I think a few BYU fans were happy with the level of excitement the Cougars had on Saturday. For most fans it was refreshing to see the Cougars with a little bounce in their step, especially at home -where things became derailed in earlier weeks. While the fire and excitement was appreciated, are there negatives that come with that added swagger?
My concerns stem from earlier performances against FSU and TCU. Where I have no doubts about the teams preparation or level of intensity. No matter who you are as a player, when the lights turn on and you crowd stands up, your blood is pumping and your emotions are high. I am not concerned about the emotion of the game, but more how that emotion is harnessed to produce a win. I am know going to say something that no BYU fan wants to hear….YES I do think it is sometimes necessary to rein in a players emotions. I do think that certain positions on the field need to exercise levels of restraint when playing in a big time rivalry game. The main reason is maintaining a level of composure and focus. I have personally only met a couple of players who could go buck wild before a game and still remained focused. Those types of players are few and far between.
For me the extra emotion didn’t manifest in my outward actions, but rather with a sense of focus and calm. I understood who I was as a player and I understood my role and responsibility to the defense. The recognition of the type of player I was helped me remain focused and unchangeable when playing UNLV or UTAH. I simply brought the same attitude each week.
BUT, I also understand that each team need a crazy S.O…gun that has no restraint on the amounts of emotion they can display. Those types have their place on the field and without them there would be no unsportsmanlike penalties and consequently no fire or emotional intrigue involved in the games.
In my personal opinion most of the players on BYU’s team are the focused and composed types of players. But I also think BYU will rely on players like Max Hall, Manase Tonga, O’Neal Chambers, Logan, Andrew Rich, Scottie Johnson, Jan Jorgenson, Harvey Unga, Dennis Pitta, and Andrew George to show a little more emotion -for some of these players it will be difficult, not as natural, but non the less important. Not too much emotion needs to be on display, but enough to insure that the BYU underclassmen and the team in red and white understand, these Cougars have rewritten the BYU history books and it should not go unnoticed or disrespected.
I am excited for the rivalry game. In every way I regret that I was unable to participate in my final rivalry game. I would have substituted just about any game during my career to play in one more game against Utah. A game with “meaning” is more exciting, more intense and more unpredictable. Personally I hope the game is close. I hope it comes down to BYU needing to make a play to win the game. Those moments are when players are defined and remembered. Who could forget Coach Doman’s legacy against Utah, or Luke Staley’s moments, Jenaro’s interception or Aaron Fransico playing his last game against Utah with a torn MCL. I would expect similar moments this weekend. If there isn’t, well…then I guess a win will do.