Provo • Ty Detmer has apparently seen enough poor production and sloppy execution from BYU’s offense this season.
The usually “calm, cool and collected” second-year offensive coordinator went off on the offense during Monday morning’s practice at the Indoor Practice Facility, freshman receiver Neil Pau’u said.
“It was good to see Ty kinda go off on us,” Pau’u said. “He got more riled up. … Today, his voice, he raised it a little bit.”
Pau’u’s brother, linebacker Butch Pau’u, said defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki did the same thing with the defense last week. But that didn’t work too well. The Cougars gave up 546 yards and 35 first downs in a 35-10 loss at Mississippi State last Saturday in Starkville, Miss.
Head coach Kalani Sitake said at his Monday press briefing that he welcomes the screaming and emotion from his assistants.
“I think that’s part of teaching,” Sitake said. “Sometimes you have to be a little loud. Sometimes you have to get on people to get things to change.”
That said, Sitake put the blame for BYU’s worst start since 1968 on himself and his coaches, and not the players. And he reiterated what he said after the 35-10 loss — that BYU’s defense has to share in the blame for the team’s struggles.
“Put it on the coaches, because the players give us all they have,” he said.
Defensive end Corbin Kaufusi said there was a different energy and vibe at practice Monday as the Cougars began preparing for East Carolina, which is also 1-6.
“This is a new season for us,” Kaufusi said. “The second half of the season is going to be completely [different].”
Through it all, Sitake has been careful to not use mounting injuries as an excuse, but they are becoming significant. Running back Squally Canada did not play against Mississippi State and is the latest key contributor to miss a game due to injury. Linebacker Fred Warner, running back Trey Dye and linebacker Chaz Ah You left the game with injuries, although Warner returned.
According to the school, BYU has had 34 different players miss significant time with injury. Of those 34, 22 have been on the two-deep chart and 12 were projected starters when preseason training camp began.
“It is not an excuse, but I think it limits you a little bit in what you can do because now you are not doing the stuff you did all camp and all spring ball,” Sitake said. “But that is our job as coaches, to get the best guys and the best 11 on the field and make sure they are doing their job effectively so we can get off the field on defense and so we can score points on offense.”
Sitake said Tanner Mangum’s ankle “is way better today than it was last week” when the junior quarterback prepared for Mississippi State.
“Injuries are a part of college football,” Sitake said. “We just have to adjust. It is a great opportunity for our other players to step up and take advantage of their chance to show what they can do on the field.”
Sitake said the Cougars will leave for Greenville, N.C., on Thursday to allow an extra day to get acclimated to the time change in the Eastern Time Zone. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. MT and the game will be televised by the CBS Sports Network.