Football Mid Season State of the Union

We have played 4 real games. I don’t count the two practice games.

Offense: D.
We have a good, experienced QB.
We have a good RB with pro potential.
We have a TE with pro potential.
We have a WR (Roberts) with pro potential and several other good ones.
We have an NFL LT and a really good center (Pay).

Despite talent that should be able to compete vs at least mediocre P5 competition, this offense has produced over 300 yards ONE TIME (KU). With some pretty solid talent, this offense has been TERRIBLE. There is no silver lining for an offense that has generated 281, 366, 295, and 243 yards against 4 mediocre opponents with a combined 13-14 record. Our scoring offense has been marginally better, but not by much, and our scoring has been more a result of turnovers and short fields than our imposing our will on opposing defenses.

We have allowed 424, 351, 498, and 587 yards to opponents. We get gashed, plain and simple. I’m willing to give Jay Hill more time, but our talent on D is really bad. As bad as our D has been, it’s actually a considerable improvement from the Tuiaki defense, so there’s room for hope.
3rd down defense: 94th.
Run D: 80th.
Pass D: 66th.
Team sack D: 122nd.

Our pass D has improved a bit simply due to better scheme and Heckard. Our run D still sucks, and our pass rush is still non-existent. You can’t beat good teams with any consistency with a bad front 7, and that’s what we have. Our DL and LB are simply terrible, because we can’t stop the run, and we can’t pressure the QB. Can’t blame that on the walk-on safeties…

Our OL stinks, yet we focus on deep, slow developing pass routes. We don’t use Rex, our best talent. Our run blocking is a joke but we keep trying to run.
BYU yards/carry each game: Ark: 2.5. KU: 0.4. Cinn: 2.5. TCU: 2.8.
BYU cannot run and looks silly continuing to keep trying.

I think after half the season it’s time to admit the truth and just throw 50-60 times a game. Basically we have good talent yet overage under 300 yards of total offense so far against middle of the pack competition. We are not failing on offense because of a lack of talent. This is schematic and play-calling failure on an epic scale.

Conversely, Hill is severely handicapped by a giant talent gap between his defenders and their individual opponents. I want to like Batty, but he never gets sacks, so meh…Heckard has been great.
Bywater was really good but is gone. We don’t win the 1 on 1 battles, so we don’t win the 11 on 11s either. Hill’s scheme has done well enough to keep us in all but 1 game, so he gets an OK grade from me.

I still think my pre-season hope of 6-6 is within reach, but the TCU game really exposed how unprepared BYU was to play, even after a bye week. Our D has been about what I expected, but our O has been a MAJOR MAJOR disappointment. I expect we will be slaughtered by UT and OU, so we have to go 2-2 in the remaining “winnable” games. I think we can do it but my confidence suffered a major blow watching BYU look like a bad high school team last Saturday.


See you have been reading my posts. The bad high school thing. But, it’s right. There is no creativity. The plays are slow to develop. Nothing to the tight ends. No passes for the RBs in different places on the field. I can’t attack the defense because the offense lets other teams be on the field a lot. So, I’ll give the defense coaches -A.

Tom, enjoyed your analysis, and wish I had your insight. A sincere question, looking back at all of Sitake’s won-loss records as BYU’s HC, plus allowing Tui to remain DC for so long, plus last season and this year of discombobulation and all the times in the past and now that the BYU players looked unprepared, not doing a good job gearing up for P5 games, all the times he has said he has to do a better job because it is his job to turn things around, throwing Detmer under the bus to save his rear end: why is Sitake still the HC. Yes, there are significant injuries but injuries are a part of the game of football - if ya can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen. This is a serious question. I honestly do not understand why he remains the HC. Is it because there are no legitimate LDS candidates to take over the HC reins? Really, I would appreciate serious and sincere answers.

Arkie, good to hear from you. Just last night my wife and I were talking about the same thing you point out—why Sitake? We decided it’s a combination of things: 1) a VERY small pool of replacement coaches, 2) he’s soooo likeable and so everyone at BYU WANTS to root for him, 3) he and Holmoe are really good friends and it goes way back, 4) BYU won’t fire a coach under contract, hire a new guy, pay two guys to do the same job, and 5) the BOT won’t leave the athletic department to make major decisions in a vacuum, and there are some—just like at ANY university—who couldn’t care less about football. I think it’s mostly # and #5. Detmer was the sacrificial Lamb but assistants are on annual contracts. I’d trade Detmer for ARod in about 10 seconds. Anyway, What we saw on Saturday was a very poor excuse for a football team. Much more of that and Holmoe may have a tough decision on his hands.

PS Rough deal for the Hogs. They are THIS close every week. No days off in the SEC (except Vandy).

I would not be as harsh on Hill about his defense, right now we are down to our 3rd and 4th string Safeties.

Having the 3rd stringers as safety changes what the defense can do up front. Although I think these players are doing the best they can do, they are not “elite, but they do their best.

I am not impressed with our Defensive line, they do not seem to know how to shed blockers, but gets sucked in and become useless.

I would give them maybe a C-

Offense is a joke period!
My take is that ARod was let go from Utah because of the same stupid play calling.

What frustrates me is that we have a coach on staff right now that took Weber State to the Championship game against Jame Madisen a few years ago. Fesi Sitake (Kalani’s cousin) is the man who did this. He is a “Proven” OC. But too many fans and donors will bring up the nepotism issue.

The O-line has been getting worse year by year under Funk. No wonder the Barrington boys left for greener pastures. Which both would probably end up as All Americans.

Our Running back Robbins has broken ribs and and collar bone, that is why he has not been playing. LJ has been a nice surprised, but who else has stepped up?

Not as high on our QB as you are, there is a Juco All American, who I would like to see what he can do. But to me Slovis, has not been bad enough to be removed yet IMHO,

Another concern is if we throw as you mentioned, will the receivers who don’t thrown the ball, block downfield or will they continue to “whiff” the blocks? I watch an end sweep by LJ only to see the WR whiff a block which TCU defender stopped LJ behind the LOS.

What say you Tom?

Takes a few years to fill the cupboard that Tui left bare. I like Hill alot but he is working with the walking wounded.

I strongly felt that the TCU game would be a pivotal point, but I had no idea we would not compete. I thought we would pass to set up the run, then we continued the flat play (Cinn 1st half) and my heart sank. I turned off the TV- such is the life of a Fan.

The Bywater injury kind of veneers BYU’s hopes and dreams. We start with promise then the injuries stack up at key positions and like one of those birthday balloons I find everywhere in the Mtns. Deflated.

Sitake would do well to cut his loses with ARod and the Oline coaching.

Whitt went through 17 OCs in 17 years. It is Hell working for Whitt as a OC, he is all about the D. So to be let go as a Utah OC means nothing to me but to see ARod try to run this O using the run game at this point is grounds for firing. Not when we have Slovis and 3 very good receivers. Watch the NFL game…nothing but pass plays when things get tough and here we sit stinking up the place while our talent is wasted.

I’ll make a bet that Sitake, knowing he needs a win, will start the TT game with an air offense…Any takers?

The thing that makes ARod different is that Whitt brought in another coach (Erickson) to help ARod learn how to call plays and he still failed at calling plays.

Yes, Whitt was hard on OC, he went through several. But he “Learned” to adapt, and he then hire his former OC Ludwick again. But this time Ludwick came back on ONE condition that Whitt let him run the Offense his way and Whitt is to stay out of it.

Can you say honestly that ARod has done anything above mediocre since he took over the offense? Two years ago, we had better offensive players (Wilson, Barrington brothers, etc.).

Portal leaving:
Clark and Campbell Barrington
Keenan and Logan Pili
Logan Fano
Tate Romney
Zoom Esplin

My question is why? I know it is a new world with the Portal being so easily accessible, and maybe it is the new normal. But why would Barrington brothers transfer when they were both slated as starters? Could it be because of Funk?

I think both Tom and you have narrowed down what needs to be done to at least make us look competitive.

But in the TCU game there was a lot of missed passes, so I am not sure “air” is the answer either.

FUNK has FLUNKED. AROD is fully responsible for the O game and Funk. Poor technique and SPEED. The Barrington boys followed Grimes and $$. I will never fault any player who transfers when he thinks he has an NFL future and a chance to improve his draft. That is like saying never change jobs when the pay is way better or you see limited use of your skills.

Have to air it out, no options. But follow the NFL game…short stuff and flats where our best match up speed for speed. LJ can always get by the 1st tackler. Once the defense has to stay put, then the running game and longer routes will have time to develop. Good teams with good coaching tweak plays or disguise plays so that the d will bite. That is how Whitt beat BYU year after year. He knew our tendencies and waited all game to “get us”. We fell for it every game for years.

Killed a Trophy Bull last week. I had never seen him but I knew of him by locals and pic.s during the summer. I figured his routes by tracking him in the middle of the day in thick timber. He never showed himself, coming out after dark but I saw his water source and the trail he used to come out and feed…Slipped in quiet in late afternoon, wind was right. Waited dead quiet for 3 hours and arrowed him . The 1st words out of my mouth, “Well, I’ll be danged, it worked”.

By mid season, everyone has film on you, that is why TCU picked off our 1st pass play. Ya gotta be creative.

I listen to experts like Trevor Matich. The rest of you should too. The offense can do better but not without creativity. That’s the words from Matich. McCann said the same thing before Matich came on. Our plays are too easy to defend this far into the season. TCU had a very creative offense as they continue to increase their creativity.
With that said, BYU needs the players to be more creative to run a more creative offense. I question whether they do at this point. Injuries have hurt both offense and defense to be creative. Floyd said the players aren’t breaking through the blocking and TCU did. But that’s because TXau had creative defensive plays as well.
When I was coaching basketball, if I had a talented smart team I was able to have them be very creative. But with less talent it wasn’t possible. With all our injuries, I don’t know how creates can be now.

My son in law saw a nice bull somewhere in southern Utah early last week and didn’t take the shot, hoping for more. Spent 4 days hiking and came home empty handed. Win some, lose some.

You: “Have to air it out, no options. But follow the NFL game…short stuff and flats where our best match up speed for speed.”

LaVell Edwards and Bill Walsh in stereo from the grave: “Amen.”

Our offense was good the last few years-I don’t count 2020 vs JV and Juco teams, but our offense was good in 2021 and 2022 with NFL players in every offensive position group. What’s frustrating with ARod is to see a massive and sudden turnaround in productivity when we still have good players on offense. I think it comes down to ARod’s stubborn belief that this should be a balanced offense when it’s pretty obvious that our run blocking sucks, and that short passes on first down are not important.

I’ve been doubling back lately rewatching the Friday Night Lights TV show. With 15 years of perspective the social issues they raise are still valid, the football action is pretty realistic for a recreation (as opposed to Any Given Sunday, where the football scenes are simply unwatchable), and I love a good sports story about fighting to be better in football and in life. Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can’t Lose.

What short passes? All I saw were receivers going 15 - 20 yards down field with RBs and TEs blocking and not going out for short passes. No crossing plays and so on. Trevor Matich said the same thing.

All I know when it is deer season start, all the deer (including Bucks) in the area migrates to our cabin community where hunting is prohibited, smart deer! :joy:

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“ARod’s stubborn belief that this should be a balanced offense when it’s pretty obvious that our run blocking sucks, and that short passes on first down are not important.”

Pretty sure I was clearly criticizing ARod for NOT using short passes on first down.

Well, yes! He should be doing things that keep LBs busy. That can free up the run game as well. Lots of crossing routes at their level. LJ and Davis averaged 4.4 yards per carry. The run game can work if we get the DBs and LBs worrying about our pass attack more

I think there are several categories of D1 football players, and I hope each uses the portal differently:

  1. Kid has legitimate pro potential but is stuck in a scheme that doesn’t showcase his talents, or feels like a different team or coaching staff will get him the airtime he needs to get the scouts’ attention: transfer provided you are 100% sure you are a starter at the next place.
  2. Kid is mad because he thinks he should be a starter but isn’t playing: BEWARE because your new coach may not start you either. I have a former player who is on a D1 football scholarship and transferred through the portal for greener pastures but wound up in a worse situation than before.
  3. Kid either doesn’t like his school or his team culture: Transfer! 95% of BYU’s football players will never play pro ball but have loved football their whole lives. College should be fun, and football should be fun. I think more marginal D1 kids should transfer DOWN to a competitive FCS school, be an instant impact player, and have a great time playing ball in his new program.

I don’t blame kids for moving on to a situation they think will be better, but fear too many overestimate their own talent and wind up equally or no better off at the next stop.

Wow. Just read this article. I’ve been blinded by my BYU love. So far BYU is simply a bad football team this year. Stats don’t lie.

Did I read BYU is 4-2 this year. Pretty good. :sunglasses:

Yea that is an impressive record alright with the teams that BYU beat has the combined record of 6-19 records.

Arkansas 2-5
Cincy 2-4
Sam Houston 0-6
SUU 2-4

Not one of those wins from these teams was against a good opponent.

Where are the “quality wins”? When BYU played Kansas and TCU were they competitive? NO!

So, win/loss record is not something to stand on, as Tom says, “Stats don’t lie”.

This year, BYU is not even a mediocre team, they are bad (statistically). I put most of the blame on coaches who “Can’t coach” improvement.

As my uncle use to say, “Some days you eat the chicken, and some days the chicken eats you!”. This year, BYU is being eaten by the chicken.