19 November 2011

Football in November

Image from www.bloodrunsblue.com

BYU is down four to Utah State with under two minutes to go, backed up nearly to their own endzone. Jake Heaps has struggled mightily against the Aggies tonight, leading to Bronco and Doman to decide to bench Heaps and bring in Riley Nelson to play against his old team.

Riley manages to bring the Cougars 99 yards for the game-winning touchdown, bedlam ensues, and my brother Seth and I look at each other with worried looks on our faces.

We knew one thing: Nelson is fool's gold.

Good enough to beat bad teams, will never, ever be the reason BYU beat a great team, or even a very good team. His throwing ability has improved this season from last, but he still has low arm strength and extremely questionable decision-making skills.

Heaps has not been much better this season, and definitely deserved to be benched. But for the long term, Heaps is the answer.

As evidenced last week, Lark is not going to take this team anywhere, and if he gets playing time over Munns, Munns has got to be even worse.

What a bad quarterback situation we have in 2011.

Then Riley broke a rib against the mighty Vandals and it looks like it's Heaps' show the rest of the way. He looked fine against Idaho, but let's be honest; it's Idaho.

Tonight's game against New Mexico State is actually a bit intriguing. This may be BYU's closest match in an opponent since that Aggie game in September. While these Aggies are only 4-6, they can put up points. They dropped 28 on Minnesota (in a win), 42 on New Mexico and 48 on Fresno State. While none of those may be good teams, it still shows these guys can get the ball in the endzone, and seem to be improving over time.

New Mexico State seems like a passing team, with 23 of their touchdowns coming through the air, but they can also run, with 14 of their scores coming on the ground. I worry most about BYU's pass defense, and firmly believe that if I were an opposing offensive coordinator with a quarterback worth a darn I'd pass 95% of the time against this Cougar team. Idaho, unfortunately, does not have a quarterback worth a darn, and you saw the results.

So on a snowy night in Provo, it's going to come down to whether or not the Aggies can pass well enough to score versus BYU, and whether Heaps can overcome his mental issues.

In trying to think of a prediction for this game, I realized I'm honestly unsure of what to expect, which is kind of nice after a few weeks of pre-determined outcomes.

Go Cougars!