Monday, September 28, 2009

The pessimist vs. the optimist

What an interesting game on Saturday. Normally a 42-23 win is all you could ever ask for in a football game, and yet the masses of malcontents in Cougar nation remain unsatisfied.

Winning by 19 points just isn't enough. Even against the much-improved Colorado State.

I think this kind of thinking is bogus. But I must admit, there were a few frustrating moments in Saturday's game. Even now I look back at the game with both good feelings and feelings of anger. And that brings me to today's post, in which the two halves of my brain battle it out to decide just how good this BYU team is.

The Optimist: First of all how can you not be satisfied with Saturday's game? Just look at the final score. We beat Colorado State, who had previously been riding a six-game win streak, by 19 points. And honestly... the win was never really in question.

The Pessimist: Yeah, but come on. You saw the game. If it weren't for two fortuitous interceptions and a blocked punt in the fist quarter that game would have been a dogfight.

Optimist: You say that like BYU had nothing to do with those plays. Guess what? BYU caught the interceptions, and BYU blocked the punt. We deserve every point that came as a result.

Pessimist: But what about the defense? BYU gave up 438 yards of offense, including 372 yards through the air. You can't be happy about that.

Opt-o: Numbers, schmumbers. Guess what number matters? 23. As in, they only scored 23 points. The defense may have given up some yards, but they came through when it mattered the most. Remember CSU's drive at the end of the third quarter? BYU held them to a field goal on a long drive, and I consider that a game-changing stop. Plus BYU was hard-hitting and caused two turnovers.

Pess-o: What about CSU's quarterback? He had all the time in the world to throw. BYU has to get better pressure on the ball.

O: I agree. Good things happened when we got to the QB. Any defensive secondary in the country would get burned if the QB had the kind of time Grant Stucker did. But like I said, we did get the QB a few times, and hopefully the coaches recognize that blitzing works.

P: Two words: Brian Logan. The guy is 5-nothing and was called for PI all night. Plus, guys were catching balls on him all over the place. I understand he's a small guy, and he's reading the receiver, but he could at least throw his arms up and try to disrupt the pass.

O: The guy also caught an INT, caused another and made huge tackles all night. CSU tested him all day, and while he wasn't perfect he was pretty dang good. He is a MUCH better open-field tackler than Brandon Howard last year, and maybe the best we've had in recent history at the field corner position.

P: Okay, let's talk offense. So can we just expect two interceptions a game from Max Hall from now on?

O: No comment.

P: And what's with this? 12 yards of total offense in the second quarter. BYU didn't have a sustained offensive TD drive until the third quarter. CSU had the ball longer, and gained more yards on offense.

O: And yet BYU still won. Credit that to quick strikes and short fields in the first quarter. It's a team sport, and BYU's offense and defense came up big when it mattered.

O: Also, you have to like the play of Harvey Unga. He not only changes our running game, but our entire offense. He's shifty, he's big, he finds the holes and he makes some serious plays. 22 carries for 113 yards (5.1 yard average) and three TDs. Those are big numbers.

The winner? The Optimist. I feel great after BYU's win on Saturday. I feel like we beat a pretty good team, and I think we'll only get better this Friday when Utah State rolls into town.


Anonymous said...

I would like to see Buckner in at the field corner. It is all to apparent to the viewer and future opponents that if all else fails, throw it up on Logan's side. The relutl will either be a reception or an interference call.

Andrew Y said...

Highlight of the game: Seeing a BYU fan walk to the stadium while drinking a Keystone. Greg Edwards as a witness.