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BYU Football: What Cougars Need to Focus on During Bye Week

Samuel BensonContributor IIIOctober 8, 2016

BYU Football: What Cougars Need to Focus on During Bye Week

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    BYU is in the middle of a bye week, and with Idaho (1-7) at home next week, the Cougars, frankly, have two weeks off.

    Although it may not be the perfect time for a bye, there are still several things that they need to improve. Despite a well-rounded win against Georgia Tech last week, several flaws were noticeable in the Cougars gameplan. BYU should use this extra time to work on these four aspects of its offense, defense and special teams.

Defending Kick Returns

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    BYU became the first team to let Georgia Tech score a touchdown on a kickoff since 1998 on Saturday. This doesn't bug me, though, as much as the fact that Preston Hadley had a great angle on him at around the 17-yard line.

    The Cougs shouldn't have let that happen. If you take away this flaw and Riley Nelson's poor pass that was returned for a touchdown, you have a 41-3 blowout game. BYU needs to calm down on special teams and make plays when it has the chance.

Play-Action Passes

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    Jamaal Williams has emerged as BYU's No. 1 running back in the past few weeks, and as much as they are getting him the ball (28 carries last game), I don't think Brandon Doman is using him to his full potential. Williams is a legitimate threat out of the backfield, so if the running game is working so well, why don't they use that advantage to get the passing game rolling?

    Doman could easily draw out play after play where Riley Nelson fakes a handoff to Jamaal and finds either Ross Apo or Cody Hoffman down field. It would work wonderfully.

    Well that is, if Nelson can throw it far enough.

Passing Defense

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    BYU allowed the lowest number of passing yards so far this year against Georgia Tech, giving up only 40 through the air. So, why is "passing defense" something they need to work on?

    Because the Yellow Jackets completed only four passes all game.

    For all of you non-mathematicians out there, that's averaging ten yards per pass (the shortest pass was for eight yards). And that's pretty dang good. BYU really needs to work on not giving up big plays, whether it be on defense or special teams.

Making the 'Shovel Pass' the Go-to Play

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    It seems that the only consistent play run on offense, aside from handoffs in I-form to Jamaal Williams, is the shovel pass. Yes, this is the same play that some say originated at the University of Utah and hasn't worked well in college for years.

    Well, here's a news flash: BYU seems to be bringing it back to style.

    Brigham Young University isn't the same place of old that spewed out great quarterback after great quarterback. There are no longer the pocket passers that could bomb full-field passes play after play at BYU. The Cougs may just have to turn to the simple so-called "out of date" shovel pass to carry them back to consistency.

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