BYU’s last football season started off as a train wreck. After the loss at Utah State the Cougars were 1-4, their worst start in nearly 40 years. However, the Cougars gained momentum as the schedule eased up, as quarterback Jake Heaps gained confidence in the pocket, and the defense solidified as Bronco Mendenhall seized the reins in mid-season. Returning 16 starters (9 offense, 7 defense) the normally terse Bronco Mendenhall stating said this spring, “I loved the way spring practice went.”
Posts Tagged ‘Jake Heaps’
Posted by Ezra Hood | May 16th, 2011 at 11:05 am
Posted by Ezra Hood | February 8th, 2011 at 8:59 pm
Air Force, San Diego State, and BYU each beat all of the four bottom feeders in the conference. What San Diego State, BYU, and Air Force could not do was beat TCU or Utah, and that is what made them all “middle’uns” in 2010. AFA and SDSU would tell you they also both beat BYU, but the record book indicates only the Falcons did; the mini-scandal surrounding BYU’s victory over the Aztecs has largely faded away, aided by the “makeup” replay miss in the Holy War that may or may not have cost the Cougars a final conference victory over the Utes. What came around, went around, and more or less the score evened out.
The Mountain West came this close to two major non-conference wins in Columbus and Norman. Missouri Tiger T.J. Moe sprung free (aided by a badly missed call) for a last-minute 68 yard scoring run to secure the win against the surprisingly punchy Aztecs. Earlier that afternoon, Air Force out-gained, out-ran, out-held, and in the end, out-mistaked Oklahoma to lose by three-points. These losses (add SDSU’s heart-breaker in Provo) kept AFA and SDSU out of the polls, and dinged the MWC’s reputation just enough to keep TCU out of the national championship discussion two months later. (more…)
Posted by Ezra Hood | January 10th, 2011 at 5:16 pm
“So pray for Andy Dalton’s durability, if you want the Frogs to top 2009 this year. An inexperienced Pachall… isn’t going to best the Utes in Salt Lake City, or manhandle SDSU’s much-improved six-man secondary… in his first year. So let’s hope he doesn’t have to.”
And, perhaps remarkably, the redshirt freshmen never had to take a snap with the outcome of the game in doubt. Neither did the Frogs cave under the pressure to be perfect (another potential landmine noted in September), nor were the Frogs’ efforts in vain because Boise was more perfect than TCU. In fact, speaking of Boise, perhaps it was a gift that this sentiment was true in September:
“Remember, Boise State put that monkey named You’re Still Not All That right back onto the Horned Frogs’ back in Glendale, and if history, including 2009, proves anything about TCU, it’s that the Frogs never—ever—get the monkey off their collective back.”
And since 1938, that had been true, with exactly zero exceptions. Andy Dalton and other Frogs said, over and over, how focused they were on returning to the BCS in 2010 and playing well; on purging the taste of the F-Bowl from their mouths. It was Boise that, by besting the Frogs in Glendale, gave TCU the necessary motivation for success in Pasadena.
That success was a culmination of factors that were visible in September. Two days following the article quoted above, your humble Wimple offered these five reasons to expect 2010 to exceed the heights of ’09. (1) Andy Dalton and his receivers were all back; (2) Jake Kirkpatrick and his brethren in the trenches would dictate, not react; (3) the “ohmygawd backfield;” (4) a favorable schedule in which all the good teams came to Fort Worth (or Arlington), except Utah, and for that game Dalton’s greater experience than Utah’s Wynn’s would be the difference; and (5) with such a high starting ranking, TCU wouldn’t be passed by one-loss cartel teams.
The story of TCU’s tremendous 2010 season is no less than the coming-true of every one of those good predictions, and (somehow!) the coming-false of every one of the bad predictions. It is hard to fathom a more perfect season. Dalton and his receivers indeed had a stellar year; Jake Kirkpatrick won the Rimington, and led a line that generally paved over opponents; the d-line was nearly as dominant; the backfield was outstanding; only one team registered a threat at Amon Carter Stadium, and the Utes’ poor quarterback was so thunderingly confused by TCU’s defense while Dalton had one of the best games of his career; and to top it off, the one-loss cartel teams in fact did not outrank TCU. (more…)
Posted by Ezra Hood | October 21st, 2010 at 9:00 am
Clearly Bronco Mendenhall has learned the lesson of the F-Bowl: TCU lived and died in 2009 by its running game. “TCU was running it about 270 yards a game [in 2010] and we did not want to allow them to be multi-dimensional…I think we played the run effectively. We could not allow them to be two dimensional.” (more…)
Posted by Ezra Hood | October 12th, 2010 at 3:32 pm
It’s ironic: the program that deconstructs two 1A conferences in order to midwife its own independence is having a terrible time re-constructing its own offense. That such an offensive move could coincide with such a punchless offense is proof God has both a sense of humor, and perhaps less regard for BYU’s tradition than its adherents hope. Rebuilding is rarely this painful: in almost every category measured by the NCAA, BYU is horribly worse in 2010 than it was in 2009. Some of this decline isn’t a complete surprise. Everybody expected dropoff from the passing game. But did anybody expect BYU to go from 13th to 86th in passing offense,* and 6th to 117th in pass efficiency? That’s not dropoff, that’s dropout. (more…)