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Inside Darnell’s Head: When the BYU defense plays well, it’s a complement

By Darnell Dickson daily Herald - | Jun 28, 2021
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BYU senior defensive lineman Khyiris Tonga pressures San Diego State quarterback Jordan Brookshire during the 28-14 Cougar win over San Diego State at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020.

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Darnell Dickson

Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s head this fine summer day.

Many times when I’m writing I am reminded of the definition of correct punctuation: The difference between a sentence that’s well-written and a sentence that’s, well, written.

That’s a complement

One of the most interesting conversations I had at BYU Football Media Day was with assistant head coach Ed Lamb. We were talking about goals for the defense and he said the Cougars play a complementary brand of football.

“If your offense is scoring a lot, we want to push the pace on defense and become more aggressive,” he explained. “If the offense is not scoring a lot, we want to choose our times to be aggressive and make sure we don’t give the game with a single long scoring play or touchdown.”

Huh. Never really thought of it that way.

Lamb went on to praise defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki for his efforts in this regard.

“This is an area in football that’s not always casually understood,” he said. “The idea of playing complementary football from a defensive perspective is an art.”

Remember that in 2021 when you start complaining about how Tuiaki doesn’t blitz the quarterback enough.

King for a day

A question on my Twitter timeline asked about favorite video games back in the day and it triggered a very pleasant memory.

I worked at a local pizza place in our small Oregon town back in the early 1980s and during my lunch break I would often play video games.

For 30 magical minutes one night I was absolutely the king of Centipede. For the unfamiliar, the player controls a shooter side-to-side as row after row of centipedes drop toward the bottom of the screen. That night, I couldn’t miss. Every shot connected, row after row after row. When I finally finished, my high score was 10 times my normal output and I had spent exactly one quarter in 30 minutes.

That was some night.

Don’t get in the way

Dozens of riders crashed at the Tour de France on Saturday when a female spectator held up a cardboard sign in front of the peloton. Oblivious to the racers in attempt to get on TV, the sign holder caused a horrendous pileup that actually ended the Tour for three riders.

This is a reminder as BYU fans begin to fill LaVell Edwards Stadium in September.

Behave yourselves, OK?

You want what?

I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend lately: More and more restaurants are automatically adding the tip on the bill during the ordering process.

Maybe I don’t understand how gratuities work, but I generally like to experience the service and the food first before I give a tip.

It’s kind of presumptuous to assume the tip before that happens, isn’t it?

On schedule

The pandemic has allowed thousands of college athletes an additional year of eligibility, and as I’ve looked at the BYU athletic roster for next year I started thinking about what it means.

For coaches it means more experience returning but crowded rosters. For athletes it means one more year of classes. But it also means finding a way to improve.

For instance, Alex Barcello, BYU’s leading scorer for Mark Pope’s basketball team, had an incredible senior season in 2020-21. He shot better than 50% from the field, 86% from the foul line and 48% from the 3-point arc. How much better can he get?

I’m sure Alex and the coaching staff can find some areas that can be more productive.

My point is that each athlete who decided to add another year to his or her eligibility needs to find the right mindset to keep getting better.

The long wait

My wife and I saw “In the Heights” as part of our anniversary festivities (30 years strong) and really enjoyed the movie. There are some insanely talented dancers and singers out there.

We also saw the trailer (again) for the latest James Bond installment “No Time to Die.”

The movie was supposed to drop November of 2019 but has been pushed to October 2021 due to the pandemic.

My wife quipped, “It’s going to be time to die before this movie comes out.”

That’s all, but for this: Sundays are always a little sad, but the day before is a sadder day.

Have a happy Monday and treat each other kindly.


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