Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Mountain West 2010-BYU Cougars
2009 Record: 11-2 (7-1)
Head Coach: Bronco Mendenhall (6th season, 49-15)
Offensive Coordinator: Robert Anae (6th season)
Defensive Coordinator: Jaime Hill (3rd season)
2009 Bowl Game: Las Vegas Bowl, defeated Oregon State 44-20
Offense: Max Hall was one of the best QBs in the country last season, and he is now gone. True freshman Jake Heaps was expected to be the heir apparent this season, but former backup Riley Nelson and mission returnee James Lark put it all on the field in the spring, so now there is some competition. Heaps still looks like a starter at some point in 2010. The Cougars also lost RB Harvey Unga to rules violations, so the entire backfield will be rebuilt. O'Neill Chambers will be the lone starting WR returning in 2010. Matt Edwards and Miek Muhlmann will battle at TE to take the place of stellar TE Dennis Pitta. The good news is that 4 starters return on the line.
Defense: NT Romney Fuga is the lone returnee on the line this season, and Jordan Pendleton is the lone returning LB, so there is a rebuilding job up front going on. Both CBs return in Brian Logan and Brandon Bradley. Andrew Rich is a big hitter at SS, but the FS job is open. Rebuilding time...
Special Teams: Mitch Payne is a good, not great PK, but what he does works for BYU. Riley Stephenson returns as the starting punter as a sophomore.
Wins: 10/1 Utah State, 10/9 San Diego State, 10/23 Wyoming, 11/6 UNLV, 11/113 Colorado State, 11/20 New Mexico
Toss Up Games: 9/4 Washington, 9/11 @ AIr Force, 9/18 @ Florida State, 9/25 Nevada
Losses: 10/16 @ TCU, 11/27 @ Utah
The Cougars have to go on the road for their toughest games of the season (Florida State, TCU, Utah). With all of the questions on both sides of the ball, it makes it tougher to sort out toss games from winners. This is a pretty tough schedule for a rebuilding football team.
Outlook: Things are not too clear right now for BYU. They have to replace some incredible players on both sides of the ball, and nobody knows how the new guys will adapt. The schedule is tough, and we'll get a good feel on 9/4 after we see how they handle Washington. I still see a bowl game, but I am not sure where yet.