Friday, January 16, 2009

#8 and moving on UP!

BYU opened its season with a crushing win over UC Davis to the tune of 62 points to 13. According to a previous article on, BYU was ranked #8 at the start of the season (a relatively low ranking as compared to BYU's usual #2 but this due to no preseason play). And, needless to say, it looks like BYU will be moving up in the rankings 'from the get go'.

I won't attempt to summarize the events of the match; you can read for yourself about the domination by clicking on either of these two links:

"BYU overpowers UCD"

"Cougars Start 2009 Season with Win at Davis"

I would, however, like to just elaborate on what exactly this win means based on BYU's previous season or two.

First, all kinds of players, forwards and backs, were scoring for BYU... even true freshman, Jordan Lowry, found the tryline.
Additionally, as mentioned in the article, most all of these tries were scored by the player in support of the original player who first changed the momentum of play. The players found a way to sacrifice for the team... to focus on a team effort instead of pursue an individual effort as might be tempting, especially to more experienced players, at the start of a season.

Second, the BYU pack once again dominated, setting up tries for all... and the backs capitalized on these opportunities in turn. In recent years, BYU's backs have seemed to struggle in terms of stringing together solid plays and attacks, regardless of the forwards' performance. With the greater depth and experience of BYU's roster this year, I believe a more solid backline will emerge... and as for the forward pack, well... they will just roll everyone as usual (only a little bias intended)!

Third, the BYU defense apparently got better and better as the match progressed, allowing no points from the opposition in the second half. I don't mean to say that BYU has not done this before... in fact, I think they've done it way too often. While a second half shutout is impressive, nevertheless a first half shutout is infinitely more impressive. In previous years, BYU has displayed a bad habit of timidity at the outset, resulting in 'gimme' points for the opposing side (e.g., Test against Air Force last season; ten minutes in, the Zoomies led 10-0). Although BYU most always retaliates and wins in fine fashion, nevertheless such delayed efforts are not enough, and will never be enough, against teams of more substantial experience and fitness (e.g., Cal Berkeley the last three years running... ugh, brings a bad taste to my mouth even thinking about it!). Good defensive work fellas, but let's tighten it up even more.

Fourth and finally, as much as I don't want to end on a sour note... I'm going to have to do so (but let's face it, this first match represents only the beginning of a roller coaster ride of a season... and I'm offering you a seat at the front, facing the cold, hard facts!). I'm talking about the penalties, yes, the penalties. UC Davis' only points in the whole match were set up by BYU penalties... PENALTIES! GIMME POINTS! WHY??? And later in the second half, two yellow cards were called on BYU players... (ahhh, let me catch my breath here a moment) ... I suppose the only positive thing I can say is thank goodness I wasn't playing or I would be a penalty magnet (i.e., less talent = greater rage). But you BYU starters are better than I ever was. Why do you need to let loose on a team you are already dominating??? Seriously, it's not like you were playing Cal or anything. Now's the time to get those emotions under control, because when you do play Cal, penalties will sink you fast!

Well now, the teams a-rollin', and I am nevertheless proud of their performance. Way to set the stage for the rest of the season! Now let us all, fans, friends, former players, and family get fired up and support our team! BYU Rugby! "Cougars on three, ready? One... two... three... COUGARS!!!"

1 comment:

  1. Excellent points. I probably need to read the whole article about the game, yet I feel like I have gotten an impressive review of the game. Thank you- slowly and surely I am becoming a BYU Rugby fan.


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