Could History Repeat Itself at BYU?

Perhaps the biggest disappointment BYU's football team has heaped upon its fans is they have given us little reason to be optimistic about the remainder of the season based on their recent play. If you believe in omens, maybe it's about to change for the better.

In an effort to conjure up some "elusive" optimism, let's all hope that history can repeat itself. In 2000, BYU struggled to manufacture wins. The Cougars faced an ominous schedule that included Virginia, Florida State, Mississippi State, and Syracuse.

Despite a big upset of traditional power Virginia, the early schedule took its toll as BYU was forced to deal with key injuries to go along with disappointing losses. The frustration for the 2000 Cougars carried into the conference season as BYU, with its quarterback tandem of Bret Engemann and Charlie Peterson, suffered early losses to Air Force and San Diego State.

Fast forward to Nov. 2, 2000. The Cougars (4-5) had a Thursday Night ESPN date with Colorado State in the snow. The Cougars entered the game fresh off the heels of a gutsy conference win over Wyoming. There was talk in Cougarland that the Cougars had righted its tilting ship. Sadly, the talk ended as abruptly as it started. Colorado State embarrassed the men in blue badly on national television.

In the loss, a backup quarterback by the name of Brandon Doman, a local Utahn, was given the opportunity in mop-up duty. Prior to the game, Doman was viewed as an athletic, one-dimensional running quarterback buried on the depth chart. Despite those perceptions and obstacles, Doman came into the game and provided a spark against CSU's backups.

With little left on the line, BYU decided to insert Doman into the starter's role for the final two games against New Mexico, a team known for its ferocious defense and ho-hum offense, followed by a final game against archrival Utah.

Doman carried the momentum from the final series of the CSU game into the final two games of the season. He was able to enough generate offensive production for two unlikely victories, enabling BYU to finish at 6-6 in LaVell Edwards' final season.

This is where we hope that history repeats itself. In 2001, the Gary Crowton-led Cougars surprised the college football world with a 12-0 record before dropping its final two games of the season when running back Luke Staley was lost to injury.

The forgettable year that was 2002 ended with a dismal 5-7 record for the Cougars for a variety of reasons including the lack of experienced depth at key positions.

In 2003, BYU has again struggled to manufacture wins. The Cougars again faced an ominous schedule that included USC, Georgia Tech, Stanford, and Notre Dame. Despite a big win against traditional power Georgia Tech, the early schedule took its toll as BYU was forced to deal with key injuries to go along with disappointing losses. The frustration for the 2003 Cougars carried into the conference season as BYU, with its quarterback tandem of Matt Berry and John Beck, suffered early losses to Air Force and Colorado State.

Fast forward to Oct. 30, 2003. The Cougars (4-5) had a Thursday Night ESPN date with Boise State in the snow. The Cougars entered the game on the heels of a gutsy conference win over UNLV. There was talk in Cougarland that the Cougars had righted their tilting ship. Sadly, the talk ended as abruptly as it started. Boise State embarrassed the men in blue badly on national television.

In the loss, a backup quarterback by the name of Jackson Brown, a local Utahn, was given the opportunity to complete in mop-up duty. Prior to the game, Brown was viewed as an athletic, one-dimensional quarterback buried on the depth chart. Despite these perceptions, Brown came into the game and was able to provide a spark against BSU's backups.

With little left on the line, BYU decided to insert Brown into the starter's role for the final two games. The games were against Notre Dame, a team known for its defense and ho-hum offense, followed by a final game against archrival Utah.

Jackson Brown was able to carry the momentum from the final series of the BSU game into the final two games of the season. Brown was able to generate offensive production in route to two victories enabling BYU to finish at 6-6.

Sound familiar? Maybe this is how the rest of our season is scripted?

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