Yes, Spring football is essentially over, and we have a few month break, but it doesn't mean BYU fans won't be discussing, tweeting, and blogging about the state of the BYU football program. From what we've heard from Spring and saw at the Spring Game, here are a few weaknesses needing to be addressed before or during Fall Camp, which starts in August.
1. Offensive Line:
BYU's season will live and die based upon this position group. Last year, BYU was a good offensive line and fast receivers away from having a special season. Nothing has changed this year in that regard. BYU has added some nuances on offense, putting the WR's in motion before the snap to confuse the defense and keep them on their heels. I imagine this will help the offensive line in the fact that the defense might bite on the receiver in motion, or be a step slow thinking the receiver in motion might get the ball. This is a tactical advantage that will give the QB more time to throw if it is a passing play.
Taysom Hill was sacked a couple times in the Spring game, he wasn't under constant duress like he was against Wisconsin and Notre Dame last year, but I only saw minor improvement from the O Line from Fall to Spring. I hope this improvement becomes a little more tangible come fall camp. BYU has the speed at WR with Michael Davis and with what coaches have said about Blackmon. But if Hill doesn't have sufficient time to find the open guy, BYU's in for another long year. On the bright side, BYU's run blocking is great. I don't think you could ask for more from an offensive line when it comes to creating holes and running lanes for Hill and Jamaal Williams.
2. Offensive Production (passing game in particular):
In BYU's 5 losses last year, BYU averaged 15ppg, 221 yards passing and 192 yards rushing. They never scored more than 17 points in the 5 losses. For the season, BYU was 10th in the nation in rushing with 263 yards per game. That is an elite level rushing team. However, BYU was 71st in the nation in passing with 226 yards per game. With 126 teams currently in the FBS, 63rd would be exactly in the middle. BYU was a below average passing team, and for BYU fans who are used to all the glorious years of great passing teams, that doesn't sit well.
The reasons for the below average passing game I pin onto two things. Hill is capable so I'm giving him a pass, which some of you might disagree with. Lack of wide receiver speed and the offensive line were the two items for concern in our passing game. Hill was always in duress, especially in the significant games. He didn't have time to go through his reads and find the open guys because he was always pressured and didn't have the time. Partially because the wide receivers weren't really getting open, which I'd blame on lack of speed. Either way, the passing game needs to get better. Hill had a solid spring game, the offensive line held their blocks decently, and the WR's had a couple deep balls that BYU hasn't been used to in recent years. It's looking a tiny bit better, but still isn't even near how good our rushing game is, top 10 in the country. BYU scored three passing TD's in the Spring Game, so that is encouraging. Anytime an offense can get 21 points on the board through the air, that is something to be proud of.
Field Goal kicking: Trevor Samson and Moose Bingham are basically in a tie heading into Summer. this is encouraging considering the competition between the two will drive them to get better, so the product on the field come fall will be better because of it, at least in theory. Corey Edwards joins the team in the Summer. He has some hype and could possibly contend or compete with those two for the kicking duties for the fall. Considering none of BYU's field goal kickers have any in game experience, this is a weakness until proven a strength.