After the Oklahoma game it was tough to really gauge the identity of our team. With a defense that was reminiscent of the 2009 season and an offense that regressed to Wake 2008 levels, our fan base had no idea what to expect from this BYU game.
Though the offense struggled in the first half, it put together 428 yards, 6.6 ypp, and 34 points. If we had better decision making in the first half (Ponder wanted to pull up and run too often. Was this a call he made on the field? Was this part of the game plan due to the success he had last season?) and if Bert Reed's fumble fell out of bounds this could have easily been a 45-50+ point performance.
It was encouraging that the defense corrected many of the mistakes that plagued them during the OU game. There was a lot of QB pressure from our front 4, the corners and safetys never gave up big plays and tackled a lot better, and we anticipated the no-huddle a lot better and lined up correctly.
What can we take away from this game?A. Werner is hands down a better player than White. He should start.
2. Our Wide Receivers aren't good enough to be a pass first team...
Bert Reed, Haulstead, Easterling, and Smith are all good enough to be on the field, but none of them seem to be talented enough to separate from coverage. I'm not sure if the defense is trying to take away all of the moderate/deep passes but we didn't have a vertical passing game until the mid-late third quarter.
D. ...Luckily our running game is good enough to feed early and often.
Ty Jones and Chris Thompson are great. One of them needs to start and both need 10+ carries every game. I don't think Thomas is a bad player per se, but he seems to be a running back that needs a few carries to "get going" before he starts to produce. The way Jones and Thompson are playing we can't afford to give Thomas that opportunity.
Green. We are good enough to compete for that Orange Bowl spot.
While there are too many factors to predict a conference championship in September, I feel like the conference is weak enough and we're able to compensate for our weaknesses well enough to contend. Talent isn't the issue as much as execution in a game-to-game basis. A lot of our issues are correctable. I feel good after this game.
Bud and the other great writers on this site will be able to put this win into context better than I can. BYU is more of a "name" than Samford but it's obviously not a win that will jettison us up through the rankings.