BYU’s offense is one of the least productive in the country

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BYU’s most highly anticipated season has begun. But the college football season is already two weeks in and with the Utah game looming over the Cougars, many BYU fans are concerned about their team’s offense. Perhaps the most common question stems from the seeming inability of BYU to get into the end zone.

Brandon Doman, BYU’s new offensive coordinator, was promoted to that position in January. He replaced Robert Anae, who many viewed as too conservative at play-calling. Coming up on week 3 of their season, the Cougars rank 108th in total offense in the country. To put that in perspective, Division I football only has 119 teams, meaning only 11 teams are worse on total offense. But some BYU players don’t seem too concerned about the struggling offense.

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BYU offensive coordinator Brandon Doman walks out to meet Jake Heaps and the Cougar offense against Ole Miss earlier this season.
“I truly trust him as a coach and our OC [offensive coordinator] and I know he’s doing everything he can to help our team,” said senior captain Bryan Kariya. “I feel like we’re on track to where we need to go to improve.”

However, over the past five years, the Cougars have averaged 32.5 points per game. After two games in the 2011 season, BYU is averaging just 15 points per game.

“I love it when our offense scores a bunch of points,” said junior linebacker Jameson Frazier. “I love it when they’re clicking, but I think it’s some assignments and execution things that need to be cleaned up.”

Last week against Texas, BYU kicked three field goals and only scored one touchdown. During their first two games of the year, the Cougars drove the ball into the red zone six times without scoring a touchdown.

“Going three-and-out and kicking a bunch of field goals, that’s frustrating,” Kariya said. “I know we haven’t played as well as we wanted to in the past couple of games but I know that we are going to work harder and maintain a better focus to get headed in the right direction and accomplish what we want to.”

During Monday’s press conference, head coach and acting defensive coordinator Bronco Mendenhall stated he is focused on defense and doesn’t worry about the offensive side of the ball. He said he trusts his staff to make the right decisions.

“We are one play away from being 2-0,” Mendenhall said. “I’m on board with [the offensive play-calling]but we need to find a way to run the ball more effectively.”

Sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps has also received a lot of criticism from multiple media members. Heaps ended last season with consistent play, including a season-high four touchdown passes and almost three hundred passing yards in the final game of 2010. This season he has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns.

“I think he is about right on,” Mendenhall said of his starting QB. “I think it [the offense] would be more effective … if we could run the ball more effectively.”

If history repeats itself the Cougars will see a higher point production this week. Since Mendenhall was hired as the head coach, BYU has scored an average of 36.2 points in the third game of the season, compared to an average of 22.9 in the first two games.

This will be the seventh game against Utah for Mendenhall. He currently has a 3-3 record against the Utes. Five of the six games have been decided by seven points or less.

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