I have come to the discovery that the life of a BYU football fan is a life of extremes. For a large majority of fans, I'm not speaking in hyperbole when I say that nothing made you happier than the two blowout victories over Texas and nothing made you more angry than losses to Utah and Virginia. It's the nature of the fanhood beast.
That being the case, after certain games that aren't decided victories or terrible losses, the blessed social media forum of Twitter can be quite entertaining. At some point during or after the game, I saw tweets like:
"After tonight, there is no way the BYU goes undefeated. We just got exposed on national TV in a BAD WAY."
"Taysom for Heisman? What a joke."
"I mean if we can't even cover the spread, how do we expect to get national attention?"
"GIVE THE BALL TO DEVON BLACKMON OR I QUIT!"
It the heat of the moment these tweets are perfectly justified, or at least we think so. After the mini-meltdown at the end of the second quarter, I suggested Bronco walk into the locker room and flip over a few tables. I still like the idea of Bronco going in and "cleansing the temple," but I'm glad that he took a more level-headed approach.
But as I said previously, this is who we are. We are emotional, neurotic fans who can be set on national championship dreams one minute and call for the coach's head the next. This game against Houston was a perfect example.
All that being said, how should we feel about BYU's 33-25 victory over Houston? Regardless of how you feel right now, I will try to convince you of one extreme or the other. Do you think that there are some positives that we can pull from this unimpressive victory? I got you covered! Do you have a feeling that the ship is going down in flames? I HAVE FUEL FOR THE FIRE.
GOOD COP - REASONS TO BE (somewhat) HAPPY WITH THIS VICTORY
- Guess what. WE WON THE GOSH DANG GAME. You know what that means? We didn't lose, which means that we still have a chance to win all of the games, and that sounds like a really fun prospect. If winning this game doesn't make you happy then please bypass the rest of these bullets and get your Bad Cop on.
- Taysom Hill is still the type of man that Ron Swanson would want to partner with on his two man crosscut saw team. We elevated him to Heisman status this week and running for 160 yards and throwing for 200 will keep him in the conversation. Does he have things to work on? Sure, we all do. Heck, I stress ate three packets of M&M's during the second quarter but that doesn't mean I can't be considered a...wait...I have a feeling this point is getting away from me.
- What's that? We beat an American Conference team by only eight points? Call me crazy, but UCLA only beat MEMPHIS (you know, that football powerhouse ALSO from the AAC) by SEVEN points. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but UCLA is still ranked in the top 25. What's that? They're ranked 12 in both polls? How bout that.
- If you jump over to ESPN.com, the headline they are using in the little news bit section it says, Hill (360 yards) shines in No. 25 BYU's win. Shines. Not falters, or fumbles or stumbles. A positive word like that can go a long way to influence the SIDs who are voting for their coaches (and east coast writers, too) in the "I turned off the game at 23-0 and checked the box score Friday morning" poll.
- The Cougars of Houston ran the ball 13 times for a grand total of 10 yards. That's only 11 more yards than our dutiful punter Scott Arellano had in his lone carry for negative-one yard. If we gave Scotty a few blockers, he had a chance to outrush the other Cougars. IF that did happen, I would demand that "PUNTER OF LIMITED RUNNING SKILLS OUTRUSHES OPPOSITION" be the headline of every Utah paper. Next time Scotty!
- Speaking of scaring people, a USA Today college football writer had this to say about BYU's defense. "BYU plays right on the edge of being dirty. IF not over it." Most people might not like being called dirty but I'll chalk this one up as a high compliment. More often that not, BYU is referred to as a bunch of swell guys. I'm done with that. These guys bring the wood and I don't want it to change one bit.
- We still won despite the absence of offensive linemen Tejan Koroma for doing what interior linemen do on pretty much every play. Punch each other. It anything, Tejan should have his black belt taken from him because he didn't even land the punch, but whatever. Edward Fusi came in a did an OK job, but having one of our better run blockers (not to mention of our best pass blockers and pass catchers Algie Brown) back next week will be nice.
BAD COP: REASONS TO BE CONCERNED WITH THIS VICTORY
- Just in case anyone was wondering what hot garbage football looks like, please go back and watch the last two minutes of the second quarter. Sweet mercy it was brutal. The turnovers were maddening, but the biggest 'worst' from this game was that terrible hail mary touchdown. Rob Daniel is generally one of my favorite people, but for some ungodly reason he went for the interception instead of knocking the ball down. My sister, who only knows about football because of Tim Riggins, knows that on the hail mary, you knock down the gosh dang ball. I wish I could say that this was the only mental lapse, but there were many others. Lots of sloppy.
- Let's talk some more about those turnovers because they probably cost some people in Vegas a lot of money. Why's that? Houston turned every BYU turnover into points, 15 of them to be exact, on scoring drives of 29, 45 and 8 yards. Good teams will capitalize on these turnovers, like Houston did, but better teams will actually make their extra points, making games that much more interesting. (Side note: we didn't force any turnovers either which is not a good thing.)
- For the second time this season, BYU eased off the gas against a lesser opponent. Even in the Texas game, there are quarters of fantastic football and quarters of "we're still learning." I don't think anyone is asking for perfection (except for this year's record), but having some kind of consistency would be a nice thing.
- Taysom Hill was on the run A LOT tonight. Not that I don't mind it, but one of three things is happening here. 1) Taysom is slowly going back to his run first roots. 2) The offensive line didn't give him more than "one Mississippi" to complete a pass. 3) The wide receivers are still struggling to get open. Regardless if it's just one of those three, or a combination of each, BYU needs to firm up that passing game so Taysom isn't running the ball every other down. He will absolutely get hurt if he's running 25+ times every game.
- Mitch Mathews still has a terrible haircut and still feels the need to jaw with every opposing cornerback. I love some good smack talk, but until he catches a fade route TD pass (might be more on Taysom than him but whatever) he should keep his yapper shut.
- It seemed as if we couldn't get a consistent pass rush unless we brought 3-4 linebackers. I won't say that I'm worried that this defensive front won't be up to snuff, but it's just sad that gone are the days of KVN and Ziggy when we could rush four and get pressure on the QB.