Right now I'm sitting in the Las Vegas airport on layover from my trip to Oxford, Mississippi, by way of Memphis.
Yesterday I was in the stands of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium where I witnessed a filthy awesome comeback win by the BYU Cougars over the Ole Miss Rebels.
It's been a pretty exhausting weekend.
Ole Miss was an amazing experience, but I'll post about that later. What I want to do now is give my take on the game.
First and foremost, this was a big win for BYU. Our first game as an independent football school, on ESPN, on the road in the vaunted cradle of football, the SEC. Obviously I would have liked a little more oomph, a little more convincing a win, but I'll take this win any day.
Now let's take a closer look, together, at each unit.
Offense: Frustrating. We moved the ball well enough, but dumb mistakes kept us from finishing drives. Penalties, bad snaps, poor decisions... Without those mistakes we're looking at 10-20 more points on the board. Jake's pick six was also a 14 point swing in the wrong direction.
However, Jake still led our only TD drive late in the fourth quarter, and that took guts. He was surprisingly efficient, and even though he looked jumpy and uncomfortable at times, he put up decent numbers. Jake Heaps is my offensive MVP.
Defense: Impressive. They lived up to the hype, big time. They hit hard, they played physical and in the end they, you know, won the game. I especially loved the front seven. Our d-line and linebackers showed me why they were so hyped coming into the season. Obviously KVN made the play of the game, but I also loved the play of Jordan Pendleton, Hebron Fangupo, Daniel Sorenson and Uona Kaveinga.
The secondary looks like a BYU secondary, meaning, they can't hold coverages forever. We still need to apply lots of pressure to force QBs into mistakes.
My defensive MVP is Kyle Van Noy, by the way. All this dude does is make plays.
Special Teams: Disappointing. I don't want to say I knew Justin Sorenson was going to miss that 31-yard field goal in the second half, but I'll say it anyway. I saw it coming from a mile away. For all his leg strength, JS just can't figure out how to be consistent.
Plus the punt coverage unit gave up a huge return that gave the Rebs all kinds of momentum. I was there to witness; it was loud.
Nevertheless, I love Jordan Johnson as a kick returner. He only got to bring one back, but he showed quickness, elusiveness and speed. I'm thinking this guy is going to give us some good stuff this year. He's my MVP.
Great win, go Cougs. If anyone is going to Austin next week, let me know. I think I might follow the team around full time.