Why the BYU D is not good--and what the future holds

We simply don’t have enough talent on D. We have a bunch of walkons and 2 stars against highly recruited offensive players. We simply DO NOT HAVE THE TALENT ON DEFENSE TO PLAY STRAIGHT UP. When undermanned, the way to counter that is to be aggressive, unpredictable, and to overwhelm your opponent schematically (see LaVell Edwards and Bronco Mendenhall).

Instead our answer for SIX STRAIGHT GAMES and frankly for 6 years has been to retreat farther and farther from the LOS, culminating in the debacle we saw last week when we had safeties playing 15-20 yards off the ball against a team that was running for 300 yards and didn’t pressure much less sack a QB who came in completing a terrible 50% of his passes.

This Sports Illustrated article is SHOCKINGLY REVEALING about Kalani, Lamb, and Tuiaki’s philosophy recruiting defensive players.

BYU’s football coaches constantly talk down the “star” system for recruits. I think that maybe, just MAYBE, Alabama and Georgia are good because they have 4+ star recruits instead of walkons and guys whose only offers are from BYU and FCS schools. Just sayin’…From the SI article about BYU this season:

“Just 35% of those [defensive] reps have come from players that held at least one competing P5 offer out of high school. 51% of the reps were played by guys that held a competing FBS offer coming out of high school. How does that compare that the offense? 56% of offensive reps have come from guys who held P5 offers out of high school and 78% from players who held FBS offers.”

Only half our defensive snaps are by a guy who even was recruited by an FBS school (vs 80% of our offensive snaps)–much less a P5 offer. THIS IS AFTER 7 YEARS OF KALANI AND LAMB AND TUIAKI’S RECRUITING. This is not a one year problem. This is a strategic, schematic, and institutional (within the football program) problem. IT IS A COACHING PROBLEM, since a D1 coach’s #1 job is to get good players. Say what you want about Bronco Mendenhall, but his last team had at least 7 defensive players who earned an NFL paycheck (F. Warner, Takitaki, Langi, Davis, Lake, T. Warner, C. Kaufusi, and all but Davis were highly recruited out of HS). Kalani and Lamb and Tuiaki have been recruiting defense for 7 years–do you see even ONE of our defensive players who will get an NFL check? Batty? Nelson? Pili? All need question marks. After 7 years of this staff we don’t have a single guy on our D who is a shoein to even make a practice squad. My conclusion is that Kalani’s gamble on signing unrecruited players has been a giant failure. Against average competition.

Year after year we have seen non P5 programs play keepaway and walk all over over BYU’s defense–S Florida, Hawaii, Coastal Carolina, UAB, Wyoming and Utah State right off the top of my mind–this is not a 2022 problem. It’s a recruiting philosophy made worse by a passive schematic strategy.

No matter what happens vs ECU, the very fact that we doubt we can be competitive against the Libertys and ECUs of the world suggest that we could be an absolute doormat in the Big 12.

Sorry, but I couldn’t resist–This is the last phrase of the SI article, written before the Liberty wipeout:
“Don’t be surprised if the defense looks different against Liberty this weekend. Like we said at the beginning, Coach Sitake has hinted at changes throughout the week.”

Nothing changed except that Kalani admittedly dumbed down the scheme even more, making it easier for Liberty to thrash us.

I think we have the talent, I just don’t know if they are playing. Rubicon mentions one that apparently has the talent, but refuses to play the current defensive scheme, he actually wants to press coverage,

Outstanding write up, and to take the time to explain it all, wow. In the bigger picture, I do think we have the talent. Last year we put a thumpin on Utah and 4 other P12 teams. We returned just about everybody on D from last year. So why did it all come crashing down? Certainly, one can point to injuries to key players both late in the season and having to play so many physical games this year. Secondly, as one fan put it, BYU is completely reactionary and predictable. To me, the wheels all came off in the ND game when we allowed ND’s anemic offense to dictate their terms. Exhibit 1…ND has an all american TD, in straight 3rd down sequences, we allowed that guy to get 1st downs. It all went downhill from there.

I am a history buff. Gen. George Patton’s idea of defense was to go on the offense. When asked what to do if “friendlys” got in the way. Patton’s replay, “Kill them all and let God sort them out”. I could go on but you all get the point. A great defense is one that is unpredictable and exerts great pressure on the other team’s QB. Watched Whitt’s defense pretty much man handle WSU tonight. Utah was without their starting QB, Their all conference TE injured. no biggie, Whitt beats you with defense. Out of the 8 straight years he beat BYU, it would annoy me no end to see Whitt figure out our tendencies, then lay a trap, get the interception and flip the game in the 4th qtr. He did it year after year.

Tomorrow night, ECU comes to town with a great O. Watch as we keep it competitive til our O falters, then the flood gates will open and we will be cryin on our own field. As the SI article points out, You can drop back 8 if you like but it won’t matter, a good QB with plenty of time will find the open man no matter if he is single or double covered. It’s Murphy’s law. Don’t be doin the same thing and expect different results.

As expected, we dropped 8, made it easy on their O, and made yet another Rb look like a Heisman candidate. This team is a laughingstock.

Ya this loss is not on the defense. 9:38 left in the 3rd quarter we have 24 points. At the end of the game 24 points. Should have kicked a field goal or two. Instead, we can’t gain one yard. Bad mistakes and more questionable calls on the offense.

If they can’t make stops on 3rd down… Yea they help contributed to this loss.

My blame goes to the coaches… their play calling sucks, they have no imagination and they do not utilize the talent they have.

Here is my prediction:
At the end of the season, you will see a lot of kids go into the transfer portal. Some of the “Star” recruits will rethink their commitment to BYU.

Who can blame them when Kalani is more worried about “his friend’s feelings” than what is best for the team.

This one was on the offense. ECU was known to have a great offense. So, 24 points until that last field goal. But, BYU scores no points after the 9:38 mark in the 3rd quarter. There lies the coaching on the offense that has been visible since the 1st game. Bad play calling. Bad schemes. What happened to the gadget plays that were working? Nothing thrown to the TE in the middle of the field. WR never were crossing as well as the slot receivers. I’m agreeing with you.

First, I agree with Floyd that we’ll see a lot of players entering the transfer portal, but I’ll add this addendum, “unless Kalani can pull a rabbit out of his hat and make A+ hires of new defensive and offensive coordinators similar to his hire of Jeff Grimes in 2017.” I don’t see that happening, but I could be wrong. I also keep thinking that Jay Hill is a proven comidity as a winning head coach and would love to see him as BYU’s HC, and I can’t get that thought out of my head.

Second, ECU has a good but not a great offense. I agree that the defense put us in a position to win, but there were still breakdowns that shouldn’t have occurred. I agree that the offensive coaching has been bad (Crowtonesque). But as someone else mentioned, the strange decisions to go for it on 4th down may have to do with Kalani’s lack of faith in the defense. Then again, he could have misplaced faith in his offense.

I keep thinking about what you said and some write ups that hit me. Sitake was winning with Bronco’s recruits. Now this team is fully owned by Sitake recruiting and the cupboard is bare. We have exactly 1 one guy who is NFL talent, Nacua, and maybe a lineman. Hall maybe but he is playing hurt and that is it. Not a single Defensive player. I look at the recruits coming in and see nothing but butt whooping down the road. And we are headed into the big 12.

The time for Coaching change is now. I’m hearing Jay Hill from Weber but he is a ball control guy just like Whitt and Sitake. Looking bleak out there. IDK.

How soon we forget. I remember hearing similar rumblings in 2010 after Bronco had his worst year as head coach at BYU (7-6), “Mendenhall won with Crowton’s recruits. Now he can’t win with his own.” Mendenhall was also well known for his distain of the star system, his dislike of the NFL draft (easy to do when so few of your players are drafted), and losing recruiting battles with Utah.

Sitake was supposed to rectify all of those things. He hasn’t. His biggest problem as a coach–but an awesome strength as a person–is his devotion to his friends. Tuiaki and Roderick are friends. They could be good position players. They are definitely not good coordinators.

BTW, here’s one article from the Bronco era that describes BYU’s NFL problem. One thing: I notice Kellen Moore’s name mentioned. I know he’s a hot comidity in the NFL. I wonder if he would have any desire to be the head coach of a Big 12 team.

You say that EVERY time. Why are the bad games, statistically and eye test, by the defense never the reason for BYU losing? The offense has its’ issues but everyone knows the defense is the worst problem. They can’t make a stop when they need to, they can’t tackle, they play off the ball. There are so many easy to see, obvious things about the defense that are wrong it doesn’t take an expert to know. The offense makes some strange play calls at times, etc. but…

The defense is obviously the most glaring problem with the team right now.

I know how you feel about this. I’ve felt the same way on much of this. I did find out before the game listening to other experts on the subject of ECU’s offense that they are a powerhouse offense with some great players starting with their QB. So, it might be that the defense holding ECU to 24 points before the debacle at the end because we did not kick a field goal when we hade the opportunity to was actually pretty good because in the 2nd half we held them to one touchdown. So, why Sitaki not kick the field goal and went for the 1st down with a bad play call I might add? Still lack of faith with our field goal kickers? I think he looks at the OC as a great OC.

Sitaki, if he could get another Grimes that would stick around for a while, is a great head coach in the way he runs the entire program. Perhaps the Big 12 money will help with paying assistant coaches better and keeping them around longer.

I’m still puzzled on why our offense struggles so much. We have plenty of talent on offense to score 40+ points per game and more. We really seem to go away from what is working. Maybe the adjustments ECU made at halftime made us think we needed to go away from what was working. But, by doing so, we became predictable again. Throw only wide outs to the sidelines and never in the middle of the field to TE, RB and WR…And, when it is 3rd or 4th down, we run right into where all the defense is waiting for us. None of our RB’s think about taking the ball outside on occasions.

I know how you feel about this. I’ve felt the same way on much of this. I did find out before the game listening to other experts on the subject of ECU’s offense that they are a powerhouse offense with some great players starting with their QB. So, it might be that the defense holding ECU to 24 points before the debacle at the end because we did not kick a field goal when we hade the opportunity to was actually pretty good because in the 2nd half we held them to one touchdown. So, why Sitaki not kick the field goal and went for the 1st down with a bad play call I might add? Still lack of faith with our field goal kickers? I think he looks at the OC as a great OC.

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Something has to be actually working before you can go away from it. I didn’t see anything, in particular, that was working. I did see some curious, confusing play calls that stalled any opportunity at a drive. I just remember watching a play fail and thinking to myself, why in the world did they run that play in that situation. Why throw deep on 3rd and 2 or why throw a long pass out in the flat, 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage when you need 8, forcing the pass catcher to try and find a way to rush for the 10+ yards? Lots of times the play calling makes no sense. There is no effort to establish a run game or use the pass to assist the running game. I don’t understand all the deep throws in short yardage situation, the off tackle runs in long yardage situation. It isn’t confusing the defense or catching them off guard. The offensive play calling is often just that, offensive.

There, I said it. I haven’t been real impressed with much about the offense lately, flow/rhythm of the ball movement or execution of the plays called. The defense has been worse, but the offense isn’t looking great either.

As an example, against Liberty, they threw 18+ yards twice to Rex for a touchdown in the 1st quarter. Then, no more passes like that for the last 7 quarters. Against ECU no passes to the middle of the field. No crossing patterns.

Nailed it!!!

I would think he wants to be the next Dallas head coach

Several in my crew said out loud, “Does Hall only know how to throw to Nacua”? WHERE IS REX?

Fans will never be happy, I get it, but come on man???

If you remember, the first couple of games Hall was spreading the ball around a lot except to the TE. Now, teams have been able to limit Hall to throws to the sideline behind the line. Last game he threw for under 6 yards per pass while teams against us are using their TE to beat us. What changed from the first two games?

Roderick is throwing games because he knows he’ll be fired after this season and he never wants to coach again.

At least that the paraphrase of a rumor I read on a BYU fan board.