31 July 2008

Breakout: Ten To Watch

Each new season brings new excitement and amazing plays to watch with new possible breakout players. With fall camp basically underway listed below are some players who should see new increased time in their respective positions. In no particular order...

Luke Ashworth (6.2/195 WR-Soph/Timpview HS) Still fresh from the mission as well as he toyed with a possible switch from WR to the secondary in the spring but with mounds of potential. Saw action in 11 of 12 games as a freshman and averaged 15 yards per reception.
JJ Di Luigi (5.9/200 RB-Fresh/Canyon Country CA) Redshirted last year due to a foot injury. Won HS state championship over De La Salle (then ranked #1 in the nation) with a fine performance of 21 carries and 138 yards. Was first team all state with a 154 yard per game average. Has an incredible bright future wearing Cougar blue. Will have an increased role with the loss of Manase. Di Luigi was an absolute treat to watch in the annual spring Blue White scrimmage.
O'neill Chambers (6.3/210 WR-Fresh/Harmony FL) Coached by former Cougar Tyler Anderson and was recruited by Florida, Georgia, Clemson, Texas Tech, Mississippi State. Had a dream running out of the tunnel into the stadium and now gets to fulfill that dream. Not often do the Cougs get a talent like this. Should see playing time from the get go. Smooth athletically with great hands and concentration. He has an explosive release off the line. O'neill can be dangerous after the catch as well. Chambers is simply a gamer.
Scott Johnson (5.11/185 DB-Jr/Timpview HS) Saw action in all 13 games as a sophomore. Was unable to compete in 2006 due to injury. His understanding of the defensive system is leaps and bounds ahead allowing him to consistently make plays. Been turning heads in the spring.
Justin Sorensen (6.2/220 K-Fresh/Bingham HS) Justin is the real deal. He was a HS Parade All American as well as US Army HS All American. Sorensen was the 2007 Utah Gatorade player of the year. He holds the longest HS field goal in state history and went 54 of 55 in PATs as a senior.
Vic So'oto (6.3/250 LB-Jr/Carlsbad CA) Recently made the positional move from TE to LB which has triggered growth and maturity in his game on all levels. With the reps, newfound passion and skills look for him to make some big plays this year.
Bernard Afutiti (6.0/260 DL-Jr/Fontana CA) At Mt San Antonio College Bernard earned JUCO All American honors. Afutiti should be an awesome addition to the DL.
Tevita Hola (6.1/310 DL-Jr/Granger HS) Attended Southern Utah after high school before serving his mission then arriving at Snow College. Tevita is engaged to be married later in August. He is majoring in sociology and will be a solid contributer on the defensive side.
G Pittman (5.10/183 DB-Fresh/Rancho Cucomonga CA) Has a nose for the ball. Physical player with solid backpeddle and turn skills. Knows how to deliver a blow and wrap up. Redshirted in 2007. Look for his role to increase dramatically as the season plays out.
Brandon Bradley (6.0/200 DB-Soph/Tallahassee FL) Suffered a serious knee injury in 2006 and redshirted. Still picking up the nuances of the system that Scott Johnson already has under control. Should finally emerge in the secondary as the season progresses. Has some serious potential.
Tom Sorensen (6.5/315 OL-Jr/Brighton HS) Redshirted in 2006 after suffering a season ending injury during fall camp. Played at Vanderbilt as a freshman and was an unanimous All SEC Freshman selection. Takes over for Sete Aulai who graduated and should slide smoothly into the new position.

30 July 2008

Academics Odds & Ends

In the last few days there have been a number of happenings in Cougarland. Some expected. Some not. Some bad. Some good. It was rumored that there could be a strong possibility that highly touted RB Seta Pohahau (6.0/200 San Mateo CA/Aragon HS) might not qualify academically. Those rumours proved to be true as he will likely sit out the season and retake the admission tests (ACT or SAT) with hopes of enrolling possibly in January. Atem Bol (6.2/205 WR-Hurst TX/Bell HS) who also had not qualified will likely enroll at Snow College. On the other hand good news defensive lineman and JC transfer Bernard Afutiti (6.0/260) has already begun working out with the team. Also good news to bear former starter Russ Tialavea (6.3/300 DL-Oceanside CA) who missed the 2007 season with a severe knee injury is on schedule and should be good to go for fall camp. Lastly, on the medical mend is Travis Bright (6.5/314 OL-Queen Creek AZ) & Garrett Reden (6.3/273 OL-Valley Center CA) who are also on pace to be ready this season. However, Grant Nelson (David Nixon's backup, 6.2/225 LB-Hopewell PA) at strongside linebacker will miss the 2008 season. He will unfortunately undergo surgery in regards to a kidney abnormality (sometimes there are bigger things than football). Best wishes to Grant for a successful surgery and speedy recovery.

25 July 2008

Beyond Common Sense

With the real very real possibility of a BCS game in 2008 for the Cougs the blog wouldn't be complete with a quick overview of five potential best non BCS teams since those games began back in 1999 (otherwise would have included the 96 Cougs victory in the Cotton Bowl). The nominees for the five potential best non BCS teams since 1999 include the following...

2006 BSU Broncos (Fiesta Bowl 43-42 OT over Oklahoma) First year head coach Chris Peterson finished an undefeated season with possibly one of the most exciting bowl games in history (ranks definately up there with the Miracle Bowl). Oklahoma Heisman hopeful RB Adrian Peterson broke his collarbone in the Sooner's sixth game of the season but was healthy enough to play in this absolute wild ride of emotion. Boise came into the bowl with key victories over Oregon State, Hawaii and Fresno State. Late in the game Bronco QB Jared Zabransky was picked off by Marcus Walker who returned it 34 yards for the TD. After the PAT the Sooners led 35-28 with only 1:02 left. BSU drove to the Sooner 42 facing now 4th and 18 (ironic matching the blog title) with only 18 ticks left. What followed was hook and lateral executed flawlessly. Zabransky passed downfield 15 yards to Drisdan James who scooped it in stride perfectly to Jerard Rabb along the left sideline for a quick TD. At the end of regulation BSU elected to play defense first. Oklahoma scored on their first play with a 25 yard scamper by Adrian Peterson. On the Broncs turn now facing 4th and 2 Boise ran a wide receiver rollout option. Quarterback Zabransky ran in motion while Vinny Perretta (slotted as a RB) took the snap rolling to his right throwing a TD to TE Derek Schouman. Instead of taking the normal PAT for a second OT the Broncs went for it all going for two. Zabransky faked a quick pass to his right but did a left hand backhandoff to Ian Johnson who ran in completely untouched for the win. If the victory wasn't enough Ian (on live tv) got down on one knee and proposed to the head cheerleader who accepted. They were lated married on 28 July 2007.

2004 Yewts (Fiesta Bowl 35-7 over Pittsburgh) The fifth ranked yewts were led by head coach Urban Meyer and game MVP Alex Smith directed the unstoppable spread offense. They were simply amazing finishing undefeated (11-0) including key out of conference victories over Arizona, Texas A/M, North Carolina capped off with a fine tuned dominating performance over #19 Pittsburgh. Paris Warren (Smith's go to guy) left the field victorious with a new Fiesta Bowl record of 15 RECs 198 yards and 2 TDs. Would have been nice to see the matchup against Auburn who they deserved to see how good the 2004 Yewts really were.

2007 BYU (Vegas Bowl 38-8 over Oregon) Amongst the pre-game hype it will be remembered the statement from Ducks coach Mike Belotti who publicly derided the Cougs stating that they could not even begin to compete with a PAC10 team. What followed simply was a good old fashioned spanking. BYU players took to heart Belotti's statement and backed up their feelings with their play on the field. Oregon had no answer for game MVP Jonny Harline at game's end had 9 REC, 181 yards and a TD. The ducks didn't even get on the scoreboard till the 4th quarter when the Cougs had began pulling much of its starters. John Beck threw for 375 yards including 2 TDs. Justin Robinson had 2 intercepted passes. Curtis Brown ran for 120 yards. Even after the shellacking Belotti still refused to give credit or any respect to the Cougs when he was asked specifically about his earlier controversial statement.

2003 Miami OH (GMAC Bowl 49-28 over Louisville) In a matchup of high powered offenses Miami OH Redhawks outgained the cardinals 597-492. Ben Roethlisberger ended his collegiate career in style. Big Ben threw for 376 yards and 4 first half touchdowns leading #10 Miami OH to a 49-28 GMAC Bowl victory over the Cardinals. It was the Redhawks first bowl appearance since 1986 and first postseason win in 28 years. With the performance Ben joined Byron Leftwich and Chad Pennington as the only MAC QBs to reach the pinnacle of over 11,000 career yards in total offense.

2002 Marshall (GMAC Bowl 64-61 over E Carolina) Both teams piled up points and stats so quickly even the coaches had trouble keeping track. Marshall's thundering herd stormed back from a 38-8 halftime deficit led by NFL bound Byron Leftwich. East Carolina was led by future NFL QB David Garrard. Leftwich finished 41 of 70, 4 scoring passes and a TD run. The teams combined for 1141 total yards that night. East Carolina's coach was quoted "I hope everyone got their money's worth"

20 July 2008

Ten Games To Watch

Last years season was clearly an exciting ride. Who would ever imagined tradition rich Michigan beaten down on their own home field by Appalachian State? Would anyone ever have guessed Bama to lose to Louisiana Monroe? Could anyone have imagined a blowout of Utah by UNLV (with only two W's to their season)? How bout first time seeing Miami bowless in a decade? Or Air Force pounding on Notre Dame (41-24)? With fall in the air its time again to gear up for some straight up smashmouth football. Listed are ten great matchups to not miss this year.

Aug 30 Yewts @ Mich The Wolverines lost their leading career passer (Henne) and rusher (Hart) including two top WRs even the #1 overall pick in Jake Long. Look for a tough game but last season's stunner against Appalachian won't happen again. Michigan's D is loaded. Rich Rodriguez should have his first victory even though it could be a mighty long season.
Sep 13 Ohio St @ USC Buckus Award winner James Laurinaitis returns. Chris Wells ran for over 1600 yards and 15 TDs as a sophomore playing with a messed up ankle and broken hand. Buckeyes return an immense amount of experience and talent that may just get a W in California.
Sep 13 Mich @ Notre Dame Noone would have never guessed that BOTH schools would be needing victories so early in the season. Notre Dame's emerging talent and potential playmakers must all grow up at the same time and quickly. Home opener against San Diego St should definately help boost that confidence. Look for the luck of the Irish.
Sep 20 BSU @ Oregon How far the Broncs go this season rides up a new QB and completely revamped offensive line. Boise State could have best offensive arsenal weaponry in years but Ducks may just fly away with this matchup.
Oct 2 Oreg St @ Yewts After pounding the yewts 24-7 last year the Beavers get to visit Salt Lake. With no returning defensive line starters returning for the Beavers D-Mack could have a field day. Oregon State could be licking some wounds from their previous week matchup against USC. Definately could be one of the tougher yewt matchups of the season. Obtaining a W from the Beavers could make the Cougs matchup rather interesting.
Oct 11 LSU @ Florida Just a little scuffle between past two national champs in the swamp. Very big prizes are up for grabs (SEC title including possible BCS implications). SEC teams have won all 4 of its BCS games in last two years by a margin of 161-62. Always fun to watch that amount of talent.
Oct 18 Mizzo @ Texas Could be a rather intriguing matchup of the Mizzo's explosive receiving corps versus the Longhorn young and inexperienced secondary. Texas seems to reload and typically wins at home. Watch for Vondrell McGee the next great longhorn tailback. Mack Brown's front seven is yet again solid and the LBs have oodles amount of potential talent.
Nov 1 Florida @ Georgia Bulldog recipe and ingredients present for a possible berth to a BCS title game. Gators know how to put points on the scoreboard scoring 30plus in 11 of the 13 contests last year. A Heisman boost could be included with a win by either side (Knowshon Moreno/Georgia & Tim Tebow/Florida). Look for Georgia's D (that ranked 14th last yr in fewest yards allowed) that returns 9 starters to help secure the victory.
Nov 22 BYU @ Yewts If all goes as planned (one game at a time) BYU could be playing for a bigger stage. There would be nothing sweeter for the yewts to see the men in blue lose the Holy War in SLC and dash the Cougs hopes of a BCS game at the same time. The fully invested talent, coaching, discipline and hard work of the Cougs come out in the end in yet another close contest.
Nov 29 Auburn @ Alabama New offensive coordinators for both school (Tony Franklin with Auburn & Jim McElwain at Alabama). The Tigers have won six in a row. However, only one of those occurred with Nick Saban around. If the Tide is ready to roll now would be a great time.

19 July 2008

31 Candidates

Junior QB Max Hall has been named to this year's list of Davey O'Brien candidates. Max is now one of 31 QBs across the nation who will vie for the award, honor and title of being Americ'a best quarterback. Davey O'Brien was an All American QB at TCU. As a senior in 1938 he led the Horned Frogs to their first undefeated season, a Heisman trophy and even a national championship. Unfortunately, in 1971 he was diagnosed with cancer and later lost that battle in 1977. Directly after his passing the award was established. The semifinalists will be announced on the 27th of October while the finalists will be released on November 24th. On December 11th the recipient of this years award will be unveiled. In the meantime, the selection committee will begin to diligently evalute each candidate in a variety of different aspects and accomplishments (ability, character, academics, leadership, vision, sportsmanship, and example off the field). Back in high school Max was rated in the top 25 QBs across the nation by SuperPrep and seems to continue the trend in his collegiate career. Former greats Jim McMahon, Ty Detmer and Steve Young have all won this prestigous award. Other names on the list include: Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame), Mark Sanchez (USC), Tim Tebow (Florida, last years winner), Chase Daniel (Mizzo) as well as Jake Locker (Washington) who the Cougs play on the road 6th of September.

Family Ties

What a heart felt impact the last few weeks must have been for Ryan Mulitalo. On the 5th of July Ryan's mother Tioata Mulitalo passed away in her sleep from unknown causes. BYU was her favorite school and she enjoyed great memories with its great tradition. She definately encouraged her children in education and in football. Ryan, a 6.3/295 athletic offensive lineman from Hunter HS received an offer from Bronco that he definately couldn't refuse. He can create some serious push in the run game and should be a solid prospect. Ryan has the ideal size for an offensive guard or a defensive tackle and shows excellent quickness off the ball. He accepted to play for the Cougs in the 2009 recruiting class and Mulitalo's verbal commitment came with a full family endorsement. Older brother Ray had passed up on an offer from the school up north in accepting a job to help support the Mulitalo family. Something tells me Tioata Mulitalo is smiling from above. Welcome to the Cougar family!

17 July 2008

Utility Outlet

In todays game of football the tight end position is becoming much more utilized in all aspects. They must be able to protect the QB/RB/FB or even often work over the middle of the field. We can clearly see the utility trend happening in the NFL with players such as Tony Gonzalez, Kellen Winslow, Antonio Gates and Jeremy Shockey. It is also evident to see that this position has been well accessed from the Cougs TE past, present and future having great names as Clay Brown, Itula Mili, Gordon Hudson, Chad Lewis, and Jonny Harline as examples to work with. Clay Brown began it all back in '78 from San Gabriel CA who finished his career with 1691 yards and 17 TDs. Although he is typically most known for his "Miracle" catch. As a senior Brown led the nation in TD receptions. Clay majored in business management and was a 2nd round pick of the Denver Broncos in 1981. Gordon Hudson followed without skipping a beat and even raised the bar. Gordon finished his Cougar career with over 2400 yards and 22 TDs before being drafted by Seattle with the 22nd pick overall. Next into the picture was Trevor Molini followed by Chris Smith. Smith set all kinds of records with Detmer. However, the greatest record Smith set was one that is absolute total class off the field. Chris is a true champion. Chris' brother Carlton had cerebral palsy and lived without the use of his legs. Chris carried Carlton literally everywhere throughout high school. Chad Lewis was another in the line of great TEs at the Y. Chad began his collegiate career as a walkon eventually taking his skills to the next level with Philly. Lewis was selected to pro bowl twice in 2000 & 2001. Teammate Itula Mili was drafted by Seattle. Most Cougar fans will remember Jonny Harline in the play that seemed to last forever sending a dagger to the heart of yewt fans (yes Harline is STILL open!). Dennis Pitta is the latest in the line of great tight ends. Last year Pitta has 989 yards with 7 TDs. Dennis will look in 2008 to better that. Coming in 2009 could be Devin Mahina (3 star 6.6/225TE from Upland CA) and returning from his mission in 2010 is Austin Holt (4 star 6.5/235TE from Bingham HS). The position has its amazing past, awesome present and definately has a incredibly bright future.

13 July 2008

Two Sides To Every Story

It has been said there's two sides of every story much like a coin toss. With a tradition rich history as the Cougs football story has there are numerous games to pick and choose from the good and the bad ones. Having such a tradition and so many to choose from made the selections rather difficult. Listed below were 5 from each category (ones incredibly memorable and ones that hurt the most) chosen.

GOOD (84 Holiday Bowl-BYU24 Michigan17) This particular matchup lived up to all the drama and excitement. Robbie Bosco was forced to the sideline with an injured knee and ankle. However, late in the game Bosco came back playing despite the injury and tossed a 13 yd pass to Kelly Smith with 1:23 remaining making it 24-17. Two plays later Marv Allen up intercepting a pass securing the perfect season #1 ranking and nationship championship.
BAD (03 Season-Utah3 BYU0) Definately left a bitter taste in the mouth of true blue fans and was truly hard to swallow. Not only was the Cougs scoring streak on the line but it had to be snapped by the school up North.

GOOD (80 Holiday Bowl-BYU46 SMU45) A tale of two tales. The first clearly owned by the Mustangs and the pony express (Craig James & Eric Dickerson) that lasted nearly all four quarters. Most fans either turned off the tv sets or left the stadium. What resulted in the final four minutes can only be described as the Miracle Bowl. It may have been the most exciting bowl game ever with the Cougs scoring 21 in the final 2:33 ending with a Jim McMahon hail mary pass of 41 yards caught by Clay Brown as time expired.
BAD (90 Holiday Bowl-Texas A/M65 BYU14) Led by QB Bucky Richardson and All American RB Darren Lewis Texas A/M were out to show they belonged among the elite. The Cougs came in not fully physically ready. Both DBs Tony Crutchfield and Norm Dixon weren't able to suit up including Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer playing with a shoulder seperation. Aggie players had it out for Detmer with the game even out of hand when William Thomas applied a crunching sack on Detmer's shoulder. This became ugly and personal but was somewhat rectified when in 96 the Cougs had another shot at A/M and won 41 to 37.

GOOD (94 Season-BYU21 Notre Dame14) Despite playing at the house that Rockne built the Cougs were not awestruck in South Bend. John Walsh threw for over 200 yards and Jamal Willis went for over 150 all purpose yards. That day the Cougs played like champions.
BAD (88 Season-Utah57 BYU18) Anytime you get absolutely mauled (probably the worst of the Holy War series) by a school especially your rival team up North its hard not to have a bitter taste. If there was a consolation the Cougars did win the Freedom Bowl two weeks later in Anaheim over Colorado.

GOOD (96 Cotton Bowl-BYU19 Kansas St15) In keeping the nations longest winning streak alive the Cougs had to come from behind. It was BYUs first ever New Year's day appearance. KSU drove nearly the length of the field before the Cougs defense stood strong with an Omarr Morgan interception securing the victory.
BAD (05 Season-TCU51 BYU50 in OT) How can an offense score 50 points and still NOT win the ballgame? Absolutely amazing. Controversial call or not the BYUs defense should have never put themselves in such a situation to decide a game.

GOOD(90 Season-BYU28 Miami21) With two heavyweights trading jabs the Cougs were able to outlast the defending national champs who went into this matchup ranked #1. Despite 6 turnovers in the contest Ty Detmer likely vaulted his name to the Heisman forefront (at the time) with the victory including a future induction into the College Football Hall Of Fame as one of the NCAAs most prolific passers ever.
BAD (91 Season-SD State52 BYU52) The game that never ended in Jack Murphy Stadium. Over 1,462 total yards of offense resulted. Freshman Darnay Scott had 8 REC for 243 yards while Marshall Faulk ran for 119. Ty Detmer was never better facing a 45-17 third quarter deficit in a game as the Cougs played without the services of 2 of its top 3 CBs. With the help of Jamal Willis and Detmer instincts the BYU were able to bounce back strong to tie the game.

11 July 2008

Simply Bronco

Most see him as Coach Mendenhall. Some see him as simply as Bronco. He is an amazing individual regardless of what name or title. Can you even begin to imagine the pressure on your shoulders if you were "Coach" with the Cougars rich tradition? Or the example that must be constantly set? It is an absolutely awesome and mind boggling responsibility. It all began back in Alpine Utah forty something years ago on the 12st of February when the world had its first ever glimpse of Marc Bronco Clay Mendenhall. Even in childhood Bronco demanded executing at a higher level. Bronco has never been satisfied with less than excellence in absolutely everything he does on or off the field. After graduating from Alpine HS Bronco enrolled at Snow College and quickly became a two year starter at CB for the Badgers. As a sophomore captain at Snow JC he helped guide the Badgers to an undefeated 11-0 record and Nationship Championship. Success seems to follow Bronco wherever he went. Moving onto Oregon State he was also a two year starter for the Beavers. At OSU Mendenhall received a bachelors degree in education and a masters with the emphasis in exercise physiology. Upon graduation he became a grad DL assistant for the Beavers. In 1991-92 Bronco returned to Snow as a defensive coordinator over the secondary. After a few stints in coaching with N Arizona, Oregon St, Louisiana Tech he moved to New Mexico under Rocky Long. While at UNM Bronco coached eventual NFL pick and future Hall Of Famer Brian Urlacher. In 2003 he was hired by then Coach Gary Crowton as the defensive coordinator. However, after Crowton resigned Mendenhall was handed the Cougar reigns on 13 Dec 2004 and became the Cougars 14th head football coach. Tradition, spirit, example, character and honor are clearly a part of the culture found within BYU and Bronco himself. Some see it as a reason for weakness but Bronco embraces it as a pillar for success. Coach Mendenhall has said "The team that works the hardest, plays the best and practices with the most focus each day will be the winner every one of those games". He is honest and upfront with his players, fellow coaches and expects accountability, effort and discipline. In his first season Coach Mendenhall took a program to a 6-5 record and a bowl game. Bronco has quickly placed the Cougs clearly back on the map. With an 11-2 record in the 2006 season and an outright MWC Conference championship (undefeated 8-0 in conference) Bronco lead the program to a dominating (38 to 8) victory over Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl. Wonder if Coach Belotti still feels the same bout the Cougs not belonging in the Pac10? Last year the Cougs under Bronco posted a similar 11-2 record while beating more Pac10 opponents Arizona and UCLA (thank you Eathyn "Fingers" Manumaleuna). Since having the coaching reigns handed to him Bronco has gone 28-10 overall yet 21-3 in conference as compared to 14-21 during the 3 previous seasons. Coach Mendenhall has definately re-established the program on solid ground. With the foundation set look for the Cougs and Bronco to expect only bigger and better things to come in "The Quest". He has also been quoted "It was important for us just to get back in the bowl business but now I think we want more. I still see this as the beginning of the road and not the end of anything in our development". With the right pieces in place for the program look for magic to happen under the leadership of who many call simply Bronco.

09 July 2008

Rise & Shout Or Down n Out?

It has been reported that the weight of the Cougs 2008 BCS chances lean heavily on the Y secondary. That could be debatable since it is yet only one aspect of the game. However, on paper all signs point to support that statement for the lack of experience. In the 2006 season there was concern with the height of Justin Robinson mixed in with an unheard of walkon named Ben Criddle. That was Jaime Hill's first year over the secondary. What was produced as a result was a national ranking of 16th in pass efficiency. Last season was marked with secondary injuries and walkons yet still ranked 18th nationally in that same statistical category. This years mix includes...

*CB Jr-Brandon Howard 5.9/164
Fr-G Pittman 5.10/183
*CB Jr-Scott Johnson 5.11/185
So-Brandon Bradley 6.1/201
*SS Sr-Kellen Fowler 5.11/187
So-Andrew Rich 6.3/210
*FS Sr-David Tafuna 6.1/216
Fr-Jordan Pendleton 6.2/218

Despite the lack of experience there is overall more potential talent, speed (Howard 4.42-40, Pittman 4.45-40 and Fowler 4.47-40) and depth. Kellen Fowler stepped in performing rather admirably for Quinn Gooch last year and is quite the vocal leader in the defensive backfield. Andrew Rich will be Fowler's backup and was a JUCO All American who turned down several D1 offers to walkon at the Y. Scott Johnson knows the position and timing better than anyone else right now in the secondary. Good chance for Johnson to turn some heads come fall. Backup Jordan Pendleton just may fit into the mix as well who was a 3yr starter in HS and won state his senior year. Brandon Bradley is one of the most athletic but is recovering from a serious knee injury prior to fall 2006 camp. Bradley and G Pittman will likely see some solid playing time as the season progresses. On paper there is an obvious lack of experience but it will be interesting to see how the secondary responds. Will they rise and shout or will it be down and out? Only time will tell.

08 July 2008

13 Articles Of Cougar Faith

Each program has unique characteristics that create their identity. As true blue fans there are 13 tongue in cheek aspects that will help identify the Cougar nation to those who might be unfamiliar with life in Happy Valley. They are as follows...

1-We believe in Lavell Edwards, Bronco Mendenhall and the 1984 Nationship Championship.
2-We believe that all yewts should be punished by tasers when prematurely storming the field.
3-We believe that through the church affiliation it is "The Lord's University" and that magic happens by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.
4-We believe and understand the stages of being a yewt; namely first denial of yewtdom, second humiliation knowing Harline is STILL open, third depression in losing on 4th and 18, and fourth finally acceptance that it is NOT going to change.
5-We believe that all men will be rewarded with magic happening thru hard work, discipline and living right on and off the field.
6-We believe in the same organization that existed before Bronco namely quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends and an awesome defense.
7-We believe in stretching the field and racking up points through short passes over the middle, down n out routes, striking often and not turning the ball over.
8-We believe in grilling often when tailgating as far as the recipes have been transcribed correctly; we also believe in funeral potatoes, red punch and green jello.
9-We believe all that Bronco has done, will do and that the best is still yet to come.
10-We believe strongly in the band of brothers and that by the same power which brought about the BCS will dissolve it by way of yet another National Championship.
11-We claim the priviledge in wearing blue and being free to do as we please and allow all others the same exceptions in performing at a higher level in living right by abiding in an honor code.
12-We believe in being subject to referees especially when having penalties thrown by the officials signaling yet another Cougar first down!
13-We believe in being undefeated, beating the school up north, and getting the best recruits in or out of state by following the admonition of Bronco. If there is absolutely anything worth doing that is of good report then it is worth executing at a higher level. We seek after those things.

05 July 2008

Cougars All Decade

With the MWC heading to release their all decade team there is no reason why there can't be a Cougar version from 1997 thru 2007 since this season has yet to play itself out. There have been some absolutely amazing talent to flow through the program over the years. Each brought different talents and contributed in their own unique way. This list is by no means a knock on anyone if they were left out. As follows...

QB John Beck 6.2/190 Mesa AZ
RB Curtis Brown 6.0/190 Palmdale CA
FB Manase Tonga 6.0/235 San Mateo CA
OL John Tait 6.6/290 Tempe AZ
OL Ray Feinga 6.5/322 WVC (Hunter HS)
OL Jason Scukanec 6.2/282 Vancouver WA
OL Dallas Reynolds 6.5/310 Provo UT (Timpview HS)
OL Ben Archibald 6.4/310 Gearhart OR
TE Jonny Harline 6.4/226 Orem UT (Orem HS)
WR Austin Collie 6.2/212 El Dorado Hills CA
WR Margin Hooks 6.0/190 Waco TX

DL Manaia Brown 6.4/310 WVC UT (Granger HS)
DL Jan Jorgensen 6.3/260 Helper UT (Carbon HS)
DL Brett Keisel 6.5/269 Greybull WY
LB Rob Morris 6.2/250 Nampa ID
LB Brad Martin 6.1/240 Clovis CA
LB Bryan Kehl 6.2/225 SLC UT (Brighton HS)
LB Cameron Jensen 6.2/235 Bountiful UT (Bountiful HS)
SS Omarr Morgan 5.10/170 Los Angeles CA
SS Brian Gray 6.2/210 Hawthorne CA
SS Aaron Francisco 6.2/215 Laie HI (Kahuku HS)
SS Jernaro Gilford 6.2/185 Hawthorne CA

K/P Matt Payne 6.4/234 Ogden UT (Weber HS)
KR/PR Mike Rigell 5.8/160 Tacoma WA

04 July 2008

Sometimes Called Janimal

Meet Jan Jorgensen. Sometimes he's called "The Janimal". At 6.3/260 he's definately an absolute beast to block against. Back in the HS days Jan was listed at 6.3/235 as a two time 3A First Team All State DE (Helper UT) but was recruited as a linebacker. As a senior at Carbon HS Jorgensen won the 3A state wrestling championship. Although, early in his HS career Jan actually signed with the team up north. However, after McBride got fired he waivered and went with Kentucky. After his mission Jan decided this was the place. Football runs in the family. His older brother also played for the school up north as a TE while his father Jeff played as an Aggie. As a freshman Jan was named Freshman All American by the Sporting News. He started at DE in all 13 contests and was a significant contributer to a "D" that only gave up 14.7pts/game ranking 10th nationally. That same defense also ranked 4th nationally in turnover margin. In 2008 look for "The Janimal" to be constantly double teamed after dominating as a sophomore with 14 sacks.

02 July 2008

Linebacker Preview

Rocky Biegel, Bob Davis, Brad Martin, Brady Poppinga, Rob Morris, Shay Muirbrook, Alema Fitisemanu, Kurt Gouveia, Leon White and Bryan Kehl headline a rich Cougar linebacking tradition. Year in and year out the names may change but the position continues to roll forward. With Kehl taking his services to the next level David Nixon (6.3/223 SR) slides over to the inside. Nixon had 66 tackles in 2007 and is a candidate for All MWC Honors. There was one major setback during spring when starter Terrance Hooks was lost for the year with a severe knee injury. Vic So'oto switched positions and now will take care of business in Nixon's old position at OLB. The remaining two slots will be manned by Shawn Doman (cousins with QB coach Brandon Doman) and Matt Bauman. Bauman (6.1/225 JR) was also ranked #1 in his graduating class with a 4.0 GPA. Brandon Ogletree (former first team all state TX linebacker in high school)returns from his mission but will likely redshirt in 2008. Some of the depth will be provided by Grant Nelson and Matt Ah You. Nelson is a sophomore from Hopewell PA. JC transfer Coleby Clawson (3 star recruit from Snow College) will likely help fill in the LB depth.