Viewpoint: Bad, ugly, uglier


    By Michael Hollingshead

    After being blown out at home by a lowly WAC team on national television, there is no place to go but up for the Cougars. That said, here are some interesting notes from the latest embarrassment.

    After BYU registered its first points of the game on a safety, it looked as if the ROTC wasn”t sure if they were supposed shoot the cannon or not. On further discussion, they realized it could be the only chance they”d get, so they shot it off, followed by two push-ups. Maybe they should start shooting it off for every first down.

    Did anyone else notice that Boise State starting quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie was still in the game with less than five minutes left and the Broncos holding a commanding 31-point lead. I guess his coach was willing to risk injury to get those 50 points.

    If there”s any one thing the Cougars do consistently this year it”s giving up easy points. Last night they handed Boise State 14 points off an interception and a punt block. That makes eight defensive touchdowns this year for opponents in five different games.

    The offense sure loves to dig themselves in a hole.

    During the second quarter, with BYU facing north, the field crew didn”t even bother to clean the snow off the north goaline. And rightfully so, the Cougars never made it in the endzone. The closest they would get in the first half was the 12-yard line before giving it up on downs.

    The last play of the game was, you guessed it, an incomplete pass. The four BYU quarterbacks threw the ball 59 times and completed all of 21 of them. Todd Mortensen was the star of the show, going 5-for-24 with one interception. He overthrew his wide-open receivers time and time again, including one well over the head of Justin Jory who was standing all by himself in the endzone.

    Then again, you could also talk about Matt Berry”s 3 picks. At one point in the game he had completed just as many passes to Boise State as he had to his own receivers. At least his passes to Boise State resulted in points.

    I stand correct, nothing does go right for this team. Levi Madarieta makes a great pass deflection and the refs call pass interference. After Matt Berry throws a pick in BYU territory, Kip Nielsen intercepts the ball on the very next play only to run into Aaron Francisco and fumble the ball. Then again, it would matter if they hadn”t lost by 38 points.

    After sorting through all the notes and stats for the game, I”ve found a few positives. BYU won the time of possession battle, 29:39-29:21, the defense held the Broncos to 381 yards of offense, which is well under their 580+ average.

    As if doing it once on the season wasn”t bad enough, Micah Alba matched James Allen genius play by catching the ball at the three yard line and stepping out of bounds on the second half kickoff.

    Talking about quarterbacks, what is the deal with BYU”s team? Either Matt Berry isn”t 100 percent or he is just off his game … by a couple yards. His second pick wasn”t even close to his wide-open receiver. What else? Beck, the only quarterback doing anything for the Cougars gets lit up by a Bronco linebacker and leaves the game.

    It seems like every quarterback has their talent – if you want to call it that. Berry gets sacked and, as of late, likes to throw picks to wide-open opponents. Beck likes to get injured, and Mortensen hands the ball off much better than throwing the ball to nobody.

    Mortensen couldn”t hit the side of the stadium with a bulldozer. You want to be fair, Jackson Brown came in and played well on the final drive.

    And, on a final note, what ever happened to home-field advantage? Four consecutive losses, two of them to opponents who scored at least 50 points. One thing is for sure: If you want to feel good about your football program, schedule a visit to historic LaVell Edwards Stadium. The home team will make you feel right at home.

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