09-10's Intriguing Storylines

Brett RichinsSenior Analyst IAugust 21, 2009

byuspringpractice2009Max Hall

 After last seasons horrifying end –cringing losses to Utah and Arizona- will Max have the fortitude and mental toughness to produce a stellar senior year? I guess this question calls into consideration Max’s ability to “bounce back” after last years disappointing end.

 I can see a few people mulling over some different scenarios, some good and some…well very bad.

 In my opinion, here are things we need to consider. First of all Max has been one of the most successful quarterbacks in BYU history –which is an amazing accomplishment. He hasn’t ever experienced a losing season during his BYU Football career and in amassing all of those wins he has moved up the all-time BYU quarterback list fairly rapidly. He is a winner.

 Some other things to consider would be the fact that he lost various members of his offensive line and he’ll need to establish a new #1 target. Yet he has a solid core of young receivers around him, two of the best tight-ends in the MWC conference –perhaps the country- and his offensive line is young, but has lots of potential. 

 With these and other variables considered –that is to say things like Max’s probability of melting down and throwing 5 interceptions again- I feel his competitive fire and need to leave BYU with a winning legacy will drive Max to a high level of performance. Max will produce another great season. Do I mean great like undefeated…no. I mean great like he will present himself as a motivational leader make solid decisions with the ball and keep the Cougars in contention for the MWC title and a solid bowl appearance. Is there potential for lightning to strike in Dallas and Tallahassee and the Cougars could find themselves undefeated headed into the Conference schedule? Yes, at this point anything is possible. Yet an undefeated start is only meaningful if it ends with a home win against TCU and Utah –and those two games could end up being just as difficult as the OK, FSU games.

 Running back

 Some questions would be: Has Harvey recovered from last year and how long can he sustain a high level of contact; and has Coach Anea found that change up back he’s needed the past two years?

 Manese’s pending return would be an immediate boost at running back, but that still wouldn’t provide the Cougars with a game changing back. I’m looking for a guy who can come in and make a few tacklers miss, who can hit a hole hard and get himself into the open field. Brian K. and JJ D. have both been so so players. Could one of them surprises us this year? I certainly hope so, but what if that change up player happens to be Covey or Marshall, you know that 3rd wideout in the slot position. It’s something to consider since a short pass is just as effective as a bruising 3 or 4 yard run, but it’s much less damaging to our beloved Unga.