BYU Wins Holy War

BYU Wins Holy War
George, like Collie and Harline before him, is now still open!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The BYU Win Over Oklahoma Creates Many New Questions

While BYU's win over Oklahoma on Saturday was historic, the win creates many new questions for the 2009 Cougars...

BYU's win over Oklahoma was very unexpected. Bradford's injury is getting the bulk of the media's attention. Yet, BYU's defense was really the story of why BYU won the game. From the seven play defensive stand inside the five yard line, the improvement of the defensive secondary, the increased pressure on Oklahoma's quarterbacks, and stopping two thousand yard Oklahoma running backs; the Cougar defense proved that it will be able to proved support to the offense this season.

With the win over Oklahoma the expectations for the 2009 Cougar season are now astronomical. The surprising thing is that last season expectations were extremely high, and the Cougars were happy that this season they would be able to fly under the radar. That thought of flying under the radar was gone as soon as the Cougars took down the number three team in the country. The expectations of 2008 look small in comparison to the speculation of a perfect 2009 season which could lead to BYU having a real chance at playing in the National Championship game. The question now is whether the 2009 BYU will fall into the same trap as the 2008 team?

The 2008 Cougar team allowed themselves to look past opponents, and to not prepare properly for games. Oklahoma was the best team on the Cougar's schedule, but that doesn't mean that there aren't teams left on BYU's schedule that will challenge the Cougars. For some reason most people are thinking that BYU will be able to handle Florida State at home easily, but that just isn't the case. Florida State, whether they make it past Miami with a win or not, is still a major game for BYU. In a normal year, the Florida State game would be the marque game of the season. Is it too early to be speculating about what bowl game BYU will go to this season? Yes, once BYU gets by the Seminoles then people can start to speculate about the BCS and the national title game. Yet, even that is incredibly premature. TCU and Utah will be tough games. Colorado State, UNLV, and Air Force games are also no gimmes.

Even if BYU takes care of business and wins out, they still are not in control of their own destiny. The polls that come out on Tuesday will show exactly what kind of season that BYU can hope to have. Boise State will almost assuredly be undefeated this season. Oregon was the only game with even a remote chance of slipping up the Broncos. Utah State might be the toughest game that Boise State has left on their schedule. If BYU cannot leap frog Boise State in the standings this week, with a win over Oklahoma, then BYU will probably not catch Boise State unless they slip up.

It will also be interesting to see if BYU will be ranked ahead of Oklahoma. One thing that the polls have shown in the past is the fact that voters from major conferences will vote in blocks to keep teams in their conference in contention. In addition to speculating about the condition of Bradford, major pundits have been talking about whether or not Oklahoma could still win a national championship? Oklahoma, if they win out the rest of their games could very easily find themselves in the top BCS bowl game. BYU on the other hand will almost assuredly require perfection to be included in the BCS conversation.

Besides the obvious questions that many people have possessed about BYU's 2009 season, some still remain unanswered after the season opener. How long will Unga be sidelined?

While BYU got some good production out of Tonga, Di Luigi, and Kariya BYU needs Unga to return quickly to be able to compete the remainder of the season. Unga is the best player on BYU's offense. He can pound the ball on the ground, has a good burst of speed, and amazing hands. BYU was limited with what they could do against Oklahoma with Unga on the bench.

Will the Cougars find another option for Hall to throw the ball to instead of Pitta? Jacobson, Chambers, and George were all thought to provide more receiving options for Hall, but while all had their moments of brilliance none provided a consistent performance on the field. For BYU to have their high powered attack, Hall needs receivers who will get open, and hang onto the football.

The questions about the 2009 BYU football team will be answered as the season progresses. How fun will this season be to watch? Incredibly fun for both BYU fans,and football fans of the Mountain West Conference.

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