 2012 is worth another look.

Cougar Kickoff Countdown: 72 Days until BYU at Virginia

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cougar Kickoff Countdown: 74 Days until BYU at Virginia

BYU Football Top 10 One Hit Wonders: #9 - Shane Hunter

The Brigham Young Cougars have had countless impact players come through the junior college ranks. Many make an immediate splash and have a key role on the team for multiple seasons. In the case of Shane Hunter, the opposite was true. However, when he finally got a chance to play, he make it count.

Monday, June 17, 2013

BYU Football: Top 10 One Hit Wonders

It is that time of year again ... time for another BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL Top 10 list. These are the most in depth, well researched Top 10 lists you will find about Brigham Young Cougars football. This year, Ezekiel Ansah is the inspiration for the theme: One Hit Wonders. A one hit wonder is someone who only had an impact one year during his career. He may have played more than one season, but his contributions every other year were minimal.

Creating a threshold for what was a minimal contribution was a little tricky. I had to use my best judgement. Marcus Whalen was a candidate for one hit wonder status with 918 yards rushing in 2002, but no more than 209 his other seasons on the team. However, against Utah State in 2000, Whalen was BYU's leading rusher with 91 yards and carried the ball 10 times.

This year's top 10 is actually eleven players (tie for number 10) comprised of five offensive, five defensive, and one special teams player. Their playing careers span from 1970 to 2012. Some are well know record setters, and others are complete unknowns with their impressive one-year body of work being overshadowed over the decades by consistent two, three, and four year performers.

Cougar Kickoff Countdown: 75 Days until BYU at Virginia

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cougar Kickoff Countdown: 80 Days until BYU at Virginia

No one is more excited about the Brigham Young Cougars kicking off the 2013 football season on August 31 at the Virginia Cavaliers than us at BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL. Therefore, we will join the growing trend set by BYU Roster to countdown the days until the season. However, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL will not hijack the idea of highlighting players who's jersey number matches the number of days until the season opener. As with everything done here, we will add our own little twist.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Replacing Ziggy and Scouting Notre Dame

A few months ago when it became clear that Brigham Young Cougars defensive end Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah would be an NFL first round draft pick, The Saturday Edge reached out to me requesting a synopsis on the BYU player that would replace Ziggy next year. The Saturday Edge recently published my synopsis on Bronson Kaufusi. You can find it by clicking here.

Wait, there's more.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fan support lands BYU's Van Noy on the cover of football preview magazine

If you are a BYU football fan, you have probably heard by now that Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Kyle Van Noy will grace one of the 11 covers of Phil Steele's 2013 College Football Preview magazine. What you probably have not heard is why Mr. Steele and his team decided to put Van Noy on the cover.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Brett Thompson -- BYU's next great tight end?

Going back over 30 years, outstanding tight end play has gone almost hand-in-hand with outstanding quarterback play for the Brigham Young Cougars. Dennis Pitta caught a touchdown in the most recent Super Bowl, and Gordon Hudson was inducted into the college football hall of fame less than five years ago. However, as BYU fans have waited the last three years for the next great quarterback to emerge, they have also been waiting for the next great tight end to manifest himself.

Monday, May 6, 2013

MYTH BUSTER: Kyle Van Noy is too small to be a 1st round NFL draft pick

The Brigham Young Cougars could have back-to-back years of first round NFL draft picks. Ezekiel Ansah was selected by the Detroit Lions with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy has a shot at being a first round pick in 2014.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fred Warner: BYU’s Defense to Gain Lightning Linebacker

The Brigham Young Cougars defense was ranked no. 3 in the nation for the 2012 campaign. A defense led by Ezekiel Ansah and Kyle Van Noy not only shut down opposing teams’ run game with ferocity but also was a driving factor in BYU’s offense in many instances. A new linebacking recruit hopes to add his name to the growing legacy of Cougar defenders.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

BYU Football News and Notes

Some pretty interesting developments came out of the BYU camp yesterday. They involve a scheduling announcement, new coaching hire, and the return of a defensive player to practice. Additionally, I am interested to learn what everybody thinks about where Eathyn Manumaleuna should play this season--nose tackle or defensive end.

Monday, March 11, 2013

BYU QB Steve Young is in, Jim McMahon snubbed, in The Herd's QB Bracket

With college basketball's March Madness right around the corner, ESPN sports radio host Colin Cowherd has put together a bracket of his own--the QB Bracket. The goal is to determine the greatest NFL quarterback of all-time using a similar 64-player format to that used by the NCAA to determine the men's college basketball champion.

Former Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Steve Young made the field. Super Bowl champion Jim McMahon did not.

BYU should extend Bronco Mendenhall's contract for life, fans say

Brigham Young Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall confirmed last Monday that rumors of preliminary talks about extending his contract with BYU were true. Mendenhall has one year left on a three-year deal he signed before the 2011 season.

Business as usual for BYU defense with Howell as defensive coordinator

Just before the Brigham Young Cougars opened spring practices, head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced some new staff assignments. The most surprising assignment was Mendenhall relinquishing the defensive coordinator title to Nick Howell. That news immediately brought two thoughts to mind: 1) Great opportunity for Howell, and 2) Will the BYU defense take a step back?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ziggy Watch: March 1-8; Detroit, Cleveland, and New York possible destinations

The attention that Brigham Young Cougars defensive end Ezekiel Ansah is receiving has grown rapidly since the NFL Draft Combine ended. No BYU football player has received this kind of attention as the NFL Draft approached in well over a decade. During the season, head coach Bronco Mendenhall said that more NFL team scouts and executives were on campus inquiring about Ansah than he had seen for all other players combined during his tenure.

BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL will endeavor to chronicle the coverage of Ansah leading up to the NFL Draft on April 25 when Ansah could be one of the first players to hear his name called. Each Friday, Ziggy Watch will wrap up what is new about Ansah during the last week--where is he in the latest mock drafts, what teams are showing the most interest, who is tweeting about him, and anything else interesting that pops up.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

BYU Football: Did you know? (Sub-4.5 forty yard dash)

Few things about an individual player gets more attention in football than the player's 40-yard dash time. The Brigham Young Cougars don't get very many players who have blazing fast speed. However, they have played quite a few the last couple of seasons.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Flashback: 137-0

Brigham Young Cougars offensive coordinator Robert Anae has returned to Provo with the mantra "go fast and go hard" for the offense. If there was any time during Anae's previous tenure at BYU (2005-10) that the entire team embodied this mantra, it was a three game stretch in 2008.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New BYU coaches have a lot to prove in 2013

As spring football practices opened for the Brigham Young Cougars, it wasn't just the players competing to fill the holes left by graduating seniors looking to prove themselves. The five new offensive coaches have the burden of proving they deserve their new jobs just as the new starters will this fall.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Brigham Young Cougars return to New England in 2014 to play Connecticut

The Brigham Young Cougars have announced a two-game, home-and-home scheduling agreement with the Connecticut Huskies. The series will be played in 2014 and 2015.

BYU Cougars Spring Football Burning Questions

The Brigham Young Cougars open spring football practices today, March 4. It is the first time the majority of the 2013 football team will be able to meet with the new coaching staff and start preparing for next season. The start of anything new brings a lot of questions. Here are BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL's six burning questions for BYU spring practices.

Trey Dye--A diamond in the rough

On February 22, 2013, the Brigham Young Cougars received a verbal commitment from Trey Dye to sign a letter of intent next year to play college football in Provo. Dye saw limited playing time in 2012 at Cooper High School in Abilene, Texas. He isn't even on the radar for the major recruiting services.

Normally, this would illicit weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Cougar fan base. Cries of "why is Bronco Mendenhall wasting a scholarship on this kid?" typically reverberate from outspoken fans for a prospect with Dye's profile. Dye, however, is an exception. He is a diamond in the rough.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mendenhall continues to tinker with BYU coaching staff, raises more questions

Everyone knew that some coaching changes would be made to the Brigham Young Cougars coaching staff when the 2012 football season was over. The entire offensive staff was replaced in a prolonged process. With the BYU football team fully staffed again, head coach Bronco Mendenhall has tinkered with some of the responsibilities. There were already questions about how the coaching changes would impact the team. Now, Mendenhall has introduced more questions with the new assignments.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Former BYU WR Scott Collie's pioneering ReceiverTech program goes national

Former Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Scott Collie became a pioneer in the field of youth football player development last year. His initial pioneering efforts have been so successful that Collie's program ReceiverTech has expanded nationwide in just its second year. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

BYU Football: Did you know? (Punts 69 yards or longer)

While few people like to see the punter trot onto the field, almost everyone likes seeing a punter unleash a booming kick that covers a really long distance. For the Brigham Young Cougars, those really, really long punts have come more often against one opponent.

BYU player interviewed by 16 different NFL teams

Brigham Young Cougars Ezekiel Ansah and Braden Brown were the only BYU players invited to last week's NFL Draft Combine, but they aren't the only Cougars getting a lot of attention from the NFL. BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL recently spoke with Braden Hansen and learned that he is receiving interest from half of the teams in the National Football League.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Flashback: Power Punting

One of the biggest losses from 2012 for the Brigham Young Cougars is punter Riley Stephenson. His powerful (45.4 yards per punt) and precise punts (30 inside the 20-yard line) were game changers for BYU. The same problem faced the Cougs 30 years ago.

Comprehensive NFL Combine recap for BYU's Ezekiel Ansah

Brigham Young Cougars defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah was put under the microscope and sent through a gauntlet of rigorous testing at the NFL's annual Draft Combine in Indianapolis this past week. The native of Ghana, Africa took a "don't think, just have fun" attitude as if he was chilling on the African Savannah. Ansah tested well and receiving glowing reviews from all the experts.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Sneak Peek at BYU Football 2013

The Brigham Young Cougars will start spring football practices next week. This is the first real preparation for the 2013 season. While kickoff is still six months away, here is a sneak peek at how the 2013 Cougars will look.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Brigham Young Cougars make late addition to 2013 recruiting class

Nearly three weeks after National Letter of Intent day, the Brigham Young Cougars completed their 2013 signing class with the addition of Tomasi Laulile. Laulile is a 6-foot-3, 265 pound defensive end from Westlake High School in Westlake Village, California.

BYU's Braden Brown runs the 40 faster than the projected no. 1 overall pick

While everyone is closely watching Brigham Young Cougars defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah at the NFL Draft Combine, there is another BYU player in Indianapolis who is standing out, especially when compared head-to-head with Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Is it time for Bronson Kaufusi to quit basketball?

The Brigham Young Cougars are scheduled to start spring football practices in roughly one week. The BYU basketball team will still be playing in the West Coast Conference tournament, and could play even longer if the Cougar cagers earn an invitation to the NIT or NCAA tournament. That creates a small dilemma for BYU football and basketball player Bronson Kaufusi.

Kaufusi's role with the football team is clearly bigger than his role with the basketball team. Should he leave the BYU basketball team early (March 4) to participate in spring football practices?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

BYU Football: Did you know? (The year after a Top 10 defense)

The phenomenal play of the Brigham Young Cougars defense in 2012 helped keep the season interesting despite the struggles on offense. Can the BYU defense follow up this stellar season with an excellent 2013?

2012 was a volatile season for former BYU players in the NFL

Six former Brigham Young Cougars started the 2012 season on active NFL rosters. When the regular season concluded, 11 former BYU players had been active at some point during the season, but only nine were active the final week of the season. That is just the beginning of how volatile this NFL season was for former Cougars.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Flashback: The other Van Noy

Kyle Van Noy has become a star for the Brigham Young Cougars the last two years. He has built a legacy that will last for a very long time. However, he is not the first Van Noy to wear BYU blue.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Without doubt the Brigham Young Cougars offensive line will be better in 2013

The Brigham Young Cougars offensive line had its share of struggles in 2012. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall and offensive coordinator Robert Anae felt the o-line needed to be an area of emphasis in recruiting, and during January--a time that BYU, typically, doesn't make major recruiting headlines--they crossed the country trying to find offensive line talent.

On National Letter of Intent Day, BYU signed, an astounding, eight offensive line prospects. Half of these prospects came from the junior college ranks, which is a sure sign the Cougars coaches don't want to wait to see improvement up front. Will this emphasis on offensive linemen in this recruiting class payoff?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Brigham Young Cougars hire Guy Holliday and Jason Beck to completely revamp offensive coaching staff

Late Friday evening, the Brigham Young Cougars announced that Guy Holliday and Jason Beck were hired as assistant football coaches. With the hire of these two highly qualified coaches, BYU has completely revamped its offensive coaching staff that was put into place just two years ago.

Friday, February 15, 2013

BYU Football: Did you know? (Opponents with 11 wins)

Much is made in college football about strength of schedule. It can be measured in many different ways. One way that would have favored the Brigham Young Cougars in 2012 is to look at the number of different opponents who won 11 games.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Flashback: Really long touchdown runs

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill electrified the crowd last year with a 68-yard touchdown run against Hawaii. It was the longest run in school history by a quarterback. Looking at past seasons, Hill or running back Jamaal Williams may have an even longer run in 2013.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tim McTyer--Much more than a football player

Former Brigham Young Cougars cornerback Tim McTyer entered the spotlight a week ago when his son needed a new place to play football in college. Many BYU fans still remember how good the senior McTyer was in Cougar blue, but that was all the way back in 1996. Following his playing days in Provo, McTyer was fortunate enough to have a four-year NFL career. For the past 10 years, he has coached football on the high school and Youth football levels. That is only half of the story.

In an interview with him, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL learned that McTyer has pursued professional interests other than football.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The ideal candidate to coach wide receivers for BYU

Brigham Young Cougars offensive coordinator Robert Anae is busy sifting through resumes to fill two assistant coaching positions. One of those assistants will coach the wide receivers. Imagine what Anae's reaction would be if he found a resume with the following:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Brigham Young Cougars' 2013 schedule gets high marks from fans

The Brigham Young Cougars athletic administration had hyped the 2013 football schedule for many, many months. The more hype the greater the odds of a letdown. When BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe unveiled the football schedule almost two weeks ago, the big question became how do the fans feel about it?

Friday, February 8, 2013

BYU Football: Did you know? (Junior College Cornerbacks)

On Wednesday, Brigham Young Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced that two junior college cornerbacks had signed letters of intent to play football. Mining the JC ranks for cornerbacks is a formula that has been successful for BYU during Mendenhall's tenure.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Despite decommitments, BYU's 2013 recruiting class has plenty to be excited about

The Brigham Young Cougars had a wild finish to recruiting for 2013. Negative stories about players changing their commitment from BYU to another school gave the impression that this recruiting class would be a disaster for the Cougars. Despite the multiple defections, the class of 2013 has plenty of quality players to be excited about.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Flashback: BYU's 2003 recruiting class

Today is National Letter of Intent day for college football. The Brigham Young Cougars will welcome in the latest group of high school players. Ten years ago, BYU signed a recruiting class under similar circumstances to today.

Monday, February 4, 2013

BYU in NFL, Super Bowl--Pitta catches key TD in Ravens' win

Former Brigham Young Cougars tight end Dennis Pitta is a Super Bowl champion. The Baltimore Ravens tight end helped his team to a 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dennis Pitta set to add his name to BYU Super Bowl lore

In less than 24 hours, former Brigham Young Cougars tight end Dennis Pitta will represent BYU in Super Bowl XLVII as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. Pitta is the latest in a long line of Cougars who have competed on football's biggest stage.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Not a problem that Mendenhall and Anae are taking their time to finalize the BYU coaching staff

During the 2012 football season it was very evident that the Brigham Young Cougars needed to make some changes to the coaching staff. Those changes started to be made shortly after BYU beat San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall brought in Robert Anae to be the offensive coordinator. It became evident that the entire offensive coaching staff would be revamped.

The hiring of Garett Tujague and Mark Atuaia as assistant coaches was announced about 10 days after Anae came on board. Another two-plus weeks have passed without a single additional hire being announced. For a myriad of reasons, this could be cause for alarm.

New twist in the BYU 2013 recruiting saga: Tim McTyer wants his son to be a Cougar

The Brigham Young Cougars 2013 recruiting class can be described in one word: saga. Recruiting had been uneventful in January the last few years. Virtually all recruits had committed early and stayed true to that commitment. This year has been the exact opposite. Multiple commits have decommitted and committed to other schools. Some have decommitted only to recommit later. One even decommitted and recommitted only to decommit again. BYU coaches have racked up a lot of frequent flier miles this month making several visits to recruits both new and old.

Guess what, it isn't over yet. With six days left until the February 6 date when high school seniors can sign their national letter of intent a new twist developed in the BYU recruiting. The son of former BYU legend Tim McTyer (cornerback, 1995-96) had Cal pull its scholarship offer. Torry McTyer is now looking for a new place to play, and BYU is high on his list.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

BYU Football: Did you know? (Dennis Pitta vs. Austin Collie)

When former Brigham Young Cougars tight end Dennis Pitta takes the field for the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, he will be the first former BYU player to play in the Super Bowl at one of the skill positions since wide receiver Austin Collie played in Super Bowl XLIV for the Indianapolis Colts. Interestingly, the former Cougar teammates could end up with the same postseason receiving stats during their respective Super Bowl runs.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Flashback: Strong Start to the Season

The Brigham Young Cougars don't have a long history of starting the football season by stringing together a lot of wins. Twenty years ago, that wasn't the case. BYU came out strong, and it was crucial to the overall outcome of the season.

BYU and Nevada agree to a 3-game series

When the Brigham Young Cougars released their 2013 schedule this week, it was the first time the school made public that it would play the Nevada Wolf Pack in Reno on November 30, 2013. As it turns out, next year won't be the only time the two schools meet. The 2013 game is just one in a three game series contracted between the two schools.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Game-by-game analysis of BYU's 2013 football schedule

The Brigham Young Cougars have announced their 2013 football schedule. Next season's schedule was officially released on the BYU sports program True Blue last night. This schedule has long been promised to be the best in school history. The finished product is very impressive.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ezekiel Ansah named Most Outstanding Player for South team in Senior Bowl

On Saturday, NFL scouts, offensive tackle Ricky Wagner, and the rest of the nation learned what Brigham Young Cougars fans have known for awhile: Ezekiel Ansah is a monstah. From the South's first defensive series of the game, Ansah made an impact. He continued to play well all game long and earned the Most Outstanding Player honors for the South team.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ezekiel Ansah expected to be drafted in the mid-first round

Ever since he became a starter in game five of the 2012 season, Brigham Young Cougars defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah has been climbing up the NFL draft boards. By the end of the season, Ansah had almost assured himself a spot in the first round. With the evaluation process now in full force, the question has become just how high Ansah can rise in the NFL Draft.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

BYU Football: Did you know? (Most Receiving Yards in a Game)

In honor of former Brigham Young Cougars tight end Dennis Pitta reaching the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens, this week and next week's "Did you know?" feature will focus on him.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Utah has a new star: BYU's Ezekiel Ansah may go No. 1 overall in NFL Draft

Shortly after the 2012 NFL Draft concluded, University of Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei was projected as the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Fast forward nine months, and there is now talk that another player from the Beehive State might be the first player taken in the NFL Draft April 25. That player is Brigham Young Cougars defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah.

Flashback: The Steve and Gordon Show

The last two football seasons, the Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Cody Hoffman has put on a show catching passes from quarterback Riley Nelson (and anyone else who has been under center). Thirty years ago, BYU had another offensive duo who put on a show worthy of a full blown article in Sports Illustrated.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Former BYU linebacker Uona Kaveinga has strong showing in NFLPA Colleigate Bowl

The Brigham Young Cougars had one representative in the 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which was played last Saturday, January 19, in Carson, California: middle linebacker Uona Kaveinga. The Hawthorne, California native was one of the leading tacklers in the game. He showed good athleticism and strength as he battled for the American team.

Monday, January 21, 2013

BYU in NFL, Playoffs--AFC Championship Game: Pitta to play in his first Super Bowl

Former Brigham Young Cougars tight end Dennis Pitta will play in the first Super Bowl of his career in two weeks after making three first down and one touchdown reception to help the Baltimore Ravens upend the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The BYU offense's best game in 2012

A week ago, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL looked at which game in 2012 was the best for the Brigham Young Cougars defense. Now, we take a look at the BYU offense in 2012. Which game was the BYU offense's best game?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

BYU Football: Did you know? (200 wins)

Brigham Young Cougars basketball coach Dave Rose has generated some buzz by being one win away from his 200th career victory. He is approaching that milestone in a very short span (199 wins in 259 games). This got me thinking about BYU's football coach who won 200 games.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DuPaix, Cahoon are casualties three and four in BYU coaching carousel

Brigham Young Cougars play-by-play analyst Greg Wrubell for KSL Radio has reported that running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Joe DuPaix and wide receivers coach Ben Cahoon have been let go. They join Lance Reynolds and Mark Weber among the ranks of coaches who will not return for 2013.

Monday, January 14, 2013

BYU in NFL, Playoffs--Divisional Round: Pitta makes pivotal plays

Former Brigham Young Cougars tight end Dennis Pitta represented on Saturday as he made some key catches that led to the Baltimore Ravens knocking off the number one seeded Denver Broncos. 

Dallas Reynolds Interview

Note: This interview was conducted in the middle of December, but with the Poinsettia Bowl, the holidays, and the 2012 season review I have been unable to complete the write up until now. Therefore, questions about Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid and BYU assistant coach Lance Reynolds, his father, were answered in the context of their status one month ago. 

Amdist the Philadelphia Eagles worst season in 14 years, former Brigham Young Cougars offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds got his first playing experience in the NFL. Near the end of the season, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL had the privilege of asking Reynolds a few questions about his experience this season.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The BYU defense's best game in 2012

The Brigham Young Cougars defense was the strength of the 2012 football team. Week after week, they did all they could to keep games close and give BYU a chance to win. Now that the season is officially over, we can reflect on each game and pick one as the best defensive performance.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

BYU Football: Did you know? (Cody Hoffman's Touchdown Receptions)

Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Cody Hoffman has 28 career touchdown receptions in just three seasons of play. That ranks third all-time at BYU. However, he is only the second player to have his touchdown receptions so widely distributed.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Flashback: The beginning of something beautiful

It is still early January. The new hope from the new year has many of us optimistic that this is the beginning of something beautiful. Forty years ago, the Brigham Young Cougars football program had that same feeling, and they were right. The year 1973 was the beginning of something beautiful.

Football Opponent Tracker: Bowl Results for BYU's 2012 Opponents

Six Brigham Young Cougars 2012 opponents besides BYU’s bowl opponent San Diego State played in a bowl game. It started with Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on the first day of bowls and ended with Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship game. These six teams finished with a 4-2 record. Only one lost convincingly.

BYU Football 2012 Season Review, Part 4: Milestones, Highlights, Records

The Brigham Young Cougars' 2012 football season might have felt disappointing at 8-5, but there were many memorable moments that deserve recognition. Below is a list of milestones, highlights, and other accomplishments or events that made 2012 special. When it is known, it has been noted in parenthesis when the last time such a milestone happened. If it has never happened before, "school record" or "first" is noted in parenthesis.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

BYU fans should embrace the return of Anae as offensive coordinator

The decision by Brigham Young Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall to bring back Robert Anae as offensive coordinator has been called a strange move and a step backwards by some. It is definitely unconventional, but BYU fans should embrace this rehire rather than push back against it. After all, being unconventional is just part of what makes BYU BYU.

Monday, January 7, 2013

BYU in NFL, Playoffs--Wild card: Dennis Pitta is the last man standing

Only two of the NFL teams that reached the playoffs had former Brigham Young Cougars on the roster. They both played in the Wild card round of the playoffs this weekend. One team won. The other lost. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bronson Kaufusi: Good football player, average basketball player?

In early November 2012, Brigham Young Cougars football player Bronson Kaufusi openly talked about joining the BYU basketball team after the football season ended. By the end of December, Kaufusi was officially a Cougar cager. During his freshman season in 2012, it was evident that Kaufusi was a good, and one day could be great, football player. Can the same be said about Kaufusi as a basketball player?

BYU Football 2012 Season Review, Part 3: Awards

Awards is part 3 of a four part review of the Brigham Young Cougars' 2012 football season. Part 1 was a general recap of the season, and can be found by clicking here. Part 2 was grading the offense, defense, special teams, as well as the position groups within each, and the coaches. It can be found by clicking here. Part 4--Highlights and Milestones will be either later today or Monday, January 7. 

No analysis of a football season can be complete without giving out awards to the players who stood out. BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL has selected its Team MVP, Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, and many more. Each award has three nominees. To help keep things interesting, and to spread the wealth, once one player has one award he will be ineligible for another individual award.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

BYU Football: Did you know? (Longest Bowl Win Streak in the Nation)

The Brigham Young Cougars extended its longest bowl win streak in school history to four by beating the San Diego State Aztecs in the Poinsettia Bowl, 23-6. Thanks to some help by other schools, that four game win streak in bowl games is on the verge of being much more than just a school record.

BYU Football 2012 Season Review, Part 2: Position Grades

This is part 2 of a four part review of the Brigham Young Cougars’ 2012 football season. Part 1 was a general recap of the season, and can be found by clicking here. Part 3--Season Awards will be posted Friday, January 4. Part 4—Highlights and Milestones will be either Friday, January 4 or Monday, January 7.

Today, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL will give a grade to each position group and use them to give overall grades for the offense, defense, and special teams. The coaching staff will be graded as well.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Flashback: The Sound of Silence

Note: With the conclusion of the Brigham Young Cougars' football season and the calendar changing into a new year, the weekly flashback will change back to its offseason format. For the next eight months, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL will continue to tell the BYU football story by looking back on great stories, memorable moments, and important events from the BYU football seasons 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, etc. years ago.

Listen closely. What do you hear? That's right. NOTHING!!! Football is over. No more pads cracking, whistles blowing, or players huffing and puffing. Another season is in the books for BYU. It is going to be a long eight months.

Rewind a few years, and even during September, October, and November this same football silence pervaded the BYU campus.

BYU Football 2012 Season Review, Part 1: A noble experiment gone wrong

This is part 1 of a four part review of the Brigham Young Cougars’ 2012 football season. Part one is a general recap of the highs, lows, and other key storylines of the season. Part 2—Position Grades will be Thursday, January 3. Part 3—Season Awards will be Friday, January 4. Part 4—Highlights and Milestones will be either Friday, January 4 or Monday the 7th.

The stage was set for the 2012 edition of BYU football in December 2011. Blue chip quarterback Jake Heaps announced he would transfer shortly after the regular season ended. That meant Riley Nelson would be the undisputed leader of the offense. At the end of December, Nelson led BYU to a last second bowl win. While he delivered in the clutch, it was clear that Nelson had a lot of work to do if he was going to compensate for his lack of size and arm strength.