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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Best BYU offense Ever?

Matt Reynolds is a pre-season All-American
This years offensive crew for the cougars has all the trimmings to be one of, if not THE best offense in BYU football history, in my humble opinion.

Reasons for this claim are many, and solid. Here are the 3 most prominent reason why this year could be a special one for the cougars of BYU.

#1 Experience. I cannot remember a year where the cougars returned so many meaningful starters on the offensive side of the ball. Jake Heaps, the returning stud from last year, returns as the fully entrenched starter and leader of the squad. Heaps growth throughout last year was incredibly visible towards to end of the year, where he showed why he was a top recruit the year previous. He ended up breaking every freshman QB record in the illustrious BYU record books, and is only getting better.
   To help Heaps on the wings, BYU returns emerging start wide-out Cody Hoffman, who showed his size (6'4'') and play making ability will make him a tough match up for any opposing defense. McKay Jacobsen returns after a very average (below average for him) season in 2010, and looks to be a threat to go deep, and come across the middle in the slot receiver position. Red shirt freshman Ross Apo (6'3'') will be lining up opposite of Hoffman, making that 2 large skilled targets for Heaps on the sidelines. A year practicing with the team helps with the chemistry, which has been reported to be very strong between Apo and Heaps even prior to their enrollment at the Y.
Will Jake Heaps be the best BYU QB ever?
   What else needs to be said about BYU's offensive line that already hasn't been said. They are solid, and they are big. Returning 4 of 5 starters ( the one starter being Jason Speardon who just so happens to be playing in the NFL), makes this group the most experienced on the team, and possibly the country. This group of blockers looks to prove they are one of the best in the country, anchored by All-American candidate Matt Reynolds. Reynolds turned down the NFL to lead the cougars into independence, and should be a high draft pick next spring.

  #2 Skill. The skill positions all have someone that can make a play, and then some. Each position has a go to guy, but any one of the receivers or backs can come in and contribute in a big way. OC Brandon Doman has come out and said publicly that he expects Josh Quezada to have a surprisingly good year, making that story very intriguing to watch throughout the season.
   Last year, the Cougars had more rushing yards than they had had in almost 2 decades. All three of those backs responsible, are back for more. Not to mention, as I already have, the offensive line that led the way for that rushing attack returns 4 of the 5 starters.
   Play-makers are all across the board for Jake Heaps to get the ball to this year. The tight-ends, who were terrible last year, cannot be any worse that they were last year. That being said, they should produce a lot more this year, especially in crucial 3rd down conversions.

Senior JJ Di Luigi is a dual threat
receiving and rushing the ball
#3 Schedule. Last season, cougar opponents gave up an average of 27 points per game. The cougars offense, we all know hit their stride last year after the Utah State implosion. The team averaged 33 points a game the rest of the way, and started to mesh with their new found star in Jake Heaps. This season, with the above 2 factors included, the cougars go up against teams like San Jose St. (35 ppg given up), New Mexico St. (40 ppg against), Ole Miss (35 ppg against) and Utah State (34 ppg against). This will give a BYU offense plenty of reps to shred the defenses and put points on the board. While there are teams like TCU (12 ppg against) and Utah (24 ppg against) on the schedule, and UCF for the mattter (17 ppg against), they are going to be going up against a much improved offensive unit from the cougars, who will threaten just about any defense in the country.
   BYU records show that their best offensive season yardage wise was 1983, where they averaged 584.2 yards a game. in 1996, under now Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisien the cougars averaged nearly 51 points per game. These records seem high, however this year the cougars have an offense that could brush those marks. I am not predicting they will, but I would not be surprised if they did. They have the talent, they have the skill, and they have the schedule to do it.
   Thanks to ESPN, you can actually watch the cougars this year. You just might be watching history when you do.

1 comment:

  1. Great assessment Aaron. I read an article yesterday which reminded me of another reason we have to be excited this season. Brandon Doman as the Offensive Coach was QB under Gary Crowden. Say what you want about the bad things he brought to BYU during his tenure here, the one awesome thing he contributed was the "trick" plays he inserted into the offense to capitalize on mismatches he had identified from film of our opponents. Brandon has alluded to the possibility of adding that into the mix. When Crowden ran his trick plays, the majority of them were wildly successful and helped us win games some thought we didn't have a chance in.

    Also, just FYI, is available as a domain if you would like to legitimize the blog somewhat. Just a heads up if you want to. It's pretty easy to install WordPress over the domain afterwards. I find WP to be a much more flexible and powerful blogging platform.