Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cougar Power Rankings

Since I'm an introspective kind of guy, I thought I'd take a look inside BYU's own team to come up with the top and bottom five BYU performers through week 2.

Top Five:

1. QB Max Hall. Max Hall has 824 yards IN TWO GAMES. He's also thrown 5 TDs to only 1 INT and has a QB rating of 180.1. Not only that, but he just looks like a general on the field. He's large and in charge. You go, Max Hall.

2. TE Dennis Pitta. Following a huge performance in week one with an equally punishing game against Washington, Pitta is fast becoming one of the greats at BYU. He leads the nation in receiving--the nation--with 361 yards on 21 receptions. If he keeps playing like this, and defenses keep giving him wide open fields to run through, expect No. 32 to be revered in Cougar Town for generations.

3. DE Jan Jorgensen. The Janimal was credited with the play of the game last Saturday when he broke through the line and blocked Washington's PAT attempt (despite being held). And who knows? If Washington's offensive line hadn't so persistently held on to Jorgensen he might have scored a few sacks.

4. The offensive line. Rather than single any one individual out, I'd like to point out the stellar play of our entire offensive line. Max Hall had superior protection throughout the game, and running backs like Harvey Unga and Fui Vakapuna had a hey day running the ball. Not only that, but the penalties which plagued us last year on the road at UCLA were all but eliminated. Good job, hogs.

5. FB Fui Vakapuna. Fui is back ladies and gentlemen, and seeing him on the field on Saturday made me smile. I know I've been critical of Fui in the past, but he really played a great game against the Huskies. He blocked well and he had a very nice--and vintage Fui, I might add--TD run in the third quarter.

Bottom Five:

5. WR Austin Collie. Maybe I'm being too hard on Austin, but he really did drop some easy balls on Saturday. He still ended up with 5 catches, 74 yards and a TD, but Collie obviously had something in his head. Maybe he had a fight about finances with his wife or something. Not only that, but he muffed a punt and he continues to run east/west when every Cougar fan in the world is screaming at him to run north/south. Believe me, it pains me to do this, but I had to. Consider this your wake up call, Mr. Collie.

4. WR O'Neill Chambers. I really like O'Neill. I think he's an athlete and I like his aggressive attitude... most of the time. On Saturday, however, I thought he crossed the line. Chambers can't ever seem to shut his mouth when he gets the ball. As a kick returner, he'll bring it out to about the 25-30 yard line, and then get in someone's face for about 5 minutes after he's tackled. On Saturday he even grabbed a Husky's facemask and shoved it. He's lucky he didn't get called for a penalty, because I would have thrown the flag. His fiery attitude needs to be tempered a little bit, or else I smell an unceremonious departure for our Florida friend.

3. The linebackers. I know containing Jake Locker was probably the toughest test our LBs will face all season, but I was still disappointed in our LBs. Our run-stoppers were falling all over themselves trying to stop Locker, but just couldn't get the job done when in mattered. Most notably, on a 4th and 10 play in the fourth quarter UW QB Jake Locker picked up an easy 12 yards before he was touched. The LBs, with the exception of David Nixon who recorded a sack and a forced fumble, left much to be desired.

2. P C.J. Santiago. You know what makes me crazy about Santiago? We keep hearing about how he's "uncorking" a whole mess of huge 60-yard punts in practice, but it's just not translating into the games. Santiago recorded punts of 31 and 24 yards against Washington, and that cost us some huge field advantage. It seems like he just isn't comfortable in game situations. It looks like he gets spooked every time someone rushes in, and it affects his punting. Well, big guy, in the words of Dan Hawkins: "This is division one football! This ain't intramurals, brother!"

1. CB Brandon Howard. I'm sorry that Brandon Howard has to take the fall for supremely disappointing play by the DBs, but I guess it just is what it is. Howard got burned again and again by Washington receivers, and if Jake Locker was any kind of a throwing quarterback BYU would have lost that game. On one play, Locker threw a 48-yard TD pass to Jermaine Kearse. Granted, Howard was stride for stride with Kearse the whole way, but never made a play on the ball and let Kearse grab the TD right in front of him. Upsetting? Yes, but I'm hoping BYU will recover just like they did after Tulsa 2007.

So what do you think? Am I being to hard on the guys? Did I miss something? Do you question my BYU fanhood?

1 comment:

Trevor said...

I will not question your fanhood. It's healthy to look at who is performing and who is not. It doesn't mean you hate the team or a specific player. Your healthy criticism is welcome here, unlike some other places (ie- Cougarboard).

Another one for the Top 5 - Robert Anae. The playcalling seems to be better this year. We're converting on 85% of our 3rd downs. That has a lot to do with coaching. And he's figured out how to keep other teams off balance enough so that we can run the ball.

Bottom 5 - Defensive line. I feel like we've had no pass rush whatsoever, unless it is coming from the linebackers. We need the front 4 to do more so that our LBs can help our untrustworthy DBs cover receivers.

Top 5 - Bryce Mahuika. Guy's a solid holder.