Loyal Cougars

Five reasons not to panic about BYU — yet

In a frustrating season opener, BYU left opportunities on the table and gifted them to the opponent. But it’s not quite time to panic — yet.

In a frustrating affair, BYU grasped defeat from the jaws of victory on Saturday night, losing 19-16 to Virginia and leaving many of us incredulous.

Should BYU have won the game? It’s hard to say anything other than “yes.” Virginia mounted only one scoring drive of its own, resulting in a field goal before halftime. All its other points came on a safety and touchdown drives of 16 and 13 yards. Ugh.

Yet, I’m not quite ready to push the panic button. Here are five reasons why we can hold hope for the rest of BYU’s season.


When you have a sophomore quarterback starting only his third career game, on the road, in bad weather — it’s kind of a big deal when your senior All-American-watchlist receiver, who is staring down school records, ends up scratched with a hurt hamstring. Especially in those conditions, having the skilled, sure-handed Hoffman would have changed the game. You know, on like a 3rd & 3 when a first down essentially wins the game.

Hoffman will make a huge difference.


Yes, yes, players should be ready for anything and Virginia faced the same circumstances BYU did (except for their own locker room being a bit nicer, no doubt). But when it comes to evaluating the play of an offense and its sophomore quarterback, a 2-hour lightning delay followed by a downpour that left the field with standing water can’t simply be ignored. It affected the game.

A majority of BYU’s games will be played in at least okay weather — and without 2-hour delays in the middle of the second quarter.


The rock and sure foundation of the 2013 BYU team, like 2012, will be the defense. Again — it took a bad snap (safety), a bobbled punt snap (16 yard field) and an interception (returned to BYU’s 13) for Virginia to get anything more than three points. BYU outgained Virginia by 140 yards despite the Hoos having the ball 10 more minutes. 223 total yards from the opponent should result in more wins than not (right?).


Hey, did you see that? After a false start killed BYU’s nail-in-the-coffin drive following a Virginia fumble, Justin Sorensen came in and nailed a 36-yard field goal in wet conditions. This kick was clutch, making it a four-point game and putting pressure on UVa to score a touchdown. He also easily made his only PAT attempt.

So far, so good from the place kicking game.


As much as it struggled at parts, the BYU run game still accounted for 187 yards. The yards-per-carry average was only 3.5, which will need work. But Jamaal Williams averaged 4.4 yards on his touches. If the offensive line can refine its new MO, I still suspect the run game will become a force.



On 3rd rebirth, it’s still a Cougar
Opponent Notebook: Week 1 Results
Women’s soccer sets attendance record in shutout of Nebraska


  1. Sanpete

    September 2, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Yup, all good points. Too soon to panic. Might add that an earlier reason for panic among some, the injuries at boundary corner, seemed not to be a factor at all, another good sign.

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  4. kevin

    September 2, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Do you have any idea why Anae/Hill completely ignored our tight ends? Its as if Anae has completely forsaken his old offensive strategy, which I like much more. I am not a fan of running out of this diamond formation.

    • Brett Hein

      September 3, 2013 at 7:55 am

      While I’m okay with evolving schemes, it does seem keeping the use of the tight end is important. Tight ends seem to be an easy target for the QB when there are pass game struggles.

    • Sanpete

      September 3, 2013 at 9:27 am

      Seems we were told after fall camp the tight ends weren’t showing good hands. Friel expressed some frustration that he wouldn’t be used much for receiving, but last year his receiving skills were variable, started off promising and then fell off. Maybe that will change. Anae likes to use tight ends when they have the hands.

  5. DH

    September 3, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Brett Thompson is a tight end. In that fourth quarter Hill was throwing to him. He dropped a ball that would have been a first down. I believe we ended up punting because of that drop. My perception of that game (radio only) was that Hill was running around a lot trying to find time to throw. If he has time to throw, we’ll be in good shape.

    • Brett Hein

      September 3, 2013 at 11:34 am

      I think that drop came after UVa reclaimed the lead and BYU had one last shot. But yes … big time drop there. So many tight ends, none of them impact players.

  6. DH

    September 3, 2013 at 11:35 am

    When this offense finds itself, you’re going to see a lot of drives like the 90+ yard drive they had where they marched down the field. First down after first down, quick and fast. That was a nice drive. That is how this offense will look more frequently. Be Patient.

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