Loyal Cougars

Disappearing Act: 3 on-field things BYU is suddenly missing

Some things have gone missing for BYU. Brett puts out an APB on three on-field items we aren’t seeing for the Cougars.

“Fire Bronco!”

“Pac-12 Refs!”

“Taysom can’t throw!”

None of these things are takes I am about to make — though man, was the last play of the game weird. After Arizona State-Wisconsin and Saturday’s game, at what point does the Pac-12 send a bullpen crew with those refs to take over with about 5 minutes left?

That third declarative — I’m not ready to say Taysom Hill is a bad passer. Yet. As a freshman, Hill played what totaled to be around 2.5 games. He completed 59% of his passes, throwing four touchdowns to just two interceptions and had a quarterback rating of 122.4.

This season, through three games, Hill has completed two less total passes in an astonishing 43 more attempts, and has thrown just one touchdown to three interceptions.

In my eyes, Hill has shown plenty of competence mixed with frustration, caused by much more than the lazy “Riley Nelson 2.0” take. Nelson threw a poor ball, and how many times did you see him outrun defensive backs? Which takes me to the first of three things that have disappeared from BYU’s on-the-field performance this season:

SHORT THROWS

Short passes do a lot for an offense, which is why their disappearance from BYU’s plan is a key part of how the Cougar offense can run over 90 plays and only score 13 points.

Short throws can build a quarterback’s confidence, diversify the offense, and help in more consistently creating third down situations that have a better chance for conversion. Instead, Taysom Hill is asked to throw 12-15 yard outs for what feels like 35 times per game. [Insert preferred Hill replacement here] would look pretty bad if he was asked to throw across the hashes all night with no other choices.

Think about it: BYU’s offense didn’t start moving well against Utah until a few 8-10 yard throws showed up — Hill quickly threw to J.D. Falslev a couple times in a row, then the next possession the throws were gone. And they disappeared until the fourth quarter when Anae finalldialed up a few quick slants to Cody Hoffman and a short swing pass to Falslev — all quite successful.

Sometimes it feels that Anae thinks the only way to get Hoffman the ball is on long, hard-to-catch 15-yard outs. He was rarely targeted until the fourth quarter. Yes, Hoffman is great at coming down with deep outs or long fades that he can come back on. But he’s also a big, physical receiver who can be counted on to go across the middle, secure a slant, and then make a play.

Hill is being asked to do too much, or at least throw the wrong throws. Every single yard through the “throw game” (c. Kyle Whittigham) is put on Hill’s arm. Every one. Anae 1.0 would throw to the fullback. He would run the running back eight yards deep on an option route at least four times per game and it would work every time, and for seasons on end. This season, of Hill’s 40 completions, five have gone to running backs.

There were quick slants to Michael Reed. There were crossing patterns to Austin Collie. There were bubble or inside screens to O’Neill Chambers. All of these passes would give BYU’s skill players a chance to pick up yards after the catch — and open up the more difficult throws for a better chance at success. That takes a lot of burden off the quarterback to make big throws 100% of the time.

Last night, BYU ended up in way too many 3rd-and-6 or worse third down situations. My memory is probably somewhat tainted from the loss, but those long third downs seemed to always result in a hugely difficult pass or Hill scrambling a half-yard short of the sticks (I swear that happened 6 times on Saturday).

Has Hill struggled? Yes. He’s missed a few throws. But he’s hardly the duck-throwing Riley Nelson. Anae needs to find a better way, or at least a more diverse way, to get the ball to BYU’s playmakers through the air and help Taysom Hill help himself. No QB can get north of a 50% completion rate when his only throw options are 15+ yard routes nearly 100% of the time.

FORCING TURNOVERS

I hesitate to lay any sort of criticism on the defense, because once again, Bronco Mendenhall is doing fantastic things. For how many plays the opposing offense has opportunity to run because of BYU’s break-neck pace, the defense is still only giving up 20 points per game and is doing almost everything possible to give the offense a chance to win games.

Except one — create turnovers. Neither Texas nor Utah turned the ball over once. Virginia had two turnovers, but one was on special teams when BYU forced a fumble on a kick return. BYU’s defense, amazing as it is, has forced just one turnover in three games and has played 10+ quarters since that one takeaway — an interception of David Watford with nine minutes left in the second quarter of the season opener.

By my count in 2012, BYU forced 16 turnovers in 13 games — relative to other good defenses, still an inordinately low 1.25 takeaways per game — but much better than this season. I don’t believe, if memory serves, that any of last year’s turnovers came on forcing special teams fumbles, so in appropriately comparing the two seasons, taking away the fumbled kick by Virginia puts BYU at 0.33 takeaways per game so far this season.

There has to be more disruption than that. The only such disruption I can recall this season is by Daniel Sorensen, who has come close to a few interceptions as he’s shown great instincts at safety. The defense is doing well to keep points off the board, which is its primary job. But secondarily, it sure would be nice to give the offense a short field or two each game to help things along.

ROSS APO

Has there ever been a more invisible top-flight recruit? Apo was rated as a four-star recruit by both Rivals and Scout and was listed as the 13th-best receiver-recruit in the nation. And here he sits, three games into his junior season, and he has less than 900 career receiving yards.

When I searched the USA Today Sports database for a picture to use with this article, only 6 pictures of Ross Apo were available: two as a freshman, four as a sophomore, and none from this season. He’s invisible.

This is less about “why isn’t Apo being used?” and more about “what happened?” I can’t say Apo was on the field against Utah for more than one snap — that one where Hill threw a short out (hey!) but Apo was running … something else. And then we saw much more of Skyler Ridley, Brett Thompson, and Eric Thornton the rest of the game.

The prospect of having two athletic, 6’3″+ receivers bookending BYU’s offense for three seasons was sure exciting and unprecedented — until we found out that one of them was …. what? Soft? A poor route-runner? Lazy in the weight room? Unmotivated?

Whatever it is, Apo is inches away from crossing the line between “struggling” and “bust.” I’m not trying to cast stones at Apo, because I truly don’t know why he isn’t more of an impact player. It’s baffling. With only rumors to inform us, we can only guess as to why Apo’s career has looked like this so far.

It’s clear that Guy Holliday doesn’t trust Apo, for whatever reason. He’s barely seeing the field, and I don’t blame coaches for that. We joked about it because of how often it was called, but Brandon Doman showed Apo could be useful in a screen game. Maybe we can start there and help out the “short throws” problem too?

38 Comments

  1. Mars

    September 23, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Statistically, Taysom Hill is the worst passing quarterback in the country (123rd). The. Worst. Worse than Riley Nelson was. Worse than Jake Heaps was. Worse than Matt Berry and Brett Engemann.

    BYU is 119th in creating turnovers (if you watch Boise State, it at least appears that the Broncos are coached to actually try). But BYU’s defense is also dead-last in red zone defense.

    But worse than the QB is the coaching. RBs don’t get thrown to. TEs don’t get thrown to. Short passes (screens, bubbles) don’t exist. We replaced a great WR coach (Cahoon) with a mediocre one. Our QB Coach is doing NOTHING. And we aren’t starting our best players. Ridley is a decent back-up, not starter material. Thompson and Thornton are scout-team walk-ons, not guys who are better than Marcus, Wilson, Mahina, etc. Hine doesn’t get touches. Our small, speed rushers are constantly run up the gut. It’s ugly. It’s pathetic.

    Bronco would make a great defensive coordinator. But he is more than struggling right now. He’s crossing over to “bust” territory.

    • lakerphin

      September 23, 2013 at 10:35 am

      What he said!

    • Dr. Nick

      September 23, 2013 at 11:31 am

      I can’t agree with the bust comment about Bronco. The offense is very much a work-in-progress, but the defense is almost as good as last year in spite of a secondary held together with nothing but patented “Bronco-grit”, JC transfers, and walk-ons. If you look at the pace-adjusted stats BYU’s defense is giving up only 4.7 yards per play (a full yard per play better than Alabama) against some decent competition. If the “Anae 2.0” offense doesn’t improve over the season or gets worse then we can talk about Bronco as a bust, but until then he’s still 75-30 as our HC and that’s more than good enough for me.

      • ralphjenkins91

        September 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm

        Problem is, this is now the 4th straight season of having the same issues, poor QB play, poor OL play, no production from the TE, etc. That’s a reflection on Bronco now and his ability to manage the program. He’s obviously managing his defense well, just not the team as a whole.

        Problem is, if he hands off the defense so he can manage the whole team then we’ve seen where the defense suffers (Jaime Hill).

        • Sanpete

          September 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm

          How is having a true freshman, sophomore or injured quarterback a reflection on Mendenhall, though? I don’t know of any program that always has a quarterback in top form, and sometimes stuff happens. The same coach handled the offensive line from 2007-2012, when the line (and Matt Reynolds, whom you mention below) had both high and low points. Was that the coach’s fault? You’re making broad inferences when it would be better to know something specific about what was and wasn’t working.

    • Sanpete

      September 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      Phooey. Are you watching the practices or keeping track of who’s dropping balls in games? Obviously not.

    • Brandon

      September 24, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      Couldn’t have said it any better.

    • ralphjenkins91

      September 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      You mean Falslev and Thornton are scout team walk-ons, not Brett Thompson. He was a 3 star WR recruit and the #55 rated player at his position.

      I know what you mean. BYU is becoming the graveyard for highly recruited/rated players coming out of high school. Austin Holt has struggled, Richard Wilson has struggled, Devin Mahina has struggled. Matt Reynolds was grading as a 1st round pick after his sophomore year and by the time he graduated couldn’t even get drafted.

      To Bronco’s credit he’s done a good job recruiting and developing his defensive players but a poor job recruiting and developing his OL, developing TE’s and QB’s. We’re now in our 4th straight year of the same mess.

  2. Dr. Nick

    September 23, 2013 at 10:44 am

    With Hill’s struggles in the passing game and the o-line’s inability to pass protect, I agree with the need for a short passing game. Anae keeps going deep in order to pull the safeties back and open up the run game. Spread-to-run teams like Arizona and Oregon tend to use bubble screens and short outside passes for the same purpose. The problem is that Hill has too much power and too little accuracy on both the deep and the quick outside throws. I hope that’s something that will improve with experience, but right many of those incompletions and drops are because Hill rockets balls long, short, and behind his targets. Here’s to hoping that Hill’s touch and accuracy improve over the season…

    • Brett Hein

      September 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

      There is some degree of lack of touch on the balls that do get thrown to RBs. But it’s simply gotta be part of the offense. There isn’t enough diversity right now and Hill is being asked to be a QB on Super Tecmo Bowl.

      • Dr. Nick

        September 23, 2013 at 11:34 am

        It also doesn’t help that the RB’s are almost always being kept in to help pass-block, and even with help the pass protection is terrible. If the o-line can’t pick-up 4 pass rushers without help from a RB, you really can’t develop the RB’s as receiving threats.

  3. Mike Mill

    September 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Agree 100% on the assessment of Taysom being asked to do too much. The short passing game is absent and Anae needs to figure it out asap!!

  4. Sanpete

    September 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Typically, there will be two or more receivers running routes on a single play, and it’s up to Hill to make the reads and decide which to throw to. That he was throwing mostly medium-range doesn’t imply the plays were mostly called that way. It could be either that he preferred the medium over the shorter passes when both were open, or that the shorter routes weren’t as open. Utah was doing all they could (legal and not) to disrupt routes. The shorter the route, the harder to recover from a jam.

    Screens especially require a nice passing touch, which Hill seems to still be working on. We’ll probably see more as things settle down and it isn’t all bullets. (Dr. Nick is right that this might also help explain why there are fewer short passes in general.)

    On turnovers “forced,” there’s a fairly high element of chance involved. I won’t be surprised if we see more down the road as luck catches up.

    It is a sad story with Apo so far this season. Hill was visibly frustrated with him after what was clearly a disconnect between pass and route. Last season there were also a lot of low balls that went his way, and the rumor was that he wasn’t running the routes accurately. It doesn’t look like lack of effort. It could just be trouble judging distances, keeping counts, etc. There could be a sort of dyslexia there. He’s a talented kid, though, so I hope we see more success from him.

    • Brett Hein

      September 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Turnover luck is a very real thing — which is why it seems so strange that they aren’t coming when players are in the right place. Obviously a player will intercept a pass when possible. KVN laid a couple huge hits on Wilson and was split-seconds away from getting there while Wilson still had the ball. I agree — hopefully they come.

  5. Dereck Smith

    September 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Saying that Hill is “Nelson 2.0” is completely inaccurate, and probably terribly insulting to Riley Nelson : )

    I wish I could say that I was only joking, but in all honesty, I can’t. Hill has great potential, but his throwing has been terrible. He completed a season high 37.5% of his passes against Utah. He has thrown tree times as many interceptions as TDs.

    Against Virginia I gave the partial excuse of new coaches, a new offense, his receivers droped 9 passes that hit them in both hands, etc.

    Against we really didn’t care that much since he ran for 259 yards and 3 TD on a mere 17 carries.

    Against Utah he was going up against a struggling pass defense that had given up 757 passing yards, 7 passing TDs, and come up with 0 INTs in their two games vs FBS competition. Things whould have been different. They weren’t 37.5% completion, 0 TDs, 1 INT.

    I’ve never been one to call for starters to be benched, but I think a then joking statment made during the Texas game sums it up nicely. After Hills big TD run, I turned to my friend and said

    “I can handle his competing 30% of his passes as long as Hill does that four times a game.”

    It wasn’t a serious comment at the time, but there is a lot of truth to it. If Taysom can run for over 200 yards and 3+ TDs per game, we can put up with a bad passing game. But when he completes only a third of his passes and can’t score more than 1 TD against sub .500 teams (referring to Utah’s and Virginia’s records last season), then it is time for some serious reflection and probably some serious action.

    If Hill can’t find success through the air against a less than impressive Middle Tennessee, I will be doing something that I have never done before in my life. I will be calling for the back up Quarterback.

    • Dr. Nick

      September 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Let’s compare Nelson’s and Hill’s stat lines for the last two Utah games:

      Nelson – 17/35, 206 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 22.0 QBR, 14 Carries, 34 yards rushing
      Hill – 18/48, 260 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 36.8 QBR, 20 carries, 99 yards rushing

      Can you seriously argue that 2012 Nelson was significantly better than 2013 Hill?

      Neither stat line is good, but let’s be realistic – Hill is at least as good a QB as a sophomore as Riley was as a senior.

      • Brett Hein

        September 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm

        “This guy is a senior. Unreal.” -Me, after every other play last season. We’d like Hill to be better, sure. But he’s no worse for wear than who he replaced. That’s for sure.

        • Dereck Smith

          September 24, 2013 at 9:11 am

          I agree with you (partially). Hill has struggled, but he is not markedly worse that an injured Riley Nelson. Of course a healthy Riley Nelson is a different story. Look at what he did before he injured his back.

          vs Washington St. he completed 69.4% of his passes for 2TDs and 0 INTs. In the first half against Weber St he threw for 244 yards.

          At this point in time I would gladly take a healthy Riley Nelson over Taysom Hill, and it’s not even close. Now, Taysom may end up changing my mind before the season is out, and I have little doubt that (if he keeps his starting position) Hill will eventually end up being a markedly better QB that Nelson ever was, but he is simply not there yet.

      • Dereck Smith

        September 24, 2013 at 8:06 am

        Lets look at the stats that matter. Last year Nelson led the BYU offense to 3 TDs (2 he threw himself) for 21 points.

        Hill Led the BYU offense to 1 TD and 13 points.

        Nelson also did it with less of a run game to support him (2.5 ypc vs 3.9 ypc) and against a significantly better passing defense (Prior to BYU this year, the Utah defense gave up an average of 378.5 passing yards, 3.5 TDs and 0 INTs vs FBS competition).

        Which performance would you perfer? The one that scored 21 points against the better defense or the one thatscored 13 points against one of the worst passing defenses in all of college football? It might help to remember that the Utes Scored 20 points this year.

        • Dr. Nick

          September 24, 2013 at 8:37 am

          The rushing stats in last years game were bad because of Nelson. If you just look at the running backs the average yards per carry was better last year than this year. And all we really know about Utah’s pass defense is that two pretty good offenses have carved it up. It’s impossible at this point to say just how good or bad Utah’s passing defense will be at the end of the year.

          The bottom line is that Nelson and Hill produced statistically similar performances against Utah, both of which ended up in close losses. Nelson was a senior with over a year of starting experience. Hill was starting his 5th game. He has so much potential that it would be a mistake to dump him because he had a bad game against Utah.

      • Dereck Smith

        September 24, 2013 at 8:56 am

        “but let’s be realistic – Hill is at least as good a QB as a sophomore as Riley was as a senior.”

        Right now Hill is no better (and probably markedly worse) than a crippled Riley Nelson was last year. Since your so fond of comparing stats, lets go ahead and do so.

        Completion %
        2013 Hill 35.1%
        2012 Nelson 58.8%
        2011 Nelson 57.4%

        Yards per attempt:
        2013 Hill: 4.95
        2012 Nelson: 6.53
        2011 Nelson: 8.5

        TD/game:
        2013 Hill: .33
        2012 Nelson: 1.44
        2011 Nelson: 2.71

        TD/INT ratio
        2013 Hill: 1/3
        2012 Nelson: 1/1
        2011 Nelson: 2.7/1

        Clearly as of right now (and hopefully it will change) Nelson is clearly the better passer even when playing with an injured back (like he did for most of last year) Now it is not fair to leave out Taysom’s running stats, since that is the best part of his game, so lets include them:

        Yards per touch:
        2013 Hill: 4.99
        2012 Nelson: 5.60
        2011 Nelson: 7.27

        Touches per TD:
        2013 Hill: 36
        2012 Nelson: 36
        2011 Nelson: 14.5

        Well, at it in that light, an injured Nelson and a Healthy Hill are rather comparable. Of course a healthy Riley blows both of them out of the water.

        Hill obviously has the better upside, but right now he is a terrible passer (for a FBS starting QB). I think Hill will get better, but it has been, and will be, a painful growing process. Hopefully it will be a short one. Wins over ND and Wisconsin will go along ways in helping me forget Utah and Virginia.

  6. G of F

    September 23, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I hate watching the BYU offense.

  7. Brett Hein

    September 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Now we have learned that Apo suffered a shoulder injury against Virginia and was told by coaches to sit out after limited action against Utah. Supposedly “good to go” this Friday. So, there’s that.

    • Dr. Nick

      September 24, 2013 at 8:40 am

      I hope “good to go” means he will run the right routes and avoid bad drops. Maybe physical problems just look like mental mistakes on TV, but from my perspective it seems like his problems are deeper than shoulder issues.

  8. justin w

    September 24, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Totally agree with the article. Don’t give up on Hill yet (but some of those overthrows were almost into the stands!). Please bring back the short quick pass.

    I think that for Middle Tennessee, they should throw 100% of the time, and let Olsen come in on at least 2 or 3 drives to get some experience too. Hill is the man and needs to get some rhythm going with the receivers. If Apo can get going too, great! If not, 15 throws a game to Mitch Mathews. I don’t want to hear about the great ‘route runners’ unless they can catch the ball.

    I want to look to the future as the rest of this year will hopefully still see some great, ok good, football. But the next couple years should be great with so many talented sophomore’s on the team…

  9. Michael

    September 24, 2013 at 10:23 am

    How about giving another QB a chance.

    • Sanpete

      September 24, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Is there another quarterback on the team who would have been likely to get more than Hill’s 360 yards against Utah?

  10. Michael

    September 24, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I think there’s more than one QB on byu who could throw more than 360

    • Sanpete

      September 24, 2013 at 11:08 am

      Why do you believe that, though? Has another quarterback been doing better than Hill in practices?

  11. Michael

    September 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Do you think there’s no QB better than Hill on the byu team?

    • Sanpete

      September 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Don’t see any evidence there is. In fall camp Olsen and Hill were supposed to be close in throwing, but Hill was clearly better running.

      One reason coaches stick with a young quarterback having trouble is to give him reps for development. They still believe, based on all they’ve seen, that he’s their best.

  12. Michael

    September 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I don’t think coaches make good discussions so thay should try Ammon Olsen to see if he move the ball, one live session of downs to see if he can do better in a live game. Does hurt the team, i don’t think so, should try it…I know and he is not going to try it.

    • Michael D

      September 24, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      During the 2011 season the coaches gave Jake Heaps 5 games to prove he was the QB before he was yanked…I give Taysom until game 5 and then you might see Ammon. I went to the Spring game and Ammon looked really good throwing the ball. Had great touch on the long ball and read the defense well. I did also see some running skills however no designed runs were called nor did I see any spread option when Olsen was in.

      See Bronco for some reason or another loves things that make it hard on a defense to defend… When Hall was our QB there were teams that had mobile QB’s and they caused problems for the BYU defense. So Bronco thought if we had a mobile QB this would cause problems for the other teams D. Thus why we are seeing more of a mobile QB at BYU and why Hill is getting the start. During Fall camp the media said both Hill and Olsen were neck and neck however since BYU is now a power run team it makes sense to have a more run first QB in Hill. While Olsen does know how to run his is more of a drop back passer and I think he would be a better fit for this offense.

      I am not a fan of this run first style…it reminds me of Doman’s offense. What happened to the play calling when Hall and Beck were the QB’s..now that was an offense that could put up points?

      Here is what I think needs to change and change now:

      #1. Stop the run option plays… if you are a running team then give it to the backs and let them run. If you want to have a QB run then do some boot legs or QB draws…

      #2. Mix up the running plays… all too often we see Anae run inside to the left, then to the right. Why not try running to the outside… or calling a delayed hand off, a QB Draw or a plan Draw? As well stop the Run on 1st and 2nd down and throw it on 3rd…

      #3. Start throwing screens to the WR’s and throwing to the backs out of the back field. Our skill players know how to make people miss so why don’t we give them a chance? Stop putting the game solely on Hill to sink or swim.

      #4. Start getting the Tight ends involved in the passing game. I have only seen like 4-5 passes to the Tight ends. Hall and Beck would throw to their TE’s 7-8 times a game.

      #5. Game plan on offense so that no matter what QB plays the offense will be successful.

      #6. Play Ammon Olsen early in the next game…If Hill has not completed more then 55% of his passes by Half Time…it is time to put in the back up and see what he can do.

      • Sanpete

        September 24, 2013 at 5:42 pm

        Hill isn’t supposed to be a run-first quarterback, and this isn’t supposed to be a run-first offense. It’s only turned out that way because of the problems with the passing game. The plan was reportedly to have a more even mix, and that’s still the plan.

        I don’t follow some of your ideas. Why stop using the read option? It allows for plenty of runs from the backs.

        There are a lot of runs to the outside, and there have been some draw plays. There have been passes on the downs one and two. There have been a few screens and passes to the running backs. There have been numerous passes to tight ends, Thompson made a couple nice catches in the last game, but had several drops before. We were told after fall camp the tight ends as a group weren’t showing good hands, and so far nothing has shown otherwise.

        Olsen will play under the normal circumstances, if the game is safely in hand, or if Hill keeps not getting it done. Olsen could probably do some things better, and some not as well. Hill personally accounted for about 360 yards of offense in the last game, including almost 100 yards on the ground.

  13. Dan

    September 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    LaVell built a long-term program by favoring quality Juniors and Seniors as starters. Freshmen and Sophomore starters should be a rarity–instead they should be gaining experience and seasoning for their turn. BYU shows short-sighted desperation looking for home-run youngsters as starters. What do experienced upper classmen have to play for if they are passed over for the latest hotshot? Quarterbacks like Heaps and Hill need to put in their time, work the system, gain confidence, and establish relationships and team credibility before thrown into the furnace. Our young talent is wasted and defeated rather than being built-up and seasoned. I’d rather see a few poor seasons with a wise program build effort than short-term moves. Bronco’s “11 best athletes on the field” is killing the program.

    And it doesn’t help that we can’t find wise visionaries for OCs. Although Anae was mostly good for several seasons, he can’t seem to adapt in-game.

  14. Wahului

    September 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Ross Apo has earned whatever stones may be cast his way. There is no excuse for even a high school receiver, far less a third year (alleged) D-1 receiver to be caught not knowing where the ball is, and being hit in the head with it. He deserves, after three years of receiving unearned and undeserved special privileged treatment and playing time, to at least have his scholarship pulled, with the opportunity to EARN it back. My bet is he’d quit immediately. That entire “big three” of Heaps, Stout and Apo have been unqualified busts. Unfortunate that BYU has invested and wasted so much of the program’s money and other receiver’s time on this guy.

    Also, you’re right about the short passing game. LaVell brought BYU into national prominence with it, and it could make a big difference in offensive efficiency if properly utilized. Taysom is a talented guy, among other talented guys, who are all seemingly stuck in a system that makes their success more difficult rather than exploitin their talents. I’d rather see 70 plays that work than 100 that fail.

    Get it together, BYU. We want to believe!!

  15. Dale

    September 24, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    I think Apo does not try hard enough to catch the ball. I have not noticed it this year but definitely last year there were several times he did not try to catch the ball where he could have made an adjustment to go to the ball.

    I agree Hill needs to improve his passing but there have been a lot of dropped balls this year too. I think the receivers need to step up and help out Hill.

  16. Eric Tingey

    September 24, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Why can’t we simply repeat the spread passing offense that we had with LaVell Edwards. I’m sure Steve Young, Robbie Bosco, etc. can fax in their old passing plays. Send out many receivers and only keep one RB in for a draw play, to block or a dump off pass. Or send out five receivers and no RB. This will promote single coverage and someone should be open. If not, most of the defense will be back on coverage and Taysom will have more room to run. Throw the ball quickly right after the receiver makes a cut. Scrambling around too long creates confusion among the receivers and we lose our advantage of an organized passing route. I agree 100% with the short pass idea and to get the ball to tall receivers like Apo & Terenn Houk.