Sunday, November 23, 2008

How come 10-2 feels so bad?

Going into this game I knew that BYU was going to have their hands full. I never denyed who the better team was, that being the Utes, but I had thought the disparity between the two teams was closer than what was shown last night on the field. I thought that the Cougars could hang with the Utes and if things bounced right for them they could be in a position to take this game in the fourth quarter.

Half way through the third quarter, when the score was 27-24, I was feeling pretty good about our chances to pull off the upset. Then the wheels came off.

My biggest concern going into the game was whether or not the Defense was going to get enough, if any stops to keep the Cougars in the game. The Utes offense moved the ball very effectively on the Y's D, but aside from the first quarter I thought the defense stepped up their level of play, and played well enough that the Offense had a chance to win this game. I wasn't expecting a lot from the defense, but they exceeded my expectations.

Overall, with the exception of #15, I thought the offense played a pretty good game. Austin Collie proved once again that he is a man playing amongst boys with another 100+ output by the junior receiver. As I watched him play I realized that our days of watching him wear Cougar Blue very well could be coming to an end. I really wouldn't be surprised to see him take his game to the next level in the upcoming draft.

I thought the running game was effective. Both backs ran hard, and for the most part were able to take the intial hit and still drive for a few extra yards. The offensive line I thought had a good game opening up holes to run through as well as giving protection to the quarterback.

Pitta was definitely missed. He was able to get in on a few plays, but he wasn't able to contribute like he normally would. It was nice to see Reed get a few touches, and to be honest, he should have be thrown to more.

Max Hall had what was probably the worst game of his life. To be honest, I actually feel kind of sorry for the guy. I screwed up a co-ed softball game this year and had a hard time letting it go. I can only imagine the let down that he is feeling right about now. To lose on that stage in the way that he did has to be pretty gut wrenching.

Who else can you blame though? He was personally responsible for 5 out of the 6 turnovers, with the sixth one coming on a bad pass that was tipped up in the air. The last one wasn't all his fault, but he still had a hand in it.

The timing of the turnovers couldn't have come at a worse moment either. Just before the half during the Cougars last drive, they had the momentum and were in a position to take the lead before going into the locker room. The Utes would then have to kick to them to start the second half. Hall throws a pick that still after watching the replay I am not sure who it was for. As bad as the pick was, he then followed it up with a personal foul that put the Utes in scoring positon. Not the kind of play you want to see from a team captain.

Fortuately, in the third quarter they were able to overcome it and work themselves back to a 3 point defecit. Again, with the ball and the momentum, Max turned the ball over killing the drive.

The Utes were able to score 28 points off of turnovers. It's hard for any defense to stop a team when they start with a 31 yard field, much less a 4 yard field. Every single possesion that BYU had in the fourth quarter ended in a turnover.

I won't take anything away from the Utes D. They definitely are a good squad. I hate it when people don't give a defense credit for creating the turnover, but I will say that Max made their jobs real easy at times. I could have sworn some of those balls had Christmas bows on them. They were in the right position though and made the play. In fact, Hall was lucky he was only picked 5 times.

It was an Ugly game. I hate seeing the Cougs lose, even more so when it is against that damn team in red. Congrats to the Utes though for doing something that the Y couldn't. They stayed focussed, grounded, took it one game at a time, won 12 straight and now will be the first non-bcs team to play for the second time in a BCS bowl. That blows. Jealousy is a hard pill to swallow.

I'm not ready to give up on Max. I still think he is a great qb, just had a bad night. He has some bad habits that he needs to address, but will have a very long offseason to think about them and hopefully work them out.

Bring on the bowl game. Nothing heals a wound faster than getting back on the field. If the Y ends up in Vegas, which all sources suspect they will, we'll be there with our game day gear cheering them on.


Dr. P said...

If I was a BYU guy, I would be ticked that BYU abandoned the running game. They had success running but then abandoned it for some reason. They had too much pride in their passing game to accept success on the ground. That is the truth.

SittinDeadRed said...


I don't know what the reason was, but you are right in the fact that the run game was there and they didn't take advantage of it.

They had a real nice sustained drive for a touchdown in the third quarter, primarily on the ground. On their very next series, they came back out throwing and I believe that was when Hall fumbled on second and short looking to pass.

From then on out it was all pass. I don't know if time was a factor to make them feel like they needed to press, but in the third the run game was there and they went away from it.

It was bad play calling.

I had said in one of my last posts, in fact I think it was a response to you, that I felt like they needed to keep it balanced, and that if they lived by the pass, they would die by it.

I thought they had done a good job with the balance up to the point that things fell apart. Coincidence?

SittinDeadRed said...

Correction- It was Johnson's interception and not the fumble after the sustained drive.

The drive that BYU scored on in the third, they moved the ball 83 yards, 5 passing plays and 6 rushing plays. There was a Ute penalty in there somewhere, but still that was balanced and it worked.

On the very next series, 4 straight passing plays, then a rushing play, then the pic by Johnson.

After the sustained drive, they were primarily one dimentional.

They died by the pass.

In the second, they finally got things going, and if you look they had success when it was balanced.

Anyways, I'm done reiterating, or rambling, whatever you want to call it.

You're definitely right though in your assesment.

Dr. P said...

the sad part is I am not alone. Pride in a passing game to me means that, "we got here by max hall and Collie, and we will die by max hall and collie" attitude by the play callers. If I were them I would run until it wasnt there, then you have a nice pass game to fall back on.

Ri-Bone said...

I'm glad you two have somwhat come to a common ground and put the claws away... until next year.

SittinDeadRed said...


If you look back at last season, they had quite a bit of success doing just that.

I don't know why they changed their attack.

You're pretty smart for a Ute.

SittinDeadRed said...


We've tried to keep it civil. There was one episode of name calling but the post unfortunately got erased before it really got going.

It wasn't authored by me anyways.

Ironically enough, despite D.P.'s allegiance to the Utes, I actually agree on quite a few of his points of view.

I sometimes perceive things with a little blue bias and he with a red one, but I don't think common ground has been an issue.

It's actually probably made things a little boring around here because of it. I was hoping for some good bantering.

The cirumstances surrounding this year with the success of the MWC and the struggles of the BCS conferences might have played a role in our amicable behavior.

Tikes said...

I think the reason 10-2 feels so bad is becuase both games that they lost were the ones that would test their character. They failed in both games. They pretty much crumbled like crispy bacon on a Ri-Bone salad.

By the way....UNC is awful. You can always take solace in that.

Anonymous said...


Hey Hall pass the salt...

Intercepted by grandma...


SittinDeadRed said...


I'll take you serious when you grow a pair and leave your name.

I don't mind a little trash talking, even when it's aimed towards me.

If your going to do it though, don't be a spineless turd and hide behind an anonymous posting.

Dr. P said...

even with the ammunition against the zoobies you couldnt id yourself?