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Shep Talk: The good, the bad and the ugly of BYU's 2012 schedule

By Jason Shepherd   |  Posted Feb 17th, 2012 @ 11:27am



SALT LAKE CITY -- When BYU's 2012 Football schedule was released this week, there weren't many surprises. We've all known for months who the Cougars would be playing. The only real unknown was some of the specific dates. Now that we have those, it's time to look at the schedule as a whole.

A major gripe last season, and deservedly so, was the home schedule. Outside of Utah, there were no home games that fans were overly excited to attend. This year's home schedule isn't great either but it is an improvement on last season. Yes there are still some WAC teams coming to Provo, but with the likes of Washington State and Oregon State making trips to LaVell Edwards Stadium, it is a step in the right direction.

One thing everyone needs to remember is that Tom Holmoe told fans that the first two years of Independence were going to be an adjustment in regards to scheduling. BYU was trying to setup a full 12-game schedule on relative short notice.

From the Stands:

The road games are where the 2012 schedule hits a home run. BYU will play at Utah, Boise State, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech (I'm purposely leaving out roadies to San Jose State and New Mexico State). The thing that makes those road games so intriguing and difficult is when they take place. The Cougars will play Utah and Boise State back to back and then will play Notre Dame and Georgia Tech back to back a month later.

That will be a very difficult set of games for BYU.

While the road games will be challenging, it's important to remember that BYU will be led by a senior quarterback in Riley Nelson. The Cougars have always fared well when their quarterback is a senior. Just looking back on the last three senior QB's Max Hall went 11-2, John Beck ended his season at 11-2 and Brandon Doman led BYU to a 12-2 record in 2001.

BYU's Curtis Brown runs by Notre Dame's Chinedum Ndukwe as BYU losses to Notre Dame 49- 23 in South Bend, Indiana, Oct. 22, 2005. (Tom Smart/Deseret News)

That's really what everything boils down to. Will the 2012 team be good enough to win games? If you have a talented team, you can win anywhere. There are still some question marks about the 2012 BYU football team but overall fans should feel pretty good about the Cougars.

Offensively, BYU has a veteran quarterback with weapons all around him. Michael Alisa established himself as a lead back and with guys like Josh "Juice" Quezada, Adam Hine and Jamaal Williams in the mix as well, the Cougars running attack has major promise. We all know how talented the wide receivers are plus BYU's injured tight ends all return to the field.

On defense, you do lose guys like Jordan Pendleton, Hebron Fangupo and Jameson Frazier, but the Cougar "D" is in good hands with Kyle Van Noy and Uona Kaveinga.

The announcement of the 2012 Football schedule was just the beginning for Cougar fans. Spring ball gets underway on March 5th, fall camp begins in August and before you know it, BYU will be hosting Washington State at LaVell Edwards Stadium on September 1st.

I can't wait!

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