BYU-USC football Ty'Son Williams

BYU running back Ty'Son Williams carries the football against USC at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019.

Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s head. I had to give a talk in church on Sunday and, of course, my brain is working overtime now that the talk is over with all the things I should have said.

You’ve been warned.

A good impression

Cougar Nation has welcomed another Mama Williams.

Jamaal Williams’ mother, Nicolle, became a big BYU fan when her son was in Provo and she’s still pulling for the boys in blue every game. Now there is Natoshia Williams, the mother of BYU senior running back Ty’Son Williams. I was the co-host on ESPN 960 with Ben Criddle this week and we had an amazing interview with Natoshia.

Here are some highlights.

After Ty’Son decided to leave South Carolina and put his name in the transfer portal, Natoshia was able to FaceTime with BYU running backs coach A.J. Steward and was immediately impressed with his genuine and humble nature.

“We came out (on an official visit) in March and from start to finish — when I say start, I mean the initial pickup at the house all the way to BYU — the experience that we had there kind of felt like home,” Natoshia said. “There was a great family atmosphere and that attracted me as a parent. They were able to answer all my questions. Meeting Coach (Kalani) Sitake, we connected well. It just worked out. BYU is what they say there are. They are really just genuine people and just so welcoming. I love the fans and wish I could say hello to all of them.”

Natoishia Williams is a 17-year Army vet and was unable to attend Saturday’s USC game because she was on duty, but said she plans to make it all the rest of her son’s games this season.

“I’m just a humble mom,” she said. “It’s really good to see Ty flourish and really showcase his talent. I’m just really proud of him, that’s all.”

You can listen to the whole interview at but if you’re wondering what kind of approach BYU coaches take in recruiting, here is a great example of how they work hard to make an African-American family without any ties to the church very comfortable and part of the group.

Home Sweet Home

There was a deeper connection between the 60,000-plus at LaVell Edwards Stadium and the BYU football team on Saturday than I’ve seen in a while. The Cougars made mistakes but kept fighting and the crowd really made a difference. Next week is another opportunity for BYU to take on a ranked team and I would bet the home fans will be just as connected.

The Cougars finished with 28 votes in this week’s coach’s poll and 14 in the Associated Press poll. A win against the Huskies could get BYU into the Top 25.

My top two concerns: Injuries to key players on defense, including Zayne Anderson, and Washington’s defense, which has led the Pac-12 in fewest points and yards allowed the past four seasons.

I was impressed with the BYU depth on the defensive side. I counted nearly 20 players who got in and made plays on the defensive side. Still, I think Anderson will be key defending against the athletic Huskies on Saturday.

There was a moment in the third quarter where on four straight pass attempts, Zach Wilson had no one to throw the ball to. But the Cougars made some adjustments and worked through that bad spot. Wilson went 11 for 11 passing the remainder of the third quarter and through the fourth.

Washington will be a big challenge, but BYU is showing it is working things out. A record of 2-1 after playing Utah, Tennessee and USC is better than most people expected. Going 3-1 in the first four? That would be an accomplishment.

Dancing machines

Probably the strangest thing I’ve seen on YouTube lately is the 1970s-era “Crazy Horses” music video by the Osmond Brothers. Man, that thing is … weird.

No soup for you

I’ve watched a fair amount of BYU women’s soccer and I would say Thursday’s 2-0 shutout of No. 12 Texas A&M was one of the most dominating wins over a ranked team I’ve seen from Jennifer Rockwood’s crew.

I know, 2-0 doesn’t look like that big of a win, but anyone who saw the Cougars on Thursday witnessed a team that dominated possession on offense and squeezed the life out of the Aggies on defense. Texas A&M had five shutouts in six matches this year, so their defense was no slouch. And BYU held the Aggies to just four shots, none of them on goal.

I’m thinking this BYU team is pretty special.

On Monday, the Cougars play at Utah Valley, then comes a difficult road trip to Kansas and Kansas State. Next week, BYU travels to Santa Clara for the match of the year in West Coast Conference.

Familiar name

The Utah prep leader is passing yards through five games is Pine View’s Mcloud Crowton.

Yup, the son of former BYU head coach Gary Crowton.

The much-traveled Crowton is in his second year as offensive coordinator for Pine View. In Game 1 against Ridgeline, Mcloud threw for 482 yards and seven touchdown passes. In five games, he has completed 80 percent of his passes for 1,922 yards (384 yards per game), 21 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Enough already

Second-most tired take on Twitter: The storming the field/rushing the court police. There are always those who raise their noses in the air when a fan base storms the field or rushes the court after a big win. Anything less than a national championship game and these numbskulls trot out the “you shouldn’t rush the field/court” like there is a Robert’s Rules of Order or something. BYU fans rushed the field after Saturday’s overtime win against No. 24 USC and there’s nothing wrong with that. They are college students. Let them have their fun.

Oh, the most tired take on Twitter? That BYU is an older football team and has a competitive advantage because their players go on missions.

If I rolled my eyes any more, they’d pop out of my skull.

Drinking games

Alcohol was sold at Neyland Stadium during the Tennessee-BYU game two weeks ago. UT says it sold 22,689 alcoholic beverages (including only 105 glasses of wine) during the double overtime game.

I haven’t seen the numbers from the Tennessee-Chattanooga game on Saturday, but who wants to bet they will be just a tab bit higher?

That’s all, but for this: I don’t think I get enough credit for the fact that I do all of this unmedicated.

Stay busy and have a great week.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!