06 September 2009

Well, didn't see that coming

Photo from photo.byu.edu

BYU 14, Oklahoma 13.


If someone had told me BYU would score 14 points and turn the ball over four times in this game and win, I'd have laughed.

If someone had told me BYU's defense would force three fumbles on Oklahoma and recover two of them, I'd have been skeptical.

If someone had told me Oklahoma would get into the endzone once all night, I'd have rolled my eyes.

But something happened between 2008 and 2009: BYU found a defense, and a dang good one.

And the entire defense gets the game ball for last night's game, in my opinion. The defensive line was more than Oklahoma's offensive line could handle, BYU linebackers had free shots on the quarterback all night and the safeties and corners played better than I expected them to in a million years.

This was the deciding factor in the game, not Max Hall, as I had predicted on Friday. In short, Max was Max. One great drive and a lot of inconsistency. A throw to a wide-open McKay Jacobsen resulted in a decent gain instead of a touchdown, as would have been the case if Hall had an arm. Two terrible decisions resulted in two picks. No part of his game surprised me.

Max is fine, and I'm not calling for his backup to start or anything, but he is clearly in the category of Brandon Doman rather than Steve Sarkisian. Which is fine. He's a gamer who can find a way to win, provided the defense helps him out. Can't win if the team depends solely on his arm.

I have to wonder what the outcome would have been if Bradford hadn't been knocked out for the second half. He completed 71% of his passes for 96 yards and a touchdown on only 14 throws. I imagine that if he'd been allowed to sling the ball more frequently in the second half that he'd have done some major damage, but we'll never know.

The way BYU's defense was able to blitz like crazy and still not allow the big play was amazing. Oklahoma's longest play from scrimmage was 18 yards last night, a major testament to BYU defenders wrapping up and knowing their assignments.

A corner I was impressed with was #7, junior Brian Logan. I was shocked when I found out he's only 5'6"; the kid made some huge plays and I look forward to watching him all season.

So there you have it. A shocking win, a shocking defensive effort and a great outcome for BYU. It's a long season, but if the Cougars can run the table, great things can happen.

No comments: