BYU Football: 5 Biggest Strengths And Weaknesses Heading into Fall Practice
Every Superman has his own kryptonite, as does every football team. There is no way that a college football program can be perfect, and each squad has its own strengths and weaknesses.
With fall camp less than two weeks away, several strong points on this year's Cougar team have already been highlighted, but other weak spots have been exposed. Only time will tell if they will carry the same label come August 31.
Here are the five biggest strengths and weaknesses on BYU's team.
Strength: Receiving Corps
The prime unit in this year's Cougar offense is, hands down, the receivers. Led by All-American Cody Hoffman, the position is deep, with JD Falslev, Skyler Ridley and Ross Apo all showing promise.
The Mathews brothers, Mitch and Marcus, may also be impact players, along with tight ends Kaneakua Friel and Devin Mahina.
Taysom Hill will have no shortage of weapons on the other end of his passes, and if Robert Anae's new system displays these receivers well, it could be a great year for the offense.
Weakness: Kicking Game
BYU has struggled with their kicking game in recent years, and that may be a huge understatement. Highly touted place-kicker Justin Sorensen is continuing to recover from surgery and injury, and standout punter Riley Stephenson ran out of eligibility.
A new punter will be broken in, while a struggling kicker will try to get back to his former level this season. Bronco Mendenhall put it perfectly to Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune:
"Our punter, Scott Arellano, I actually feel pretty good about. Our kickoffs, PATs and field goals, I am very concerned about."
Strength: Outside Linebackers
The gem in this Cougar team is the defense and the outside linebackers in particular. All-American Kyle Van Noy and playmaker Spencer Hadley lead the talent-filled position and add a threat off of the edge.
Jherremya Leuta-Douyere and Alani Fua will be solid backups, and if the middle linebackers can step up, it could be a huge year for the LB position as a whole.
Another big year from the defense would be great for exposure and recruiting, and it all starts with the OLBs.
Weakness: Offensive Line
BYU's quarterback struggles in recent years have stemmed partially from a weak offensive line, and that needs to change. A step was taken in the right direction this offseason by hiring a new O-line coach, but much will need to improve for it to go from a weakness to a strength.
Manaaki Vaitai, Michael Yeck, Solomone Kafu, Brock Stringham and Houston Reynolds are all experienced players who will play big roles on the line this year, while underclassmen Terrance Alletto and Kyle Johnson are also expected to contribute.
The line, unless it drastically improves, could still be the Achilles' heel of this offense, and we can only hope to see a more seasoned and improved group of players come fall.
Depth is both a pro and a con on this year's BYU team, and depending on the position, it could lead to flexibility or failure. For example, the quarterback position has a solid starter in Taysom Hill along with several backups, including Jason Munns and Ammon Olsen.
On the other hand, the defensive backs are top-heavy, as both the safeties and cornerbacks are shallow below the first-stringers. Justin Sorensen, Mike Hague, Craig Bills and Jordan Johnson will most likely be the four big parts of the secondary, but with Trent Trammell's injury and Jacob Hannemann's decision to pursue a baseball career, there is plenty of room for backups.
The defense will be strong, though, and barring injury, there is still a big chance for success in the secondary.