Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s head as we are counting down to just 10 days before the first BYU football game.
You can make it, really. Take some deep breaths. You’re doing fine.
Let them speak
Don’t miss our annual “20 Questions” feature, a two-part series beginning on Tuesday. As you may recall, we ask 20 questions of a BYU offensive player and the same 20 questions of a defensive player. I always find it interesting how they perceive their teammates. Both guys we asked — junior offensive lineman Tristan Hoge and junior defensive lineman Bracken El-Bakri — have fun personalities and had some cool responses.
After doing a number of interviews with El-Bakri, I’m convinced that he should have his own Saturday morning cartoon. Someone call BYUtv executive senior producer Mikel Minor, this needs to happen.
Meanwhile, the Cougars are just about ready to break camp and focus solely on Utah. For some reason I keep thinking it will be the BYU defense that will make the biggest difference in this game. Maybe I’m being unduly influenced by last year’s performance in Salt Lake City, where the Cougar D shut out the Utes offense for nearly three quarters before injuries took their toll. With healthy linebackers Isaiah Kaufusi and Zayne Anderson ready to go, BYU should be pretty solid on the defensive side. The addition of junior college shutdown corner Dimitri Gallow is a big one. Word is he could teach a clinic on man-to-man coverage.
Yeah, the offense should be better but the Ute defense is stout. It’s a great test for a first game and will really help set the tone for the rest of the season.
Duck and cover
I am fearful for whoever BYU plays after Yoeli Childs’ ridiculous nine-game suspension handed down by the NCAA (likely Utah).
He’s going to go all spider monkey on those poor souls.
When Childs was told he needed to become a better outside shooter to improve his NBA stock, he doubled his 3-point makes from 15 in 2017-18 to 32 last year, increasing his percentage from .313 to .323. Now, he’s vowed to make himself an all-league defensive player.
“His (Coach Mark Pope’s) favorite thing to do is I’ll be playing defense and I’m where I’m supposed to be and he’ll say, ‘Yeah, that’s pretty good defense, but that doesn’t look like the defensive player of the year’,” Childs said. “The whole coaching staff holds me accountable, so that’s been awesome.”
Pope added that in several practices, Childs was assigned to guarding the opposing point guard and performed well.
By the way, a month ago I was doing an interview with sophomore guard Jesse Wade at the Marriott Center Annex when Childs walked in.
“This guy, he’s one of best shooters in the country,” Childs said. “He’s going to have a great season. How could he not? He’s big time.”
(Wade, not me.)
Wade responded: “This dude is going to have a monster, monster year. If BYU fans thought last year was a big year for him, they’ll be shocked this year.”
(Yoeli, not me.)
“Yeah, I’m going to be playing point guard this year,” Childs added with a laugh.
I think he was joking, but who can know for sure?
While covering the Timpview at Lone Peak football game on Friday, Brandon Gurney of the Deseret News got wiped out on a play near the sideline. Early in my career I witnessed a bystander get his knee blown out and I always make it a point to move well out of the way of any plays near the sideline. On Friday I moved a couple of steps to my right when I saw the players approaching, but for some reason Gurney didn’t budge. There was a collision and he went flying but other than a sore tailbone, was thankfully OK. I teased him about daydreaming and he fired back that I wasn’t much of a hero since I didn’t lift a finger to help him.
Fair point. But my cape was at the cleaners.
A difficult job
I can’t help thinking about the parallels between the NCAA and the BYU Honor Code Office.
There are thousands of athletic programs in a variety of sports. There’s no way the NCAA can be everywhere at once.
The Honor Code Office is responsible for 33,000 students. When I attended BYU, the number of people I knew that were breaking the Honor Code and never got caught was staggering. They simply don’t have enough resources.
So when the NCAA or the BYU Honor Code Office actually do come across an infraction, they give more than a slap on the wrist because that’s their opportunity to make a statement. Recently, former and current BYU students have posted their horror stories about how the Honor Code came down really hard on what appeared to be a minor infraction or treated them badly. There have been some changes for the better, for sure, that have come from this.
Another similarity? Both organizations appear to often be more concerned with the letter of the law and punishment and much less with compassion and teaching. If you are an athlete and broke the rules, or a student and broke the rules, coming forward in order to confess when the punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crime isn’t very appealing.
That’s all, but for this: I read recipes the same way my wife watches science-fiction movies: I get to the end and I say, “Yeah, that’s not going to happen.”
Anything more than three or four ingredients is kind of intimidating.
Remember to keep it simple and have a great week.