29 September 2008

Marked Tree

Found on the internet an eye opener stat from the Associated Press prep of the week. Marked Tree's (team from Arkansas) Michael Gray rushed for 474 yards and 4 TDs leading his team to a 43-40 victory (2nd highest total in state history). Apparently the state record was set back in 1974 by a John Bunch from Elkins who ran back then 608 yards. Definately not too shabby.

28 September 2008

Jazz Open Camp

Tomorrow the Utah Jazz return with its annual media day where the players smile for the cameras and swap "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" stories as they prepare for 2008-9 NBA Season. They will then head to Boise from Sept 30th through October 3rd at Boise State's Taco Bell Arena to open camp. Their first preseason game is October 7th in Anaheim against the Lakers.

There are certainly countless reasons for optimism for Jazz fans. Heading into the season Utah is injury free. The Jazz have returning proven experience and depth at all positions. There are no contract hassles needing to be dealt with. Lastly the "franchise" players are in their prime.

With any season there are numerous questions which remain to be answered. Is Andrei honestly happy? Were the Olympic duties too much? Can a reliable center emerge (Fesenko, Koufos, etc)? Are there enough minutes and basketballs to go around (Brewer, Almond, Harpring, Miles, etc) to satisfy the logjam? Is this "The Window" year with Korver, Booz, and Okur possibly bailing next year? Definately stay tuned throughout the year to find out. It's gonna be a fun ride!

27 September 2008

Going For Three

It has been eleven years since John L Smith took the Aggies to a Big West Conference Championship with an appearance in the Humanitarian Bowl (lost to Cincy). Since then there have been no winning seasons. This year likely will be no different with seven bowl teams on the schedule. In Brent Guy's three years he is 7 and 32 (6 and 19 against the WAC) since taking the coaching reins. Utah State has been a frequent guest on ESPNs bottom 10 but earned its exit after last weeks victory over the also struggling Idaho Vandals. CBSSportsline currently has Utah State ranked 113 in the nation. The Aggies 2008 motto is "Courage. Confidence. Commitment." all of which will need to be completely maxed out (and then some) for the young Aggies to have even a fighting chance of victory over the Cougars offensive machine. The Cougars will be seeking the first triple back to back shutout victories since 1937 (beat Utah State ironically that year 54-0 for its 3rd consecutive shutout then).

Aggie sophomore quarterback Diondre Borel (6.0/185) leads the offensive charge throwing 41 of 75 for 490 yards while posting 5 TDs and 2 INTs. Borel is also currently the aggie leading rusher with 49 carries for 217 yards and 1 touchdown. In the aggie backfield is Robert Turbin (5.10/210) redshirt freshman (majoring in business management) who has 43 carries for 189 yards and 2 TDs. Local product senior wide receiver Otis Nelson (6.2/214 from Hunter HS) has hooked up 13 times for 142 yards and 2 TDs. Nelson is a business entrepeneurship major who may have to find ways to earn his keep with the Cougars in town. At the other wideout is sophomore Stanley Morrison (5.8/156) catching 8 receptions for 132 yards and a long TD.

Coming into Romney stadium saturday the Cougars powerful offense is steamrolling and averaging 43 points a game with Max Hall averaging over 480 yards per matchup. BYU is 42 and 4 when scoring 30 or more (since 2001) and that should clearly happen against the Aggies 115th scoring defense in the nation. Utah State is ranked 108th in the nation for rush defense giving up 218 yards per game. Harvey "The Human Cannonball" Unga could be in for a very big game. Unfortunately, the Aggies also lead the WAC with 29 penalties for 248 yards. This game could get ugly. There's no way around it. Good chance Aggie sophomore punter Peter Caldwell will see plenty of "PT" with an Aggie offense likely heading 3 and outs on their possessions. Caldwell is one of 46 collegiate punters nationally on the Ray Guy Award Watch list and was named honorable Freshman All American last year by Sporting News.

Your Viewing Pleasure

Most Cougar fans are anxiously awaiting the start of the TCU Oklahoma matchup where the nation's #1 defense rolls into Norman looking for an upset. We've already witnessed the dismantling of the mighty Trojans at the hands of Oregon State. Will there be others to fall? In case you're looking for games to watch. Here's the slate for today...

1-USC lost @ Oregon St 27-21
2-Oklahoma/TCU (OK by 18) 5PM
3-Georgia/Alabama (GA by 7) 5:45PM
4-Florida/Mississippi (FL by 22.5) 10:30AM
5-LSU/Mississippi St (LSU by 23) 5:30PM
6-Missouri (Bye Week)
7-Texas/Arkansas (TX by 27.5) 1:30PM
8-Alabama @ Georgia (GA by 7) 5:45PM
9-Wisconsin @ Michigan (Wisc by 6) 1:30PM
10-Texas Tech (Bye Week)
11-BYU (Bye Week)
12-Penn St/Illinois (PSU by 14) 6PM
13-So Florida @ NC State (SF by 9) 5:30PM
14-Ohio State/Minn (OSU by 18) Noon
15-Auburn/Tennessee (AUB by 6.5) 1:30PM
16-Wake Forest/Navy (WF by 16)
17-Yewts/Weber St 8PM
18-Kansas (Bye Week)
19-Boise State (Bye Week)
20-Clemson/Maryland (CLE by 11)
21-Vanderbilt (Bye Week)
22-Illinois @ Penn St (PSU by 14) 6PM
23-ECU/Houston U (ECU by 10.5) 1:30PM
24-TCU @ Oklahoma (OK by 18) 5PM
25-Fresno St @ UCLA (FRE by 7) 1:30PM

26 September 2008

They're Back!

Former WAC rival Hawaii (established 1907 and now has over 50,000 students) and BYU have agreed to play a home and home football series in 2012 (in Happy Valley) and 2013 (on the island). The teams first met in 1930 (sorry but the Cougs got shellacked) and haven't played since 2002. Although the jerseys in blue lead the series overall 19 to 8. Past Hawaii standouts have included Jason Elam, Colt Brennan, Mark Tuinei, Maa Tanuvasa, Jesse Sapolu, Timmy Chang and Ashley Lelie. Recently the University Of Hawaii AD Jim Donovan of which said "Playing BYU has always been a thrill for our fans as well as our coaches and players". On the other hand Cougar AD Tom Holmoe added "It is great to rekindle the rivalry. Over the years the tradition has included fantastic players, coaches, teams and games. Add in terrific games and you have the ingredients of an excellent match up". Hawaii has never won in Provo. This could be rather rewarding namely in terms of recruiting for the Cougars. I just hope that fans on the mainland don't have to watch the game played in the land of pineapples at 2 am Cougar time.

Depth Chart Number 8

In a halftime ceremony during the San Francisco 49ers game against the Patriots on October 5th the 49ers will retire the #8 jersey of the Hall Of Fame quarterback Steve Young. It's rather ironic that in 1981 he began his collegiate cougar career on the depth chart by the very same number, at number 8. Of the honor in his jersey being retired Young was quoted "It's a tremendous honor, there's no question about it". Steve currently ranks number 2 all time for rushing yards by a cougar quarterback (1,84 yards with 18 TDs only behind Virgil Carter). In 1983 he was a consensus All American, won the Davey O'Brien and Sammy Baugh Awards even finishing second in the Heisman Trophy Balloting. Overall Young threw for 56 TDs covering 7,733 yards as a Cougar eventually receiving a Juris Doctor JD from BYUs J Rueben Clark Law School. Back in 1994 Steve was given the honor of the BYU Athletic Hall Of Fame. It wasn't until 2001 when he was formally inducted into the College Football Hall Of Fame. At the season opener against Georgia Tech on August 28th 2003 Steve Young's jersey was retired at Lavell Edwards Stadium forever hanging in tribute to all his contributions to the program.

As a 49er Steve spent 13 seasons under center. In fact during the 94-95 seasons he took snaps from former Cougar Bart Oates who is also a lawyer which likely was the only time in NFL history one lawyer has snapped to another. Over the course of his NFL career Young was selected to seven consecutive Pro Bowls while compiling the highest in NFL history career passer rating. Steve was selected in 1999 by the Sporting News on their list of the 100 greatest players. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 2005, the first left handed quarterback to be so honored. Steve is a two time league MVP who led the 49ers to its fifth NFL title in the 1995 Superbowl with a NFL record of 6 TD passes. After numerous concussions Young ultimately retired finishing an phenomenal career with over 33,000 passing yards and 232 TD passes. He currently works as an NFL analyst for ESPNs monday night football with Stuart Scott and Emmitt Smith. Always great to see a Cougar receive national recognition.

25 September 2008

Surpassin Expectations

Earlier the Cougars received word of a commitment in one of the most highly recruited high school players in state history in Tyler Haws. After averaging 9 ppg as a freshman Tyler broke out his sophomore year doubling his average to 18 a game leading the state in free throws (129 while shootin nearly 82 percent from the stripe) and led his Lone Peak Knights to a state championship. Haws was named tournament MVP and this last year was named Utah's Mr. Basketball. As a junior he averaged nearly 21 points a game. Tyler was also named the Utah Gatorade Player Of The Year.

Haws has met and surpassed all expectations at the high school level. Tyler is obviously well known for his scoring ability. Just ask Davis High School. Yet, haws also owns an amazing vertical leap; is a phenomenal team player, has icewater in the veins under pressure, possesses all the intangibles, is humble and coachable. That's frankly just barely scratching his developmental surface. Tyler has excellent perimeter range to about 20 feet. He will score mostly off the catch and shoot. Haws has a solid frame with a fairly large wingspan and who can defend well. It doesn't hurt that he's Marty's kid either. This was a must get for BYU especially when you have an individual who's "the complete package" in your own backyard and is the son of a former Cougar. Welcome to the Cougar den. Absolutely look forward to seeing you in Cougar blue!

24 September 2008

Cougar Crosse-ing

On saturday 18 October the BYU lacrosse team will take on a perennial power and top 25 squad from the University Of Denver at Alta High School Stadium 3PM. Tickets are sold $10 general admission. The Cougs are coached by Jason Lamb in his 14th year (179-60 overall). Typically the team suits up at South Field with capacity of 2,178. They compete in the MCLA (Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association) and in the RMLC (Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference). The MCLA teams receive no funding from their representative colleges or the NCAA. This means unfortunately NO scholarships. Since 1996 the team have posted consecutive winning seasons.

The club was founded back in 1975 and went 4-5 in their only losing season on record. The teams worst record since 1995 came in 2006 when they finished 12-8 (although in 2006 the Cougs advanced to the Final Four). If you get a chance to check them out by all means don't hesitate. The Cougs have won three national championships (1997, 2000 and 2007).

23 September 2008

MWC Three-peat Quest

With a bye week and the Cougar basketball season getting ready to kick off next month now is a great time to take a quick overview. Coming off back to back outright MWC titles and an NCAA bid this years team's quest will look to three-peat. Last year's squad and season finished at 27-8 and returns reigning MWC Player Of The Year in Lee Cummard (who flirted with a possible stint in the NBA). Whew! That was close and soooo glad he came back. The talented team amassed the second most wins in Cougar history under two time MWC Coach Of The Year Dave Rose. Gone is Trent Plaisted (selected overall at 46th by the Pistons) and the backcourt duo of Ben Murdock and Sam Burgess. According to Coach Rose "This is a team our fans will enjoy following". Despite those losses this team has plenty of firepower, experience and have even added some talented newcomers that should help vault the Cougs to contend yet again for another conference title.

Sophomore Jimmer Fredette (6.2/190) averaged 7 points in 18.5 minutes per game (played in all 35 games) while showing signs of the flash and excitement of what might be in store. With the ability to create his own shots and make sound decisions the potential is through the roof and definately will find some solid time in the rotation. Lamont Morgan (5.10/170 JR) redshirted last season is lightning quick with great ball handling skills. He comes into the season with what should be a firm grasp of Dave Rose's offense. Jackson Emery (6.3/175 SO) should definately be able to step in again to the system without losing a beat as a great defender and sharp shooter. Matt Pinegar (6.0/185 FR) was a McDonald's High School All American Nominee. Senior Archie Rose (6.5/205) didn't start playing basketball until his junior year of high school. Backups Michael Loyd (6.1/170 SO) , Rose, and Pinegar all of which should help provide added depth and valuable minutes off the bench.

Led by three year starter and all american candidate Lee "Clutch" Cummard (seems to be able to do it all in practically every statistical category available, might even sell popcorn during halftime and timeouts) will again provide valuable leadership and experience. Cummard (6.7/185 SR) has phenomenal ball handling skills, mental toughness, tenacity, superb shooting range, ability to rebound and finish amongst traffic. (Cummard photo credit Jaren Wilkey)

Recently this summer Jonathan Tavernari (6.6/215 JR) was selected for the Brazilian Olympic Team and played in the qualifying round in Athens. In 2007 Tavernari was named the MWC Freshman Of The Year. Jonathan average 13.1 ppg and 5.3rpg in the starting rotation. He has the capability to take a game over as a three point sharp shooter.

Hailing from Bartlesville Oklahoma Noah Hartstock (6.8/205 FR) comes in averaging 27.6 ppg as a senior for his high school team as a McDonald's High School All American nominee. Noah has some serious post moves, a sweet touch and stroke that could factor into some serious "PT" playing time and made an impact quickly. While back in the Logan High School days Charles Abouo was named the 3A player of the year averaging 21.1 ppg and 10.2 rpb. Last season pushing Brewster Academy to a 31-4 record Abouo (6.4/210 FR) refined those skills.

Former walk on Gavin MacGregor (6-10/235 SR) looks forward to returning from sitting out last season with a foot injury. Freshman James Anderson (6.10/220) averaged 17 ppg, 9 rpb and 6 bpg (set state record with 14 blocks in one game). Michael Boswell (6.9/220 FR) will help provide minutes off the bench. Boswell averaged 16.7 ppg and 7.5 prg for Aloha HS and was yet another McDonald's High School All American nominee on the Cougar roster. With Plaisted gone to the NBA the Cougars will look to two time 4A State MVP from Timpview High School Chris Miles (6.11/235 JR). He was rated as the #2 post player in the west coming out of high school. Miles runs the floor rather well and is an agile shot blocker.

Once again the Cougars will look to defend the home territory of the Marriott Center (houses 22,700 fans). Over the past 8 years BYU have posted a 111-10 record at home. Jimmy Dykes (ESPN basketball analyst) said "...they are unbeatable in the Marriott Center in Provo...I'm telling you what, the BYU student section has been ranked #1 in my book all season long out of all the places I've been. They are outstanding as a group". Cougar fans when those sneakers hit the court again get ready to rise and shout! Here's to a great season!

22 September 2008

Big Money

College football bowl games have been a national pasttime for 90 years and have provided some of the greatest moments in collegiate football history (ah memories to last a lifetime!). With the possibility of the Cougs having a rather special year there is that chance they could find themselves in a BCS bowl game later this season. Currently one fifth of the coaches poll teams are from non BCS conferences. Of interest BYU is ranked eleventh in the coaches poll while the yewts find themselves holding strong at seventeen. TCU took a leap to twenty three and will have a strong chance at making a statement when they take on tough as nails Oklahoma. Of those non BCS teams and assuming the jerseys in blue do their part to win out they would have the best opportunity of the schools to get the invite. The BCS standings won't be released until October 19th and the first Harris Poll won't be seen until September 28th. However, those two make of two thirds of the BCS standings score.

Last years 32 bowl games distributed more than $210 million to the participating schools. Those various bowl games help generate increased donations, higher enrollment, long term licensing, increased ticket sales/donations, etc. With the increase of additional bowls in recent years it has presented the unique experience to more fans, coaches, players, cheerleaders (two thumbs up!), performers/entertainers, and communities to be involved in an unforgettable experience. It has been estimated that attendance for this years group of bowls will have combined over 1.6 million fans and reach approximately 125 million households. For those host communities bowls generate roughly $1.3 billion worth of economic impact. One can't forget the immense amount of dough donated for charitable causes and disadvantaged children (Examples include: Make A Wish, Boy/Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, United Way, Cystic Fibrosis, among others).

21 September 2008

Bye Week Things To Do

Need some ideas on what to do with the free saturday? Here's a few possible ideas how to spend the idle time.

1-Take snaps from the wife or girlfriend. This likely means finish cleaning out the garage, mowing the yard or something else productive.
2-Excuse to start your Christmas shopping early (or buying more Cougar gear).
3-Scout upcoming recruits (attend the local high school game or even some pop warner matchup) to help keep the program ahead of the game.
4-Tailgate at home. Invite some friends over, fire up the grill and have some fun!
5-Update that old tv for that elusive big screen. Definately comes in handy on those "upon further review" plays.
6-Study old game film breaking down plays and defenses in case Anae gets lured away by some other school.
7-School someone on Madden 08, wreak some halo havoc or world of warcraft.
8-Start working on your March Madness picks. Never hurts to win the office pool.
9-Some physical activity (jogging, hiking, etc) in hopes to keep in shape while walking on with some possible eligibility left.
10-Convert a yewt (take those poor lost souls by the hand and help them find their way back home).

Youth Of The Nation

With the week off to prepare or in this case to rest and heal (was told personally by a current player to remember Michael Reed in our prayers and hope others will do the same) now is as good as ever to take a look at some of the super soph's around the nation.

Sam Bradford/OK (6.5/213) Set an NCAA freshman record with 36 TDs and led the nation in passing efficiency. Hasn't stopped with 12 TDs and 2 INTs covering 882 yards. Definately has a wide array of weapons at his disposal.
Jake Locker/WA (6.3/225) Some call him the Tim Tebow of the west. Just trying to be all he can be with 624 all purpose yards and 4 TDs. Quarterback tough as nails with a never quit attitude. Jerseys in blue saw how dangerous he can be first hand.
LeSean McCoy/Pitt (5.11/210) Covered over 1300 yards as a freshman. Panther offense built around his talents and has produced 5 TDs with 344 yards.
Knowshon Moreno/GA (5.11/207) Often compared to some of the all time greats. With 1332 yards and 14 TDs as a freshman he's likely just getting warmed up.
DeMarco Murray/OK (6.0/191) Sooner back has run for 312 yards and 3 TDs. Always a threat to go the distance with his breakaway speed.
Evan Royster/Penn St (6.1/212) Has 379 yards with an 8 yard per carry for Nittany Lions.
Harvey Unga/BYU (6.0/243) Bowling ball bruiser who has 521 yards with 7 TDs in the Coug high octane offense. Just hope he stays one more year!
Michael Crabtree/TX Tech (6.3/208) Deep threat who won the Biletnikoff Award while still learning the offense and position. Would like to eventually own a business that has something to do with the music industry. With that much talent on the field (457 yards and 15.9 yard per reception so far) good chance he'll go platinum.
Jeremy Maclin/Mizzo (6.1/200) Barely scratching the surface with 80 receptions for over a 1,000 yards as a freshman. Quick deep threat (posted a 4.32 second 40 time in winter conditioning) on track with 391 yards for another exceptional year.
Thomas Weber/AZ State (6.1/205) Was a freshman kicker who won Lou Graza award while converting 24 of 25 FGs. This year 8 of 9 on FGs but perfect 8 for 8 on PATs.
Keeyn Crier/AZ (6.1/200) All Pac10 punter as a freshman with more than a dozen over 50 yards.

Crum-y Rodeo

Saturday's defensive display by the Cougars began on Wyoming's first drive when they quickly found the scoreboard. For the lasso'd cowboys it was all downhill from there. Sophomore quarterback Dax Crum began methodically directing his offense down the field. When he threw to his receiver Greg Bolling it was tipped and with Scott Johnson's heads up play who snagged the football like a cookie and ran in the lateral 58 yards putting the Cougars in the scoring column. At that point the defensive shutout and show was on. It began the Cougar's first back to back shutouts in 23 years. The only remaining question would be at what point would Bronco eventually pull the starters (I think I recall hearing Max ordering a large pepperoni, olives and mushrooms late in the third quarter). That afternoon the Cougars feasted on turnovers. When the Cowboys (or any opponent) gives up a cookie six times (3 INTs and 3 fumbles) it pretty much will cement that kind of defensive success. It was also the eighth straight sellout at Lavell Edwards Stadium.

With a slow start it wasn't until midway through the second quarter that Max Hall and his compadres finally began adding their ingredients onto the scoreboard when Unga capped off a 13 play drive covering 86 yards. Harvey bruised his way to another 100+ yards on the ground (103) good for a 5.2 average with cover provided by his personal assistant Vakapuna paving the way (man its great to have Fui back!). Hall continue to pad his efficent numbers to his stats with 3 more TDs on only 26 attempts. Through four games, much like the 7/11 convenient store, the phenomenal offensive line have protected Max not allowing one sack allowing time for his receivers to be open all day. Hall's highlight was completely in sync with a pass completion to Austin Collie covering 62 yards stride for stride. Giving credit to his defense Austin said "The defense is unbelievable. It's the reason why we are winning games".

Obviously the Cougar "D" was the highlight of "The Rodeo" saturday afternoon in protecting their home turf in their fourteenth consecutive win. The blue jerseys held the cowboy dynamic senior duo of Devin Moore and Wynel Seldon to an unheard of 1.2 average yards per carry while forcing the 6 turnovers. David Nixon grabbed himself a 19 yard INT returned for a TD late in the third quarter and added his thoughts "Anytime you get that momentum and emotion on your side it's going to be a good day. College football is all about emotion". Reserve defensive back Jordan Pendleton got hooked up with an INT as well. Snow College transfer Andrew Rich got into the action with a slobber knocker hit on Devin Moore taking him out of the contest midway through the fourth quarter. Linebacker Matt Bauman reiterated the same thoughts as Nixon in "We got the momentum and so much of the game is about momentum". The cowboys last two trecks westward along the trail to LES have been an absolute nightmare in a combined 99 to 7 shellacking.

After the game Coach Glenn said of the turnovers and defense "That's pathetic. We can't do that to ourselves. They're a real good football team and took advantage of all our mistakes. I appreciate the coaching calling off the dogs". Definately classy words from a coach who has a good chance of being unemployed two months from now. Cowboy receiver Greg Bolling added his two cents "That's a good defense that we went against today. If you shoot yourself in the foot BYU will get to you." At 44 to nothing (and back to back shutouts) one might say that defensive coach Jaime has done a "Hill" of a job. The shutout gave the Cougars a perfect 4-0 record and they will now have a bye week to rest before heading to Logan to grab some aggie ice cream and take on Utah State.

18 September 2008

5 Key To Success

Injury Free
Regardless of who's playing BOTH teams always would like to play injury free. However, it seems like the last few games the trainers were making more plays than the opponent. If that includes drinking that pickle juice to make it happen then by all means drink up. Besides wouldn't you rather have that victory completely unblemished knowing it was taken straight up? Successful teams typically run the table with the least amount of injuries.
Turnover Game Currently conference opponent TCU is #1 nationally in turnover margin. Unfortunately the Cougs will have got a lot of ground to make up. We saw what a difference the TOs can make. Once one gets the flywheel turning its hard to stop.
Raving Fans There's nothing like a stadium sell out while seeing 65,000 fans decked out in blue. Hey when "The Quest" shirts are only $5 bucks there's no excuse (unless you've got a BLUE cougar jersey). Cougar fans are loud and proud. They make the opponent well aware who's territory they are in. The energy feeds onto the players (high fives, chest bumping, etc).
Mistake Free When the jerseys in blue take the field (on any given saturday) they've got to play mistake free. No room for error in mental lapses. Teams nowadays are just too good (within conference or not). Great drives or amazing plays can be absolutely killer with one single holding penalty, etc bringing it back. Can't let emotions get the better of an individual on the field. That includes players keeping their head on who might be trying to make the extra yard after the catch or wrapping up after the tackle. Bad things often occur when trying to do too much.
Key Wins Fact is sometimes one needs to root for the rival. Yes that includes the team up north. Whether its TCU or whoever. When those conference teams are ranked it makes the victory all the sweeter when it becomes head to head and makes the conference look better when it comes time for the rankings.

Moore Motivation

One significant key to shutting down the Cowboy offense could definately include geting to Devin Moore. The senior running back from Indianapolis was ranked 5th in the MWC last season but is currently holding strong at #2. Devin is majoring in business administration and would like to definately take care of some business on the field in Lavell Edwards Stadium. As a senior in high school Devin rushed for 2,768 yards and 34 TDs (with a 10.1 ypc that definately wasn't too shabby) and even ran a 10.6 in the 100 meters. Current running backs coach Bryan Applewhite mentioned "This is the last spring putting on the brown and gold, the last fall camp...and the last time to walk on the field as a cowboy" knowing Devin is nearing his last rodeo. With that in mind look for Moore to have a little extra swagger and bounce in that step.

Reed-ing Time

Earlier today Cougar wide receiver Mike Reed had arthoscopic surgery on his right knee for a torn meniscus suffered in saturdays game with UCLA. The senior from Baytown Texas might be down but don't count him out. Unfortunately, he will be miss between two and four weeks. According to the schedule the weeks ahead in order would be Wyoming at home, on the road at Utah State, New Mexico and hopefully in time for the matchup in the Lonestar State with TCU. In the meantime look for some rotation from Austin Collie, Luke Ashworth, O'Neill Chambers, and Spencer Hafoka. Yes, Reed might be able to catch up on some reading but knowing Mike he will come back better faster and stronger. From all Cougar fans we will you well in a quick and speedy recovery. (Photo credit goes to Scott)

17 September 2008

Wyoming On The Map

With saturday's matchup it got me thinkin of who's come through the results of Wyoming in one way or another. Of course it also shows that the Cougars can't take this game for granted with the number of exceptional athletes that the Cowboys have showcased within their program . In the words of Jan Jorgensen "It is never hard to get up for Wyoming. We know that they consider this a rivalry game and we know that they are going to come out and they are going to give us everything they have. They always do".

Over the years there have been hundreds to come and go. There have been a number though who have made their mark. Likely at the top and most noticeable of that list would be Jay Novacek and five time pro bowler who played in the NFL from 1985 through 1996. Back in his cowboy college days he even won the WAC Decathlon Championship. One can't forget Patrick Chukwurah (3 year starter for the cowboys) who is 11th all time in tackles. As a senior he was given All MWC honors. Another individual who clearly made an impact was Casey Bramlett (Casper WY) who took his services to the next level (currently with the Baltimore Ravens). Bramlett was the only Wyoming player in school history to pass for 3000 yards in 3 different seasons. It would also be a grave mistake to not have included the dangerous deep threat Jovon Bouknight and current grad assistant. He ranked 20th with the NCAA All Time Career Receiving Yards. One wide receiver that could definately be added would be Ryan Yarbrough. Ryan was a two time college football all american and is currently 2nd all time in receiving yards (4,446 from 1990-93). At the top in terms of all time receiving yards in Cowboy history one can't leave out Marcus Harris (4,518 from 1993-96).

From the Cougar side of things there have been a few who have come through the program as well. Definately the Poppinga's (Evanston WY) shouldn't be left out. Back in 2004 Brady Poppinga was selected as one of 58 candidates across the nation for the Bronko Nagurski award who took his services to the Green Bay Packers. Kelly Poppinga in 2005 was a significant contributor on a defensive unit that gave up only 14.7 points a game (ranking 10th nationally) as well as ranking 4th in turnover margin. Current player Rick Wolfley (Afton WY) was a heavyweight state champion (undefeated as a junior) back in high school. He even sparred with olympian Rulan Gardner.

Collectively the Cowboys may not be the swiftest or quickest but they have always understood how to get up for the Cougars and bring their best. Whether its a rivalry game or not look for Wyoming to fight for every yard and individual play regardless of what circumstance or weather might be presented. Its just the cowboy way.

16 September 2008

Circle The Wagons

Saturdays contest with the Wyoming Cowboys will mark the 75th meeting between the two schools. Back in 1922 was the first matchup with the Cougars pulling out a tight victory 7-0. The university originally opened its doors back in 1886 and have been ranked by the NY Times as one of the best educational buys in the nation. Some of the famous alumni include: Jerry Buss (Lakers owner), Curt Gowdy, Jay Novacek, Theo Ratliff, and Casey Bramlett. With the loss at CSU last year the Cowboys finished 5-7 closing a third straight season without any postseason action. On the other hand Wyoming did step up and play big with noticeable victories over Virginia and TCU. The cowboys last win in "happy valley" was a close call (29 to 27) back in 1987 (wow has it really been that long?).

Folks lets face it and call it like it is. The deck is likely stacked against the Cowboys coming into town and leaving with a victory unless some unforeseen act of nature occurs. This is a mismatch in the making. According to some the jerseys in blue are favored by 28 and a half. CBSsportsline has Wyoming ranked at 86 while USAtoday's Sagarin rating is 90 for the cowboys. The offense for BYU is ranked 5th nationally while the cowboys average 92.3 yards good for a 114th ranking. By all means there is no question I hope this doesn't turn into a "bird" watch (for those who recall the Cowboy/yewts match and friendly greeting from last year) with the strong possibility of this getting ugly and fast. Definately a golden opportunity for the Cougar backups to get some valuable experience.

At quarterback this is the tale of two paths. Hall, well he's unquestionably on the up as a Heisman candidate. On the other hand JC transfer Dax Crum (former walk on at Arizona State) and first year OC Bob Cole have both struggled early on with getting the offense into a groove or much of a gear in the new scheme. With the 3 games Crum is averaging just over 90 yards per game with more INTs than TDs. By comparison Hall is averaging 366 yards per game. In fact Max in last game has more than tripled Crum's TDs in all 3 games combined.

In the backfield the thunder and lightning combo of Devin Moore (has been clocked at 4.31 seconds) and Wynel Seldon didn't exactly send out consistent storm warnings last year. In fact the Cowboys only had a 9 yard outing against the Cougs in their home finale. Moore is second in the conference and is averaging 99 yards rushing a game thus far (with nearly 5 yards a clip average). He can bust it long as well (44 is his best so far) who has a offensive line that averages 297 to open the holes.

Wideouts David Leonard(6.4/185 SO) and Donate Morgan (5.11/185 JR) will be worked with by former cowboy receiver Jovon Bouknight who was hired as a overqualified grad assistant. Leonard showed promise as a freshman while Morgan is a transfer (St Joseph's College IN) and the fastest player on the team. He provides that possible home run threat it lacked last season when they opted for the quicker throws and shorter routes.

The Cowboys strength is clearly on the defensive line. Big John Fletcher (6.1/310) is coming off a breakout year piling up 10.5 sacks as a sophomore (ranking him 11th nationally). Fletcher was named to the Outland Trophy watch list. Mitch Unrein(6.4/270) is the other half of Wyoming's formidable junior duo up front on defense. Unrein had mentioned about the Cougars "Well they're a tough team. They always are, every year we've played them they're always really tough. They beat up on UCLA but that doesn't matter to us. We don't care who they've beat, who they've lost to, we're going in there to beat them". Linebacker Ward Dobbs led the team with 98 tackles last year (ranks as Wyoming's 9th all time best) but a pair of offseason surgeries kept him out of spring ball.

If Wyoming can clean up the turnover woes they have a chance to be successful. Although maybe not against the Cougs. The Cowboys have only won five games on the road in the last three years. There are just too many questions yet to be answered for the Wyoming in yet another transition year.

15 September 2008

Tradition, Spirit And Honor

Before each Cougar football game throughout the season (both home and on the road) Bronco, his wife and various members of the team participate in friday evening hour long firesides. Those events actually originated with Lavell Edwards years ago. Coach Mendenhall strongly returned to its roots, rich tradition, spirit and honor when on 7 Oct 2005 he re-instituted the devotionals. Bronco said "football is only the vehicle to deliver a message of more importance and substance". Apparently only a small handful of individuals showed up back then. Now I've heard from the one held back in the state of Washington had over roughly a thousand in the church. Whenever and wherever the team plays it is now standing room only. Coach Mendenhall further states "Discipleship is a lifelong journey. Being a disciple of Christ should influence every aspect of our life, every day, month and year of our life". A good portion of those firesides are organized by the same stripling warriors each of us see on saturdays making those blocks and catches those passes over the middle. With a combination of wisdom, wit, music and musical numbers the firesides are without question an example and reminder of the things that truly are important. If you get even a remote chance to go by all means do not hesitate. The next one will be this friday at the American Fork Tabernacle 7PM (110 E Main St). The full fireside schedule can be obtained through visiting the official site for further and complete authorized information. Regardless of what religion you might be if you plan on attending it would be humbly respectfully requested with sunday attire appropriate, arrive plenty early, no tape/video recording and to remember the House you are in. You will have an experience, opportunity and priviledge of a lifetime.

Helmet Of The Week

Currently on both the Heisman and Davey O'brien watch lists Max showed exactly why. After seeing the Max'd out stellar performance on saturday Hall unquestionably deserved the Helmet Of The Week. After 3 games he ranks 3rd in the nation with nearly 1100 yards. He is 14-2 as the Cougars starting quarterback. He is nephew to Danny White and the MWC recently tabbed Max as the offensive player of the week for a second consecutive week. Hall was also recently awarded the Walter Camp National Player Of The Week. This season he is 91 of 117 for 12 TDs with only 2 INTs including a 186.8 rating (per ESPN). After being pulled early in the 3rd quarter Max was 27 of 35 (77 percent) with 7 TDs and 1 INT. Yes 7 touchdowns in only three quarters against a BCS team. How can one argue with that? Hall can read the defense, call the correct audibles, make timely adjustments on the fly, throw with laser pinpoint accuracy, and spread the wealth to the various receivers while leading the team to victory. What more could anyone ask? Max Hall gets my helmet of the week.

14 September 2008

Shock And Awe

Obliteration, dismantling, and annihilation are among the words that could be used to describe what was experienced saturday afternoon at Lavell Edwards Stadium. It began with Kellen Fowler carrying the team flag while Vai Sikahema's alumni flag directed the blue and white jerseys onto the field. Those blue and white jerseys put on an absolute show of total shock and awe after only being favored by eight and a half. BYU displayed one of the most complete games in Cougar history as well as one over a BCS team.

From the offense, defense, special teams and even the coaching staff were a band of brothers beating the same heartbeat. The cougars coaching staff collectively out-coached some of the best coaching minds in college football today. Offensive Coordinator Robert Anae called a beautiful game throwing in new plays (ages since I saw Cougs run an option), new sets, even in including new players (Iona Pritchard as fullback) leaving the Bruins second guessing the entire game. Jan Jorgensen described it as "not angry - just tired of it. We were ready to make a statement today to shut people up". When the dust had settled the scoreboard showed 59 to nothing. Yes nothing. No, that is not a typo nor a misprint and not the blue kool-aid talking. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The included pic above says it all (credit for the pic goes to Douglas C Pizac/AP photo but made possible by the lackluster play saturday by Alterraun Verner). It was the worst loss for the visiting UCLA Bruins in 79 years and was the Cougs biggest shutout in twenty years since 1988 (vs. New Mexico 65-0). Bruin coach Neuheisel gave the Cougs some kudos "We just got dominated in every aspect of the game...give BYU credit for the win". Anyone know what the Bruins did with 12 days off to prepare for the onslaught? (Did I hear rock, paper, scissors?) With 35 points in the second quarter the decimation was on and the Cougs never looked back with Fiesta Bowl officials watching.

Was there ever any question if the Cougs were getting the Max out of Hall? Saturday Max threw 27 of 35 for 258 yards with 7 TDs (in only 3 quarters). Hall showed why he's among the best. His efficiency by games end stood tall at 217.6. Max reads the field incredibly well, knows his receivers, understands ball distribution, being patient (letting the game come to you and not forcing things), and simply makes superb decisions. Hall said it well "If you're a division I team and not trying to get to the BCS then what are you doing?".

In the blue zone the Cougs were perfect 8 for 8 (7 TDs and and a solo FG). On third downs the efficiency is thru the roof in the last two games (25 of 31) at an 80 percent success. The OL has been dominant having no sacks in the past 3 games. The graters were able to provide ground cover again for nearly 200 yards (196 to be exact) as well as giving Max ample time to select his weapons. Bruins top defender Alterraun Verner was abused all day by Austin Collie ("the verner burner") who saw 10 receptions for 103 yards and 2 touchdowns. Collectively the offense racked up over 500 yards (520 if you're counting). Pitta snagged 5 catches and padded his ridiculous stats with 2 more TDs.

Defensively when was the last time you heard of a BCS team held to 11 yards on the ground by the Cougs? Throwing Bradley into the secondary switching things up was genius. And once again BYU stepped up providing another block on a 32 yard field goal attempt by Kai Forbath. The jerseys in blue made plays, forced turnovers and held on downs when it counted.

One can't leave out the special teams. CJ Santiago bounced back drilling two punts for 50.5 yard average. Mitch Payne was perfect 8 of 8 PATs while adding a solo field goal from 25. O'Neill Chambers got into the equation as well with a punt return of 14 yards and a sweet kick return for 31 yards. Sorensen's kicks were touchbacks and those help immensely in the field position battle. After such an overall complete domination and destruction on all fronts there was no doubt whatsoever who the better team was that walked off the field that day. I'd hope they were allowed 10 seconds postgame in the locker room for excessive celebration without penalty.

13 September 2008

Conference Matchups

Before you head out the door for your saturday activities (mow that yard, rushin the kids to the latest soccer game, or even to travel down to Lavell Edwards stadium) here's a quick look at the conference matchups that will take place this weekend.

The team up north will travel to confines of Romney stadium to take on the Aggies which will likely be a lopsided affair. Defensive linemen Kenape Eliapo (broken foot) and Lei Talamaivao (broken fibula) will definately be scratched. Safety Robert Johnson is nursing a hamstring while OL Zane Beadles is dealing with a knee issue but both should see action. Quarterback Brian Johnson will again direct the offense (very well could be sitting by halftime). Matt Asiata and Darrell Mack seem to be splitting the carries. Asiata has 24 carries with 111 yards while Mack has 21 attempts on 85 yards. Wide receiver Freddie Brown comes into todays matchup with 7 recs on 119 yards. Former walkon Bradon Godfrey is sportin 10 recs on 115 yards. The aggies don't have a whole lot of offensive firepower. Quarterback Diondre Borel does have 3 TDs and no INTs with 101 rushing yards. Wide receiver Otis Nelson has 11 receptions for 104 yards so far this season. Beyond that the offensive cupboard seems pretty bare. CBSsportsline has the aggies ranked 119 (that's NOT a positive sign). The only question will be at what point do the yewt starters come out.

Air-izona State takes on UNLV at home. They are a pass first unit that ranks 6th nationally. The only question might be will they look ahead to two weeks when they face Georgia. Rudy Carpenter owns a 76.6 competion percentage with 4 TDs and 1 INT including 733 yards. Carpenter can definately stretch a field. His receivers Michael Jones (12 rec for 241 yards yes a 20.1 average) and Kerry Taylor (9 rec for 185 yards) will play a major role. Look for Rudy to direct the offense to another 300+ yard game. On the bright side for UNLV the rebels head into todays contest as only one of two teams thus far without a turnover (Florida is the other team). Frank "The Tank" Summers continues to roll with 27 carries for 174 yards and 2 TDs. The rebels QB Omar Clayton is playing wonderful so far with 4 TDs and no INTs. Keep in mind last year Omar was a 5th string walk on. Good news for the rebels is that after todays game the next 6 of 8 are at home.

The San Diego State Aztecs have plenty of work in front of them as they travel to San Jose State. Freshman Ryan Lindley is averaging 313 yards a game good for 10th nationally with 626 total yards for the Aztecs. Lindley understands the ball distribution. Vincent Brown has 10 rec for 117 yards. Matthew Kawulok owns 12 rec for 112 yards and Brandon Sullivan is looking at 11 rec for 71 yards. The San Jose State Spartans are stingy against the run at 80 yards a game (keep in mind the Aztecs only rushes for 49 yards a game). It won't get any easier for the Spartans who will face Stanford next. San Jose State should be able to defend the home territory this week.

Stanford is on the road and will face TCU and will try to avenge last years loss (TCU won 38-36). Coach Jim Harbaugh "It was a tough competitive game last year". This may be rather similar in a slugfest to the finish. Despite a 1-1 record Stanford is 2nd in the nation against the run at 29.5 yards a game. Yeah that's right. Keep in mind they matched up already against Oregon State and Arizona State. The cardinals RB Toby Gerhart has 35 attempts for 214 yards and a 6.1 carry average. The horned frogs have Ryan Christian filling in at RB for Aaron Brown (still no word on his status who has missed both game for violation of university policy) and who has performed admirably (22 rush for 107 yards). TCU should be able to take care of business at hand.

Mike Stoops will take his Arizona Wildcats to New Mexico and should be able to avenge last years loss 29-27 at home. Willie Tuitama has thrown 42 of 54 for 5 TDs while Nic Grigsby takes care of business on the ground with 5 TDs and 304 yards. The Lobos seem to be in a funk. Quarterback Donovan Porterie only passed for 191 yards with 3 INTs and nothin in the end zone. On a positive Rodney Ferguson ran wild against Texas A&M last week for 135 yards with 2 TDs. Next week's matchup at Tulsa won't be any easier. Gotta take a stand somewhere.

Due to Hurricane Ike (prayers go out to all those involved) the game between Air Force and Houston has been moved to SMU. Coach Troy Calhoun's team faces the nations top passing team which is average 427 yards a game. Look for the Falcons secondary to be tested and tested often. Quarterback Shea Smith has run for 32 times for 134 yards while starting back Kyle Lumpkin has posted 35 times to run for 148 yards. Falcon's top WR Kevin Fogler only has 3 rec for 69 yards. Sophomore QB for Houston Case Keenum has thrown already for 779 yards finding the end zone 9 times. Case has no INTs in the last 170 attempts. The Cougars definately know how to lit up a scoreboard and test a secondary. Starter Mark Hafner has 15 rec for 182 yards. At the other wideout is Patrick Edwards (redshirt freshman by the way) has 12 rec for 161 yards.

Lastly the North Dakota State (Bisons) member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference to head to confines of Wyoming. Of the Bisons Cowboys coach Glenn stated "Don't give me any stuff about them being I-AA team. These kids aren't intimidated. In fact, I'd say they play with a chip on their shoulder...". According to cbssportsline Wyoming ranks 118 and the matchups won't get any easier who will face the Cougs next week. The Cowboys are definately at a corral crossroads. The Bisons top RB and preseason all american Tyler Roehl suffered a sprained ankle in last weeks victory over Central Connecticut. Tyler does have 19 carries for 174 yards (yes a 9.2 average). Last season Roehl scampered for over 1430 yards even going off for 200 plus yards three times. Nick Mertens has passed for 490 yards with a 6-1 TD INT ratio. Wide receiver Kole Keckendorf has 9 catches for 203 yards. With a 22.6 average Kole knows how to get stretch a field. North Dakota State is currently ranked #2 in the FB subdivision. Bisons will put up a good fight at War Memorial Stadium.

12 September 2008

Rise And Shout

Most Cougar fans have heard the fight song often known as "Rise And Shout" countless number of times. How many of us know where it originated from? Or who wrote it? Did you know that it wasn't the ONLY song the Cougars have had in its rich history? Back in 1899 Annie Pike Greenwood wrote "The College Song" which for numerous years served as the school until Clyde D. Sandgren (a 1932 BYU graduate) composed the song. In 1947 Clyde registered the Cougar song with the US Copyright Office and more recently (in 1975) renewed the work's copyright registration. It was dedicated especially "To all BYU students who so valiantly served their country in World War II". He served later at the University as general counsel, a vice president and for four years as the Alumni Association president. Sandgren passed away in 1989 and left ownership and the rights of the song to his son. Only Dee and BYU have the rights to the song. Clyde had also penned the school songs for Timpview High School, Orem High School, Provo High School, Utah Valley University and even composed the fight song for St Johns (Sandgren received his law degree there). So the next time you hear...

Rise, all loyal Cougars and hurl your challenge to the foe.
You will fight, day or night, rain or snow.
Loyal, strong and true
Wear the white and blue
While we sing, get set to spring.
Come on, Cougars, it's up to you!

Rise and shout, the Cougars are out,
along the trail to fame and glory
Rise and shout, our cheers will ring out,
As you unfold your vict'ry story
On you go to vanquish the foe for Alma Mater's songs and daughters
As we join in song in praise of you our faith is strong
We'll raise out colors high in the blue
and cheer our Cougars of BYU!

...take a few minutes to remember and thank those who went before, even created the fight song you are singing as you cheer your Cougars on to victory!

11 September 2008

Money Talks

Apparently back on August 18th the Collegiate Licensing Company released its annual list of top university sellers. Their rankings represent royalties reported from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008. At the helm for the third consecutive year was the University of Texas. Nike has occupied the top slot among collegiate apparel brand names since 1999. While LSU was the largest mover among the top 10 colleges (gained seven positions to rest firmly at #4). The top 10 institutions in terms of sales were...

1-Univ Of Texas
5-Notre Dame
6- North Carolina
7- Georgia
9-Penn State
10- Tennessee

....while Cougar fans led the MWC at 46 in sales yet still well ahead of that school up north ranked at 53. Other conference schools of note was CSU beginning at 57 followed by New Mexico (58) Air Force (59) TCU (61) and Wyoming (64).

10 September 2008

Craft-y Business

Within the first month of the Bruins hiring Coach Neuheisel Rick retained one of the nation's leading defensive coordinators (DeWayne Walker) even hiring an offensive genius and former Cougar staff member in Norm Chow. "Slick" Rick (as some may call him) was also able to piece together one of the Bruins best recruiting classes in years. Yes his coaching staff might be a dream team but after that its rather uncertain, at best.

His starting quarterback was already done for the season before taking a snap (left knee torn ACL). Backup and famed former Cougar Ben Olson broke his right foot in late spring. Third and next on the charts is Kevin Craft (sociology major) former San Diego State quarterback.

Last time the jerseys in blue saw Kevin directing an offense was in San Diego stadium back in 2006 (yeah the Cougs came out on top 47 to 17). Although he did end with a 109.8 rating that year. A year ago Craft guided his offense at Mt San Antonio College (Walnut CA) to a respectable 10-3 record passing for over 4200 yards 44 TDs with 10 INTs and most of all a Southern Cal JC Championship.

Look for Craft to look often to his TE Ryan Moya since eight of the Bruin top 10 offensive linemen did not play a snap on the OL last season. Moya finished the Vol game with 7 catches for 65 yards. The road graters were only able to provide groundcover for the backs in 29 rushing yards. Kahlil Bell had 5 carries for 11 yards and Raymond Carter finished with 15 carries on 14 yards. Neither had impressive numbers and both are trying to bounce back from reconstructive knee surgeries. Good chance Bell might be sitting this one out with a high ankle sprain. The Bruin OL runs 303 average across the line. Starting LT Micah Kia (6.5/297 JR) is still recovering from a broken left hand approximately 3 weeks ago.

On the other side of the ball is a defense firmly anchored by senior defensive tackle Brigham Harwell (6.1/292) who is also on the watch list for the Outland Trophy. In 2007 Harwell played only in two games after suffering a tear in the left medial collateral ligament. Against the Vols Brigham was often double teamed sometimes even triple teamed. He will make his presence known.

Hard hitting Reggie Carter moved from weakside LB to roam the middle. Carter can still hear the sound vividly of the football smacking into the outstretched Cougar paw of Eathyn Manumaleuna who blocked Kai Forbath's attempt on a possible game winning field goal in last years Vegas Bowl. He remember's all too well and has said "I'm looking forward to this game. I want to dominate. I don't want to just win. I want them to feel like I did after that bowl game and the only way to do that is to beat them".

Despite the Bruins having lost 10 of its last 13 road games look for UCLA to give the Cougars all they can handle. At stake is the Cougars home winning streak of 14 in a row since its last home loss to BC on 3 Sep 2005. The jerseys in blue will also be on the prowl to prove that taking the "W" from Locker and Company wasn't a fluke.

09 September 2008

By The Numbers

Seeing the news about Ocho Cinco and the love of his jersey number got me thinking about the Cougar jerseys worn over the years. Whether you are young or old everyone at one point or another has a favorite jersey number. To most of us who have worn a jersey regardless of what level (peewee, middle school, high school, collegiate, etc) or what sport those numbers chosen typically are personal whether it is a favorite number, the year you were born, or that someone else wore those digits. With having a rather rich tradition there have been hundreds of Cougars to wear the blue and white jerseys. In case you've ever been curious who wore "your" jersey number below is a somewhat in depth compiled list.

1 Fui Vakapuna, Adam Haysbert, Todd Watkins, Brian McDonald, Omarr Morgan and Michael Westbrook
2 Norm Dixon, Kurt Gunther, Bryce Mahuika
3 Michael Reed, Fahu Tahi, Brian Gray, KO Kealaluhi, Rodney Thomas
4 Jernaro Gilford, Tyler Anderson
5 Kyle Morrell, Brandon Bradley, Brett Engemann, Jonathan Pittman, Derwin Gray
6 Curtis Brown, Luke Staley, James Dye, Leonard Chitty, Robbie Bosco
7 Levi Madarieta, Kevin Feterik, John Walsh, Glen Kozlowski
8 Mike Rigell, Matt Bellini, Steve Young
9 Austin Collie, Nate Meikle, Jared Lee, Jim McMahon, Ervin Lee
10 Heshi Robertson. Brad Martin, Vic Tarleton, Lee Johnson
11 Manase Tonga, Brandon Doman, Mark Bellini, Renaldo Brathwaite
12 John Beck, Steve Sarkisian, Gary Scheide
13 Jonny Harline, Nate Soelberg
14 Jared McLaughlin, Margin Hooks, Ty Detmer, Gifford Nielsen
15 Max Hall, Jason Kukahiko, Hema Heimuli
16 Ronney Jenkins, Jason Chaffetz, Blaine Fowler
17 Brett Cooper, Aaron Roderick, Ryan Hancock, Andy Boyce
18 Eric Drage, Ray Hudson
19 Matt Braga, Andre Saulsberry
20 Dan Coats, Reno Mahe, Brian McKenzie, Casey Tiumalu
21 Ben Criddle, Tim McTyer, Stacey Corley
22 Jaron Dabney, Golden Richards
23 Vai Sikahema, O'neill Howell
24 Kalin Hall, Tony Crutchfield
25 Quinn Gooch, Elan Edwards
26 Rod Wilkerson
27 Owen Pochman
28 Pete Valkenburg
29 Jamal Willis
30 Patrick Mitchell, Brian Mitchell
31Rodney Rice, Chris Bolden
32 Dennis Pitta, Marcus Whalen, Peter Tuipulotu
33 Aaron Francisco, Wayman Hamilton, Wayne Latu, Todd Christensen
34 Tefua Bloomfield, Kurt Gouveia
35 Cameron Jensen, Laeki Heimuli, Donny Atuaia
36 Bob Davis, Eric Lane
37 Ethan Pochman, Alema Fitisemanu
38 Matt Payne, Mitch Payne
39 Bryant Atkinson
40 Nyle McFarlane
41 Bryan Kehl, Spencer Reid, Leon White
42 Gabe Reid
43 David Nixon
44 Mike Tanner, Rob Morris
45 Harvey Unga, Jeff Holtry, Rocky Biegel
46 Kelly Poppinga, Colby Bockwoldt, Shay Muirbrook, Tom Holmoe
47 Paul Walkenhorst, Todd Shell
48 Isaac Kelley
49 Brady Poppinga, Nathan Hall
50 Stan Raass, Trevor Matich, Bart Oates
51 John Raass
52 Russ Tialavea
53 Bill Wright
54 Lance Reynolds, Teag Whiting
55 Justin Ena
56 Travis Hall, Jared Leavitt
57 Robert Anae
58 Chris Hoke, Steve Kaufusi
59 Rich Kaufusi, Kyle Whittingham
60 Scott Tidwell
61 Kam Valgardson
62 Larry Moore
63 Cory Ramage
64 Mo Elewonibi, Andy Reid
65 Dallas Reynolds, Ben Archibald
66 Michael Marquardt
67 Sete Aulai
68 David Oswald, Jason Scukanec
69 Aaron McCubbins
70 Hala Paongo, Louis Wong, Evan Pilgram
71 Judd Anderton
72 Hans Olsen
73 Jake Kuresa, Isaac Herring
74 Quinn Christensen, Travis Bright
75 Scott Young, John Tait, Bart Oates
76 Ray Feinga, Eli Herring
77 Daniel Marquardt, Shane Magalei, Shawn Knight
78 Brian Sanders, Lance Reynolds, Brad Oates
79 Dustin Rykert
80 McKay Jacobson, Kaipo McGuire, Jonathan Pittman
81 David Allphin
82 Soren Holladay, Chuck Cutler
83 Cliff Doman, Bryce Doman
84 Jan Jorgensen
85 Micah Matsuzaki, Clay Brown
86 Doug JOlley, Ben Cahoon, Dan Plater
87 Brian Billick
88 Itula Mili, Andrew George
89 Spencer Knead
90 Lenny Gomes
91 Tevita Ofahengaue
92 John Denney, Ryan Denney
93 Brett Keisel, Bryan Frisch
94 Vince Feula, Chris Smith, Trevor Molini
95 Byron Rex, Gordon Hudson
96 Chad Lewis, Carlos Nuno
97 Randy Brock
98 Isaiah Magalei, Mike Ulufale
99 Manaia Brown, Setema Gali, Jason Buck

...if there's anyone I left out feel free to let me know or if there are any corrections to be made. What's your favorite jersey? Would love to hear.

07 September 2008

Answer The Call

All across the country collegiate fans this week (and possible throughout the remainder of the season) will likely remember this game based on the one that got away ("The Call"). Maybe it was the fact that the Huskies went into this game already down their canine mascot. Or could it be they just wanted finally a victory for Jake. Whatever it was the purple and gold jerseys played with heart and emotion saturday afternoon. Despite being outshined in nearly every offensive statistical category Locker and company proved to be worthy opponent for the Cougars to gain that elusive out of conference road win.

Finally for one game the Cougs offensive line allowed Max Hall more than enough time to pick and choose his weapons. Max was not touched the entire game. Hall dialed in 30 times for 340 yards with 3 touchdowns. The road graters did an outstanding job paving the way for Unga to gut out 136 yards against a BCS opponent with an average of nearly 6 yards per carry. Having Fui back on offense was merely icing on the cake.

Dennis Pitta continued his outrageous pace racking up almost more yardage than the Husky play-ground game combined. Pitta finished with 10 receptions for 148 yards and 1 touchdown. Collie added a touchdown on 5 catches with 75 yards. The offense's third down efficiency was simply amazing converting 12 of a possible 14.

However, in only two attempts for the day CJ Santiago could only muster a mere 27.5 average while his counterpart Jared Ballman had 5 punts averaging 47.4 yards (3 of which pinned the Cougs inside the 20). Sorensen also couldn't seem to get the mustard on his kickoff's either. Something has clearly got to give. The Cougs offensive machine can only score so many points and rack up so many yards. On the bright side Mitch Payne was definately a positive influence on special teams in drilling all 4 possible attempts.

Through nearly all four quarters the Huskies only were flagged for 1 penalty (illegal substitution for five yards). Yeah not one holding. Nor one false start or illegal procedure. All common calls yet that definately sounds a little suspicious to me. If you were to tell me that the jerseys in purple and gold would only have one penalty (minus the last minute) then I've got some beachfront property to sell you. The media loving Huskies seemed to have the officials in their back pocket for most of the game. This is where things get interesting.

In the last minute of regulation Locker clearly placed the Huskies on his back. With 54 seconds left Locker was flagged for intentional grounding negating a possible fumble as well as stopping the clock. On second and 19 Jake made the hookup with D'Andrew Goodwin for 20 yards and the drive began. After an incomplete pass Ian Dulan was tackled in front of an official (yeah surprise surprise no call) allowing Jake to scamper up the middle for 15 yards to the three yard line avoiding the sack. Heaving two consecutive incomplete passes (one to each direction) left the clock at 11 seconds to play. On third and three Locker rushed left for the game tying touchdown.

In his excitement Jake heaved the ball upwards a minimum of 20 feet (you can clearly see and judge for yourself the distance from the included photo) and got flagged for celebration. Were points taken off the board? Or suspiciously added? Negative. It only made the PAT a little longer. Yet this is what the media outcry seems to be in uproar about. ESPNs Mark May called it "horrible and inexcusable". Are you kidding me? Ted Miller (also from ESPN) added "It was one of the worst judgement calls you will ever see". Note to ESPN if all the "if's" and "but's" were candy and nuts then we'd all have a merry Christmas. The officials were in the Husky back pocket the entire game. It just happened they came out at the worst possible moment if you happened to be rooting against the Cougars. A rule is a rule dumb or not. NCAA official Larry Farina responded "It is a celebration rule that we are required to call. It was NOT a judgment call". Jake Locker himself even admitted the error regarding his celebration penalty "throwing the ball in the air had part of emphasis during their practices". It is absolutely clear that it wasn't a little flick over his shoulder. Jay Drew SL tribune reporter was standing about 15 feet from Locker as it came to pass (no pun intended). From Drew's blog "...unless my eyes were deceiving me, it got some pretty serious altitude. He threw it 25-30 feet in the air with sort of a rolling the wrist motion that caused the ball to spiral".

Upon setting up for the PAT after the penalty the Husky offensive line flat out didn't block well and the Cougars were able to make the play when it counted. Sidenote if you look closely at the closing pick of #84 Jorgensen blocking the attempt you will also notice Husky lineman #76 Jordan White-Frisbee blantantly holding his jersey. Hmm. No penalty?

03 September 2008

Shake Jake And Bake

Come saturday the Cougar defense better be locked on Jake till the gameclock reaches zeros all the way across. Locker was one of the most anticipated players in UW history and hasn't disappointed. As a freshman he threw for 2,062 yards and 14 TDs. Jake comes from a small town (much like Jan Jorgensen - Helper Utah pop 2,025) near Bellingham Washington called Ferndale. In the 2000 census there were only 8,758 living there. It was officially incorporated in 1907 but was originally called Jam because the town was located next to Logjam on the Nooksack River.

Ferndale's team (the Golden Eagles) were led by Locker in 2005 to a perfect 14-0 record and state title. That year he threw 25 TDs 3 INTs and ran for 24 more TDs. Jake ultimately was also named the 3A state player of the year. In the title game itself Locker led Ferndale over Prosser with 4 TDs and 272 yards. The Golden Eagles finished 12th in the nation per maxprep. He was the first freshman to start ever under Coach Vic Randall (in a 21 year career).

Locker is amazing athletically gifted. During this last summer Jake even played outfield for the Bellingham baseball team (bats/throw RH). In 33 ABs he hit for a 273 average with a 424 slugging. ESPN even ranked Jake in the Top 10 List Of Most Indispensable Players In College Football (he came in at number 4). Oregon coach Mike Belotti said "He is in my opinion the most difficult weapon to defend against in division I football". Bronco mentioned "We will probably see, arguably, one of the best athletes at quarterback in the country this upcoming week".

Jake has incredible size with an elite athletic ability. He's built like an undersized linebacker. Locker has an excellent feel for the game. He makes phenomenal decisions with the ability to make the tough accurate throws. Jake is an agile elusive open field runner who's unafraid to take a shot yet strong enough to drag tacklers for that extra needed yard. Some have called him "The West Coast's Tim Tebow". This athlete can do it all who can hurt opponents through the air or on the ground. He is everything you would want in a tailback playing quarterback. Jake finished fifth in the Pac10 in rushing at 82.2 yards/game. The jerseys in blue must be able to apply constant pressure and key on him all afternoon.

02 September 2008

BCS Non-Sense

The jerseys in blue this season are going for history. Anything less than a BCS game likely will be viewed by many as a major disappointment (hence "The Quest") among Cougar fans. With the hype and talk of BCS now is as good of time to make sense of the BCS. The BCS (Bowl Championship Series) is the current selective system in place configured to give supposedly the top two teams in the NCAA an opportunity to compete for the National Championship. The BCS relies on a combination of polls and computer selection methods to calculate team rankings while narrowing down the field to the apparent two best teams to play in the BCS Championship game held after the other games. This contest victor is crowned the BCS champion and guaranteed at minimum a share of the national championship. The "system" is used not only for the BCS game itself but for the rest of the remaining biggie BCS bowl games. The teams selected in the current method include the conference chamion from each of the six BCS conferences plus four other also known as "at large" bids.

The BCS was given its creation by formal agreement among the six major conferences and has progressed to allow other "mid-majors" to participate. Those BCS bowl games include the following: Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and the Orange Bowl. Certain teams are given automatic berths depending on their BCS ranking and conference as follows (man this is a mess and seems like something out of a law book)...

-The overall top two teams are given automatic berths in the BCS National Championship Game
-The champion from each major BCS conference (ACC, Big12, Big10, Big East, Pac10 and SEC) are guaranteed BCS bowl bids unless two other teams from their own conference finish #1 and #2 in the final BCS rankings.
-The highest ranked champion of a non-BCS conference will receive an auto bid if it is ranked in the top twelve or ranked in the top 16 AND higher than another BCS conference champ.
-A special pass is made for independent Notre Dame which receives an auto bid if it finishes in the top eight.
-No more than two teams from any one conference may receive berths in BCS games
-The third ranked team receives an auto berth if it hasn't already received one and if that team is already a BCS conference member.
-If the third ranked team did not require a at-large bid then the fourth ranked team will receive an auto bid if it hasn't already received one and if it is already a member of the club (whups I meant BCS).

After all the auto berths have been passed around to everyone present the remaining at-large bids are dispersed from a pool of teams ranked in the top fourteen and must have minimum nine wins. The actual at-large teams chosen are determined by individual bowl committee representatives. If fewer than 10 teams are bowl eligible for selection then the at-large bowl eligible team (also must have won 9 regular season games) and is among the top 18 teams in the final BCS standings. This process is continued until the ten slots are taken.

In other words in making sense of the goobled up wordage the Cougs must take care of business one game at a time since the jerseys in blue aren't a member of "the club". They can only control of the games ahead of them particularly whatever matchup is next on the slate. That my friends is currently Washington. Gotta take care of business on the field first one game at a time.

For those interested after the first week of college football for rankings as follows...

BYU#14 CBSSportsline
BYU#15 Associated Press Top 25
BYU#15 Coaches Poll
BYU#15 ESPN Power Rankings

As a sidenote from ESPN the bottom 10 (not good to be on...) San Diego State was listed #1 and at #6 listed was Utah State (two matchups definately not likely to help the Cougs ranking). Not trying to point out the obvious but after all that fine print BCS documentation above wouldn't it just be so much easier and not leave any question if a playoff was used instead? Thoughts?

01 September 2008

Heisman Hopefuls

With the collegiate football season barely underway now is as good as a time to throw out some names on the radar for the 2008 potential Heisman winner. This year boasts quite a wealth of talent to choose from. Of course since this is a Cougar blog there would have to be a few blue jerseys included into the mix.

Chase Daniel
(6.0/225 SR) triggerman from Missouri is the reigning Big 12 offensive player of the year. Last year Chase threw for over 4300 passing yards and 33 TDs. Last week in the victory against Illinois Daniel had 26 of 45 for 323 yards with 1 TD.

Pat White (6.2/185 SR) has been the starting QB for the Mountaineers since midway through his freshman year. White was the Big East offensive player of the year for the last two consecutive years. Last year Pat had 1724 yards through the air with 14 passing TDs while running for 1,335 yards and 14 TDs on the ground. Against Villanova this last week he threw 25 of 33 for 208 yards with 1 TD. With Steve Slaton leaving West Virginia for the NFL its White's time to shine.

Sam Bradford (6.5/213 SO) is set a NCAA freshman record with 36 passing TDs (bettered the old mark by 7) while leading the nation as well in passing efficiency. This past week against Chattanooga he guided the Sooners to victory with 17 of 22 for 183 yards. With the Sooners being loaded offensively it should help Bradford for title contention as well as his Heisman watch.

Max Hall (6.1/201 JR) is one tough competitor. Despite absorbing some blindside blows last year Hall has played rather brilliantly throwing for 3,848 yards and 26 TDs. His toughness at quarterback was even shown in sufficently recovering from a shoulder injury the previous week to complete a 49 yard reception to Austin Collie on 4th and 18. Matched up against Northern Iowa (previously ranked #4 for their division) Hall directed an attack of 34 for 41 yards and 2 TDs for the win at Lavell Edwards Stadium.

Michael Crabtree (6.3/208 SO) amassed the most amazing receiving yards of any freshman catching 134 passes for 1,962 yards with 22 TDs. Texas Tech has never had a Heisman winner but things could all change with Crabtree. Last week he posted 9 catches for 73 yards and 1 TD against Eastern Washington.

Colt McCoy (6.3/210 JR) since redshirting as a freshman in 2005 he has started all 26 games while amassing 5,873 yards including 51 TDs. Colt has already produced 37 plays of 30 yards or more. With two years left of eligibility McCoy stands already sixth on the Longhorn all time list. This last saturday Colt took care of business with 24 of 29 for 220 yards.

Knowshon Moreno (5.11/207 SO) as a true freshman blew up with 1,332 yards rushing and 14 TDs and named SEC freshman of the year. His 1,332 yards only trailed Herchel Walker's 1,616 for Bulldog freshmen. Pitted up against Georgia Southern Moreno ran 8 times for 59 yards hitting paydirt 3 times.

Juice Williams (6.2/233 JR) is a quarterback that can hurt a team through the air or the ground. With Rashard Mendenhall taking his services to the next level look for Williams to turn on the juice. In a hard fought matchup against Missouri he stepped up for 26 of 42 covering 451 yards and 2 TDs.

Harvey Unga (6.0/243 SO) is a bruising back that became the Cougars first freshman 1,000 yard rusher (1,227 to be exact). Unga also set a MWC record with 1,840 all purpose yards. Saturday the Panthers still keyed on Harvey but he was able to manage 18 carries for 64 yards and 2 TDs.

Tim Tebow (6.3232 JR) became the first sophomore ever to win the Heisman. So far in his collegiate career Tebow has accounted for 32 TDs through the air and 23 on the ground. Tim has a massive array of playmakers to choose from. In a blowout of Hawaii in the swamp Tim went 9 of 14 for 137 yards.

Ian Johnson (6.0/198 SR) is #1 among active NCAA rushers with 3,417 rushing yards with 46 total TDs. Ian has bulked up which should help offset possible internal injuries (partially collasped lung in 2006 and bruised kidney last year). Many will remember he scored the winning 2 point conversion in the Fiesta Bowl vaulting Boise State over Oklahoma and moments later proposed to his girlfriend on postgame national coverage. By the way she did say yes. On the famous smurf turf this past week against Idaho State Ian scampered for 87 yards on 14 carries and 1 TD.