1 – After the week one win, what left you with a bad taste in your mouth regarding BYU’s play?
Carl – For as much praise as BYU received from nearly all corners of the nation, I continued to see Riley Nelson making suspect throws errantly rather than throwing them away. We may not have seen too many, because Washington State’s defense was that porous. Yet, for as much as he shined, RN still showed he may not have increased in his traditional QB IQ as Cougar fans would like. We’ll really find out how much he’s learned next weekend against Utah.
Mark – Kudos to getting to the “Bluezone” but you have got to finish. Leaving almost 20 points on the board was incredibly frustrating. I will look to Doman to fix those mistakes by calling the correct plays.
David – I was really disappointed with BYU’s performance in the “Blue Zone.” BYU took six trips inside WSU’s 20, and only had 2 end with touchdowns. Allowing this defense to make a stand like that 4 times makes me nervous for when we play higher quality defenses later this season.
Matt – If you want to get nit-picky, you could go with several things, but what really glared most to me was tackling. I understood that we mostly rushed only two guys the entire game by design, but when we did manage to get pressure, Jeff Tuel just side-stepped and Jordan Johnson literally flew by without getting so much as a hand on him. He pinballed off our guys and scrambled to make plays. Well, I guess he can’t catch the ball or run it after he throws it, but you get my drift. The team needs to focus on one-on-one tackling and not expecting back up on every play.
2 – After week one, which unit looks like it will need the most work for improvement?
Carl – The coaching staff. Get these guys to play within themselves and limit freebie penalties, or drive extenders. Get Doman to actually call a fluent game plan in the second half. All fans know we need as much quality game time as we can get to prepare for the tougher upcoming games.
Mark – I liked the adjustment the offensive line made in the second quarter to give Riley more time but they struggled for the majority of the game with the rushing attack. I like that the linemen are in better shape but I hope they begin to get a better overall push to spring the backs for more yards.
David – The offensive line was disappointing to me. Their inability to run the ball effectively, especially inside the red zone, was frustrating. I hope to see some better blocking up front in the coming weeks.
Matt – I’m going to pick on the lines now. I’m okay to give a semi-pass to the defensive line as they only lined up two hands on the ground behemoths most of the game, but I want to see some bullying this week. Where I grew most concerned was in the offensive line play. The WSU defensive line was not supposed to be that good and I saw them in the backfield far too much for Riley Nelson’s comfort level. And the blocking up front in the run game was not good. 123 yards rushing on 41 carries for a whopping 3 YPC is not good enough to get it done. Utah’s defensive line will gobble our run game up and spit it out if we can’t find a way to protect and open some holes for Michael Alisa, David Foote, and others to run through.
3 – This week, BYU faces in-state foe Weber State. Does this game excite you? Does it fit as a second game for this season’s schedule? Do you feel that it fulfills the mission of BYU’s independence?
Carl – It’s still year 2 in Independence, so you have to expect some ‘payday’ games and other second tier quality games. I do however like Weber St. being early in the schedule and being right before a tough game. This game gives us one game with an opportunity to get game plans and schemes right, and to sit players for additional healing if needed. All that being said, take a look at BYUtv’s rating next week for the game. My guess is it will show about .8-1.0 on the Nelson rating, which would be in the top third of all football games. Independence is, from an exposure standpoint, wonderful.
Mark – The Weber state game doesn’t excite me much but it’s BYU football that’s always a plus. Most division 1 football teams will schedule at least one easier opponent during the beginning of the season and I don’t feel like it’s out of the norm for BYU to do so also.
David – I think that this game is a perfect opportunity for the Cougars to practice and refine their skills in a real game. BYU would have to be having an incredibly horrible night and Weber State would have to be having an incredibly awesome night for an upset to occur. I think it is perfect for this part of the season and I would like to see them continue to schedule games like this in the future. It seems to be exactly within the mission of independence in that they are able to get meaningful playing time before taking on some of the biggest names in college football, and it gives a leg up to a program that is much smaller than we are (which is precisely what we are asking of so many big schools).
Matt – This game definitely does not excite me at all. But I am okay with that. I like the model of a semi-tough game to open the season and then a FCS-caliber team in week 2 to fine tune the issues. I don’t know that Weber State necessarily meets BYU’s mission of exposure for the team, the University, and the Church as this game won’t reach any uninterested party outside of Utah, but it is fun to play in-state teams and when we beat Utah State in game 6, we can truly say we are the rightful owners of the Beehive Boot.
4 – Currently BYU is sitting at #28 and #27 in the polls (AP and Coaches respectively). If the team continues to win, at what point should we expect to see a top 25 ranking? What about a top 15?
Carl – Depending how others in the top 25 fare this week, we could break in after week 2. A top 15 ranking would most likely come after Boise State, of course assuming a Utah win.
Mark – We would need to see some losses in the top 25 but if that happens, BYU will be in the top 25 after they defeat a tough Utah team. As far as top 15 goes, that will come middle of the season as long as they keep winning.
David – I’m not sure that the win against Weber State will do much of anything for our rankings this week unless it is a major blowout. A win in SLC next week should be enough to break the top 25, but it will take two if not three more wins after that to enter the top 15.
Matt – BYU is just far enough outside that even a convincing 84-0 win over Weber this weekend won’t be enough to move BYU up. Not if the voters leapfrogged Alabama past USC this weekend. Winning next weekend at Utah will be enough to get the interest of the voters and move the Cougars into the top 25 with home match ups against Hawai’i, Utah State, and Oregon State.
Carl – This one should be another coast game for the Cougars. But it should behoove BYU to make sure they’re firing on all cylinders before heading in to Utah next week. BYU 48 Weber St 17.
Mark – BYU 58 Weber State 10
Matt – This isn’t going to be close and BYU will be done with these guys mid-way through quarter 2. I expect to see a lot of James Lark and some more of Taysom Hill in the second half. Cody Hoffman and the rest of the starters will start leaving mid-way through the third quarter and we’ll get to see what our two and three deep players look like for 2013. BYU wins going away – 56 to 3.