From the FanPosts...
Just after the Florida State game, I posted on here that we should remain optimistic. I wrote that I like our coaches, and that we should be pleased with their development. Well, after another long 3 hour drive home from that game last night, I'm rethinking. These are some general observations of the game from 16 rows up....
1. I saw frequent confusion on defense looking for signals from the sideline when TCU would break quickly and set quickly. BYU guys just weren't ready at the snap and they were getting pushed back 3-4 yards. I credit them with not giving up too many big plays, but this made it easy for TCU to methodically work down the field. Generally, I thought our defense played a pretty decent game. If the offense had put together any long scoring drives, the defense was good enough to keep us in the game.
2. Our offense, on the other hand, was impatient. We were RUNNING THE BALL ON THEM! Yet, we didn't keep it up. Harvey was chewing up 4-5 yards per carry, but we kept trying to force long passes. If we had stuck with the run to set up the pass, then we could have moved the ball on those guys. We did it repeatedly, but Anae and Hall kept looking for the long throws. I believe it was the 2nd drive of the game when we had moved into TCU territory and we faced 2nd and 2. Instead of running Harvey, we dropped Hall back to pass and he got sacked. Stick with what is working! It's like we're so proud of our passing game that we refuse to accept the fact that we just might have to beat a team with 3-5 yard runs mixed with some short passing. It blew my mind that Anae couldn't change his game plan to match what they were giving us. To me, our offensive woes were directly tied to coaching. Anae has to learn to adjust in-game to what is working.
3. Tying into #2, I'm worried that BYU is more dedicated to the principles of maintaining an offensive/defensive identity/philosophy than they are about finding and exploiting the other team's weaknesses. TCU obviously struggled with Manase and Harvey lining up in the I and running right at them. Use that to set up everything else! Use that to set up some play action that involves short passing or Max rolling out. I just don't get it when we refuse to change our identity for a game. Saying, "We're BYU, this is what we do, and we will out-execute you even though you know what's coming" just doesn't work all the time. We need to have the guts to change within a game.
4. I thought the players on BYU looked equally skilled as TCU's players (I felt the opposite with Florida St.). There is no reason we should be getting blown off the field by TCU or Utah or any other team. If we lose, fine. But getting blown off the field? We had the players and the effort yesterday, but the coaching was terrible. You could see delays in getting the defense set yesterday, and you could see that TCU had some weaknesses on defense (nothing major, but there were holes) that could be exploited by an adept coordinator. BYU has now been blown out by TCU twice, and Utah once in the past three games with those guys. There is no reason this should be happening given our talent and experience on the field. Our coordinators need to adjust.
5. If I hear one more player or one more coach say the players just need to execute better, I'm going to puke. Getting beat 38-7 on your home field isn't about players not executing game plans - at least not in this instance. From the stands, I saw guys working their butts off within their assignments, from one play to the next, and I felt like guys were doing what the play called for. However, I felt that the plays being sent in were not effective. To me, this game was about coaching. Gary Patterson and his staff out-coached BYU. Of course, there were a few plays that could have been better executed (Chambers dropping that long pass down the east sideline), but I didn't walk away from that game thinking I had just watched poor play and a lack of effort. It was clear to me, and the people sitting around me, that the coaching needs to step up. Again, I'm not expecting a win every game, but we have the athletes and the experience to be competitive every game, especially within conference.
Well, that's my two cents. I still like our coaching staff. But I believe the time has come to stop blaming execution and start looking at coaching. The coaches need to step up and at least get the team ready to compete each week. I think the Y is spending too much time worrying about how to approach the season or the game (having fun vs business-like; Quest for Perfection vs One Game at a Time). Football really comes down to one thing: is the game plan good, and are the players executing it? I felt like the players were executing the plan yesterday, but I don't think yesterday's plan was a good one. That's coaching.