BYU’s Detmer admits he’s experiencing a tough learning curve

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  • LDDCougar St George, UT
    Oct. 14, 2017 7:44 p.m.

    Having been a Cougar fan for over 65 years, I'm disgusted by the lack of performance this year. While I am not ready to call for the coaches jobs yet, something is definitely wrong with the program. The performance keeps getting worse ( 8 first downs today??? vs. Mississippi State's 35???). And DEAD LAST in the nation in scoring YTD.
    Can it survive after this years horrible performance, I think it has set it back at least 30 years. Questions the A.D. and the administration must answer are
    1. Why would ANY power 5 conference even consider including this program after this year?
    2. What will it do to recruiting? Why would a blue-chip player (in-state or outside the state) sign with the Cougars?
    3. Why would ESPN continue to sign contracts to broadcast games of a losing program?
    4. What will it do to attendance at the LaVell Edwards stadium if this is allowed to continue?

    Mangum is NOT the only problem, if at all. Look at his performance as a freshman. He also had a full year to be on the sideline last year to learn the offence.
    Before you send me hateful comments, prove one thing I've said is wrong. Yes, I'm hoping, but certainly not confident of the future.

  • JustGordon Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 13, 2017 3:05 p.m.

    I don't know how one can write "most schools are on the brink of collapse" and "most conferences are on the brink of collapse."

    Such is not the state of higher education in the US or Utah. Conferences are sustainable, it is independence that is not.

  • JustGordon Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 13, 2017 3:02 p.m.

    I was shocked to find this story...surely with a Heisman winning quarterback who taught many NFL quarterbacks all they know that the transition to being a phenomenal OC was just a small step. I guess not.

    Either Detmer is in way over his head or the talent on the team is so woefully poor that even he, the one who taught Bret Farve all he knows, can't make the Cougars into something they will never be.

  • Eastern CO Coug Elizabeth, CO
    Oct. 13, 2017 6:29 a.m.

    This year I have seen some of the worst play calling ever from Ty. 3rd and 1 to the smallest running back on the team several times and 3rd and 1 bombs. But the team's troubles are far from being just Ty's fault and his big learning curve. I would say the OL coach has had just as much or more trouble. He also seems to be in a big time learning curve. Imagine 4 returning starters and such horrendous play (give the touted freshman tackle a chance). But most of all the QB play- poor decision making and throws has destroyed the offense. A real lack of ability and knack to get a first down. The DL has been pushed around much more than I expected. They are obviously missing their outside LB, who was not able to play this year. Most of all on the defense the safeties look bad. Several of the safeties have been burned for TDs including #23 Anderson several times. Not sure why he is getting so much PT when they have able safeties that can step in. A real team and coaching effort. Really disappointed but will hang in there with the team.

  • ITrustNoPutts La Grange, TN
    Oct. 12, 2017 11:05 p.m.

    Ty Detmer has always been a stand up guy both as a player and a coach. Ty has plaid the game at a level few players ever do and I’m sure he will be just as legendary as a Coach. Football is a violent sport and injuries have taken a brutal toll on BYU’s skill positions this year. No coach or staff can control that. Us arm chair coaches need to chill a bit and try and appreciate the challenges BYU coaches are facing and just.......wish them well.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    Oct. 12, 2017 10:38 p.m.

    One thing for sure ----- if they BYU needs new coaches, they only need to look in the DN comment section on what to do.It is filled with many qualified candidates who know exactly what has to be done and how to do it

  • Laxman taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 3:16 p.m.


    Watch the games Tolutau is not in shape!! He keeps tapping out. He isn’t and will never be full game running back.

  • JSKM1232 Sandy, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 3:09 p.m.

    @65TossPowerTrap - Salmon, ID

    "BYU needs to tweak its offense to be more like Stanford. A physical offense that relies heavily on running. I know that makes the old-school BYU fans lurch, but it's not 1984 anymore. BYU simply cannot recruit the speed to run an effective spread offense. I love the smash-mouth offense that Stanford runs. BYU can recruit that type of player."
    To play "smash-mouth" football you need "smash-mouth" coaches like Shaw and Whittingham. With the programs those two are running it will be very hard for the Y to recruit. BYU is already losing out to Utah, Stanford and USC when it comes to Utah talent.

  • london_josh lincoln, CA
    Oct. 12, 2017 2:37 p.m.

    A lot of people really find pleasure in kicking a guy when he's down.

    It takes a few years to get your guys in place and your system going.

    I think BYU could still hit a bowl game, and I think 2018 will be some improvement but not everything, I think 2019 will be when we see why Ty Detmer was hired.

    Be patient, we wanted a whole new system, this is what it generally takes to get there.

  • Fat Chance St George, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 1:45 p.m.

    Perhaps next time they will hire someone who has the right stuff to get the job done instead of hiring someone just because he's nice and smiles a lot. As Cat Stevens put it in his song Wild World: "Oh baby baby it's a wild world; It's hard to get by just upon a smile ."

  • cal cougar camarillo, CA
    Oct. 12, 2017 1:32 p.m.

    I don't believe recruiting on offense has much to do with the type of offense you run except at the quarterback position. I offer the following.

    1. BYU offense has talent
    2. Running backs are OK.
    3. Different set plays in the game are OK.
    4. Choice/timing of plays in games is pathetic.
    5. Start passing to your tight ends most of the time on pass plays. Everyone sees it, but coaches/quarterbacks at BYU refuse to listen.

    We need to concentrate on getting first downs instead of touchdowns. First downs take care of touchdowns eventually.

    1. Long bomb with 4th and 1. It is about a 10% likelihood of succeeding. Long bombs are best done on 1st down. You can still get the first down with remaining plays.

    2. 2nd down and 3 yards to go. We start going for long passes instead of running it and getting the first down or doing a short pass(to a tight end).

    We ignore the need to get the first down until it is 3rd and long.

    Detmer needs to concentrate on higher percentage options to getting the first down. Risky is not better. The element of surprise is overrated.

    Being risky eventually risks your job.

  • FJ American Fork, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 12:51 p.m.

    You have to at least respect his honesty. He just needs adjust what he is trying to do to the players he has. Give them some time. The fans reaction to to this years start has me almost embarrassed , come on ,you can't always have what you want.

  • Mack2828 Ft Thomas, KY
    Oct. 12, 2017 12:16 p.m.

    Where do we go from here? Intramural flag football.

  • Swan Ronson St. Louis, MO
    Oct. 12, 2017 12:17 p.m.

    eastcoastcoug - What form does "support" take, long-term? I haven't read anyone calling Sitake or Detmer jerks or losers. They are well-liked by pretty much everyone, including opponents. That's great . . as long as you're competent on the field. I don't insist a successful coach has to intentionally rankle people like Jim Harbaugh, but being a good dude only buys you so much goodwill.

    I don't want either of these two to lose a job, and I will be more than happy to see the team rebound next year with them calling the shots. This season is a total bust, and I can live with that. But if we get another season remotely like this in 2018, it would be hard to make a case not to blow things up. If gaining

  • Sportsfan123 Salt lake, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 11:51 a.m.

    Those of you who think all we need to do is give Detmer more time, well, not to sound like a nelly nay sayer, but you dont take a team like this that has the talent and depth to be competitive go 9-4 the previous year and then just go 1-13 the following year. Cuz lets face it, they struggled to score against a FCS opponent in Portland state and cant score against any other team thus far, they average 10pts a game which effectively makes them the worst offense in the country.

    If you ask why this is happening? Well look no further than basic fundamentals, and no emphasis on execusion.

    The recievers run poor routes - coach Cahoon. The runningbacks are ineffective and fumble prone- coach Mahe. The offense does not rely heavy on their best players, why has Tolutau not played a full game yet, why is Matt Bushman not catching 5 to 8 passes a game? Furthermore the offense doesnt continue to run their effective schemes or plays continually until the oponent stops it , doing this will set up other plays which makes the whole playbook work - coach Detmer.

    The most basics of football arent being taught, and if they dont understand this they never will. Detmer, Cahoon, Mahe need to go.

  • rfrmac South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 11:34 a.m.

    I find it interesting that several have talked about recruits switching from the U to the Y. Have you been reading the paper's lately. Seems it is the other way a round. And as for educational experience, the University of Utah has a great educational experience regardless of personal believes.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Oct. 12, 2017 11:29 a.m.

    As critical and honest as I've been about BYU, I think we fans need to show some class and support these coaches. They're both great men and I love Sitake's philosophy in developing these players.

    I was at the Miami game in '90 and rushed the field after the game. He will always be a champion. Remember that, and consider how it would look if BYU fans ran their only Heisman winner out of town. Imagine that news story on ESPN.

    We don't pay our coaches well (assistants even less), and these 2 men are as good as we'll get. Time to show some class and support our team and coaches.

  • Swan Ronson St. Louis, MO
    Oct. 12, 2017 11:17 a.m.

    He admits there have been problems? How honest! That's like admitting your house is on fire as the last wall collapses and the fire department is wrapping things up. I love me some Ty Detmer, but it's hard for me to believe the players are so ill-suited to his "pro-style" scheme that they should be THIS bad. I mean, you're 127th out of 129 FBS schools in total offense.

    Read that again . . that's not just bad; that's a catastrophe. I honestly don't know where you go from here. What's the best we can hope for; a top-80 offense in a couple of years if we get some breaks? Can anyone cite me an example of a coaching staff taking a team from decent (year one) to putrid (year two) to nationally competitive?

    Honest question; what does anyone see here that would make you optimistic other than wishful thinking?

  • Laxman taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 11:08 a.m.

    After more than 1 1/2 years, he is still trying to learn what the players do best? That is a sad commentary. That should have been long ago.

  • Stringer Bell Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 10:52 a.m.

    65 traps: “I agree with Detmer - he doesn't know modern college football offensive schemes. I also respect him for admitting it.”

    If he doesn’t know modern college football, then he’s at the right place that still lives in the 1980’s.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 9:56 a.m.

    When LaVell took over, expectations were different and the program wasn't on the slippery slope that it's on today.

  • Basketballogy Orem, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 9:50 a.m.

    LaVell Edwards was head coach of BYU football for 27 years, and his ONLY season where he had more conference losses than wins was his SECOND year.

    Looks like our new coaching staff is experiencing similar growing pains. Everything will be okay. I just feel badly for Fred Warner.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Oct. 12, 2017 9:26 a.m.

    BYU needs to tweak its offense to be more like Stanford. A physical offense that relies heavily on running. I know that makes the old-school BYU fans lurch, but it's not 1984 anymore. BYU simply cannot recruit the speed to run an effective spread offense. I love the smash-mouth offense that Stanford runs. BYU can recruit that type of player.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 9:22 a.m.

    "where they are headed in the future"?

    2 options- Immediately pony up a ton of money for some good coaches or...start working on an exit plan for the program.

  • Wanda B. Rich Provo, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 9:17 a.m.

    Um, what learning curve? I haven't seen any evidence that anything has been learned this season.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Oct. 12, 2017 8:58 a.m.

    A very candid interview. It begs the question of where they are headed in the future. Are they going back to the spread offense?

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    Oct. 12, 2017 8:56 a.m.

    Change is wonderful!!!

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Oct. 12, 2017 8:51 a.m.

    I agree with Detmer - he doesn't know modern college football offensive schemes. I also respect him for admitting it.

  • Hank Pym Draper, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 8:40 a.m.

    re: BlueHusky

    "...So, BYU fans, don't expect a fast conversion to a pro-set...."

    Pro-set, really?

    I can't tell whether they are trying to run a zone-read, Woody Hayes smash-mouth, or Lavell era WCO? For now, its resembles a really poor chimera of all 3.

    That said, a hybrid of The Redskins (Joe Gibbs' 1st tenure) & Bill Walsh style WCO might be the best way for byu to go.

  • Juice Box Eureka, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 8:21 a.m.

    As a Utah fan, I hope BYU fans all keep having patience with him and wait for him to gain his footing and recruits.

    In the meantime, Utah will be winning one after another after another...

  • Lia Sandy, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 8:21 a.m.

    @ Holy-Schamoly-What Baloney - Kaysville, UT

    With all due respect...neither Kalani nor Ty could shine Lavell Edwards shoes...

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 8:00 a.m.

    Knowing the coaches a little.. I will stick with em til the end. This year, and possibly next year will lay an amazing foundation, and after that, things will be much improved and they can become dangerous..

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 7:26 a.m.

    In short, I’m not afraid to say I’m
    Over my head.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 6:28 a.m.

    "Utah may lose out and their recruits will switch to the Y for a better education experience and future."

    christopher robin:

    You managed to go 0-for-four in just one sentence. That's got to be a new record!

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Oct. 12, 2017 6:04 a.m.

    You guys know nothing about coaching. Neither do I. But nobody fires a coach in their 2nd year with half their recruits out on missions, and still using guys recruited for a spread. It will take another two or three years to build their system with their players.

    That is the major issue with BYU's mission program relative to sports programs. It is very disruptive. Look at the hoops program. Different team every year. Coming and going. No continuity. The fools that think having half your recruits go on a mission is an advantage is naive.

    So, BYU fans, don't expect a fast conversion to a pro-set. Guys coming back now were recruited three years ago. They were recruited for spread.

  • Lia Sandy, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 5:45 a.m.

    The learning curve is a lot tougher when it's clear that you have no business coaching a college team.
    Pop Warner? Sure.
    High school? Fine.
    College? He's out of his depth here.

  • BioPowertrain Detroit, MI
    Oct. 12, 2017 4:04 a.m.

    Memo to coaches Detmer & Sitake: it's not that hard to figure out what scheme to use. You now work for the BYU football program. So throw the ball. To your backs & tight ends in particular. Mix in short 4-5 yard slant passes. A lot. Ensure at least 75% of your plays are pass plays. And then try to have a linebacker-centered defense that's decent enough to still win games. People will accept it as long as it's good enough to keep opponents under 35 points per game.

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 11:50 p.m.

    BYU brought in an entirely new coaching staff. That means new plays, new methods of teaching, new bonding between coaches AND players, different expectations of performance. I am glad that the coaches are talking together about what works and doesn't work. Here is a thought: why not develop a dual QB system, with both QB's on the field at the same time (like guards in the NBA). QB1 takes the snap and can run, hand off, pitch out, or lateral to QB2, who is already deep and in position to pass without needing to drop back and then get set? Just a thought, otherwise, I am not ready to give on on this team (although I am disappointed at this point). They actually have improved, but ball security is an issue.

  • Holy-Schamoly-What Baloney Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 11:39 p.m.

    Patience....quick, right now, give me PATIENCE!!!

    Take whatever time is required, coaches, you'll come out of it with flying colors. Remember a guy named Lavell?

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 11:21 p.m.

    Ty is a nice guy

    His players cannot be confident with him as weekly he feeds them to the lions.

    When MJ became coach of the Bobcats in NBA they quickly became bottom dwellers, even though their coach knew the game, knew all the intricacies and how to beat every other player in the league it was something he knew but couldn't coach.

    Reality check shows BYU has far from the worst offensive players in the league but that is where their offense stands.

    Does anyone think Urban Meyer would be walking around scratching his head and muttering things like t will take time to work it out. He took Utah and put those mediocre players on the ncaa map.

    I like Ty but the sooner this experiment is over the better off the program will be.

    It is an excuse if someone says Ty did not choose these players. The qbs that BYU attracts have always been top class and this season is no different, the talent is there but without sharp, firm and correct direction they will flounder.

    Nice that coach Sitake said the floundering offense was on him, but that is a pr stunt. He has to be sick as the head coach who has turned the offense over to a friend and now he sees the program wallowing.

  • cjd1 Draper, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 9:46 p.m.

    Yes, this is not a tiny little high school in Texas.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 9:24 p.m.

    . . . But, do not look just at how you can change the Xs and Os. Consider how you can inspire the players better. I would be guessing this is more the problem than the Xs and Os.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 9:15 p.m.

    This is a welcome article. With it being no doubt that the offense is struggling, if he had the attitude that his players just weren't listening, or if he were being bullheaded about how they were doing the right thing, and just need to persevere, that would be a concern. But, if he is looking to change, looking to learn, then he can get better.

  • 93 COUGAR Orem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 8:38 p.m.

    We are behind you coach. I will gladly take a couple of years of growing pains to have some solid, stand up coaches that will stick around for a long time.

    LaVell had some growing pains at the start too.

    Don't listen to the millennial fans that think they have to have it all right now. We are in this for the long haul.

    Stick with it, improve each game, learn and study, and know we want you here for a long time.

  • Mick , 00
    Oct. 11, 2017 8:32 p.m.

    Bleeding blue-

    They are not “their” recruits. Ty did not recruit the current qb’s or offensive line.

    This is going to take a few years. More than usual due to missions. I am confident Kalani and Ty with figure it all out. However, they may need to make a few personnel changes.

  • Crazy in California Acampo, CA
    Oct. 11, 2017 8:12 p.m.

    Keep learning, keep working. We're laying the foundation. It's painful, but it will pay off.

    Oct. 11, 2017 7:43 p.m.

    Detmer and Sitake are not the problem. Their players are average to below average division 1 football athletes. And they have a drastic void of high skill players. Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams camouflaged this disparity last year in a big way, both of which are NFL talents.

    Byu just isn't a power 5 team and will take beatings annually until they enter their cupcake portion of their schedule.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 7:43 p.m.

    If we win as much as Harvard, Princeton and Yale, it will be okay, as long as we win at life. Most universities are on brink of collapse, so the Y is winner in all areas of most important. Most conferences are on brink of collapse. Utah may lose out and their recruits will switch to the Y for a better education experience and future. Let's all be fans if we win 5 to 6 games a year, it is a fun game and it is a game.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 6:01 p.m.

    Ty, you've been in football your whole life. I'm pulling for you. I'm glad you are trying new wrinkles. Lavelle figured out he had to throw a lot because he didn't have the speed. Just figure something out. An average offense would be a huge improvement.

    I do like that the TE is back this year. That is the one play that seems to have a chance. The safety dump to the RB worked well last week.

    Toledo's offense last year gave BYU fits. I mean they can't recruit that well can they? How about some stealing of plays and schemes.

  • CaliCougar American Fork, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 5:23 p.m.

    I have no doubt Ty Detmer is a really good guy. He is a legend at BYU from his QB days. I’m sure he has a solid understanding of pro style offenses. isn’t encouraging to hear that our OC is learning things relative to his job “on the fly”. Hopefully he’s a quick learner...

  • BleedingBlue Provo, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 5:10 p.m.

    Coach Detmer has to get off the field and into the booth where he can see live what is happening or better, what is not happening. Seeing it live rather than on film day after the game. He cannot make adjustments on what he does not know what is going on.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    Oct. 11, 2017 4:53 p.m.

    Doesnt that simply mean that BYU is still does not know what kind of system to run with their type of recruits? No wonder recruits are starting to not want to go there.