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BYU's problem identified: speed



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PROVO -- The Cougar nation is still trying to shake off Saturday night's humbling home loss to Florida State.

The win surged the Seminoles back into the top 25, while the Cougars fell to 19th and 20th. But BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall's review of the game tape has him more optimistic than you'd expect.

"I counted just 27 simple assignment errors," Mendenhall said. "That's just over a third of the plays where a guy didn't play to the level he had just the previous two weeks."

Of course, FSU's Bobby Bowden, the second most-winning coach in major college football's history, says it's more about the players and their strengths and weaknesses. Speed, especially, is huge.

"You know, we've always had that even when we used to play LaVell. We had team speed; they had size. If you don't have speed, you can't catch it," Bowden said.

Former Cougar legend and NFL Hall-of-Famer Steve Young echos coach Bowden. Young says BYU has to get faster to compete at the highest levels in college football.

"Until further notice, we're going to struggle against those higher-ranked speed teams. You know, we can handle the Oklahomas, Ohio States, even the USCs, anyone in the PAC-10; but those really speedy teams are the ones we've got to watch out for. It's our Achilles heal right now," Young said.

E-mail: tkirkland@ksl.com

Tom Kirkland

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