I decided to go to the BYU game at the last minute and I wasn't disappointed. The first quarter and a half was necessary and cathartic for this team. BYU came to win and had a solid defensive gameplan and granite personnel up front. Our offense took their best shot, regrouped and then put on an impressive display out of a very thin playbook for the rest of the game. I chose to break down some oddities I noticed along the way plus some key plays that were just plain fun. But to start let's look at the not so fun.
Gilbert wasn't all alone in his struggles. Early on in this game we tested the fortitude of BYU's defensive front. It lived up to the billing. In particularly we struggled to deal with BYU's size inside and at defensive end.
Eventually though, we found some things to chip away at and that we are discovering that we have some pretty badass tools in the box.
We also had a lot of success in the Ash package with Reads, Screens and Options despite having few plays and formations to show BYU.
We built upon our strength in the short yardage situations this week.
Jordan Jaxon Shipley proved to be not just a spectacular true freshmen, but a jaw-dropping playmaker and leader on this team.
Overall, I think this offense probably surprised Harsin with what they are capable of despite a very limited number of plays. I doubt Harsin has ever called as many plays from the exact same looks as he did with David Ash. You can bet that will be his number one project for the next few weeks: expand David Ash's plays and formations as fast as possible. The great thing is that Ash showed him that we don't have to be incredibly deep in the playbook to be effective with the personnel in that package... I'm betting Harsin will want to diversify anyway :)
This offense transmorphed into a hodge-podge monster right before our eyes against BYU. Essentially we are a David Ash team that can apply perimeter pressure in the run game and we are a power running team and quick passing team under Case McCoy. That means we are going to be doing a ton of switching based on down and distance and defensive trends in the game. It's not ideal because certainly we will present obvious tendency to the defense, but we have a coordinator that has shown he sees his offense clearly from the defensive perspective and break its trends to wild success. In a strange way, hitting the wall that was BYU is the best thing that could have happened for the development of this young offense.
As always, these are just my takes on what I'm seeing in the game. My hope is that they are serving as a primer that allows everyone to more fully appreciate what's developing. Let me know if there's something you see in the clips that you are curious about and I'll see if I can address it. Enjoy.