Man, that Nevada vs. BYU game was just a terrible game to watch on TV. I haven't seen a crowd that dead since the last early morning High Priest Group meeting I attended, and Heaps, doing his best best Jake Locker imitation (the innacuracy part, not the running) didn't do anything to keep them awake. I know he’s a freshman (make that a "true" freshman -- i'm still trying to explain that phrase to my wife) and I don’t really blame him for all the missed throws, but I do blame the coaching staff. I don’t blame Bronco directly, but I do hope he realizes that fans won’t delegated blame the same way Bronco delegated responsibility.
Instead of Heaps having the entire spring and the last three games to get accustomed to his receivers, their speed, tendency’s etc, he’s only just beginning to get the reps he's needed to learn about the receivers and have the chance to get into the flow of a game and/or practice and we’re already in the 4th game of the season. I think what gets lost in all this "it’s not Bronco’s fault, he delegated this decision to his staff" talk is that it’s definitely somebody’s boneheaded decision, so let’s pile on Anae! Anae/Doman/Bronco (in that order) decided that BYU was going to be the exception to the rule and they, unlike anyone else in football history could make the two quarterback system work. Now nevermind that even a fan with a very basic understanding of football new this was a bad idea from the start, Bronco's Delegation Crew figured let’s cut each of our two quarterback's playing time in-half for all of spring practice and for the first three games and unlike every other program in the country, we will develop not just one, but two great quarterbacks and figure out a way to win like this. Uhm..fail.
It’s not just the offense, the defense is terrible as well, they get absolutely no pressure on the QB and the lack of respect Nevada had for BYU’s defense was humiliating. They went for it on fourth down pretty much every time, regardless of field position. Then you look across the way and see Wyoming holding Air Force to 14 points and you realize just how bad this defense has become. BYU should not be clinging to "moral" second half victories for holding a team to 27 points.
I've been trying to talk myself into the fact that this is a rebuilding year for the Y and this type of performance is to be expected. But over the weekend I started to think about Utah coming off their undfeated season in 2008 and losing their starting QB as well as a ton of talent but having a pretty successful 2009 season overall (other than their 3rd loss in 4 tries against BYU) and even starting a freshman QB halfway through the year...Utah, unlike BYU was able to rebuild successfully.
In looking at BYU this season they haven’t been able to rebuild and maintain the quality program they built-up over the past seasons. Sure, they should be struggling at the QB position with the loss of Max Hall, but they shouldn’t be struggling at every position on both sides of the ball. Great programs lose great players every year. Great programs have talent developed and ready to replace them. Great programs have a clear sense of who they are going to be when those great players move on. The hemming and hawing over the QB situation is just one sign that BYU had no definitive road map in place for this season. Granted losing Unga was a big blow but great programs also lose players like that all the time (see Oregon and their starting QB) but have the depth to replace them.
I had thought BYU had moved out of the "great team" arena and back into the "great program" era. Not yet. To become a great program Bronco cannot have this type of precipitous drop-off. Bronco’s final building block in his young coaching career is going to be figuring out how to rebuild without having to "re-start".