BYU's Las Vegas Bowl and Hoops Losses Make It a Tough Day for Cougars Fans

The Brothers LynnCorrespondent IDecember 21, 2008

I’ve already talked about the loss in basketball today, which is still upsetting me and will continue to upset me for a few days, so I won’t say anymore about that.

The football game was even worse to watch. Not only because I will be getting teased at work until football season next year, but because I simply hate to lose in anything, especially a game that was very winnable.

Give Arizona all the credit in the world—they screwed up less than BYU and had a couple more big plays than BYU. Congrats on ending your 10-year bowl drought with a very nice win against a good team that played like crap.

The easiest excuse to make is that they hadn’t played in a month so they were rusty, which absolutely showed for most of the first half, but they started to get it going right before halftime and at the beginning of the second half. Unfortunately, that is right about where it ended.

Personally, I have to say the difference maker was the lack of Dennis Pitta. He adds another dimension to this team that makes them almost unguardable. Without him, they are just like anyone else.

What I don’t understand is why they waited until late in the fourth quarter to involve him in the offense. I realize he was limping, but it isn’t like his knee got better all of a sudden in the fourth quarter. Had they shown more confidence in him early on, the outcome would have been different.

Arizona’s corners played some nice defense, though there should have been a pass interference call on that bomb to Collie down the middle. They were fast and always in good position, or at least recovered fast enough to still make the play. Near the end, their line and linebackers showed up to seal the deal.

If it weren’t for TCU, BYU may have gone undefeated. What I mean by that is that BYU’s three losses all came because of the same reason: The offense got flustered, and the defense couldn’t make a stop. Where TCU comes into it is that they exposed the defense’s susceptibility to underneath routes. I can’t believe BYU never adjusted to cover those routes. They also had a couple of huge blown coverages resulting in touchdowns.

Seeing as how all we can do is look to the future at this point, I am hoping some of the JC transfers will shore up the defensive secondary. I also hope the offensive line will recover from the loss of four good seniors.

My greatest fear at this point is that Austin Collie will go pro. The reason that is a fear to me is that we have no one else to take his place!

Michael Reed is a senior, so he is gone. I think Chambers will be an excellent receiver, but he is not yet a go-to receiver. I really have no idea who we would have as a deep threat. We should still have Pitta underneath, and Unga out of the backfield, but it will take a lot to replace Collie if he decides to leave.

My hope is that these two losses leave a bitter taste in his mouth that he wants to get out. They will also have a better shot to run the table next year with Utah, TCU, and Air Force at home, not to mention non-conference games at Arizona St. and Florida St. at home. It should be a much better chance to bust the BCS next year than this year.

Only time will tell what happens, and now we have to sit around and wait until next August to see how it all plays out. I really hate the offseason.