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BYU football: More from Anae on Cougars’ altered offense
Did you ever think you would see the day when BYU would have more rushing yards -- 1,389 -- than passing yards -- 1,019 -- as it neared the halfway point of a football season?
I tackled that issue with this article -- "What happened to Quarterback U?" -- in today's Tribune. I had an informative telephone conversation with former Cougar QB John Beck while working on the article, and Beck had some good things to say about current QB Taysom Hill, so I put some of those comments in this notebook that wasn't published in the paper, but can be found online.
After reading the Quarterback U. article, BYU fan Denton Goodman made a good point, which he passed along in an email: Just because an offense runs the zone-read, that doesn't mean it has to be a running team. Goodman alludes to teams such as Arizona State that use the zone read, but passes the football out of it more than it runs it.
BYU could theoretically do the same thing, but so far the Cougars have rushed 277 times and passed 166 times. By comparison, BYU rushed 505 times last year and passed 498 times.
As Goodman points out, BYU is leaning toward running over passing due to Hill's running ability.
As is usually the case, I collected far more interesting comments than I could possibly include in one article. Here are a bunch more on the topic from Robert Anae, Taysom Hill, quarterbacks coach Jason Beck and freshman quarterback Billy Green.
Anae on whether they are out recruiting prep QBs who can run the zone-read offense, or who are prototypical BYU drop back passers:
"When you recruit players, you recruit the best players that fit your campus, that fit your school. And we have a certain criteria with academics, there's a certain criteria with off-the-field behavior. Certain guys are drawn to this environment, and certain guys are not. So the ones that are drawn, our job as coaches is to evaluate, recruit the best players we can, and put them in the best position to succeed. Is that a one-sided approach? Boy, I hope not. My background and experience has been with assorted types of offenses. That's our job as a coaching staff, is to find the best players and do the best things, and to start with that, I don't mean that is all they will do, the whole time they are at the school. But their sophomore year, since we are talking about Taysom, that's our starting point with them."
Hill on when he was deciding on a school and how much the offense the school ran was a factor:
"Considering the offense was definitely one of my considerations, but I think more than that it was the coaches at that school, and I think the signs of a good coach is if he can take his offense and build it around the talent that he has, so I think that is something that coach Anae has done really well. I obviously signed to play for coach [Jim] Harbaugh out of high school, and I feel like that is something he does well as well."