"This is a Special Team"

Long gone are the days of new coaches calling plays in a new offense for players with no game experience. Both players and coaches now have a year of experience in the offensive scheme. The confidence of the team continues to rise with every practice and every scrimmage, and the outlook is sunny for the Cougar touchdown machine

Last season, the BYU offense ranked 14th in the nation despite only having two receivers with significant game experience. This season, the Cougars return all but one receiver on the two-deep roster, so the pieces are in place to improve the team's national standing.

"The fact of the matter is we are more comfortable with what we are doing, and when you're more comfortable, you're more confident," said senior receiver Zac Collie. "Everything now is becoming second nature to us. When the defense does something it is now second nature to us and your body just does it rather than thinking about it. Those things come with experience and the game slows down and everything just looks more open.

"I think as an offense, that's where we are at, and we will continue to further that as the week's progress and we get close to Arizona. Repetition is the key and we do a lot of that to help us become more comfortable as well. We're also becoming more familiar with certain looks and we're more comfortable with how we are going to deal with that as well. Those are the things that will put us further ahead."

The outside receiver position is one that BYU coaches wanted to focus on this year in order to add a greater downfield threat to an offense that can pick already opponents apart underneath. As an outside receiver, Collie plans to play a bigger role in this year's offense.

"I just think in starting out this year through spring and summer camp that there's been an even bigger urgency to get ourselves ready as a team as a whole," said Collie. "For me personally, because it's not too long from now that we'll be down in Arizona battling it out, I want it to be a memorable season and we've set some lofty goals as a team.

"This is a special team. This is a team unlike any that I've ever been apart of in the five years that I've been here—even in that one year that I came in under Coach Edwards. This team has a totally different attitude. We have a confidence about us and a swagger that hasn't been here in a long time."

During the off-season, Collie worked out his core muscle group, which gives him greater speed as an outside receiver. Collie has never been healthier entering a season. In the past, he was held back by injuries, but now that he has a clean bill of health, he is excited to see how good he can become.

"I've battled injuries ever since I've been here and this year is the best I've ever felt," said Collie. "Just getting my body right and everything and working on all my core muscles have really helped me. Things like working on my abs and I've noticed that a lot of the guys in the NFL like Terrell Owens is always working on his abs in order to help increase his speed. That's were the explosiveness comes from and really where you draw a lot of your strength from in your first step. In order to have that explosiveness you have to have a strong core at the college level or any level, and that's what I've been working on in order to increase my speed is my core muscles. Those things helped me along with being healthy have really helped me with my speed in order to be more affective on the outside."

Speed at the Z and X receiver positions will help offensive coaches establish a stronger downfield threat. It is one reason why Collie placed a greater emphasis on developing that side.

"At the outside receiver's position last year the only person that really had any experience was Todd Watkins," Collie said. "You know this year it's a whole new story. There's me Matt Allan and Mike Reed and all three of us have game experience which makes it a lot different. There's practice experience but the game is different, so having all of this experience and speed on the outside is going to help us a ton."

Austin Collie Update

With Zac representing the Collie family on the football field, another Collie is representing out in the mission field. Zac keeps close tabs on his little freshman all-American brother.

"Oh he's doing great," said Zac Collie. "He's just a missionary now. His emails are getting shorter and shorter, and he's definitely doing great out there in Argentina. I tell him things like how the team is doing. I mean it's nothing really all that detailed but I do tell him that the team is doing great, and that the team is going to have a great year this year. Mostly just things like that."

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