2011-2012 Football Previews – Independant – Brigham Young Cougars
After the conference shuffling in the Mountain West this past year, Brigham Young finds itself aligned with no one in a brave new world in 2011.
2011-2012 Independant Schools | BYU Cougars Football Preview
Coach: Bronco Mendenhall
2010 Record: 7-6
BYU Gambling Odds from Bodog to win BCS: +10000
BYU Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2011 Schedule –>
Yet, in his seven years holding the clipboard, head coach Mendenhall has shown he is afraid of nobody, and rolls out a much improved BYU squad in ’11.
The Cougars have a bunch of tricky road tests this season, but they are confident they have the talent to snag enough wins and a couple upsets along the way. We will soon see if BYU’s performance is worthy of a Notre Dame-esque conversation starter, or an Army-esque “What conference do these guys play in again? Wait, they have a football team?”
Lauded QB Jake Heaps should be much improved this season. Heaps started as a freshman in 2010, and despite some early turbulence, he got better as the season went on. He “only” threw for 2,316 yards (very pedestrian for a BYU offense) but his 15 TD passes broke a 22-year freshman record set by Ty Detmer. Ultimately, Heaps was coveted for a reason and as just a sophomore, he should go on to have a highly productive BYU career.
Heaps’ play should also improve because the BYU offense is stacked. The offensive line is excellent top to bottom led by All-American Matt Reynolds, and there are some great skill position players like WR McKay Jacobson and RB J.J. Di Luigi.
The defense is a little less impressive, but it will be carried by LBs Jordan Pendleton and Brandon Ogletree. Also, Justin Sorenson, the #1 high school kicker in the country a couple years ago, returns from a mission. [soliloquy id=”82219″]
The Cougars defense must fill vacancies at the nose tackle position and in the secondary. Senior Hebron Fangupo moves in at the nose, who is a 310-lb presence and a former USC signee, so that at least is encouraging. The secondary is a little more of a mess, with only one returning starter and that being uninspiring S Travis Uale.
Mendenhall should have his troops responding well to the re-alignment, but there always is the chance the Cougars will be a little shell-shocked no longer playing in a conference and having a plethora of difficult road games to play.
2011-12 BYU Football Prediction: 9-4
Brigham Young had been very consistently good in the Mountain West Conference for several years now. The Cougars were 7-6 last year, producing a winning season even in a down year while breaking in a freshman QB.
The 2011 BYU team is better at every position group except in the secondary. There should be tangible improvement in Heaps and despite BYU grappling Ole Miss, Texas, Oregon State, TCU and Hawaii away from home, its record should definitely improve on last year’s.
2011 BYU Cougars Schedule
9/3/11 4:45 PM ET @MISS
9/10/11 7:00 PM ET @TEXAS
9/17/11 9:15 PM ET UTAH
9/23/11 8:00 PM ET CENFL
9/30/11 8:00 PM ET UTAST
10/8/11 12:00 PM ET SJST
10/15/11 12:00 PM ET @OREST
10/22/11 12:00 PM ET IDAST
10/28/11 8:00 PM ET @TCU
11/12/11 12:00 PM ET IDAHO
11/19/11 12:00 PM ET NMXST
12/4/11 12:00 AM ET @HAW