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Friday, September 7, 2012

What the Cougars Learned Friday Night about the Utes, Aggies

The BYU football team undoubtedly grabbed some popcorn and enjoyed the show Friday night as future Cougar opponents Utah and Utah State squared off in ESPN's Friday night game.  I hope they were paying attention, because there are some things they should remember about these teams.

Utah State's Mark Hutchinson sacks Utah's Jordan Wynn
1. Utah's offensive line is suspect. The Utah State defense mixed up coverages, brought blitzes from lots of directions, and got good pushes from their defensive line, resulting in constant pressure on the Utah quarterbacks. The o-line looked confused and overpowered by the onslaught of Aggie pressure.

2. Utah's quarterbacks rattle quickly under pressure.  Because of the aforementioned defensive pressure, the Utah quarterbacks (all three of them) were constantly on the run. Before going down with yet another injury, Jordan Wynn was 6/11with only 47 yards, and it seemed like he spent most of that time with his facemask in the grass. Jon Hays had a few brights spots, leading the Utes to a comeback, but he, too, found himself rushing throws and missing marks. BYU could learn something from this defensive strategy and utilize its skilled linebackers and cornerbacks to confuse Utah's o-line in a few weeks.

3. Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei can be neutralized.  No doubt Lotulelei is a special player, but he was nowhere to be found Friday night. Perhaps it was the Aggies' mobile quarterback that kept him from getting any sacks and limited him to one tackle. Whatever the Aggies did (I admit, I'm not sure what it was), they proved that Lotulelei could be held back.

3. Utah's State quarterback Chuckie Keeton is a baller.  BYU has a long history of trouble with mobile quarterbacks, so I hope the Cougars were paying close attention to Chuckie Keeton. He ran the option to perfection, holding onto the ball until the very last second, reading the defense with skill, and throwing on the run with precision. He was clearly the leader of the team and seemed very cool under pressure. He made plays when he really needed to, both with his feet and with his arm.

4. Don't count out the Aggies. Friday's game had the same feeling as when Utah State beat BYU in 2010. Everyone could tell they wanted it very badly, and they played like they believed they could win. To their credit, Utah came back to tie it in the second half after going down 13-0 in the first quarter, but the Aggies made Journey proud and never stopped believing.


  1. not sure if this makes me more confident in the Utah game or more scared of the USU game??!!

  2. Agreed. I could tell that utah's strength is for sure their defense. Their offense did not look impressive at all. The only play maker utah has I thought was their receiver scott (#2). I think BYU will have a struggle running the football, but I think throwing the ball we will do fine.