College Football Preview: The 2014 Brigham Young Cougars
Brigham Young looks for a top 20 finish in 2014.
2014 College Football Preview
The Brigham Young Cougars look for a national recognition when they take the field in 2014.
Overview: Bronco Mendenhall and BYU have been successful in terms of winning and losing but the team has struggled against the better teams. Beating bad teams makes for a good record but beating good teams gets notoriety which the Cougars hope to get in 2014.
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Offense: This unit was mostly productive on the ground and sometimes painful to watch in the air but hopefully another season under center for Taysom Hill turns in to better results. Hill threw for over 2,900 yards but his 19/14 TD to INT ratio and 54% completion rate left a lot to be desired. On the ground Hill was a different story (209-1573) with an impressive 7.5 yard average. Jamaal Wiliams (217-1233) returns to give the Cougars a potent rushing attack with depth. The receiving unit lost the top three but UTEP transfer Jordan Leslie (44-612) is a solid addition and Mitch Mathews (23-397) looks for bigger things with a return from injury. The offensive line returns nine of their top ten from 2013 so experience and depth aren't a worry.
Defense: The offense is loaded but the defensive side of the football isn't as fortunate. Two of the top four up front have departed which means roughly half of the line with BYU seldom going with anyone but the starters but that has to change so an influx of youngsters will mix with the returning players. The linebacking crew was gutted by graduation with Alani Fua leading a group that lost four of the top five contributors overall. Leading tackler Uani' Unga and do everything Kyle Van Noy who was a terror to opposing offenses are the most notable losses. The secondary also lost some major contributors but also return a wealth of experience although this unit could be thrown on. Jordan Johnson who missed 2013 with injury and Nebraska transfer Harvey Jackson could play major roles at corner and safety respectively.
Special Teams: Punter Scott Arellano brings back a 41 yard average and KR Adam Hine averaged 27 yards per return but the coverage teams were not real strong and the Cougars need a punt returner and placekicker.
Outlook: The offense is loaded and the defense is missing some pieces. However, the schedule is not nearly as formidable as it has been in recent years. This alone should be enough for BYU to add a few games to the win column with nine or ten wins a possibility.