First Glance at Game Week...



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

For those who missed the weekly Bronco Mendenhall Press Conference either live or via podcast on ksl.com, you missed Bronco talking about a weapon missing from his team's offensive arsenal: field goals.

*******

Nationally, only two FBS teams have fewer than BYU's 4 field goals this season (San Jose State has 2, and Duke has 1). 24 times this season, a kicker has nailed 4 field goals in a GAME, so the season number is a little low.

Additionaly, BYU has only attempted 6 field goals in 7 games--another low number.

*******

Interestingly, the impact on actual scoring may be negligible (for example, three of the top four teams in scoring offense have 7 field goals or fewer), and the lack of confidence in the kicking game may actually be boosting overall offensive productivity, since BYU is gambling and converting more on 4th down when approacing the Blue Zone. BYU is 8 for 11 on 4th downs this season, which is the 11th best number nationally.

*******

Bronco says he really only feels good about sending Mitch Payne out for field goals once the team gets past the 25-20 yard line area, due to Payne's injury status, lack of practice time and lack of consistency. He says the 35-25 yard line region essentially becomes "four down territory," and the 50-25 yard line region should be considered similarly--the only question being "gamble" or "pooch punt?"

*******

Bottom line: Bronco is much more confident in his offense's ability to convert 4th and short anywhere between the 25 and 35 than he is his field goal kicker's abilty to hit a 42-to-52 yard field goal.

*******

Things will change a little bit once Justin Sorensen joins the program. At that point, anywhere past the 50 becomes field goal range. Should be interesting...

*******

Looking ahead to the Colorado State game, the Rams "roll" lasted all of one game. Utah forced CSU into its worst offesive showing of the season in a 27-3 setback, and into a quarterback change at halftime (Caleb Hanie was benched for Billy Farris, but later returned). Word is Hanie (12/18, 94 yds, 0 td, 1 int v. Utah) will start at BYU, with Farris (4/9, 46 yds, 0 td, 0 int) expected to see some 1st half snaps.

*******

To say the Rams have a tough time stopping the run is to say Bill Belichick has a tough time calling off the dogs. CSU is 115th nationally in rush defense, and is last in the league (87th nationally) in scoring defense). BYU, conversely, has run for 200+ yards in consecutive games, and leads the MWC in scoring, total offense and passing offense.

*******

The Rams' 1-2 running back punch of Gartrell Johnson and Kyle Bell can prove formidable at times, but BYU counters with the best rush defense in the league (10th nationally). The Cougars and New Mexico Lobos are the only two MWC teams yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season (AFA's Chad Hall had 97 yards at UNM last week).

*******

Seaking of Air Force, QB Shaun Carney made the 15-player semifinal list for the Davey O'Brien award today. Carney is 9th in the MWC in passing, 5th in passing efficiency, 13th in rushing and 9th in total offense.

*******

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast