Saturday, September 5, 2009
Game Preview: BYU vs. Oklahoma
First game of the year, BYU plays the number 3 team in the Country, at a "neutral" site in the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. I am excited that BYU is playing a Big 12 team, the Pac-10 non-conference games need a break. Most people are forecasting an easy Oklahoma victory. Maybe it will be that way. BYU has opened the year against high profile teams before and lost handily (Florida State in 1991 and 2000). In 2004, BYU played the number 1 ranked USC Trojans and lost 42-10 (third game of the year). However, the year before, BYU played the Trojans in LA and had the game close late in the 4th quarter, but still lost. On other occasions, BYU had performed well against high ranked opponents. BYU beat Texas A&M in 1979 on the road in the first game of that season. BYU beat number 3 Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh to start the 1984 season. We all remember number 1 Miami coming to Provo in 1990 and falling to the Cougars 28-21. Finally, the 1996 season started with an upset of highly ranked Texas A&M. That season also ended with BYU playing Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl, which amounted to a "home" game for Kansas State (BYU won 19-15). This will feel like a home game for Oklahoma. Even with all this past success, this is a new generation in BYU football. LaVell Edwards was coaching the team when it won these games, and Gary Crowton was coaching the team when they gave USC a run for its money. This is Bronco Mendenhall's first game against such a high profile non-conference opponent. No one knows how his teams will compare with Edwards or even Crowton. Utah was a top ten team last year when they played, and turnovers turned what appeared to be a BYU come from behind win into a blowout loss. As a true blue Cougar, I want to believe that BYU will shock the world today and win, which will complete the final piece of the puzzle in the return of BYU football to the glory days. Let the game begin!