Sunday, September 05, 2010

Starting the season off right

My throat is scratchy, my energy is sapped, I’m sunburnt and exhausted.

Football season is back baby.

And the Cougars made an impressive 2010 debut yesterday scoring a 23-17 win over the upstart Washington Huskies. Washington was 5-7 last year, but are clearly on the rise and looked pretty okay yesterday.

But try as they might, they couldn’t stop the two-headed QB monster at BYU.

Riley Nelson and Jake Heaps shared snaps and passed for exactly the same amount of yards (131) in the win. Nelson looked like a gamer, running around and making plays with his feet and his weird-lookin’ left arm. Jake Heaps shook off some early jitters to lead the team with poise. They both looked great to me.

In fact I was watching the game from my south end zone seats thinking “Yeah, I don’t blame Bronco for using both QBs.” I sure wouldn’t want to have to choose between the two.

I personally liked Nelson a little bit more in yesterday’s game. His arm looked good, he led BYU to their only two touchdowns, and his ability to run my most beloved play, the dive option, made me a happy man.

But Heaps showed some great promise. He’s going to be a great BYU quarterback.

JJ DiLuigi gets my player of the game award. When Washington was wearing down in the second half, DiLuigi just got better and better. He ran the option well (with one exception), and he was great catching the ball out of the backfield. The 48-yard TD he caught from Nelson was pretty. It was a beautiful ball, first of all, but DiLuigi used great speed and quickness to make sure he got in the end zone untouched.

As far as defense is concerned, I was excited about this group. And they made me happy for the most part. The run defense was a little shaky, and they did give up some long pass plays, but they cinched up when they needed to most. In fact, Washington only converted 1-7 third downs in the second half, and 0-3 fourth downs. That’s clutch.

Props to BYU on a big season-opening win. This win, over a good Washington team, is a huge confidence builder for this young team. I see a lot of good things from our 2010 Cougars.

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