BYU Football: 3 Reasons for Optimism in 2012

Samuel Benson@@sambbensonContributor IIIJune 26, 2012

BYU Football: 3 Reasons for Optimism in 2012

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    There are always a few things to be optimistic about heading in to a new season, although some are easier to spot than others. Despite a tough road schedule and no sign of joining a conference in the near future, we should all be able to find a couple of things to be excited about.

    I know, you are probably thinking right now, "Hey, I have already thought of 20 things to be optimistic about."

    Well, here's three more things to add to your list.

A Veteran Defense

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    BYU's defense was strong and consistent all season long in 2011 and finished the season ranked 13th in the nation. The Cougars return linebackers Uona Kaveinga, Kyle Van Noy and Brandon Ogletree, along with several other key players.

    Although BYU no longer has Jordan Pendleton or Hebron Fangupo, the defense should still be great.

    "I think this is the most talented (the defense) will ever be since Coach Mendenhall has been here," Kaveinga said via the Sporting News. "I mean, talent level, athletic ability, it is just crazy. We got depth, too, and man, it's just scary."

    I sure hope that he is right.

A One-Quarterback System

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    For the first time in two years, Bronco Mendenhall won't have to stress about what quarterback he should play. Now that Jake Heaps has transferred to Kansas, Riley Nelson will certainly be the starting play-caller.

    Now, the only problem with having Nelson starting without a good backup is that if he gets hurt (and he has a very large chance of that happening due to his aggressive style of play) James Lark doesn't have the skill or experience to lead the offense.

A Road Game at Notre Dame

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    Sure, you probably shouldn't get excited for road games against Georgia Tech, Boise State, Notre Dame and Utah, but if you can make the trip out to South Bend, I am sure that it will be well worth it.

    Notre Dame has one of the most historic and scenic campuses in America, and with sights like the Grotto and "Touchdown Jesus," you can fill up a whole day in South Bend just sightseeing. Plus, the College Football Hall of Fame is right down the street.

    Oh, and it should be a good game.