By Brandon Judd
BYU AND COLORADO STATE AT PIVOTAL POINT
While the team names are the same, the results and teams are vastly different from years past.
When Mountain West Conference staples BYU and Colorado State face off on Saturday, both teams will be fighting to start MWC play 1-0. More importantly, however, will be who turns around their season after both squads have started off with identical 1-3 records.
BYU”s schedule is a bit easier after the matchup, with four of its five next games in the friendly confines of LaVell Edwards Stadium. Colorado State, however, has to face three of the top teams in the MWC – San Diego State, New Mexico and Utah – in its next four games, with road games against the Aztecs and Utes.
The Rams do have history on their side, though. The Cougars haven”t returned home victorious from Fort Collins since a 28-21 victory in 1995. Ironically enough, BYU and Colorado State were playing on Conference weekend that year, just like this year”s meeting, so maybe that”s a sign of upcoming success for the Cougars.
The question will be if BYU”s offense can produce like it did last week when BYU quarterback John Beck threw for a career-high 390 yards and two touchdowns, including a 79-yard bomb to the unstoppable Todd Watkins. While the Rams are 112th in the nation against the rush, they are much better against the pass, which is BYU”s strength. The Cougar rushing attack has been abysmal, and it will need to find its legs at some point this season for BYU to finish above .500. If it happens against Colorado State, it can only help.
But there is also the question of whether BYU will play well this weekend after taking Boise State down to the final seconds last week before falling, 28-27. Last season, BYU would follow a good game, such as a 44-36 win over San Diego State, with a flop, for instance the Cougars” 58-13 drubbing at the hands of the Colorado State following the win over the Aztecs.
No matter who wins, they will not only be one up in the MWC standings, but one step closer to turning around their season as well.
SAN FRANCISCO”S UGLY SHUTOUT LOSS TO SEATTLE
As a former 49ers fan (I converted to Titanism after my mission to Nashville), it was sad to see San Francisco get shut out for the first time in 420 games. At the same time, however, it didn”t send me to my room fuming because the 49ers are a has-been program with Dennis Erickson at head coach.
Erickson has been frustrating, to say the least, with how he has treated former Cougar Brandon Doman. The Domanator led BYU to one of the greatest seasons in recent history and won over the hearts of Cougar faithful with his never lose attitude. So when Erickson and the 49ers dumped Doman for the second time in the preseason, never giving Doman a chance to prove himself, I lost all respect for the organization.
Besides, the 49ers just aren”t the 49ers of old. Gone are Steve Young and Jerry Rice, replaced by Tim Rattay and Rashaun Woods. Formidable they are not.
But at the same time, I do feel for San Francisco. After the Utes stopped BYU”s scoring streak at 361 games last season, watching any longstanding streak fall, especially to a rival, is mindblowing and depressing.
PAUL HAMM AND THOSE EVIL SPORTS COURT PEOPLE
Paul Hamm is getting totally messed over by this court hearing about whether he should be able to keep his gold medal from the 2004 Athens men”s gymnastics competition. He already has taken home the medal, shown it off to family and friends, and he didn”t use any drugs to earn it.
Even worse, the court met for 11 1/2 hours on Monday and never came to a decision. How ridiculous is that?!? It”s like another O.J. Simpson trial, never knowing when it should justifiably end.