If Harline Is Still Open…George Is Still Running

Brett RichinsSenior Analyst INovember 29, 2009
byu-topper

Picture by Douglas Pizac

If Harline Is Still Open…George Is Still Running!

What a phenomenal game and end to the regular season.  Yes, the game was sloppy at times for both teams and both sides of the ball, but I’m elated with the win.

Max had a subpar performance, but will still be remembered as one of the BYU greats.  Do his post game comments create a black cloud or mar his legacy as a great BYU quarterback?  Nope, I don’t believe so.  During the radio show with 1280 last night we had many callers state that he is a spokesman and role model for the LDS church and now the church’s image is tarnished somehow by his statements and that those non members outside of Utah will view Mormon’s and the church in a bad light.  People feel that ESPN is going to eat it up and expose the contradiction between what Bronco teaches within the program (flag bearer of religion etc..) and what actions and words are being displayed by his players.  In my humble opinion… outside of Utah, people really don’t care about what Max said.  They really don’t!  I’ve called a number of good Non LDS football fans and asked them what they thought.  All they said in summary was “What’s the big deal…? he hates everything about his opponent, did he go overboard?  Sure but, that’s what rivalries are all about.  The select vocal minorities that incite competition, but people outside of Utah will forget about this ever happening because it’s BYU vs Utah”  Is the Church and Gospel tarnished by his comments?  Did he act very Christlike as a good BYU football player should in his post game interview?  No and no, but he will come out on Monday and explain why he said it and apologize because people make mistakes and we in turn forgive them for it.  Mind you, I don’t think he should have said the second comment about the “University” in general.  I thought if he would have just stuck to the football program he would have been just fine and dandy b/c it’s ok to hate your opponent, but he did make a blanket statement and he will have to apologize for it plain and simple.

Moving on.  We once again showed our lack of depth at offensive line.  We weren’t able to protect Max very well and it showed.  Anae did come out with a conservative game plan though.  They wanted to give Max high percentage throws so as to not put him in risky situations.  And give a lot of credit to Utah’s defense and their game plan.  Every time they didn’t get pressure on Max their D line and linebackers were efficient in stopping their rush, getting in the passing lanes and breaking up passes a the line of scrimmage.. and their were a slough of PBU’s last night.

Harvey had a great game and Tonga blocked well for him.  It’s rare to see Tonga drop balls, but I’m still looking forward to seeing him in the NFL next year.

Ashworth had two surprise drops in critical situations.  This kid has hands like glue.  I don’t think he ever dropped a pass in high school, but man he needed some stickem on those two plays.

Defensively, I have mixed emotions.  Roderick and Utah wanted to stretch the field from the beginning as I suspected.  On 5 or 6 different occasions they had us beat vertically.  Wynn luckily overthrew almost all of them…whew!  What you didn’t really see though was our corners collisioning and sitting at about 8-10 yards.  When you do this, it disrupts timing of the QB and the WR by a step or two.  As a corner you can make contact with the WR down the field and deviate him from his original course while the ball is still in the QB’s hands.  I use to do it all the time b/c it’s so effective.  Both Bradley and Logan did this and deviated the WR’s course just enough to disrupt the timing of Wynn and his WR’s.  But , what they didn’t do was collision and transition well enough to be in the WR’s hip pocket and therefore they were beat by 2-3 steps almost everytime.

Our run defense looked decent especially in the first half.  We gave up too many yards In the second half, but I it was great to see Jordan and Jan have great games!

Cougar Nation! I love this rivalry and all that it entails.  It was great to get a win and have bragging rights until next year.  Lets go win a bowl game and gain momentum for next year.

Criddle

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