UCLA Should Roll BYU

So apparently lot of BYU fans are feeling good about the Saturday game. I mean they are feeling soo good that they are humming Erasure tunes in their fan forums. I am not kidding people. You have to click on this link to believe it. Yes, Erasure.

Meanwhile, their players are feeling good enough after a 20-7 win over Stoop's Mildcats that its leading to comments like this out of Provo:

OK, so Arizona and Oregon aren't USC or UCLA. But the Wildcats were touting this as their best team in the Mike Stoops era, and BYU dominated in Saturday's 20-7 victory.

"When we take on someone that has that type of hype we want some of that notoriety," BYU sophomore wide receiver Austin Collie said. "We want people to know that we're a powerhouse team. I feel like we're one of the best programs in the nation. What we're striving to do is to get to a BCS bowl game and we're willing to take out whoever we've got in front of us."
Man that's lot of big talk coming out of some team and their fans from the MWC.

So is BYU really all that impressive as some of them fans are making them out to be? Uhm ... not really.

Sure they have won 2 Pac-10 games in a row. But I don't really care much for their throttling over a dispirited Oregon team in the Rose Bowl, which finished the regular season on a 3 game losing streak getting blown out in 2 of 3 of those games before losing to their archrival from Corvallis.

As for their `dominating' win over Arizona? I am sorry. I am not all that impressed with the nonsense about "best team in Mike Stoops era" considering Little Stoops has a career record of 12-22. Not to mention the fact that Arizona was breaking in a new OC, who didn't have a lot of time to implement a new spread offense he brought over from Texas Tech changing up the entire Arizona offensive scheme (in contrast to UCLA where Dorrell brought in Norvell to run his WCO).

Couple of other numbers related to BYU football program we should all note: Now as for their last Saturday's game against Arizona, let's look through the game stats. Here are some points that kind of stick out to me:
  • BYU rushed for 104 yards in 32 carries averaging only 3.3 yards per carry against one of the more mediocre rushing defenses in the Pac-10. Arizona was 6th in the Pac-10 last year in rushing defense.

  • Mentioned above how Zona was breaking in a new OC who they hired this off season who was breaking in an entirely new offense. It amounted to an anemic Zona offense, which Cougars were able to handle in front of 65,000 home fans. Yet consider this even though they shut down the Zona running game (a pathetic 32 yards in 19 carries), the Cats put together a fairly decent passing attack as Tuitama completed 72 percents of his passes throwing for 216 yards. I'd think our offense with all our athletes would do much better than that.

  • 20-7 margin is hardly a "dominating" win. It is even less impressive when you consider that BYU Cougars did not score their last TD with 3:30 left in the 4th quarter, after Arizona had turned the ball over in downs near the midfield.

  • Two of BYU's TDs came via short drives (36 yards and 43 yards) after taking over with great field positions. So against a mediocre Arizona defense infront of their home crowd, BYU really put together just 1 drive over 70 yards that resulted in a TD. They only had another drive more than 70 yards, an 83 yard drive which resulted in BYU turning the ball over in downs.

  • As uclabruins05 noted Cougars had only 2 (count them 2) plays of 20 yards or more against the Mildcats. Bruins had something like 9 (IIRC) against Stanford.
Also keep in mind this will be BYU quarter-backs' first road start in his career. I don't believe Max Hall has ever attempted a pass on the road. Ever. So I would think a UCLA defensive secondary that is eager to make up for its less than average (kind of embarrassing actually given all the preseason hype) would be fired up and be ready to lay a smack down on Hall and his receivers. Right?

So tell me again why BYU which has lost 14 starters from last years' team and is replacing 25 players, should have any chance against a stacked UCLA team with 20 returning starters, a fired up Rose Bowl crowd for the home opener, and a team that is looking to win the Pac-10 championship in Dorrell's "Show-Me" season?

BYU apparently has one trump card. And it may go back to preparing and coaching:
Much is always made about an opponent's advantage in athleticism and speed whenver BYU plays a BCS program like UCLA or Arizona. Mendenhall and his players take no issue with being "slower, smaller and less athletic" but they don't believe SPARQ testing results or 40 times win football games. They feel they can counterbalance any athletic advantages with position mastery, competitiveness and sound fundamentals. He also belives this BYU team is the most physically prepared of any he has been a part of, and that conditioning level is a factor late in games.
Well we have heard all the talk about our players being more physically mature than ever, faster and quicker than ever. We have heard all the hype about fast-twitch muscle training and Doc Kreis's training program. So there is no reason BYU should have superior conditioned athletes compared to UCLA.

And as for coaching is concerned what is Dorrell getting paid millions bucks a year for? Losing to teams from MWC. I don't think so.

Not only a BYU victory at the Rose Bowl should be out of the question, it should be extremely disappointing and frankly inexcusable if somehow BYU improves its record against UCLA to 2-6.  If UCLA has truly arrived under Dorrell in his fifth season, the Bruins should roll all over the Cougars to an impressive blowout victory.

UCLA should destroy the Cougars this Saturday.

No pressure Karl.

GO BRUINS.
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