Striving for Perfection

If one person on BYU's football team is his own worst critic, it has to be John Beck. Despite putting up better efficiency numbers against Notre Dame than Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinhart of USC, Beck still feels he could have done better against a tough Irish defense.

"For some reason I still feel I should have done a lot better," said John Beck. "There were a couple of go routes that I put the ball out of bounds, and you always want to leave them in bounds to at least give your guy an opportunity to make a play and that was something I didn't do."

Plain and simple, Beck is a perfectionist and strives to be just that on the field. He is also a realist who understands that perfection takes time and comes with practice. Beck spends hours upon hours in the film room dissecting opposing defenses. He often finds himself reflecting on game time errors long after the final seconds of a game have ended.

Said Beck: "You know my wife Barbara sometimes looks at me when I'm at home and she will say, ‘You're thinking about that games aren't you?' Sometimes I'll think about what I could have done better and just go through my mind some of the mistakes that I made.

"I'm very disappointed [the Notre Dame loss] happened but right now everything is about the Air Force game, and I have to be focused on this one for this up and coming week."

BYU's Davey O'Brian Award candidate has to now turn his attention towards conference play and forget the errant passes of games gone by. Sure, Beck is disappointed in the Notre Dame loss, but he realizes that the next four games are the most important ones on the season. A single lose could end any hopes of BYU getting to a bowl game for first year Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall.

"We know these last four games are all conference games, so we can't look at where we are going to stand at the end," Beck said. "We have to worry about this game. Right now, we are just picking our Mountain West Conference record of two and two, and it's these games that are the most important for us. Right now this Air Force game is our season and from here on out we have to treat every game like it's our last game of the season because if we lose one of these games it could be, so we're going to go out there and do everything that we can to win.

"Air Force is a good football team and it's a conference game so we want to come out and get a conference win. It's just so important for us to come out and get a good week's worth of practice to be on top of our game, and like Coach Mendenhall said, ‘We did not play [Notre Dame] up to the way I believe we can play,' and I believe that. We didn't play up to the way we can play, so this week is imperative for us to play up to that level that we are capable of because I know that Air Force has had some loses. I'm sure a Mountain West Conference win is just as important to them as it is to us and they're not going to come out here and take it lightly so it's important. We want to be able to capitalize on every opportunity and ever time we touch the ball and that is our main goal."

Prior to the Notre Dame game BYU's offense had a great week's worth of preparation, effort and execution. BYU's offense practiced at a high tempo throughout the entire week leading up to their departure to South Bend, but after comparing the results Beck feels this offensive unit needs to up the ante a bit.

"Last week offensively we had a great week of practice and that's why I expected us to play better, but we had some good things happen and some bad things happen in the game that shouldn't have happened," Beck said. "It's just going to take that much more focus during practice to make sure we correct those mistakes and prepare ourselves for Air Force. I believe if this offense is firing on all four cylinders this offense can be great.

"From an offensive standpoint we come out there to do our best to gas people, and not us just going out there and going through the motions. We want to go out there and focus and make it happen, so it's very important for us to come out this week and practice that way because it's true, the way you practice is the way you play."


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