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A Season of Missed Opportunities

Coaches and players say that after each game the next week is a new week, a new opponent, and a new challenge. Facing Nevada this week is indeed a new week of preparation, and a new opponent; but like much of the season that has already past, the old challenges still remain. 

For the Cougars, the season had the promise of big time games both at home and on the road, a duel threat quarterback in Taysom Hill that resembles Nevada’s 2010 quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and a top tier defense anchored by Kyle VanNoy. Fans dreamed that this would be the season where BYU would finally hear the chants of BCS throughout LaVell Edwards Stadium; the same way Alabama fans seem to every year.

Now, in late November, LaVell Edwards Stadium is still waiting for the chants of BCS. For most fans, this season has become a season of missed opportunities. A season where a typhoon-soaked Virginia field led to a late interception, a Utah game that left fans wondering if the bye week was to blame, or the team’s struggle to finish drives once inside a snow covered red zone at Notre Dame. 

BYU has been plagued by injuries, a porous and inexperienced offensive line, a red zone offense that is scoring touchdowns less that 50 percent of the time, and final outcomes that have left the program frustrated but focused on the future.

Nevada is the regular season closer. It will be BYU’s final chance to fix mistakes that have plagued them and their fans all season long. Consider Nevada a final tune up leading to the Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 27 in San Francisco versus a strong Pac-12 opponent. A win against Nevada can set up momentum heading into the post-season. Finishing with two more wins is crucial for the program’s outlook heading into next year where the schedule is even better.

But BYU will need to fix that offensive line, find a telepathic wavelength for Taysom Hill and Cody Hoffman to work on, and find a rhythm that will consistently put up touchdowns in the red zone. Will it be difficult? Yes. Is it possible? Definitely. Because, as we’ve seen all season long, just when you count the Cougars out they come back stronger than ever (just ask Texas). 

From the desk of Spencer Kinga producer for BYU Sports Nation on BYU Radio.

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