Attack The Opponent: Brigham Young University Cougars

Week one of college football’s finest moment came on a heave and a prayer on Saturday in Nebraska from a back up qb less than 100 days removed from his mission. The “Hail Joseph” jokes came fast and furious and BYU got a signature win on national TV, a feel good story, and something for the brethren to cling to as this season progresses and things aren’t as nice as they are currently.

Truth is, I’m pleased for the Cougars (and pretty disgusted with myself about it tbh), for getting that win. Last year, losing Taysom Hill the week before BSU was a season destroyer for them. It’s fun to watch BYU get rolled, but its even more fun to beat teams when they’re at their strongest. Right now, with Tanner Mangum apparently ready to step up and play the hero for the Cougars, BYU is in the best shape they’ve been in since 2013. It’s interesting to play them this early in the season. It would have been ideal to have ISU this week to give Finley another chance to tune up, but fire strengthens and there are few hotter places for a Bronco QB than Lavell Edwards Stadium in front of a fired up crowd riding the BYU hype train.

Can totally see why the Cougar faithful are there though. Miracles create fervent fandom.

stayinthepocketseerAMIRITE?!

Boise State fans get this because fervent fandom is kinda our thing as well. Nobody makes fun of family like family, and as much as it feels correct to pretend that we’re not the same as Those People In Provo, BYU fans are our neighbors, our friends, our extended family. Especially with a pair of Idaho boys at quarterback. Hill was a lot of fun to watch and it was awful to see him be injured again. Nobody should go through that pain of fighting to overcome just to have it end like that. Taysom Hill has a bright future ahead of him outside of football, but its always rough to see a dream go down.

However, football is football and it all marches on. Teams have to win the game in front of them. Taysom wasn’t the only BYU player injured last week, even though you wouldn’t know it by the internet discussion. Travis Tuiloma (DT) and Jordan Preator (DB) were both lost to injury. After these two went out, Nebraska was able to engineer their comeback. BYU looked weak at RB as well – only getting 45 yards outside of the QB’s. Adam Hine got the most carries….with four. BYU’s receiving corps looked very good, able to be in the right places at the right times to keep things moving. While Nick Kurtz got the yardage, the passing attack is very evenly spread as far as attempts. Boise State’s corners played very well on Friday, holding UW’s freshman QB to 150 yards through the air. Pretty sure the entire idea was to make Browning win that game, and Boise did that. As much potential as UW’s young QB showed on The Blue, he’s not Tanner. When the next opponent wins in that dramatic of a fashion, it’s a good reminder that anyone could’ve been Nebraska that day and had our hearts broken.

BYU’s QB is legit. BYU’s OL is less so. BYU’s WR’s/TE’s are huge and talented. BYU’s Defense is suspect.

Boise is in a different position. For fans of a team who won a first week matchup against a Pac 12 opponent, especially the one coached by Pete, there are some pretty salty Boise State fans. Yes, Boise only put up 337 yards of offense and that may not be enough versus the Zoobs.

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Then again, BYU doesn’t exactly have the corner on magic. Maybe our Fin has something amazing in his arsenal too.

Yate’s defense is for real, especially on the defensive line. The lack of successful blitzing last Friday shouldn’t be seen as a harbinger of bad defense to come. All it meant was that the game plan was being executed. If Mangum keeps tossing those floating over the top passes, Donte, DSG, and Moxey are going to eat, as the young people say.

timidkittyeatingNo, bad kitty. No food for you.

There are definitely things to clean up on both sides. BYU has to find better defensive pressure to keep Fin from gaining confidence while holding McNichols and Young under 3 YPC. Boise has special teams issues and has to contain a stick of dynamite. Tanner is going to get his yards, but if Boise can eliminate most of the big gains and get some stops (red zone preferred), we’ve got a game.

This whole series has been quite interesting. BSU and BYU are inexorably tied together at this point, and will likely end up as travel partners in most conference expansion scenarios. These games have been back and forth and highly entertaining. The fan bases love to smack talk, and for all the problems that I have personally with BYU as an institution of the LDS church and the delusional subset of their fan base still riding a natty from 30+ years ago, they’re sure a decent replacement for a rivalry game.

Both teams have a good shot at winning this weekend, but Boise State has one thing that BYU does not – huge amounts of experience in victory. BYU just never seems to act like they’ve been there before. Boise State won on a missed FG and everyone acted really classy. Hars just took off his headset and walked with his team to midfield for handshakes and hugs at midfield with Petersen, and we’re done. After that win at War Memorial, Bronco Mendenhall crowd surfed in the locker room…and its not the first time. I get having fun and celebrating with the team, but it just makes me think BYU is ripe to be beaten after the emotional swings of this weekend. Vegas doesn’t seem to know what to do with this game either.  Both of these teams have their futures in their hands and execution of the plan is going to be the difference. Based on past data…that’s Boise’s strong point.

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Broncos are known to kick butt at execution.

I’d say good luck this weekend, Zoobs, but everybody knows I don’t mean it. I hope BSU shows up in their missionary jersey set (black/white/black) and stomps the Cougars by 1000 points before popping champagne and lighting cigars at the 50 to celebrate their victory in the most offensive way possible. Luckily for everyone, BSU is much more classy about the BYU game than I am personally. Can’t wait for Saturday. This one is going to be fun.

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