What Liberty Taught Me

I knew all I needed to know about this BYU team two series into the Oregon game. After the ND game I posted on this board that our season was over. I was right. After watching the dumpster fire at Liberty, I’m done trying to understand Sitake, Lamb and Tuiaki.

  1. We have had the same problems EVERY game since the Baylor game–no pass rush, no run D, no third down D, resulting in an overwhelming disadvantage in TOP. Yet another average QB looked like a Heisman candidate vs BYU. I’m shocked at the audacity and lack of respect the BYU coaches have for our opponents–based on the eye test, our coaches seem to think these D1 QBs are not good enough to complete passes vs air with unlimited time to throw.
  2. BYU has proven that having a defense predicated on reaction vs action and initiative is a failure. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to hear Kalani say that his grand plan after his reactive D getting manhandled 5 games in a row was to make our defense “simpler” but no more aggressive.
  3. Nobody is losing “on purpose” and no player has “quit trying.” Our players know that our defensive philosophy won’t work, and that is incredibly frustrating and demoralizing, and players don’t perform better when they are demoralized. Exhibit 1: We were down 2-3 scores to Liberty and we were still dropping our 'backers on the snap and playing 2 high safeties 15 yards off the ball, even though we knew Liberty was just running by that point. Exhibit 2: It’s easy to tackle guys in traffic, but hard to tackle in space. WE CONCEDE SPACE nearly every play and have done so for 6 straight games and the better part of 7 years. This passive scheme is making good football players look like clowns, get bashed by the media, trashed on social media, and is embarrassing to them. Of course they are demoralized. But nobody is quitting or not trying on the field. I was a head coach for many years. At any age, I think the key to coaching is to get kids to overperform, and they can’t do that if they are discouraged. No surprise here, guys and gals.

I love Kalani as a person, love his energy, love everything about him as a person. But the bottom line is that in 7 years he is 38-29 vs D1 teams. Take out 2020, which was perhaps the weakest D1 schedule ever played by any team, and he’s 28-28 vs D1 teams. BYU is NOT a good team under Kalani. BYU is barely average. Barely. As long as he’s the coach and thinks that it’s OK for the other team to have the ball for 35-40 minutes per game, BYU will be nothing more than average.

As I’ve said before, my biggest gripe is that Kalani has made BYU simply not fun to watch. That’s 100% on him. The next several seasons in the B12 will be bloody for BYU football unless there is a seismic shift in the program.

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You should mail this in to Sitaki. I mean, you are correct. Except the problem also exists on the offense now. 3rd and 10 and it’s a hand off to Nacua as the RB. The offense can help given way better offensive play calling.

I’m not mailing anything to Sitake. LIke he would care what any individual fan thinks anyway.

I was as confused as you by running straight handoff on 3rd and 10 in the middle of the field. The only explanation would be that ARod thought he could gain 5 and then go for it on 4th and medium. I’ve also been mystified all season that Rex gets so few targets. Rex is a potential NFL player yet has fewer than 2 catches per game this year, and it’s not like he’s dropping balls. He just gets hardly any targets. Confusing.

Brooks got 3 handoffs and averaged 8 yards. 3 handoffs? It’s like we don’t have a real strategy except to spread the ball around so everyone but Nacua gets the ball 2 or 3 times during a game. The defense is in disarray. You could see players not sure where they are supposed to be. My point is if they are disillusioned and not playing hard then that is purposely not wanting to win. Like I said, I don’t know if it’s just because they don’t really know what the coaches want or if there is a want to see coaches go. Holker is a puzzling piece in this.

All the hand tackles and lazy arm tackles and all the other stuff that has been spoken of here indicates to me that the team has quit on the coaching staff. You say it differently Tom but the outcome is the same, frustration, confusion and demoralization. I have only been a position coach for a couple of years at a junior college in the south so I realize I would not know or understand as much as you do, having been an HC.

As usual, I agree with your entire post, other than I should say that I didn’t mean to suggest that because I’ve run a program I know more than anyone about anything–only that it gave me a good overview of all the things a HC has to consider, and that I believe a HC’s two most important jobs are to hire the right assistant coaches and to make every player feels confident and empowered. I think we both agree that BYU’s coaches are failing 100% in that regard.

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Here is your response from Kalani:
BYU football: Why BYU DC Ilaisa Tuiaki has a new role, but same title - Deseret News

“It is not about the plays or the calls, it is just about executing better,”

“Ilaisa Tuiaki, he is working full time with the D line.”

The line was horrendous too. Getting stood up was going on there. No stunts or ends rushing the passer. Just no effort.

Agee. I saw at least a couple of times where the Liberty offensive lineman just crumpled our defensively lineman. Like blocked him down so he was on all-fours.

equally baffled.
agree with everything in your 1st post but think Kalani is very important as a head coach. He is a Edwards disciple, and where would byu be without the poly-pipeline.

Just need to get rid of the family connectons and hire a dynamic DC, I think it would stabilize our offense to the point where they don’t feel like they have to do everything to win the games.

BYU does not have anyone on our Dline that can stuff runs. We crumple like cardboard. My best bud’s son, Hunter Greer, #97 was recruited as a DE along with Batty. They have asked him to bulk up and play Tackle. Currently he plays about 30 plays and about 30 lbs lighter than any other lineman. the Cupboard is bare at BYU. The game is won and lost with Olines and Dlines. While we do OK at pass blocking, our supposedly great Oline can’t run block worth a darn and our Dline is leaky as my old waders.

get a load of what Roderick said when asked by Conover did not get in the game at in the 4th quarter when the game was out of reach, Roderick said he’d love to get other QBs some playing time, but circumstances haven’t allowed it.

“We haven’t really had a chance to take Jaren out this year yet. There hasn’t been an opportunity yet,” he said. “I can’t think of a game where we could have taken him out. There was no thought of taking him out (against Liberty). We didn’t sub anybody on offense. We played our starters all the way to the end.”

Roderick and Hall sounds a lot like Doman and Nelson in 2012. Very rarely will an athlete say he can’t play, so the coach is letting the player decide who starts even if the decision is to the detriment of the team.

In an article after the Notre Dame game, Roderick had this to say, “It didn’t really get to that point because [Hall] was adamant on playing. And then it was sort of up to us to decide if we were willing to play him without practice reps, you know, and I think he’s done enough good things for our program that we gave it a shot,” said the second-year OC. “I trusted him to play without practicing, which is rare. You don’t do that very often in college football, but he’s a special case in how much he’s played and how much he’s meant to our team.”