December 22, 2005John
Vegas Bowl: Cal 35, BYU 28
I must admit that I was wrong on my prediction which was certainly influenced by my bias to BYU.
However, I do want to point out my observation on turnovers being key Which was definitely the case since BYU had 0 and lost while Cal had 2 and won. Pretty significant difference in the game.
The thing I missed most in my commentary was the effect that penalties would play in the game. How could a Bronco Mendenhall led offense commit so many penalties. Get your heads in the game! Penalties in the first half changed the entire complexity of the game. I don’t plan on mentioning penalties being a problem for a while now. Bronco should make sure of that.
I think it should be against the rules that BYU have a basketball game and a football game on the same evening. It’s just more than a heart can really handle. Now along with going to visit my counselor I think I might need to see a cardiologist.
BYU’s had horrible success against backup quarterbacks. Today in the Las Vegas bowl against Cal we are facing yet another backup quarterback. I’m not sure if I think BYU’s going to redeem themselves from the backup quarterback syndrome because I want them to or because they are. The reality is that they should be able to take care of business. Here’s my 2 philosophies:
1. BYU’s defense is founded on excellent preparation for an opponent and so when it sees a new quarterback that it can’t prepare for then they flop.
2. BYU’s defense is such a different style that a new quarterback should have tons of problems adapting and finding its weaknesses.
Let’s hope the second one is true.
Everyone knows that BYU has a losing bowl history. Which makes for an interesting point about bowl games. Does it really matter who wins and who loses? BYU is known as a football powerhouse with a high scoring offense. This image is ingrained despite poor success at bowl games. This probably has to do with the inept bowl games that nobody watches and nobody cares about. If somebody cared about any bowl games but the BCS(which most people don’t care about either) then it might be a problem. In the end BYU won’t get any coverage on what happens in a bowl game until the Mountain West Conference gets into the BCS(which is still a long shot at best).
2 headed monster at Running back and a backup QB makes for an interesting matchup for BYU. I don’t think Cals offense is nearly as good as their defense, but expect them to get a lot of yards against BYU’s porous defense. However, when it gets down to the red zone expect BYU’s defense to give them a good challenge. The battle of the Red Zone will help determine the winner.
Expect a lot of passing yards against BYU’s defense. The return of the injured secondary will be great help, but will they be in game shape? The running game should be exposed with a somewhat inexperience(at least in new positions) defensive line.
Creating turnovers will be the key to BYU’s success. Expect at least a couple turnovers in this game which will swing all the momentum and points one way or the other.
Manaia Brown not clogging up the middle against the 2 headed running attack of Cal. This could prove to be a major problem for the Cougars. BYU’s success against the run had a lot to do with Manaia and his ability to get pressure on the quarterback really helped in the passing game too. Let’s hope someone will step up and take his place in the line. That’s what college football is all about.
BYU 42 Cal 36
This is going to be a great High Scoring affair with a couple turnovers for each side and a lot of big plays. Expect the running backs to be the story of the game. Don’t expect to hear much from the defense except their inability to stop the other team. The high scoring effort will leave some unknown and tense moments at the end of the game, but will all be worth it when BYU beats cal in the soldout Las Vegas Bowl.