BYU 1-on-1: Where does Tyler Allgeier’s roundhouse land in the greatest plays in BYU football history?
BYU junior running back Tyler Allgeier rushes for a TD during the 22-17 Cougar loss to Coastal Carolina at Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C. on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020.
BYU's Jimmer Fredette awaits an inbound pass during the team's game against CSU at the Marriott Center in Provo Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011. MARK JOHNSTON/Daily Herald
The Daily Herald’s BYU sports experts Jared Lloyd and Darnell Dickson weigh in on five of the biggest questions facing the Cougars this week:
1. Where does Tyler Allgeier’s game-changing roundhouse punch rank in your list of great BYU football plays?
LLOYD: I’ve got my top tier of all-time great moments for the Cougars, plays like Clay Brown’s catch against SMU, Steve Young’s run against Missouri, Jernaro Gilford’s interception against Utah and Jonny Harline’s catch against the Utes. I probably wouldn’t put Allgeier’s punch in the Top 10 but I think it could make my Top 25 just because of the effort he put in to get there. I think he got some extra adrenaline because it was the guy he was supposed to block who got to Jaren Hall and forced the bad pass. He just made the most of it.
DICKSON: I think I would put it in my top 10 simply because of Allgeier’s determination and execution of a play that indirectly saved the game. Plus, I saw it in person and that makes it even more special. Who hasn’t dreamed about running down a defender and forcing a fumble like that? You’ll have a hard time finding any still photos of Allgeier’s play because few photographers were shooting it. No one expected it to happen. That’s one of the reasons why it’s such an amazing moment.
2. This is the 15th time in Cougar football history that BYU has won its first three games in a season. Which upcoming opponent do you think is dangerous enough to have the best chance of handing the Cougars their first loss of 2021?
DICKSON: There will be a lot on the line if both BYU and Baylor are undefeated heading into their game at Waco on Oct. 16. The Bears haven’t played anyone of substance going 3-0 so far but we’ll learn a lot about that team this weekend against No. 14 Iowa State.
Going to Texas will be BYU’s first trip outside of Utah for a true road game after opening in Vegas and playing at Utah State, so I expect it to be a very big test for both clubs. Former Cougar coaches Jeff Grimes and Eric Mateos really have Baylor cooking offensively so far.
LLOYD: While I think BYU should be easily capable of handling a South Florida team that is traveling across the country and has struggled this year, I’ve got the game against Utah State in Logan circled as a huge test for the Cougars. Everyone knows the Aggies love upsetting BYU and they have crushed Cougar hopes for a special season in the last decade. I like what Utah State head coach Blake Anderson is doing with the guys he has and I have no doubt the Aggies will be ready. That should be a fun battle at Maverik Stadium on Oct. 1.
3. One of the challenges the Cougars face with playing a lot of Power 5 teams early in the year is the impact on the team’s health. How big of a concern is that after three wins over Arizona, Utah and Arizona State?
LLOYD: I think you have to say that overall BYU has done alright in this area. Yes, the Cougars have seen some scary moments like what happened to Keenan Ellis against Arizona and a number of players have had to leave because they were dinged up. Most, however, have been able to or are slated to return. The big concern is the loss of Keenan Pili, who was playing great football and making a lot of tackles for the BYU defense. I like the depth of the Cougar linebacking corps but I think it limits BYU’s substitution patterns and flexibility to not have Pili available for the rest of the season.
DICKSON: We hear a lot from the players and coaches that they are deep and that everybody in the room can play if called upon. It’s one of those regularly quoted lines that doesn’t mean anything until you prove it on the field. So far, I’ve been impressed with that depth especially on the defensive side. BYU subs a lot on defense and they’ve held three straight Power Five opponents to 17 points or fewer. By the way, I’m not sure Jernaro Gilford gets the love he deserves for coaching the heck out of the cornerbacks. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a deep collection of cover guys at that position in blue. I’m not sure there is a superstar among them but they all play hard and disciplined.
4. What do you take away from the big Cougar women’s volleyball sweep of Utah last week?
DICKSON: BYU coach Heather Olmstead had a specific agenda when she looked at her prospective roster this spring: Improve passing and serve receive. She went out and got two defensive specialist grad transfers (Aria McComber and Gretchen Reinert) and All-American Kenzie Koerber, who plays all rotations and is a terrific passer. So far those three players have added to the great talent already in the building and they blitzed Utah from all angles..
After 2018 I thought it would be awhile before the Cougars could find someone as good as All-American Lyndie Haddock-Eppich to fill the setter role but Whitney Bower is darn close. Haddock-Eppich had incredible hops and was the best blocking setter in the country her senior year, but Bower might be the best defensive setter the Cougars have ever put on the floor. The tests WCC play will come from No. 23 Pepperdine and No. 25 San Diego, but I believe BYU has the talent to reach another Final Four.
I also should note that BYU’s only loss this season came at No. 4 Pitt (the second match of the day at a tournament) without senior All-American Taylen Ballard-Nixon.
LLOYD: Boy, if you get a chance to go check out what the Cougars are doing on the volleyball court this fall, you definitely should take it. This is a BYU squad that has only lost one match all year and that was a 3-1 defeat at No. 4-ranked Pitt. The match against Utah was supposed to be a battle of elite teams but BYU didn’t let it get too exciting. The first two sets were hotly contested but the Cougars made the key plays at the end, then shut the door with an impressive performance in the third. I look at what BYU did and I see a Cougar team that isn’t intimidated by anyone or any situation. This is a squad that will take on any challengers undaunted and play some great volleyball, which should serve BYU well as it battles through the rest of the season.
5. BYU announced its 2021 Hall of Fame class on Wednesday, which will feature Jimmer Fredette. What would you say is your favorite memory of seeing the magical Jimmer run a decade ago?
LLOYD: I will never forget just how big Jimmer-mania got. I was focused on online content at the time and I would compile references to what was being said about Jimmer and the Cougars across the country. I had some of the smaller writers that I referenced tell me how big of a spike their numbers would get just because I had put them on my list. While the crowds at the Marriott Center in Provo were unbelievable, people everywhere were captivated by Jimmer’s scoring ability, particularly against competition like San Diego State. It was a frenzy that will be hard to duplicate because he was such a unique performer.
DICKSON: The lasting impression of Fredette was how he could make opposing fans and media simply appreciate his greatness. I remember watching opposing players on the sideline react when Fredette would hit a deep, deep 3-pointer. I was there his senior year at the Huntsman Center when Fredette dropped 47 points on Utah, including his cold-as-ice halfcourt shot right before halftime. Most Ute fans in attendance had to grudgingly admit they were witnessing something special. When he had 52 points against New Mexico (while shooting just one free throw!) in the MWC semifinals in 2011 the reaction by fans watching in the Thomas and Mack Center was just stunning. The media from the other MWC schools kept looking at me when Fredette would do something incredible and I would just shrug. That’s what we’d been watching all season.
That No. 32 jersey should be in the rafters at the Marriott Center very soon.