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The 2012 BYU football season was filled with ups and downs, as well as controversy. Regardless of what happened between September and November, the Cougars ended December with an impressive defensive performance and a win over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl. At 8-5, BYU moves into the off-season with a bowl win and feeling more optimistic about the future.
The Cougars lose several impact seniors including Brandon Ogletree, Preston Hadley and Riley Nelson. The biggest losses however, may come from the junior class. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy and wide receiver Cody Hoffman are both candidates to leave BYU for the NFL. Both players are well deserving and will be missed greatly in Provo if they decide to leave.
When fans look back on the 2012 season, most will see it as a season of missed opportunities. BYU could have easily picked up two or three more wins along the way if certain plays had gone a different way. Despite the disappointment of losing games at Utah, Boise State, San Jose State and Notre Dame, there were still some bright spots to reflect upon.
The defense was great from the start of the season and will go down as the best defense in program history. Not only did they make it impossible for opposing offenses to move the football effectively, they changed the perception that BYU was just an offensive school. Without the defense, this season could have been a whole lot worse than 8-5.
Changes with this team are inevitable. BYU AD Tom Holmoe has already eluded to that. Assistant head coach Lance Reynolds has already announced his retirement after 31 years with the program. It remains to be seen what other changes Tom and Bronco will deem necessary.
The quarterback issues that plagued the Cougars this year will hopefully be rectified next season with the return of Taysom Hill. Jamaal Williams became a legit offensive threat as a freshman and has just scratched the surface of what he's capable of. The defense created the blueprint on how to be successful; now it's up to the guys returning to continue the dominance we all enjoyed this season.
While the year wasn't what everyone expected, it ended with a win, and the future looks bright!