Dick Harmon: Plenty of signs pointed to September struggles for BYU

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  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Sept. 15, 2017 2:29 p.m.

    Re: utahcoyote - Saint George, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 5:53 p.m.

    You made the best comment of all of the posts, and much more informative than most. I commend you and thank you for your insight. Go Cougs and Utes. Hopefully both teams can be successful this year.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 5:22 p.m.

    " A close game? That was never a close game."

    Ummm..... How can a game that could have been won by either team on that last drive NOT be considered a close game? You guys really do live in la-la land!

    "The Utes sloppiness is the only think that kept the game somewhat interesting."

    Oh, and BYU's offense was perfect, was it? Just as you say Utah's sloppiness kept BYU in the game, it could just as easily be said that BYU's offensive woes kept Utah in the game.

    @John

    "Classic coog logic:
    - We can play the 'if game' to show we should be better, but you can't play it to show we're not."

    Did I actually say that, or are you just making stuff up again? (Spoiler alert: it's the latter)

    "You obviously didn't notice I mentioned, and quoted from, Riverton coog's earlier post (hint: it's at 9:16 am). It's a classic 'do as I say not as I do.'"

    No, he did notice, but your comment and the "evidence" you provide just don't match up. Sorry.

  • Former Coach ,
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:52 a.m.

    @London_Josh,
    I enjoy reading your posts. Your comment about reality is right on with the exception of time. I will use an example that happened to me last year. As last season progressed, there was a good chance that Utah could end up in a NY 6 bowl. Despite losing to Cal and Washington, Utah was in control of their own destiny by winning out and controlling the tie breaker over USC and had they beat Colorado, that tie breaker also. Then Oregon got us. The Sunday after the Oregon lose, a group of BYU fans greeted me at Church with go Ducks comments and how does it feel to have your season over. I simply replied, yes that was hard to watch, but when did your season end? So reality hit me in November, but I spent all of September and October hoping and enjoying the ride knowing that if things fell into place it could have been a special season. While both Utah and BYU still need to win to be bowl eligible, reality still says Utah has a chance for a special season if things fall into place. BYU is just playing now.

  • Chris from Rose Park Hartford, CT
    Sept. 13, 2017 6:14 a.m.

    I'm not hitting the panic button yet. I still have a lot of hope in this team for this year. I don't expect a win against Wisconsin but hopefully we can figure things out enough for Utah St, Boise St, and Miss. St. and beyond.

    Here's some thoughts:

    First, most of this coaching staff only has one full season of experience in their position. I wonder how much of the product on the field is a function of that. These coaches are learning what it takes to get their players ready for these games.

    Second, I've wondered if the offense really did look good in Fall camp or if the coaches were either delusional or trying to build the team up. Until this morning, I assumed they were probably wearing too blue of goggles during camp. But this morning, I thought about my own athletic experience. In tennis, I play my regular opponents much better than when I play someone new. When I do a golf tournament, I'm about 5-10 strokes worse than practice sessions. Maybe the team blind-sided the coaches with under performing in games.

    This isn't an excuse for the coaches, as it's their job to figure it out, but maybe it provides some understanding (if it's even accurate).

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:45 p.m.

    The #1 rule of marketing is to never, ever, EVER over-market a bad product... yet this is exactly what happens every single year with BYU - from the fans, to the coaches, to the players, to the media-fans (Harmon). The "hype tornado" quickly reaches critical mass, and we get ridiculous predictions like "10-3 should be the standard of a success" by otherwise rational, reasonable people.

    Combine this with the unmitigated insanity of front-loading your schedule with teams with talent level a few tiers higher, and it's no mystery that the misery in Provo includes inside chatter that your 2nd year head coach is ready to bolt for the next available P5 opening, wherever it may be.

    Over time, the message becomes clear: Only a mad man would take the BYU job, given the crush of unrealistic expectations, the HC and recruiting disadvantages.

    How to tame the hype-tornado?

    Start by fixing the schedule.

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:00 p.m.

    How does a guy go from Elite 11, All American, Heisman hopeful better than Jameis Winston, Hail Mary chucking Golden child, to the awful play witnessed so far this year? Should he have played last year instead of made of glass Hill? Probably. but it's more proof that the more y fans hype someone, and something, the harder the fall. Too funny..

  • JustGordon Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 8:35 p.m.

    July and August are always the months that supporters of the blue are prognosticating about how this year is "the" year and yet another Quest for Perfection is dreamed and talked about!

    September always brings a reality check to all those dreams of summer. A reaffirmation that they really aren't a P5 school and don't have sufficient P5 like talent to compete. In short, reality rears its ugly head.

  • PacUtes Orange County, CA
    Sept. 12, 2017 6:49 p.m.

    No question that BYU football team always looks good in August, ready to win college playoff game...once in season, reality hits, BYU well does not look as good...

  • utahcoyote Saint George, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 5:53 p.m.

    been pondering the byu passing game a bit. neither mangum or the receivers have looked very good in any of the 3 games.

    mangum does not throw a crisp pass at all. how much of that is a time issue is really hard to say. would he do better in a shotgun formation instead of under center? he did okay in the next to last drive against utah in the shotgun, but utah just rushed 3 and dropped 8 back in a prevent defense.

    not sure byu receivers are as slow as the fans make them out to be, but it seems many of them run lazy routes and don't get any separation. this is especially true on almost all patterns under 20 yds. their cuts just aren't sharp enough to create space. byu had the luxury of tall wideouts the last few years who were able to go get balls~~not so much now.

    a big issue against lsu and utah was picking up blitzers. they came free and often against both teams. some were blind side, and some weren't. it sure looked to me like mangum had to see hansen coming just as he got unloaded on. byu releases their tight ends almost every passing play, so cornerbacks/safeties are coming off the edges often.

  • Seademhawks Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 2:54 p.m.

    O - 3 coming up.

  • Leahcim New Copenhagen, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 2:22 p.m.

    Is Detmer's pro-style offense really the best fit for Mangum and this offense? Sure doesn't seem like it? I'm not hitting the panic button yet (well, sort of ish) but the offense appears to have major issues this year. I still think Mangum should've started last year and that if he had, BYU wouldn't be in this mess. And this independence gig is a short-term, not a long-term solution for BYU. Lucrative TV contract aside, the Cougars are going to have to join a conference sooner or later (preferably sooner than later). I know fans are scoffing at the idea of going back to the MWC but it might be better than independence at this point. That said, I think Tom Holmoe is being smart about all this and will only endure so much of the independence stuff before making a move for a conference and ending much of BYU's current irrelevance.

  • BleedingBlue Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 1:54 p.m.

    Forget crawling back to the MWC, we would be lucky to play and compete in the Big Sky. I have been a BYU fan since 65, and I have to rank this years offense is the lowest performing since then. Maybe Sataki and Detmer can right this sinking ship, but it will take a lot of dry dock work; no rudder, no engine, very little to no armor. So sad.

  • london_josh lincoln, CA
    Sept. 12, 2017 1:42 p.m.

    "I always wonder about BYU and its fans. It seems like the fans always do this. They start off as perennial September national champs and October we need a new coach people. BYU is who they are. "

    What team doesn't?

    any educated Ute fan isn't pounding their chests after that win, see how the Utes dropped after a win over BYU - because it was a really ugly win, Utah could have an injury to the 190 lb QB who was dynamic and amazing but took way too many risks and then they are back to being a defense only team.

    Still, unless it's obvious that it's a rebuilding year, every team comes out trying to win their games.

    Just because BYU gets hit with reality in September rather than November doesn't mean that it's not the same reality.

    It never ceases to amaze me that fans or the other teams in Utah look at BYU fans as if we're the only ones on the planet that think that our team might win a lot of games and be something special this year. I always had losses to LSU, Wiscy, and Miss St, I hoped for wins with Utah and Boise, still a lot of season left, and if BYU moves the ball like they did at the end of the Utah game then we have a slight chance again Miss St and should beat Boise.

  • burningblue Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 1:40 p.m.

    @CougarForever

    Definitely disagree. Look, the defense has been performing just fine against this competition. The offense needs to get rolling, but it is not time to push the eject button.

    The MWC will not get the Y any closer to beating Utah, or to attaining any of their goals. They will have access to a NY6, but only if they go undefeated and are the highest ranked G5 team. Either way they have to play a team of Wisconsin's caliber.

    They aren't going to get better by decreasing the level of competition. If anything they need to increase it and suffer through some bad loses until they figure out how compete offensively at that level. If you remember in 2011, the U's first year as a Pac-12 member, they lost to Cal 34-10, Oregon State 27-8 and UCLA 31-6. The next two years the losses weren't quite as bad, but not by much.

    The Y has only just started getting the kind of schedule that they imagined they would when they went independent. There will be growing pains, but I believe Sitake is guy to get them where they want to go. Listen to his interviews. He's determined to win.

  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 1:39 p.m.

    The number one reason I wanted BYU to beat Utah was so that the insufferable Utah fans would shut their yappers for a few days. Oh well. I love how at least half of the comments are from Utah fans about how to "fix" the BYU football program. Do you guys ever sit back and think about what you're doing? Leave us, the Cougar fans, to hash that out. Every BYU article has at least 3-4 ute comments saying, "go back to the MWC. It was a knee jerk reaction. How arrogant." I wonder why ute fans feel so strongly that BYU should be in the MWC? Curious. Why should they care so much about their "non-rival" who they have "owned for the last 7 games . . .? " Unfortunately many of my fellow Cougar fans have heard that poor line of thinking enough that they're starting to buy into it too.

  • cougarsrock Springville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 1:35 p.m.

    uu,
    Whatever it takes to get to a NY6 bowl game.... and pleeeeeze do not tell me that your boys will be getting there anytime soon .....

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 1:35 p.m.

    "Huh? What are you talking about?"

    Jelly-rash:

    You obviously didn't notice I mentioned, and quoted from, Riverton coog's earlier post (hint: it's at 9:16 am). It's a classic "do as I say not as I do."

    As to the MWC, you also said:
    "BYU would be a big draw and money maker for the conference. If there are still a couple of teams with hurt feelings, they would be out-voted by the rest who want to grow the conference."

    To the contrary, nobody in the MWC would want BYU-P back, particularly if some schools had to take a financial haircut to do so. Which is a real problem for the coogs, because ESPN only renewed for 1 year. If that network is still losing money in 2018, BYU-P may only get a MWC-type money offer for home football games, or less.

    Hello, Big Sky! You could play Idaho and Weber every year!

  • Laxman taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 1:25 p.m.

    It seems that the Dnews doesn't want to be responsible for any of the over hype. All we heard off season is how great things were. Mangum is a perfect fit for Detmer's offense. Canda is a beast and ready to fill Jamal's shoes. Harmon, you and the rest of your news buddy's better town down your talk.

    Is Detmer wanting to run his offense, even though he doesn't have the talent? Most coaches will adjust to the talents of his players.

  • Chaz Winthorp Ogden, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 12:51 p.m.

    I always wonder about BYU and its fans. It seems like the fans always do this. They start off as perennial September national champs and October we need a new coach people. BYU is who they are. If you want good people above good football players you have to roll with the flow.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 12:35 p.m.

    "Anybody missing Bronco yet? I am."

    Mack2828:

    Oh yeah! He was always good for odd quotes, slogans and ideas. Ute fans loved him for that.

  • Jello is Good ,
    Sept. 12, 2017 12:31 p.m.

    @JohnInSLC - Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:53 a.m.

    "Classic coog logic:
    - We can play the "if game" to show we should be better, but you can't play it to show we're not. "

    Huh? What are you talking about?

    _ _ _ _

    "Boise State negotiated to get more per year to join the MWC instead of staying with the Big East as it morphed into the AAC. It's a system that gives them more based on appearances on ESPN. And Hawaii has it's own deal. Some of the other MWC schools had to take a pay cut for a while. Don't you think BYU-P has enough clout and good will with MWC to get similar concessions?"

    I'm sure they could and I'm sure it would be more than what Boise State and Hawaii are getting. But it would still be MILLIONS less than they are getting right now.

    I repeat, as long as ESPN or a like network pays BYU millions and helps to set up games with P5 teams, BYU stays Independent. If that goes away, try to get in to the AAC.

    No, wait. I answered my own question.

  • imustbebored sandy, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 12:28 p.m.

    So much for this 10-3 prediction Mr. Harmon made just a few short weeks ago. Maybe you should have seen this coming. I like to think of myself as a lover of CFB and neutral on the local teams. So now the Cougs lose to Wisconsin, I am saying Utah State is a toss up, lose against Boise State and MS St., pick up wins against E. Carolina and SJSU, take a loss against Fresno and then win out, although Hawaii is capable of pulling off a win. Looks like 6 or maybe 7 wins on the year.

  • Jello is Good ,
    Sept. 12, 2017 12:25 p.m.

    @Alpha Male - Roy, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:32 a.m.

    "Time to place the hat in hand, and make a nice loaf of homemade bread and go visit the MWC head office. This is never going to work as it is now laid out. Even with Mr. Harmon's rose colored (oops, blue colored) glasses on."

    No, no, and never.

    P5>Indy>MWC

  • Ute/Sooner Fan Rock Springs, WY
    Sept. 12, 2017 12:09 p.m.

    Strength of schedule is a hard task with BYU landing 2-3 good teams a year, some moderate and the rest are teams that are warm up games for everyone else. Remember Wyoming gave BYU all it could handle last year and they didn't win the conference championship. I don't know the answer but I still think Boise comes out better than BYU every year on SOS.
    Second is the talent level coming in. Back before the internet, BYU could snag a good talent pool. Those days are gone and the SEC and Pac12 are taking star talent from the state. Its hard to recruit to their program for numerous reasons and that's not just players its coaches too. Watch the U/BYU game "too much talent on the Utah side, they are just faster stronger better, its Utah's mistakes and not BYUs talent keeping them in the game."
    Finally BYU fans every season starts off with a T shirt with a cheesy line and expectations of a national championship. That's not even close to fair for the coaches and players. Religious schools are a red flag to modern liberal programs that focus on science, medicine and liberal arts. BYU is not that kind of school so no big conferences are going to come knocking soon.

  • vasislos Holbrook, AZ
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:58 a.m.

    A couple of tough games and BYU is ready for the dustbin of history? BYU has done quite well over the years against P5 competition and will continue to do so. Since the Edwards era ended, BYU has won something like 26 games against P5 including 8 different teams from the current PAC12. Also including wins over Nortre Dame, Georgia Tech, Texas, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, etc, BYU has a LONG history of good football, which is why the P5 conferences count BYU as P5 for out of conference scheduling. Sitake, Detmer, and the rest of the staff will bring it around. No doubt.
    There is not a single team that has not had a down year or two but the good ones find their way back. BYU is one of the good ones.

  • burningblue Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:56 a.m.

    I agree that 1-3 is what we should have expected. That's not the problem. The problem is that the Y was never really in any of these games. And that Ty keep forcing Tanner to play under center when it is obvious that he is more comfortable playing in shotgun. The receivers are a problem too. I expected there to be growing pains, but the issue is that they aren't fighting back. They get pushed off their routes and they don't recover.

    I don't buy the incessant barking of some of the U fans that the receivers aren't talented enough. They are fast enough. They aren't slow. Watch the film. They getting pushed off their routes. When they don't, they beat their man going deep, but Tanner has no time to get them the ball.

    I don't take issue with the W/L record, but with Harmon's excuses. If Cahoon can't teach these players to play tough, then Ty needs to find another receiver coach.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:53 a.m.

    "If you guys hate when BYU fans pull "woulda coulda shoulda"s, then I advise that you don't do it yourselves."

    Riverton coog:

    Classic coog logic:
    - We can play the "if game" to show we should be better, but you can't play it to show we're not.

    _ _ _ _

    "As long as ESPN keeps paying BYU $6 million a year (About $5 million more than they would get in the MWC) Independence is here to stay."

    Jelly-rash:

    Boise State negotiated to get more per year to join the MWC instead of staying with the Big East as it morphed into the AAC. It's a system that gives them more based on appearances on ESPN. And Hawaii has it's own deal. Some of the other MWC schools had to take a pay cut for a while. Don't you think BYU-P has enough clout and good will with MWC to get similar concessions?

    No, wait. I answered my own question.

  • Minnesota Ute Bloomington, MN
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:50 a.m.

    @Riverton Cougar - Riverton, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:44 a.m.

    As for "clearly superior talent", I agree that Utah players looked more athletic. However, a broad "clearly superior talent" claim is debatable. And I don't see how pointing out that BYU, despite their terrible offensive play, still had a chance to win even with less than 2 minutes to go is classless or not an acknowledgement that Utah won yet again in a close game.

    ...........................

    "Utah won yet again in a close game". A close game? That was never a close game. The Utes sloppiness is the only think that kept the game somewhat interesting. Cougar fans have been saying all spring and summer that "there's a new sheriff in town" and "the tide is turning". Well I take great pleasure in telling you the new sheriff's gun is shooting blanks. If you're bothered by Ute fans talking smack then tell your team to win some games and then you can do the talking. The '70s and '80s are long gone and I would suggest you get used to losing to your rival 'cause it's going to be that way for quite some time.

  • london_josh lincoln, CA
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:49 a.m.

    "Anybody missing Bronco yet? I am."

    At least the players didn't have "honor, spirit, tradition" on them as they stunk it up.

    No, I don't miss Bronco, he did a great job bringing BYU up from what it was but he peaked 5 years ago and wasn't the right fit.

    Give Kalani and Ty time to peak, they are the right fit.

    I see a better line of recruits coming back to BYU, some better things in the works, I guess we are rebuilding this year when we didn't expect to be - I'm a life long fan, I can handle that with a smile and support the team and coaching staff as they are!

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:43 a.m.

    Dick Harmon's analysis seems quite right to me.

  • Rick C DAVENPORT, IA
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:41 a.m.

    "Observation:.................BYU is neither Ohio State or Notre Dame (contrary to some local thinking)". Agreed. I was a bit surprised that Harmon concluded his column thus. Ohio State lost - they were thoroughly thumped at home - but it was to another established P5 powerhouse. Utah is certainly not that. Notre Dame lost, also at home, but by one point to an SEC power. To compare BYU to either Ohio State or Notre Dame is ludicrous.

  • Alpha Male Roy, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:32 a.m.

    Time to place the hat in hand, and make a nice loaf of homemade bread and go visit the MWC head office. This is never going to work as it is now laid out. Even with Mr. Harmon's rose colored (oops, blue colored) glasses on.

  • burningblue Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:20 a.m.

    @Mack2828

    Nope. Take a look at how his Virginia team is doing. We are better off.

  • Mack2828 Ft Thomas, KY
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:13 a.m.

    Anybody missing Bronco yet? I am.

  • UU Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:56 a.m.

    @cougarsrock "If the Y would just return to the MWC they would stand a better chance of getting into a NY6 bowl game:

    Translation: We want and even weaker SOS so that by the end of the season we look like we're a better team than we really are.

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:54 a.m.

    It' about time the Deseret News is back on the reality track. I knew this already but you guys didn't want to report the real state of BYU football. Now we are out of the "No Spin Zone"

  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:53 a.m.

    Why did Ula Tolutau start playing at the end of the 3rd quarter. I don't understand. Was he injured or not. If he wasn't injured, why didn't he start earlier? The same question applies to Moroni Laulu-Pututau. He came in the game late and couldn't pull in a touchdown pass. Is he injured or not? If not, why not use the weapons we have. To my fellow Cougar fans who are calling for coaches heads, I'm going to do something I never thought I would ever do - quote Navelvet. "How emotional and frantic of you." Seriously though. Take a deep breath. I love our coaching staff. Question them, but don't be silly and call for their heads after losing to LSU and Utah. I suspect that adding Moroni and Ula will open things up significantly. We still have a lot of work to do but I'm still hopeful for this group. Unfortunately, Tanner Mangum's confidence looks like it's at an all time low. I hope he can keep his head up and get some confidence so he can perform like he's capable of doing. Go Cougars!

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:47 a.m.

    "And if we were in the MWC we would be playing the same schedule we are now and playing in the same bowl but making a lot less money."

    While I agree that MWC is not in BYU's best interest, I want to clarify that in the MWC we would be playing a worse schedule, not the same schedule. I don't see BYU landing a schedule with Utah, LSU, Mississippi State, and Wisconsin all in the same year (or Arizona, Utah, Michigan State, Mississippi State, UCLA, and West Virginia).

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:44 a.m.

    I think expectations were sky high with Ty taking over as the Offensive Coordinator. No doubt BYU fans are overreacting. Ending September with a 1-3 record was hardly unexpected with this front-loaded schedule. There are some legitimate concerns however. There are a lot of problems that if not corrected could lead to BYU losing a game or two in October or November that they are supposed to win. That's the danger here.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:44 a.m.

    "The classy thing to do when your team loses to a team that is clearly superior in talent is to just tip your cap and move on. To make excuses and delude yourself into thinking you actually had a chance to win only looks like sour grapes."

    A hater lecturing us on classiness, now I've seen everything!

    And how is suggesting BYU had a chance to win "delusion"? You saw it and I saw it, BYU certainly had a chance to win on that last drive; a touchdown with the PAT would have put BYU up 20-19. It's delusional (and classless) to declare that Utah was so superior to BYU that BYU never stood a chance.

    As for "clearly superior talent", I agree that Utah players looked more athletic. However, a broad "clearly superior talent" claim is debatable. And I don't see how pointing out that BYU, despite their terrible offensive play, still had a chance to win even with less than 2 minutes to go is classless or not an acknowledgement that Utah won yet again in a close game.

    "See you next September."

    Fortunately, next year the game is back where it belongs, at the end of November.

  • london_josh lincoln, CA
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:43 a.m.

    "What makes you think the MWC would let BYU-P back in?"

    First of all nobody calls it BYU-P, come on, but second, you are confusing football with a popularity contest.

    BYU is a massive brand for any G5 group - the problem is that the brand is above G5 levels but hasn't been picked up by the regional P5, still it's about money and there is no chance that the conference wouldn't let BYU in with open arms.

    The vote could be done by telephone and would take all of 5 minutes - the ones who don't like us miss the money and attention from BYU, they'd take us back in a heartbeat.

    But, independence is certainly better than anything they offer us, so I'm content with BYU staying as an independent.

    If BYU were to move to a G5 I agree with Jello and others saying go east - those are the money games because the majority of the US is done watching football by the time our western games turn on, more eyeballs is more money, that's why those teams do so well, so if we did something drastic we'd go east - however BYU didn't upgrade it's TV services because independence is unsustainable - it's working well enough and way better than the MWC.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:34 a.m.

    "BYU's talent level at most positions is not at a P5 level". " The pro style offense is what upsets me. We are clearly not designed for that scheme talent wise".

    DUH. YA THINK?

    Mendenhall blew town. He left a good spread team. BYU played well with Taysom Hill and Williams (both playing pro ball this year). But now, we have a QB who is not ready to be a pro-set drop-back QB. He was recruited for the spread. So he'll probably have to play from the shotgun for a while. Meanwhile, BYU has added tight ends and don't run option plays. Pro Set is much much harder to learn than spread. As a QB drops back, he has to read the defense then throw to the guy who is GOING TO BE OPEN. Clearly, Mangum is not ready yet, so look for him to play from the gun. That will give him a couple of seconds to scan the field. Shotgun reduces the power run game, but plenty of teams use the gun.

    Mangum has looked rattled all year, even game 1. LSU is going to be in the NC hunt, and Utah's new QB looks really good from the spread. BYU's defense is very good. BYU will lose to Wisconsin then get a bye. Meanwhile Mangum will continue to improve.

    As for MWC? Nuts to that!

  • BleedingBlue Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:10 a.m.

    You miss the point Dick,
    It is not the soon to be 1-3 record.
    It's our offense, a sputtering and weak performance against a weak FCS team. Our offense was worse than terrible against LSU, come on, negative rushing, under 100 yards, and never crossing the 50 yard line! Then when gift wrapped a game against Utah, well all I can say is Magnum deserves the Utah game ball, he was their best weapon on the field.
    I hope Magnum's injury is season long. The coaches will never ever admit they made a bad bad choice and give someone else a chance to play QB and lead our team on offense. I expected to lose, I did not expect to see the worst and I mean "WORST" BYU offense in the past 50 years.

  • FastestFalcon Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:56 a.m.

    The pro style offense is what upsets me. We are clearly not designed for that scheme talent wise. We would be far better suited for a shotgun set with three or more receivers.
    But no! We must "trust the process". I like Sitake, but if he wants to win, he must revamp the whole offensive scheme.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:56 a.m.

    BYU will not "score a lot of points" and win until it begins playing second tier teams. Any team from a major conference will thump the hapless Cougars.

  • Jello is Good ,
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:54 a.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin - San Diego, CA
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:34 a.m.

    "What makes you think the MWC would let BYU-P back in?"

    That isn't, and never will be the issue. BYU would be a big draw and money maker for the conference. If there are still a couple of teams with hurt feelings, they would be out-voted by the rest who want to grow the conference.

    But please, don't go back. As long as the ESPN contract is here, stay independent. If not, try the AAC.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:52 a.m.

    You gotta be kidding me, some Cougar Fans want coach change? Don't think about it and be patient. I see for this September we would be 1 and 3 (leave out Portland State which was August). If I understood that Tanner M. injured his ankle last game? If he starts and yes he need to play at the shotgun position so he can see what is going on with his offensive crew so he can quickly get the ball to his playmakers. And for Ty Detmer, he is doing fine. Because when he was a freshman as a player his Coach Lavell Edward and Norm Chow saw something special about him. When Ty was playing he acted like a coach and knew what he was doing. So to some Cougar Nation fans, let him grow and HE will do good things at BYU! After September we should be fine.
    Funny posters above telling BYU to go back to mwc or stop playing those Elite P5 schools. I agree about playing top elite schools are pretty harsh, why not schedule those lower P5 schools like Vanderbilt, Kansas, Rudgers, Oregon State, Colorado and one game a year to top P5 school. No we are not going back to mwc. I like Indepedant.

  • Jello is Good ,
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:50 a.m.

    @Minnesota Ute - Bloomington, MN
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:29 a.m.

    "@Riverton Cougar - Riverton, UT

    The classy thing to do when your team loses to a team that is clearly superior in talent is to just tip your cap and move on. To make excuses and delude yourself into thinking you actually had a chance to win only looks like sour grapes. See you next September. Can you say 8 in a row and 13 out of 16?"

    As much as I agree with you that the classy way to take the loss is tip your cap to the better team (Which I have done), I think you are a hypocrite in that you can't be classy in the win.

    How about like your girl's youth soccer league you just slap hands, say "good game" and move along.

  • Red Corvette St George, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:50 a.m.

    "Woulda', coulda', shoulda' "... are nothing but excuses. And pathetic ones at that. So are "If only," "but," and "maybe."

  • Jello is Good ,
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:44 a.m.

    @cougarsrock - Springville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 8:21 a.m.

    "Excuses,Excuses,Excuses......Stop all of this nonsense and just go get into a Conference that you can compete in ..."

    As long as ESPN keeps paying BYU $6 million a year (About $5 million more than they would get in the MWC) Independence is here to stay. If the ESPN contract goes away, I vote trying to get in to the AAC. Better conference for football and basketball and more of a national footprint.

  • Red Rocket St George, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:43 a.m.

    Excuses are a dime a dozen. The simple fact remains: the emperor has no clothes. Sitaki, Detmer and the BYU team are all incapable of getting the job done.

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:42 a.m.

    We need receivers. We at least two, but really three, receivers that have at least two of the following: 1) Great hands, 2) height, 3) breakaway speed/quickness. 3 games in I've yet to see one receiver with two of those qualities playing for BYU - however, I've seen at least one with all 3 qualities playing for the opposition. BYU has never really had the receivers with breakaway speed, but a couple years back we did have the great hands and height...and that was enough. They would just out-battle the DBs for the ball. This current receiver corps looks lifeless. They can't get open, and when they have a deep ball thrown with one-on-one coverage, they not only don't go get it, they often allow the DB to go get it uncontested. The whole offense looks awful right now, but it feels like the receivers are the area that is struggling the most. There were a few bright moments, but as a whole it's been hard to watch.

  • Jello is Good ,
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:35 a.m.

    @Spoons - lake tahoe, NV
    Sept. 11, 2017 11:29 p.m.

    "BYU beating Utah was never 50-50. It was 80-20 at best."

    Before the season started most experts outside the state of Utah predicted the BYU-Utah game as a toss up giving BYU a slight edge for home field. After BYU's first two games, you are right. It became 80-20 Utah. You should have won by more than a touchdown.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:34 a.m.

    @cougarsrock

    "If the Y would just return to the MWC..."

    What makes you think the MWC would let BYU-P back in?

  • Jello is Good ,
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:31 a.m.

    @Doogie - South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 11, 2017 7:37 p.m.

    "BYU needs to eat their pride and go back to the MWC and play with teams they can compete with and still schedule some of the big guys every year. Their season is over now, what are they playing for? Pride and a bowl game, yipee!"

    And if we were in the MWC we would be playing the same schedule we are now and playing in the same bowl but making a lot less money. We traded a chance at the MWC Championship for around $5 million. I say that is a good trade.

  • Minnesota Ute Bloomington, MN
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:29 a.m.

    @Riverton Cougar - Riverton, UT

    The classy thing to do when your team loses to a team that is clearly superior in talent is to just tip your cap and move on. To make excuses and delude yourself into thinking you actually had a chance to win only looks like sour grapes. See you next September. Can you say 8 in a row and 13 out of 16?

  • cougarsrock Springville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:24 a.m.

    If the Y would just return to the MWC they would stand a better chance of getting into a NY6 bowl game than the utes doing playing in the pac12 and that is a fact ! 6 years and counting for the utes in the pac12 and still no NY6 bowl game... and we all saw Saturday that it certainly not going to happen this year as well ....

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:19 a.m.

    Many BYU fans were glad to see Bronco go saying the program got stale. Sitake is a good coach but the situation hasnt changed since Bronco's departure. Without being in a conference BYU will remain a rudderless ship.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:16 a.m.

    "I don't know what game you were watching but Utah never looked beatable in that game by BYU."

    We were watching the game on Saturday, Sept 9th, 2017. You must have been watching the 2011 game. Utah was beatable. BYU's offense wasn't prepared to execute, though.

    "The final score should have been somewhere around 38-13."

    If you guys hate when BYU fans pull "woulda coulda shoulda"s, then I advise that you don't do it yourselves.

    "It was only the Utes sloppiness that made the game mildly interesting."

    See above sentence. Otherwise, BYU fans could simply respond that BYU's sloppiness is the only reason Utah won.

    "BYU-Provo fans, how does it feel to have Dick Harmon - of all people - telling you how to be fans now?"

    Honestly, I feel indifferent about Harmon's sentence. Call it "telling us how to be fans" if you want. Don't pretend Ute fans haven't said similar things. How does it feel to obsess over a team you supposedly moved on from?

    "By next spring, they'll be in the running for a national championship, once again, and life will be good."

    We don't have to wait until spring for the haters/obsessors to make false claims about BYU fans predicting national championships, though.

  • KimmyP Grantsville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 8:56 a.m.

    Yep, I completely agree with Harmon on this one. Once the cupcake portion of the schedule kicks in, the blue faithful can rest easy as the wins pile up.

    By next spring, they'll be in the running for a national championship, once again, and life will be good. ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Sept. 12, 2017 8:55 a.m.

    If BYU wants to compete like a P-5 school - dump the Honor Code. Of course that is heresy, so stop this scheduling madness. BYU was far more relevant as a MW team. Anybody remember when ESPN GameDay came to Provo? Too bad BYU got beat by a very good TCU team, but I don't think we'll see Lee Korso anytime soon.

  • Idaho forever South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 8:44 a.m.

    Observation:.................BYU is neither Ohio State or Notre Dame (contrary to some local thinking)

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Sept. 12, 2017 8:39 a.m.

    "To the sky-is-falling crowd crowing about coaching changes and drastic edge-of-cliff melodrama, itโ€™s a little early for that."

    BYU-Provo fans, how does it feel to have Dick Harmon - of all people - telling you how to be fans now?

  • Minnesota Ute Bloomington, MN
    Sept. 12, 2017 8:26 a.m.

    @toosmartforyou - Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 11:44 p.m.
    All that said, Utah looked very beatable and given an offense that was clicking, the utes would have lost badly. But of course it wasn't, so 4 field goals and one touchdown by them were enough to spell defeat. They aren't going anywhere with that kind of offense in the PAC12.

    .............................

    I don't know what game you were watching but Utah never looked beatable in that game by BYU. The final score should have been somewhere around 38-13. It was only the Utes sloppiness that made the game mildly interesting. Beatable by BYU? Ha ha.

  • cougarsrock Springville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 8:21 a.m.

    Excuses,Excuses,Excuses......Stop all of this nonsense and just go get into a Conference that you can compete in ...

  • Magic Happens Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 7:55 a.m.

    Mr Harmon makes a lot of good points but they are just excuses. What he doesn't mention is BYU's talent level at most positions is not at a P5 level. During fall camp we heard that the OLine was much improved and experienced, they had one of the top QB's in the country, the running backs were proven, wide receivers were experienced and the defense was stout. Coaching was going to be outstanding. None of these claims are panning out and won't until the schedule loads up with G5 teams. The Oline doesn't look any better. Mangum looks lost. Running back by committee is ???. Receivers can't hang on to the ball. And the defense...against 2 P5 teams, has given up an average of 465 yards/game. The reason the offense looked so good during August is because they were competing against this stout defense. Finally coaching. It has been shown that great players don't always make good coaches. Bringing in assistants based on past relationships is not the way to build a successful program. BYU should make their decisions going forward based on what they perceive to be in their best interest whether that is to remain independent or look for a conference affiliation.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 6:59 a.m.

    So where was Dick with this dose of reality in August?

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 6:57 a.m.

    Some say Utah works with a lot more money. If true that would explain some of the problem. BYU is obviously tackling a schedule that is front loaded, but right now all the teams look good.

  • EPoint Roy, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 6:49 a.m.

    Steve Young said "patience is a four letter word," with him. Funny, but also revealing. Winning in football may take more than knowing how to do it, may take players who just are motivated to doing whatever it takes to be victorious. The pro game may not be right for the college game. It may help recruit players who envision themselves playing pro ball, but calls for a fan base that will be satisfied with seeing improvement in players and not needing necessarily to win the games. Tanner Mangum and teammates may be learning and preparing for better things, but BYU losing does not attract me to spend time watching the games and supporting the team. For fans, its results that count, and that may require an ability and willingness to make adjustments realtime on the field during the games. Play clean, play hard, play to win.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 6:16 a.m.

    "And they don't have the depth either, according to the article. 'Visions of using a double tight end formation' are out the window because they lost one guy? What happened to next man up?"

    That's the kind of thing that happens when you utilize a new offense that requires a different type of tight end which the previous offense didn't have need for. Of course they don't have the depth at tight end yet, since they've only started seriously recruiting this type of tight end this past year. It will come.

    Besides, due to BYU's Honor Code depth may always be an issue. Not that BYU won't have good or great players, but a large number of the best athletes won't want to even consider doing what the Honor Code asks of them.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 5:49 a.m.

    "This September always pointed to losing battles yet Dick predicted a BYU win over Utah at the beginning of the season.
    Typical revisionist history from Mr. Harmon."

    Carnack

    Yep. It amazes me that Harmon can pull his annual "I voted for it before I voted against it" with any sort of credibility remaining.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 2:21 a.m.

    Utes always play a Dakota team and San Jose in September, that is a given. I would rather play tough team week in week out, like Notre Dame does. Utes could lose 6 in row in Oct. and November, easily.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 2:19 a.m.

    I thought Y would beat U, and I think Y can do well against Wisconsin. It isn't all on offense, if Sitaki defense can hold Wisconsin to 10 points, in Provo, then we have a chance. I think Y beats Wisconsin.

  • CougarForever Holladay, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2017 12:36 a.m.

    If we were extended and accepted an invitation to join a P-5 conference as most fans want then we would have 9 or 10 of these games every year rather than 3 or 4. Even with the resultant recruiting advantages we likely would be a middle of the pack team in a P-5 conference year after year.

    But, regardless of how interesting the experiment with independence has been, honestly the best path would be to do whatever is necessary to get back into the MWC (including accepting whatever financial/broadcast rights concessions that would be required and apologizing for what is perceived by a number of MWC schools as prior bad behavior). We have been an ESPN favorite but with cable revenues down it is likely that this relationship won't be as lucrative in the future and without conference affiliation we really are in a wilderness. We essentially play an MWC schedule (Boise State and other MWC teams have no problems scheduling multiple nonconference games with P-5 schools, including P-5 elites). In the MWC we could compete for the G-5 New Year's bowl spot which is beyond any reasonable current hope for our team. It is time to eat crow and do whatever it takes to return to the MWC.

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 11:44 p.m.

    Funny, just one offensive penalty away from winning 20-19 and everyone acts like the wheels have completely come off. What we need is a less predictable offense than 1st down run for 1 yard (2 maximum), 2nd down of either incomplete pass or a sack, third and 8 play where receiver runs a 5-6 yard pattern, catches pass to no avail in regards to getting a first down, then a punt. We went 8 quarters without a touchdown, 6 without a score. We have to get beyond the mentality that the game is won in the fourth quarter. How about making some noise in the first half, even perhaps the first quarter?

    All that said, Utah looked very beatable and given an offense that was clicking, the utes would have lost badly. But of course it wasn't, so 4 field goals and one touchdown by them were enough to spell defeat. They aren't going anywhere with that kind of offense in the PAC12.

    Funny how Dick has 20-20 hindsight. Wow, who would have guessed?

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Sept. 11, 2017 11:32 p.m.

    I think BYU would be better off competing with Boise State and San Diego State to be the big dog in the Mountain West.

  • Spoons lake tahoe, NV
    Sept. 11, 2017 11:29 p.m.

    Harmon predicted a 3-1 start as the most likely for BYU and now he says everyone saw 1-3. This guy forgets his own articles from 3 weeks ago.

    BYU beating Utah was never 50-50. It was 80-20 at best.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 10:06 p.m.

    Back Talk - "Does BYU have the talent to play that type of style. NO"
    And they don't have the depth either, according to the article. "Visions of using a double tight end formation" are out the window because they lost one guy? What happened to next man up?

  • Carnak Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 9:40 p.m.

    This September always pointed to losing battles yet Dick predicted a BYU win over Utah at the beginning of the season.

    Typical revisionist history from Mr. Harmon.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    Sept. 11, 2017 9:17 p.m.

    What other college teams use a standard Pro style? Stanford and ?

    Why is that? Cant score enough?

    Does BYU have the talent to play that type of style. NO

  • Juice Box Eureka, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 8:57 p.m.

    If BYU joined a P5 conference, they would experience the same growing pains that Utah did (and is currently). Utah is coming out of it, but it took some time adjusting.

    BYU would fit in eventually, but it would be at least 2 seasons of more losses than the program is used to. Would you rather go through that adjustment period or be a big fish in a small pond?

  • SIMPLICITY Denver, CO
    Sept. 11, 2017 8:22 p.m.

    Byu's first half of their schedule is tough, no question. Power 5 teams and good one's too. Reality is if Byu played in the PAC-12 they would be sub-.500, maybe winning 2 conference games or going winless.

    Of the G-5 Teams, Byu is better than most. Byu is a good team but playing with the top dogs is difficult. The skill players and depth are a few calibers higher with the Power 5 teams.

    Hopefully Byu pulls off an upset with Wisconsin. You gotta like Sitake.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Sept. 11, 2017 8:01 p.m.

    If you don't want to lose, then don't schedule good teams. Do to the front end of the schedule what you have done to the last half of the schedule. If you cannot compete with the big dogs, then join some lesser league. It seems harsh realism is beginning to become clear to the true believers down south.

  • Doogie South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 11, 2017 7:37 p.m.

    I do agree somewhat with Harmon, but we always wanted to play the big guys and now that we are losing all I hear are excuses. Every other team in the country has had just as long as BYU has to prepare for the season. Utah had big question marks coming into the season. You know what I saw on Saturday out of them? A lot of potential! They outclassed BYU in every way and this is coming from a BYU fan! I can't say the same thing about potential for BYU. All I see is a bunch of big slow guys without the same kind of talent as those they have played. In the old days Edward and company had his teams clicking on all cylinders because they knew they were less talented and they just had to be better at every route they ran, every block they made etc. I don't see that same attitude with players now days. BYU needs to eat their pride and go back to the MWC and play with teams they can compete with and still schedule some of the big guys every year. Their season is over now, what are they playing for? Pride and a bowl game, yipee!