It’s been well chronicled that BYU has been receiving its fair share of national hype as we prepare to get ready to almost start thinking about getting excited for the 2008 football season.
Most recently, Rivals.com has featured BYU as part of a story entitled “Can a non-BCS conference team win it all?”
This national hype can cause a few different reactions among us BYU fans. The way I see it, we can either respond to this attention with an “Oh baby, this is our year and everyone knows it” kind of attitude, usually accompanied by a strut of some sort.
Or we can go the other route and ring our hands while saying something like “Oh geez- this is too much. We can’t handle the pressure!”
Well this post is dedicated to those of you who find yourself in the second group. It is meant to remind you that yes, BYU was freaking good last year. And yes, all our guys are coming back.
Allow me to remind you in whom our confidence is placed for the upcoming season:
Max Hall: QB
In 2007: Hall passed for 3,848 yards and 26 TDs with 137.71 efficiency rating.
Also: He did what he did after not playing in a competitive game since High School
Defining moment of 2007: I picked two: The season-opener against Arizona, where his efficient performance silenced his critics and set the tone for the 2007 season, and 4th and 18 against the Utes, when he scrambled, waited, and chucked a bomb (with a separated shoulder, by the way) to an open Austin Collie.
Austin Collie: WR
In 2007: AC, aka “The Unit,” led the Cougars with 946 receiving yards, 7 TDs and an average of 72.8 yards a game.
Also: Collie returned to his Freshman All-American form after serving a 2-year mission in Argentina.
Defining moment of 2007: Collie is a playmaker, so it was hard for me to think of one moment. However I think his performance against New Mexico, particularly his 59-yard TD reception in the third quarter, showed exactly what kind of player Collie is: He played that game with a broken rib and two bum ankles.
Harvey Unga: RB
In 2007: Unga, the Freshman All-American, led the Cougars and the MWC with 1,227 rushing yards and 13 TDs. He also added 655 receiving yards and another 4 teeders.
Also: He did this as a redshirt freshman.
Defining moment of 2007: After flubbing two wide-open would-be touchdown passes against rival Utah, Unga put the exclamation point on the miraculous Cougar victory by storming through the Utah defense and over Steve “The Tool” Tate for the winning touchdown.
Hopefully this little reminder will give you, as a fan, strength to endure the hype for this upcoming season. When all else fails, just remember this: We were awesome last year, and everyone’s back. 2008 is going to be one freaking sweet ride.