2 Cougar keys

Brett RichinsSenior Analyst ISeptember 3, 2009

It’s hard to say what’s going to be crucial on Saturday. There are so many things the Cougars have to do in order to leave Dallas with a giant “W”. In my opinion the game will hinge on our defenses ability to stop the run and our offensive lines ability to keep Max’s head attached to his neck/shoulders.

Of course special teams, turnovers, the BYU corners and running game will be almost equally important. Yet, if the Cougar’s front seven can limit the OK running backs yardage our defense can switch up defensive looks/coverage’s and hopefully be able to keep Mr. Bradford guessing. I know what your thinking, “why put the ball in the hands of Mr. Heisman trophy winner?” It’s a tough choice, but throwing the ball presents the highest probability for mistakes. Also with a young batch of receivers we can all hope they are more concerned about how they look on the super-sized jumbo plasma screen; instead of what they need to do on third and long.  Keep in mind that Bradford will be without his go to tight-end and…well, it doesn’t look like a bad proposition.

If putting the ball in Bradford’s hands and asking him to lose the game doesn’t give you a cold sweat. How about the fact that OK has the highest rated defensive line in the country and we have a brand spanking new offensive line. I’m not saying that our guys will be out manned or out played. What I am saying is there will be a few talented and mostly untested offensive linemen on the field.  It will be interesting to see how our tackles handle the speed of the OK line –which has been a trouble spot in the past- and how we communicate from guard to guard when picking up the blitz. I also hope they can keep Max off of his backside. If The offensive line can give Max time BYU’s offense has enough fire power to move the ball and score –and hopefully control the ball and clock on the way to touchdowns.

-Oh and look for a monster game out of Manesa Tonga. He could earn a ton of money with a strong performance on Saturday.

If I may, I have a few words about our secondary. I do think our corners will be outmatched, but that doesn’t mean they’ll give in or play bad. There are plenty of things that Coach Hill can do with the surrounding players to help out the corners. One would be putting the safeties in deceptive positions to mask coverage’s. Both Johnson and Rich have the understanding of the defense to a point where they can cause confusion in a quarterback. Again it comes back to if our front seven can stop the run. If the Cougars have to bring one or both safeties down it will open our defense and possible exploit vulnerability at the corner position. If Johnson is unable to finish the game for some reason I think Bills has more than enough talent to come in and fill in. The corners will need to play the game of their lives, and honestly…this is a once in a career type game.

I wish I could have played in a game on a similar stage.