Ask any defensive coordinator and they’ll probably tell you that a predictable offense is one that is much easier to defend.
That’s why during spring camp the BYU football team is adding more nuances, more elements to make it more difficult for opponents to figure out what they are doing.
“The base of the offense is the same but we’ve added new intricacies,” Cougar junior quarterback Taysom Hill said to the media after Tuesday’s practice. “We’ve made our offense a little harder to defend, I think. I don’t know if you guys have paid attention but we’ve added quite a bit of motion to our offense. We’re getting to things in different ways.”
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall with his defensive background said he’s tried to do his part to help enhance the way the offense is organized to challenge a defense.
“I love it,” he said. “I’ve spent the entire offseason with our offense, from the end of our fall until now. That doesn’t mean I’m an offensive coordinator yet, but I’m trying to lend everything I know about what makes us more difficult to defend. It’s fun to watch.”
It’s a much different approach than in 2013 when the mantra coming from everyone, specifically offensive coordinator Robert Anae, was “go fast, go hard.”
Hill said that the emphasis on going faster and harder hasn’t been emphasized as much in favor of improving what the execution.
“Our base is pretty much where we’ve always been at,” he said. “I don’t think we are going any slower but we’re not necessarily going any faster. Now it’s we need to allow our execution to catch up to how fast and how hard we are going.”
That means everyone now has to be even more zeroed in on what they have to do on a given play. Fanatical effort is still vital, but the drive is to make that effort turn into more than it did last season.
“I’ve seen a lot of improvement in the offense,” Cougar senior tight end Devin Mahina said. “We’re moving the ball really well, so it’s going to be interesting when we can actually go full contact. I look forward to seeing how many more yards we can get now.”
Motion can often be an effective smoke-and-mirrors approach since the defense has no choice but to respond.
BYU offensive line coach Garett Tujague said adding a little extra distraction could make a big difference for his guys in the trenches.
“I think when you motion, the defense has to change and so guys move,” Tujague said. “Coach Anae has done a really good job of building in calls so the offensive line knows why something is being called because of this motion and what we need to do. Having them identify that has been a huge help.”
He doesn’t think the new wrinkles has caught the offensive line off-guard at all. In his opinion, it give his unit some advantages.
“We’re anticipating where they are going to move based off that motion,” he said. “It’s built in to the call.”
He said he loves the doors this opens for the entire offense.
“They look,” he said. “If they are looking at that while we’re doing this, they aren’t going to see what is going on over here. It’s kind of like magic.”
Daily Herald sports editor Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or email@example.com. Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.