BYU Football Roundtable – Biggest Surprise

We wanted to try something a little different as this off-season is getting underway.  We asked ten questions of some of our Cougar contributors about the state of the BYU football program as well as what they say in 2012 and hope to see in 2013.

This group will be familiar to many of you, but just in case you need a refresher, here it is: Matt Quinney, Carl Behunin, Mike Livingston, Don MacArthur, and new-comer Scott Gower.

We will post one question with each response every day for the next ten weekdays.  Make sure to check in every day to get your BYU Cougars update from our roundtable of Cougar faithful.

BYU LOGO3.  What was the biggest positive surprise for you with this team this season?

Carl Behunin:

Jamaal WilliamsIs there any question?  Jamaal Williams grabbed a hold of his opportunity to shine and far exceeded anything Cougar Nation expected of him.  The best part, besides the fact that he’s a north-south runner and doesn’t tap-dance around looking for a hole to run through, he never got caught up in the circus antics of the offense that fans were critical of.  He did his part and for that, this Cougar fan salutes you.

Don MacArthur:

BYU LinebackersThe overall play of the defense.  I expected them to be good, but wow…other than a portions of a couple of games where the secondary struggled and some overall issues with not generating a pass rush from our defensive line, this defense was dominant.  Hands down the best group of linebackers in BYU football history.

Matt Quinney:

BYU DefenseThe defense. I almost took the easy answer and chose Jamaal Williams, but it was so clearly the defense this season.  In the preseason preview with Dog and Deuce (episode 83) I made the bold claim that this defense would be good. In fact, I was adamant they could be as good as the Ute defense this season. I was told I was wrong by two of the three panelists, and one of them was Carl.  But I digress.  When I made that statement, I never imagined top 3 defensive rankings.  And it really is scary to think how much better it could have been had the offense not been so utterly inept most of the season.

Mike Livingston:

ZiggyZiggy Ansah and Jamaal Williams were the biggest surprises.  Ziggy was pure disruption on the defensive line and was a giant part of BYU’s defensive accolades.  I heard about Jamaal in the spring but with Alisa running rough shod last year I didn’t expect to see him in ’12.  What he was able to do as a true freshman was nothing short of amazing.  His future is so bright at BYU it frightens me.

Scott Gower:

Biggest positive surprise? Jamaal. Freaking. Williams. I’m not sure if BYU fans realize this, but he’s only 17 🙂 I expected him to be OK as a freshman, but I didn’t expect him to get nearly 170 carries, and I could not have dreamed he would have made 13 trips to the end zone . . . as a freshman. The future is bright at the RB position with Williams here for at least 2 more years.

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