DESPITE RECENT DIFFICULT LOSSES, STILL REASON FOR HOPE IN PROVO
Recapping the first three weeks of the season for BYU Football, you would think national attention and optimism couldn’t shine any brighter on Provo. Despite a difficult, hard fought, respectable one point loss to then number 10 UCLA at the Rose Bowl, the reason for hope that this could be the best season under Bronco’s tenure was very much a reality in many peoples minds. Then, along came Michigan.
The BYU team that showed up in Detroit was certainly different than the team that lead for 95% of the UCLA game, and beat a good Boise team at home. This team couldn’t move the ball, looked completely out of sorts at time, and never could get a rhythm going. After the 31 to 0 setback against a very motivated Wolverine team who never really showed any signs of weakness, BYU must return to the drawing board to finish strong and potentially work there way back to the top 25. Regardless of the the last two outcomes, there are still reasons for optimism in Provo.
With the national attention that was garnered, BYU was able to ride the wave of optimism and enthusiasm to secure some of the top talents in Utah, and the country. With the schedule of the future about to be even more challenging, the national attention could get even brighter. In the words of the late Raiders owner, Al Davis, “Just win baby, Win!” If BYU can capitalize on incoming talent in Squally Canada at running back (currently sitting out one year for transfer rules) plus regain the talents of Jamaal Williams, and potentially Taysom Hill (who is currently deciding his future plans) the running game could become the dominant threat that it’s been the last few years.
Even if Taysom doesn’t return, getting Jamaal back, and adding Squally Canada who coaches raved about while he was at Washington State under Mike Leach, greatly bolsters running back depth. Add the talents of 6’0″ Jonah Trinnaman 3-star wide receiver currently at Snow College, 6’4″ Freshman Josh Weeks 4-star wide receiver and Army All-American out of High School in Arizona, plus current talents on the team in 5’10” Jr. Mitchell Jurgens, 6’5″ Jr. Nick Kurtz, 5’9″ Sophomore Trey Dye, 6’0″ Jr. Colby Pearson, 6’4″ Freshman Moroni Laulu-Pututau, 6’2″ Freshman Akile Davis, 6’3″ Freshman Talon Shumway, and others, one can see BYU’s height advantage will continue for either Taysom or freshman sensation Tanner Magum.
Moving forward, the offense should only improve with Tanner or Taysom at the helm, with a legitimate run game alongside them, either will be prepared to lead the team into what looks to be the most difficult season in BYU Football history in 2016. With difficult road games against Utah, Michigan State, Boise State, Cincinnati, and home games against UCLA, Toledo, Mississippi State, UMASS, and Utah State, coupled with neutral games against West Virginia in Maryland and Arizona in Phoenix (not very neutral) one can see everyone will need to be at full-strength, but with the increasing talent and depth at offensive skill positions there is reason for optimism in Provo.
Photo from espn.com