October 17, 2008David
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The short but bitter reason they lost this game comes down to one simple reason. They played with no heart. I was at the game, and right from the beginning I knew they were in trouble. When they came out and did the Haka there was no emotion after it. It should be something that fires you up, but they did it and then picked up their helmets and walked to the sideline like they just came out of church.
It was also apparent the offense was not clicking right from that first drive. If TCU’s d-backs could catch the ball Hall would have gotten picked five times instead of just two. The one good pass he had was when the game was no longer in doubt and he hit Collie near midfield.
This game was also poorly coached. It appeared that BYU was playing a prevent defense right from the beginning which allowed TCU to get some momentum and just keep on rolling. I know they have a bend and not break philosophy, but if you bend enough you will break, and once they broke last night, the floodgates opened. They almost never blitzed and if you give a quality team like TCU enough time they are going to make plays. It was also apparent that everytime their backup QB came in they were going to have a shotgun formation and run a quarterback draw, but not once did BYU stop it.
Give TCU all the credit in the world, they came out fired up and played a great game. They deserved to win that game. I would like to say that BYU just lost it, but I have to admit that TCU caused a lot of the troubles BYU was having. Their timing was off, they couldn’t run, and our defense got no pressure on the quarterback. The reason BYU lost can be seen from a picture I took right near the end of the game. Forgive the low quality I don’t have a professional camera.
If you can’t see exactly what I am saying, this shows the entire BYU team sitting down on the bench while the entire TCU team is standing on the sidelines cheering on their team. This was the feeling I had from the beginning. BYU didn’t want to be there, and it showed. I don’t know why they came out this way, but it is definitely something the coaches need to address.
Despite my sadness over the loss, especially at my daughter’s first college game ever, I have not completely given up hope. I know this team is better than that, and this can still be a memorable season. The BCS is almost totally out the window, but we have seen stranger things happen in college football. Bronco has always said conference championships come first, and there is still hope for that, but only if they find their hearts during this long week of preparation.Tags: BYU Football • TCU
July 24, 2007John
I got an email with some information about a little golf competition between BYU and Utah fans. I’m not sure if it’s already sold out, but I’d expect it’s not. I was wondering if this is the same one that Bronco and Kyle compete against each other each year or if this is just good marketing by The Ranches Golf course. Either way, I’m happy to spread the word to get as many good BYU golfers on the course as possible. I don’t care if we’re just walking down the street or on the golf course, I hate getting beat by a Ute.
If someone decides to go to this, I’d love to hear a report of how things went and the smack talk that’s laid down around the course.
Here’s the details for those interested:
UPDATE: This is not the tournament that Bronco and Kyle play in.
February 3, 2007John
I apologize to all my loyal readers out there. Life has gotten busy and my wife has given birth to a beautiful baby girl. Time is short and sleep is even shorter.
Lots of exciting things have been happening with BYU sports. The BYU win over Utah in Salt Lake has to be a highlight. Of course that came on the tail of beating #13 Air Force. A great win for BYU. A couple more quality wins and we can probably make it to the tourney with an at large bid. I think that tonight’s a must win game for that scenario. UNLV is ranked #25 in the nation and #1 in the mountain west conference. This would do a lot for BYU’s morale and standing to beat BYU. It is at the friendly confines of the Marriott Center. BYU looked great against UNLV in the first half here in Las Vegas. Let’s hope they can do it for an entire game tonight.
The talk I’ve heard in Las Vegas is that UNLV is going to crack now that they are ranked in the top 25. They waited this long to get ranked and they’re just going to lose that ranking. That would be fine with me.
My opinion is that if Young and Plaisted can stay out of foul trouble, then BYU will win. Otherwise, I’m tossing this one to UNLV and leaving BYU’s March Madness fate in the hands of the MWC tournament.
3 other interesting BYU happenings.
#1 BYU volleyball crushed #2 UC Irvine – This team is looking really good.
Bronco Talks about Brian Urlacher – I love hearing a coach talk about his past players.
Rob Morris and John Tait Meet in Super Bowl – They use to be roomates at BYU and so this is a great little story to follow.
BYU Women’s Basketball Tied for #1 in MWC – Did I already say I love Coach Judkins? I think I did.
November 29, 2006John
Today I was interested in a headline from BYU Athletics that said: Ticket, Broadcast Information for NCAA First/Second Rounds I was excited to see what was going on with BYU Women’s Volleyball team. I love volleyball and so I was interested in seeing where it was available to be seen. Here’s what it said:
Following the Cougars
Several options will be available for following BYU’s NCAA First/Second Round run. A live Internet video stream will be provided free of charge. In addition, a BYU Radio Internet audio stream will be available as well as live stats. Links for all three can be found by going to the Schedule page of the BYU women’s volleyball homepage.
Do you see something missing in the above information? How about linking us to a free internet video stream? How about linking us to the Internet audio stream (although if you’re not family then I’m not sure why you’d want to see this)? Well, for all those who don’t want to go searching, I did it for you. However, even on the main BYU women’s volleyball homepage they only had the Audio stream and the live stats. No video. Here’s the links for what’s available.
Now good luck finding the date for the game too. The “press release” didn’t even mention the date that these games were being played. Looks like Jen Connery from BYU Athletic Communications needs a little help communicating. Turns out the game is on Thursday, November 30 at 5:00 PM.
November 15, 2006John
I don’t think I could heap enough praise on Jeff Judkins. I’m not just saying that because I’ve followed him since he was at Utah since he was my high school friend’s uncle. She always kept me informed. I’m saying he’s great because he’s done marvelous things with BYU women’s basketball. I think they’ve been successful and overachieved ever year that he’s been a part of BYU women’s basketball. He’s brought some fantastic wins and BYU’s win over Stanford is just one more example.
I’m not sure what Jeff Judkins does, but it works. Now he just needs to do one more thing for me. Make women’s basketball interesting enough for it to be on TV so I can watch it. I really enjoy watching women’s basketball. My sister instilled that in me, but honestly you can’t compare watching a women’s game with a couple hundred fans to a men’s game with a packed house. I’m not sure what can be done for the women’s game, but I feel bad that it still sits in obscurity compared to men’s athletics.
November 7, 2006John
The BYU Women’s soccer team is heading to the NCAA tournament. It’s always a good thing to be going to the NCAA tournament. I remember when I was at BYU and how exciting it was to watch the tournament. Besides the fact that my all sports pass didn’t cover the game, I absolutely loved watching BYU’s women’s soccer team with the win or go home mentality of tournament play.
What I don’t understand is why CSTV can’t cover the NCAA tournament game so that I can watch BYU women’s soccer at its best? Don’t tell me that ESPN or some other network has the contract for the tournament. At least, don’t tell me it unless ESPN is going to air the women’s soccer tournament.
BYU has a great match up with another ranked team in Portland. That will be a tough match up for BYU, but the best part is that in soccer every team has a very good chance of winning. BYU could pull this off. If BYU wins we play the winner of Utah and Idaho State. Two teams we’ve already played. Granted it would be a home game for Utah, but what would be sweeter than beating Utah on its home field in the tournament? I’ll tell you what…
Being able to see BYU beat Utah on CSTV here in Las Vegas.
October 27, 2006John
Anyone that has been to BYU and likes sports can tell you all about the BYU Men’s volleybally team. They are exciting to watch. The crowd in the fieldhouse is great and the team is even better. I should know. I’ve been to a lot of their games. Here’s just one story for you.
A number of years ago I was at BYU and there was a much hyped matchup between BYU and #1 UCLA. I was so excited to go. I’d taken someone’s all sports pass and was ready to go to the game. I’d been following the team all season. Now I got to see them go against the #1 team in the nation. When I arrived at Smith Fieldhouse, I was turned away because the arena (or whatever you call it) was full. I was so discouraged.
Despite my discouragement, I started finding every door into the fieldhouse to find a way in. Reminds me of the ESPN reality show Beg Bargon and Steal. I was going to find a way in. I found a place where you could kind of watch the game from a stairwell just outside the arena. Not looking very promising. After checking every door in the place and about ready to go home I started walking to the back doors going out to the tennis courts. They don’t even have handles on them to open. However, I couldn’t believe it when I saw a stream of people going in the door. I started running and right after I entered the door, a cop came to shut the door and stop people from coming in. Honestly, I’m surprised he let me stay and watch the game. On a side note, I think he was the uncle of the girl I dated freshman year, but he certainly didn’t know me.
Well, I was in, but just because I was in didn’t mean that I could actually see the game. There were no seats. The place was completely packed. I ended up standing in an exit to the court about 4 feet from the game. At one point an officer told me that I couldn’t stand there. I promptly squeezed next to the other people so I was just out of the way of the exit.
Yes, I stood the entire time. Yes, I was probably some sort of fire hazard during the game. Honestly, I barely remember any of that. What I do remember is watching BYU volleyball beat the #1 team in the nation in a close match. In fact, I had one of the best spots in the house. I was on the floor only a couple feet away from the action.
Now, my only complaint is that I live in Las Vegas. I don’t even think UNLV has a Men’s volleyball team. Maybe if they make the final four I’ll find a way to attend the final four like I did when BYU Volleyball won the national championship in Hawaii (my son Curti’s first BYU game).
Oh yeah, and here’s a little info on how BYU Men’s Volleyball’s looking this year:
It’s just the preseason, but the BYU men’s volleyball team is making a statement.
Last week, BYU played well enough to be named the top NCAA school at a tournament in Canada and on Thursday, the Cougars cut down perennial powerhouse Pepperdine 30-22, 27-30, 30-24, 30-21 in an exhibition match at the Smith Fieldhouse. Several hundred fans showed to get an early look at a team talented enough to contend for a fourth national title.
Returning outside hitters Ivan Perez and Yosleyder Cala led the way with 18 and 15 kills, respectively, as BYU overcame 31 service errors.
BYU’s opens the 2007 on Jan. 5 against Cal Baptist in Provo.
October 3, 2006John
I thought I’d give a little shout out to the BYU women’s volleyball team. I must admit that after seeing BYU Men’s volleyball team play, the women’s volleyball is just not the same.
However, any national ranking for BYU is a great thing. So, congrats to the BYU women’s team for having a national ranking almost all year.
Here’s some other interesting statistics about the BYU Women’s volleyball team:
BYU has swept nine of the 14 matches it has played this season. Of the seven overall statistical categories tracked by the league, BYU players lead the conference in three of them (hitting percentage — Rachel Dyer; kills — Erica Lott; points — Erica Lott) and are second in two others (blocks — Lindsy Hartsock; aces — Chelsea Goodman). Cougar Jenna Judkins is ranked third in assists and Goodman and Janvier Beaumont are also ranked ninth and tenth, respectively, in digs. The Cougars also boast three of the league’s top five players in hitting percentage with Dyer (1st – .410), Hartsock (2nd – .404) and Lott (5th – .336).
September 28, 2006John
Here’s another piece of news I missed and I absolutely shouldn’t have missed it. At some point in the BYU game they brought five people onto the field who they inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame. It was very unceremonious and I barely even realized what they were doing. Here’s a list of the people that were inducted: Olympians Charlene Johnson (women’s volleyball), Ethan Watts (men’s volleyball) and Jason Pyrah (men’s track and field/cross country) as well as U.S. National Team member Darren Elg (men’s gymnastics) and then LaVell Edwards.
Is it just me or shouldn’t something more have been done for LaVell Edwards? I’m sure he probably wouldn’t have wanted anything more, but it seems like this whole BYU Hall of Fame is somewhat of a joke. It reminds me of the show Clean Sweep where they clean out people’s messy houses. They make an interesting point on the show that if it is something that is important to you then you need to treat it that way. I think the same applies to BYU’s Hall of Fame. If it is important then why don’t you do something a little nicer. Sorry LaVell, maybe BYU will learn to show you a little more class in the future.
I will admit that they did to a ceremony before when they named the stadium. That was a pretty big deal.
Here’s the full bios of the new members of BYU’s Hall of Fame:
LaVell Edwards, Football
In 1972 LaVell Edwards assumed command of a mediocre college football program. Many thought Edwards had been hired to run the team until someone more qualified for the job could be hired. The move to promote the Cougars’ defensive coordinator to head coach turned out to be the beginning of one of college football’s most successful coaching tenures.
At the time Edwards was hired, the Cougars had posted just 173 victories over the previous 49 seasons, winning just one conference championships and no bowl games to the team’s credit.
Undaunted by the formidable rebuilding task that lay ahead, Edwards wasted little time in transforming BYU into a national power. In his first season as the head coach, he gave BYU fans a glimpse of the future. Edwards led the Cougars to a 7-4 overall record, including a 16-7 win over in-state rival Utah. Just two seasons later, Edwards had the team rolling. The Cougars won the WAC Championship after a 48-20 victory over the Utes and accepted an invitation to the Fiesta Bowl — the team’s first-ever bowl appearance. The 1974 season turned out to be the first of 27 straight non-losing seasons. The 1974 Fiesta Bowl was the first of 22 bowl appearances. The conference championship was also the first of 20 league titles. And the victories, they just kept coming.
After recording an 11-1 record in 1979, a 12-1 record in 1980 another 11-win season in 1981, eight more wins in ’82, and 11 additional wins in 1983, Edwards led BYU to a perfect 13-0 season in 1984. Following a 24-17 win over Michigan in the Holiday Bowl, the Cougars were crowned National Champions. Not surprisingly, Edwards was named the National Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
Over his 29 seasons as the head coach at BYU, Edwards recorded 257 victories, ranking as the sixth all-time winningest coach in college football history. Under his direction, BYU recorded 10 straight WAC championships from 1976 through 1985. The Cougars also played in 17 straight bowl games from 1978 until 1994.
Labeled by USAToday as a “national coaching treasure,” his teams passed for over 57 miles during his 29-year career. He coached four College Football Hall-of-Fame inductees, a Heisman Trophy winner, seven Sammy Baugh Trophy winners, two Outland Trophy winners, five Davey O’Brien Trophy winners, 34 All-Americans, including 10 consensus All-American performers, 11 conference player-of-the-year recipients and 24 Academic All-America player citations.
In 2004, Edwards’ tremendous career was immortalized as he was inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
The eighth of 14 children, Edwards graduated from Lincoln High School in Orem. He attended Utah State University, where he was an all-conference lineman before serving a two-year commitment in the Army. He and his wife Patti recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. The Edwards have three children, Ann [Cannon], John and Jim.
Darren Elg, Men’s Gymnastics
Many people think they know what the word “comeback” means. Darren Elg actually does. Twice in his incredible BYU men’s gymnastics career, the seven-time All-American and Nissen Award winner had to travel the long road back to competition, not sure if he would make it. But make it he did, becoming one of the top gymnasts in BYU history along the way.
Elg’s prolific college career began in 1990 when, as a freshman, he won the Western Athletic Conference title on the floor exercise and placed fifth on the high bar at the NCAA Championships, earning his first All-America award. Less than six months later, he gave up the sport completely to serve a two-year mission in Los Angeles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Despite trading in floor routines for Spanish lessons, Elg returned in 1993 determined to rise to the pinnacle of his sport. As a sophomore, he once again won the league title on the floor exercise, this time in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, while being named the MPSF Athlete of the Year. In addition to top-five NCAA finishes on the parallel bars and high bar, earning him two more All-America citations, Elg excelled in the classroom, garnering GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team recognition.
Elg was primed and ready for another great year in 1994 when disaster struck. While performing the “Iron Cross” on the rings — one of gymnastics’ most difficult maneuvers — Elg’s pectoral muscle ripped away from the bone. Despite high hopes for an NCAA Championship, Elg was forced to redshirt the year and begin the long road to recovery.
No stranger to fighting back, Elg returned with a vengeance in 1995, earning three more All-America citations with a second-place NCAA finish in the all-around and third-place finishes on floor and high bar. During the course of the season, he scored a perfect 10.0 on the high bar — just the second perfect high bar score in BYU history — and was named the Cougar Sports Magazine Male Athlete of the Year. The highlight of the year, however, came in January when Elg competed at the Winter Cup Challenge, besting the top 16 gymnasts in the nation over the age of 19 and earning a spot on the U.S. Senior National Team.
As a senior in 1996, Elg continued his national prowess, winning the Nissen Award — the sport’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy — annually given to the nation’s top gymnast. He ranked first in the all-around for most of the year until an ankle injury slowed him down and finished the season third in the all-around for his seventh All-America award while also placing seventh on the high bar and eighth on the pommel horse at the NCAA Championships. He went out on top of the MPSF as the league’s Athlete of the Year. His success in the classroom was also recognized with GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team accolades. Elg, who holds the BYU record in the all-around and on the pommel horse and shares the top score on the floor and high bar, graduated from BYU that April with a 3.93 GPA in Health Science.
In the end, it was Elg’s love for learning more than his love for gymnastics that guided his life after BYU. He attended the Southern California College of Optometry, graduating in 2000 as the class Valedictorian, and has earned several professional awards for his work. A member of the American and Arizona Optometric Associations, Elg runs his own practice in Arizona, where he participates each year in various community programs such as Vision USA, which offers eye exams for the underprivileged. He and his wife Stephanie have two daughters — Alison and Natalie.
Charlene Johnson, Women’s Volleyball
Even before Charlene Johnson donned her No. 16 BYU women’s volleyball jersey as a freshman in 1991, everyone knew the 5-foot-10 setter was a force to be reckoned with.
Already a three-time high school All-American out of Pleasant Grove, Utah, Johnson did not disappoint as a freshman starter. She took on her setting duties with an iron will, leading the Cougars to a 26-5 overall record and second-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference. As the honors poured in for the young Johnson — WAC Freshman of the Year, All-WAC First Team, AVCA All-West Region Second Team and Asics/Volleyball Monthly Freshman All-America Team — it became obvious that BYU fans were witnessing the emergence of a star.
And emerge she did. Over the course of the following three seasons, Johnson continued to provide the complete package to the BYU women’s volleyball program, delighting fans, racking up awards and, most importantly, leading the Cougars to success. Honored as an All-WAC selection in each of her four seasons and the reciepient of four All-America citations, Johnson also earned the distinction of becoming the only women’s volleyball player in program history to earn All-Region accolades during all four years of her BYU playing career.
BYU’s second-place WAC finish in her freshman year did not last long with Johnson directing the Cougar attack. A 1992 league title was the first of three straight for the Cougars, who also saw success on the national level as they advanced to the NCAA’s Elite Eight in 1992 and the Final Four in 1993. Johnson earned NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team honors both years and NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team accolades in 1993 as she recorded an eye-popping 65 assists against UCLA to propel her team to the Final Four. Her career culminated in 1994 with WAC Player of the Year honors in addition to All-Region and All-America recognition.
A two-time Cougar Club Competitor Award recipient, Johnson’s incredible numbers left their mark on the BYU record books. She is second all-time in three categories, including career assists (5,321), career assists per game (12.35) and season assists per game (13.13), a mark that was also fifth in the nation in 1992.
Johnson’s stellar career did not end with her college eligibility. In 1995, she served as an undergraduate assistant coach at BYU before leaving to play professionally overseas for two years in Switzerland and Italy. Johnson returned to her native country in 1997 and began a five-year stint with the U.S. National Team, which included a fourth-place finish at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games held in Sydney, Australia.
Since leaving the National Team, Johnson has used her skills to help others, serving as an assistant coach at the University of Nebraska, perennially considered one of the top teams in the nation. The Huskers enter the 2006 season as the preseason No. 1 after losing in the 2005 NCAA title match. A 1999 BYU graduate with a B.A. in Therapeutic Recreation, Johnson has three children: Kaipo, 13; Vailin, 4; and Sydney, 2.
Jason Pyrah, Men’s Track & Field/Cross Country
The mood of the crowd when he stepped up to compete was termed “Pyrah-mania.” Speculation began early in his career that Jason Pyrah could be an Olympic contender. He proved that speculation right. Twice.
Pyrah was a six-time All-American at BYU where he competed on the cross country and track and field teams in 1987 and from 1991-94. He won six WAC Championship titles in the 800- and 1500-meters. Not only did he lead the cross country team to a second-place finish — the highest finish in the history of the program — but he also won countless races in track and field competition. Taking fifth at the World Junior Championships in the 1500 meters as a freshman, Pyrah’s versatility and competitive nature set him apart from the typical athlete.
“He was just someone who you could always rely on,” said Coach Mark Robison, assistant coach in Pyrah’s BYU days. “No matter what, he always brought everything to race day. He didn’t vacillate; he was just constantly consistent. And driven–man, was he driven.”
Always one to go out strong and lead the pack, Pyrah’s times remain among the top 10 all-time at BYU in the 800- and 1500-meters. Pyrah let his determination affect his academic pursuits as well. He was named an Academic All-American for cross country, graduating from BYU with a degree in physical education in 1995 and earning a master’s degree in nutrition, dietetics and food science in 2002.
Pyrah finished his collegiate eligibility in 1994, continuing on to a 10-year professional career. During that time, he made two Summer Olympic appearances in Atlanta and Sydney in the 1500 meters, ran more than 30 sub-four-minute miles and traveled to more than 20 different countries.
Beginning with a second-place finish in the 1500 meters at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and a win in New York City’s Fifth Avenue mile in 1994, Pyrah’s successes piled up. He was a bronze medalist in the 1500 meters at the 1995 Pan-American Games. His personal bests include a time of 1:46.62 in the 800 meters and 3:35.21 in the 1500 meters.
A two-time U.S. champion in the mile, he finished in the top three eight times in indoor and outdoor competition at Nationals. Pyrah retired from competition in 2004 but still finds a way to make an impact as a role model. He has accepted many inspirational speaking assignments including speaking to the Boys and Girls Club, student groups of all ages and various church-affiliated groups.
He currently resides in his home state of Missouri where he works in an outpatient rehabilitation center as a Certified Athletic Trainer. He married the former Angela Hyde in 2000, and the couple has a daughter, Sydney Jade Pyrah.
Ethan Watts, Men’s Volleyball
Ethan Watts started playing volleyball as a high school junior. Just two years later, he was on his way to a successful career as a collegiate, professional and Olympic volleyball player.
Watts, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, didn’t start playing volleyball until he joined a club team in Tulsa because his school didn’t play the sport. He developed quickly into a dominating Division I college athlete.
The accolades came early and often for Watts who was named to the WIVA All-Freshman team in 1991. Watts had 177 kills and a .337 hitting percentage as a freshman and led the team in block assists. From his freshman season on, his hard work and training paid off and showed in his performance on the court. Watts improved statistically in each of his four years.
Not only did Watts improve each year in the stat books, he also earned more accolades as his career progressed. As a sophomore, Watts was honored as an honorable-mention All-American while ranking second nationally in blocks per game. He earned second-team All-America honors as a junior while leading the nation in hitting percentage (.493) and was a first-team All-American as a senior. Watts set personal season highs in hitting percentage (.519), kills (416), blocks (146) and digs (124).
Watts’ performance on the court was reflected in his team’s overall performance. Between 1991 (Watts’ freshman year) and 1994 (his senior year) BYU improved its record from 2-25 to 21-6.
Watts was the first of a string of BYU All-Americans that eventually led to three National Championships.
After his BYU playing years, Watts went on to play professionally in Italy. In 1996, he represented his country in Atlanta at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
While playing with the U.S. National team in the Canary Islands, Watts met Manuela Mezzardi. Watts continued playing in Italy where he dated and later married Manuela.
Watts returned to BYU in 1996 to finish his schooling. In 1997, he earned a B.S. in Psychology. After finishing his degree at BYU, Watts earned an MBA at the University of San Diego. He also earned a JD from USD, graduating in the top 25 percent of his class.
Currently, Watts is an attorney at Mazzarella Caldarelli, LLP. He is a member of various attorney organizations, including the American Inns of Court, the San Diego County Bar Association, the California Bar, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and the American Bar Association.
Watts is a volunteer for an organization his wife established called “Operation Calendar.” The organization raises money for wounded veterans.
September 6, 2006John
With fall classes begun the BYU rugby team prepares to tackle its 2006 Fall season. The Cougars will take on the usual in-state rivals and host the University of New Mexico September 9th.
BYU’s fall season, although not counting towards any conference or league standing, is important for its preparatory purposes. The returning Cougars will work on refining their skills and fitness, while new players will get acquainted with the BYU rugby program, and in many cases the game of rugby.
BYU kicks off its fall practices this Thursday, September 7th. The Cougars won’t waste a moment as recently returned College All-American Head Coach & BYU Head Coach David Smyth will have his team taking a fitness & skills/agility test to evaluate his returning and new players.
BYU wastes even less time when they square off against their rival Utah for the first of a duo of fall scrimmages two after the Cougars’ first practice. BYU then plays host to the Lobos of New Mexico in a highly anticipated rematch.
The Lobos last visited Provo in March of 2000 and lost 70-13. New Mexico is expected to be a national contender in 2006-07.
BYU then closes out the 2006 fall season with a brace of games against Utah Valley State College and then again with the Utes.
BYU’s Smyth sees the 2006 fall season as a time to prepare his team.
“We’ve set up this fall’s season with a purpose to give our returning guys a chance to get themselves sorted and allow our new guys a lot more playing time,” Smyth noted, “These fall games and practices are to get our team in order to for 2007. The results of the game are important, but development and improvement are the key things.”
With the graduation of multiple players, notably USA Eagles Salesi Sika and Alipate Tuilevuka, the Cougars are finding themselves in the need to reload and rebuild.
Smyth expects his young Cougar standouts to return and continue what Sika, Tuilevuka and the other graduating seniors left behind.
“We lost a lot of good players to graduation,” he said,”But we have a very good group of guys to continue to build and improve on.”
Such returning players include All-Americans Derek Smith (Prop, Jr.), Ikani Taumeopeau (8/Lock,Jr.), Taylor Kjar (Center, Jr.) and Craig Clark (Lock, Sr.). Smyth will likely be leaning on these players to lead his team to an improved 2006-07 season.