What a weekend! After a bye week for BYU football and basketball playing division 2 exhibition games, BYU sports was back last weekend in full swing. Also in full swing were haymakers at Rancheritos, so not everybody was able to enjoy BYU sports last weekend.
What an embarrassing night for BYU, Stout, and Sampson. Stout really needs to hire Jake Heap's public relations manager after this incident. I'm not sure that Iggy's would be too excited to have him back though. Stout sucker punches a kid in the face then gets driven back 7 yards and pancaked by a kid 50 pounds lighter than him. Then this same kid holds Stout in submission until Sampson comes and double teams him. What an embarrassment! How weak is that!? If Stout can't hold his own against a kid who just barely got to 200 lbs with his mid-night run to Rancheritos, then Stout deserves to stay in submission on the tile floor. Don't go pound the face of this defenseless kid because your buddy allegedly picked a fight and can't back it up. Just the fact that they were hanging out with this other kid who is the scum of the earth was disappointing. Some ugly scum-bag that they were with punched a girl right in the face who was trying to break up the fight. That kid is a piece of trash.
I really hope that Sampson, Stout, the BYU football team, and young BYU fans learn some valuable life lessons from this. I even hope that Stout's worthless garbage friend learns his lesson and comes around to become a valuable member of society who lives with integrity. It is really sad to see kids go out for a night on the town hoping to enjoy themselves and end up making decisions that really set themselves back in attaining their goals. No doubt that Bronco set a pretty lofty standard for Stout to be able to re-join the program. He is being required to sit out an entire year and will be considered for eligibility to re-join the program in January 2014. I hope that Stout is up to the task, I hope that he's able to get back into the program but the odds are against him. If he is able to do everything that is required of him and stick it out then he certainly deserves the cheers of cougar nation.
Cougar nation was doing a lot of cheering on Friday night while the BYU basketball team played well against an athletic Tennessee State squad. Tyler Haws is going to be one of the leading scorers in the WCC along with Davies. And a lot of those points are going to be buckets in transition. Tyler is a perfect example of somebody who will not be deterred from meeting his goals. Being able to run the court like he does isn't a result of just natural ability, that's hard work and conditioning. He wasn't born with fantastic shooting form and accuracy, he put the hours in at the gym. He moves so well without the ball, he is going to be a first or second team All-WCC player this year. He will play in the NBA, I'm really impressed.
Davies will also play in the NBA, and I was very surprised at how quiet he was in the first half. He came around though and BYU was way too tough for Tennessee State with him firing on all cylinders. Davies got a little bit flustered at how how difficult it was for him to get scoring opportunities so he forced some things and had too many turnovers in the game, but made up for it in a lot of other ways. 16 points (7-9 for 77.8%), 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks, 2 steals and a handful of drawn charges is going to win the Cougars a lot of games.
Carlino was fantastic all game long, he also had a couple more turnovers than I'm sure he would have liked but still had an excellent assist to turnover ratio. I certainly didn't see this coming from Carlino. The way that he's playing he's going to be one of the nation's assist leaders! Last year he was a score first point guard, but ever since the second half of the Blue vs White game he has really been distributing the ball well. He's going to be a second team All-WCC player this year as well if he keeps this up.
I was also very pleased with the defensive effort brought by the Cougars. They played hard, defended well, rotated well, and contested shots. Tennessee State shot 34% from the field and 29% from three and BYU was able to limit Covington to 9 points on 2-12 shooting. If they continue to defend like this BYU is going to give Gonzaga a run for their money and will be a top 25 team this season. I am very excited to see what BYU can do in this Coaches vs Cancer tournament.
BYU needs to improve on the glass. They gave up too many offensive rebounds and didn't grab enough on their end of the floor. I think that BYU might be better if Stone Cold Nate Austin got the start at PF. I love Sharp's athleticism and hustle, he made some great plays and had a very impressive block against Tennessee State. With the four-out offense that BYU ran at times with Davies and Sharp on the floor however, Sharp didn't have any way of contributing on the wing or at the top of the key. He's not a threat to score there, and if a shot goes up he's out of position to attack the glass. Sharp is best suited to run the baseline, so they either need to have him run the baseline when he's in with the starting lineup or they probably need to start Nate Austin. I think that Austin and the four inch and 45 pound advantage that he holds over Sharp would really help BYU with the rebounding problems that they experienced on Friday down low, so I would expect that Coach Rose might try Austin in the starting lineup if BYU continues to struggle to rebound.
The BYU football team didn't waste any time blowing Idaho out on Saturday. We all knew they would blow them out, but I don't think anybody thought it would get so lopsided so fast. The offense was great, everything about it was fantastic. Riley held true to his inability to consistently throw an accurate ball to the flat, but other than that he was really good. He underthrew Apo on the long ball of course, but Apo adjusted to it and made a nice play to come down with it. Apo and Hoffman both surprisingly dropped balls in the second quarter, one of which would have been a touchdown, but other than that they were both great. Among Hoffman's great plays were his touchdown catch on the fade route in the corner of the endzone and when he hurdled two defenders on 3rd and long for a first down. Skyler Ridley was great, he had an amazing catch, a great block, and gained praise from Bronco in his post game comments as somebody that stood out to him.
Jamaal Williams was great, and the O-Line blocked well, allowing for BYU to rack up 252 yards rushing. I hear people talk about how Jamaal can break Unga's career rushing record, and it seems like they are forgetting that Alisa will be the primary back again next year. I still think that Williams can break the record, because he'll probably have close to 600 yards rushing next year while Alisa gets more of the carries. But it will be tough to do because the strength of schedule will be much more difficult during Williams four years in the program than it was for Unga's three years in the program. He'll finish this year with 900-1000 yards, should have around 600 yards next year, and will need to have thousand yard seasons his junior and senior year and he'll get it. Very doable, but it needs to be factored in that he'll be the second option at running back next year.
I love how Foote runs, he is so tough to bring down, the depth in this running back group never ceases to amaze me. I like how Lasike runs on the toss sweep, he's fast enough to get to the edge, but he prefers to cut it upfield and run through players in the open field. He really ran well on those plays, but is having a hard time securing the ball. Hopefully he can get a hang of securing a ball that is so much smaller than a rugby ball.
The other question being asked is whether or not the offensive line has improved enough for Weber to keep his job. The offensive line has improved drastically, especially with how decimated this unit has been by injuries. The problem is that the offensive line was so bad for four games at the beginning of the season, and that was while they were healthy. They weren't healthy however in Spring camp, so that couldn't have helped things, but it's hard to imagine that it hurt the unit that much. They also drastically under-performed last year, but were also working in a new system in Doman's new offense. I think that if I were Tom Holmoe I would wait until next year to see how the O-Line starts next season and make a decision at that point. The O-Line has improved so much this year I would give him the beginning of next year to see if all of the changes that have been integrated can keep the momentum going into next season.
The defense obviously was great, Ziggy is so ridiculously dominant. Spencer Hadley had a fantastic game, his most impressive play was probably when he was covering a wide receiver downfield and made a diving play on the ball that Robbie Buckner then intercepted. I think Spencer Hadley has a future in the NFL after his senior season. He reminds me a lot of Jordan Pendleton, and I think Pendleton would have been drafted if it weren't for his injury problems. Ben Criddle, former BYU cornerback and co-host of 960am Cougar Radio has said that he thinks that Spencer has a future in the NFL as well, and Criddle tweeted this about Spencer's little brother Matt after the game "Mark my words. Matt Hadley will be a phenomenon at the safety position by the end of his career." Uani Unga also had a great game, and was identified by Bronco as an outstanding second unit player on the defensive side of the ball.
The blocked field goal was Falslev's fault, it was a bad hold on that kick. He let go of the ball and it was at a 45 degree angle the wrong way before Sorenson's foot even got there. No kicker, no matter how good would have made that kick. Hold was also bad on that terrible kick in the Notre Dame game, the entire kicking unit is pretty bad between the kicking, holding and blocking up front. Falslev had no fault in the kick return game though, he really had a nice return.
Both BYU teams are playing at the level of a top 25 team right now, and both have some exciting games coming up on the schedule. Playing at San Jose State will be a good challenge for a BYU football team who is likely to play San Diego State in the Bowl Game. San Jose State beat San Diego State, who beat Boise State, who beat BYU. Those two wins will be nice wins for this BYU team if they can play how cougar nation knows they can.