Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s head on General Conference weekend. Was there actually a whole talk based on “Lord of the Rings,” or is that just the sugar high from my cinnamon roll talking?
Back to football
How did you spend your bye week?
I co-hosted with former BYU cornerback Ben Criddle on ESPN 960’s “Cougar Sports” radio show three times this week, talking mostly about the BYU football team and what they can do to turn the season around. Our general feeling is there is enough talent for the Cougars to finish strong but there has to be more discipline. We’re both excited to see what Jaren Hall can do at quarterback. We wondered out loud why BYU continues to stick with their “rush three, drop eight” defensive philosophy and decided the offense might need some changes on the line to get the running game going.
So we basically solved all of the Cougars issues.
South Florida — BYU’s next opponent — demolished UConn 48-22 on Saturday. The Bulls won’t have the depth or defensive talent of the Cougars first five opponents but they will have some dudes — fast guys, good athletes, skilled players. And BYU is making a trip to the eastern time zone for the second time in three weeks.
I brought up my DishAnywhere app, and under the “Critically Acclaimed” tab were the movies “Full Metal Jacket,” “Gattaca” … and “Airplane.”
Because critics love slapstick and Leslie Nielsen, don’t they?
Take a moment
My most impressive feat this weekend was interviewing Pleasant Grove’s Chloie Brinton.
It was amazing she had the time.
The junior was a key component to PG’s 3-2 girls volleyball victory at Lone Peak on Tuesday. On Saturday she won a 6A No. 1 doubles title with partner Lilly Craft. Brinton also plays basketball and softball for the Vikings. I teased her and asked why she couldn’t find time for the band or choir and a PG fan interjected that Brinton also plays violin.
I think it’s a master plan by her parents to limit her social life.
By the way, did you catch the headline to my 6A girls state tennis championships in the Daily Herald? Lone Peak (the Knights) won its third straight state title so the headline was “Knights Who Say Three.”
Kudos goes to weekend editor Ryan Olson, who wins headline bingo by referencing “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”: The knights who say “Ni.”
Very clever, Ryan, Very clever.
We’ll be fine
We get a chance to talk to the BYU men’s and women’s basketball teams this week as both programs hold their annual media day.
Both teams are dealing with adversity. Jeff Judkins’ crew is going to have to figure out how to win without Shaylee Gonzalez, who tore her ACL this summer and will miss the entire season. Mark Pope and his team lost forward Gavin Baxter for the season due to a shoulder injury and won’t have Yoeli Childs for the first nine games of the year due to an NCAA suspension.
Both groups will put on a brave face and talk about the “next man or woman up” philosophy. There will be enthusiasm for the start of the season and talk about how hard the team has worked and how close they are.
Injuries suck, no doubt.
The men were picked to finish third in the West Coast Conference, but with the injuries and the lineup in such a state of uncertainty, I might even go fourth behind Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and Pepperdine. The women were picked second behind Gonzaga, even though the Cougars beat the Bulldogs three times last season and won the WCC Tournament.
BYU senior wide receiver Talon Shumway is one of 185 semifinalists for the Campbell Trophy, which is awarded annually by the National Football Foundation. The award recognizes the best football scholar-athlete in the country. Shumway is an exercise science major. Former Cougar Taysom Hill was a finalist in 2016 and former Cougars Matt Bauman (2009), Jared Lee (2000), Steve Young (1983) and Stephen Miller (1976) also earned that honor.
Let’s go over this one more time.
Cubby’s makes fancy salads and sandwiches. Chubby’s serves burgers and fries. Both are delicious.
I’ve covered a lot of high school football in my career, but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a player quite like Orem’s Noah Sewell.
He’s a 6-foot-2, 265-pound linebacker/running back who is being courted by nearly every Power Five program in the country. On one particular run on Friday against Timpview, Sewell took a 295-pound defensive lineman and literally threw him out of his way. With one hand. His straight arm should be registered as a lethal weapon. When he gets going defenders just bounce off of him.
It would take some kind of miracle for him to end up at BYU, who has obviously offered him as well. Cougar defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki was on the sideline taking in Sewell’s wonderfulness.
Sewell will be fun to watch in college, wherever he goes and whatever position he plays.
That’s it for now, but for this: I’m the kind of guy who stops the microwave at one second just to feel like a bomb defuser.
It’s the simple things in life, right?
Have a great week.