As I said a few days back, BYU had to win the time of possession game in order to start their winning ways. How did they respond? By holding onto the ball for, not figuratively but literally, 3 quarters of the game. A whopping 45 minutes to 15 minute advantage, thanks in large part to BYU's stellar running game.
The Cougars finally established themselves offensively, and marched down the field on methodical drives time and time again. Now, two mistakes proved costly, in what should have been a BYU double digit win. Heaps interception in the endzone was a tough call for the youngster to make. Matthews fumble after a long catch and run killed a promising drive that could have all but shut the door on a fighting SDSU team.
However, something that I felt was completely necessary for this team in order to win, was excitement and passion. Both of which were clearly evident in this teams performance yesterday.
On multiple occasions commentators of the game mentioned how the BYU defense wanted to be on the field. They were running onto the field and their swagger showed their passion. After big plays were made, players celebrated with one another for their accomplishment, not as an individual, but as a defensive unit.
The unity of this team stems from their head coach, in Bronco we trust. Numerous players mentioned after the game how Mendenhall changed their perception and attitudes when they went onto the field, and they wanted to repay him for restoring their pride and honor. Coach Mendenhall also must have said something to the offensive staff about their job security. A program that usually prides itself on offense, is near the bottom in the nation in categories on offense. Yesterday, Anae showed some great play calling ( how about a fake FG for 16 yards) and let the game come to the cougars, instead of forcing it.
Heaps only threw 22 times, completing a good 15. Why throw it when your backs are getting you 5 yards a carry and first down after first down.
The MVP of yesterdays game goes to Brian Kariya. That dude was a beast yesterday, pulling linebackers behind him to get the first down. He had 2 touchdowns, 88 yards, and 22 carries, all career highs. Many of his runs were also season highs, and gave the cougars new air on third down a 5 or 6. Kariya proved his worth yesterday, and should be sleeping with that game ball in his arms for a couple nights.
This team still has got to put more points on the board, however. for the 15 minutes that SDSU had the ball, they turned it into points rather quickly a couple times. One drive lasted a whole 31 seconds in 2 plays. The Cougars have got to score more, in order to beat people and gain much more confidence.
Way to go Cougars. Keep the attitude and stigma in tact... Its gonna be a loooong week ahead with TCU coming up.