BYU football team shares gospel messages while on the road
There are actually two endings to the story that didn't make it in the paper.
1) This one just didn't make it because there wasn't enough space on the page.
One of these heroes, BYU running back David Foote, said he enjoys meeting fans and church members just as much. “It’s my favorite part, to meet everyone after [the fireside], and seeing the faces in the crowd that’s cheering us on,” Foote said. Alex Petersen, a Colorado native who is proud to be 7 1/2 years old, was one excited Cougar fan who collected Foote’s autograph as well as many others. Alex said the fireside helped him plan for his future. “I learned about being a missionary,” Alex said. Some day, when Alex is serving and preaching and blessing other people’s lives as a missionary, those people will at least partly have BYU football to thank.
2) Here's one I wrote that I knew wouldn't make it in the paper. It had some potential for controversy, and it didn't really fit in the story. But I wrote it for fun anyway. In talking with Elder Arntz who is quoted in the story, it came up in our conversation the fact that Jake Heaps said earlier this season that he wasn't planning on going on a mission. Anyone who knows me knows how passionately opposed I am to this. :S And Elder Arntz agreed with me, of course. So he said he would talk to Jake Heaps, and afterward I asked how it went.
OPTIONAL EXTRA ENDING:
The football players weren’t the only ones giving spiritual guidance.
Arntz said he was eager to meet quarterback Jake Heaps, who earlier this season said he was not planning on serving a mission, and offer some persuasion.
“If I get to talk to him tonight, I’ll probably ask him, ‘Are you going on a mission?’” Arntz said. “And if he says no, I’ll do like all missionaries are supposed to do and be devastated. Hopefully that will have some sort of effect on him. I know that he’ll be blessed if he goes on a mission. I know that he’ll have more blessings than he’ll have room to handle.”
After the fireside, Arntz did get to talk to Heaps, who said he is thinking about a mission.
Mendenhall said his players, the fans and even he can all learn from the teachings of the Book of Mormon prophet Alma.
“The real message was this, which is the same message to each of you, and to me, and our team,” Mendenhall said. “‘Even to experimenting on my word.’ That means act, even if you’re afraid. And then see what will happen.”
So, yes, obviously I was pushing my own agenda, haha. But, I wrote it anyway, and I figured it would at least work as another "DVD special feature" for the blog.
Here's another extra you get for reading my blog: While our football writer Sarah went to the postgame press conference for the BYU coaches and players, I went to the CSU press conference to get quotes, in case Alex or Sarah wanted them for their stories.
I got some interesting stuff:
Head coach Steve Fairchild
Well, you all saw it like I did. I mean, there’s no excuses. We totally got outplayed, we got outcoached, we got outclassed. Today I did not see this coming. I thought we had a very good week of practice and preparation. But I give credit to BYU, Bronco Mendenhall and his staff, because they certainly played a terrific game, and we did not. Now let’s go back to work, and hopefully we can finish up the season on a good note in Laramie.
I knew that they were playing pretty good football. Anytime you go out and just lay the ball on the ground like we did and give up the big pass play and let them get rolling, I mean, you’re going to get what you’re getting them. We couldn’t get them off the field on third down, we couldn’t make plays offensively. So again, rather than look at us, you know we’ll certainly look at us and try to correct mistakes, but I certainly want to give BYU and Bronco Mendenhall credit.
The effort was there. I just think you can’t turn the ball over like we did, like I said, give up third-down conversion after third-down conversion, you’re going to be in for a long effort.
It did surprise me. I thought we were coming on defensively. … It was silly. If you can’t get off the field, they’re going to score points, and that’s what happened.
There’s no question. No, I think we were too [coming off a perfect storm]. I just think they executed better, they played better, we turned the ball over, and … I certainly don’t want to take away from anything that BYU did. They played a good game, I give Bronco and his staff all the credit in the world.
We just handed it away in the first quarter.
Elijah-Blu Smith – recovered BYU’s first fumble
It was a big blow to the team, like everybody saw. We started off pretty good, we had some good momentum going into the game. We just didn’t capitalize it into a win for us.
[Did they do anything that caught you off guard in their pass game?] Not really. We knew they were going to throw some play actions at us, and those kind of passes. We had to execute and make plays for us.
[on Ashworth coming out of nowhere] We knew they had firepower in all their receivers. [Number] Two [Cody Hoffman] was the guy that came in who we tried to focus on, but definitely they came battling, ready to play, and they showed it.
They put them up on us. They were making the plays. They got more than we did. They ended up taking us overall.
Defensive coordinator Larry Kerr
[on Ashworth] Well, he ran by our guy one time, and we were in a two-deep coverage, and it never should have happened but it did. So they got a big play there. And then there was another play where we got two defenders right there, we just don’t find the football. So their guy made the plays, we didn’t.
You look at that whole game, and they won every battle and that’s the credit to them. Very disappointing for us.
The result wasn’t what we wanted. …
[on his own personal good game] Obviously you want to play well individually. [But] if everyone plays well individually, we win games. I just want to go out and do my part. As far as the team is concerned, I’d rather win and have no tackles then obviously lose the way we did today.
Oh man, it happened so fast. We just didn’t show up in the first quarter. I mean, we beat ourselves, to be honest. Obviously, they’re a great team. I’m not taking anything away from them. But penalties, turnovers – those are the recipe for disaster. That’s what we served up today.
BYU’s not a bad team. They’re bowl-eligible, they’re going to a bowl game. And I think we underestimated them, to be honest. They came out swinging, and they won the game.
[on extra emotions because of senior night] I don’t think that we came out too fired up. I just believe that we didn’t do a great job of executing. Like I said before, we beat ourselves and basically served it up to them. That’s all I have to say about that.
[on his fumble, that was recovered by Kyle Van Noy for a touchdown] I caught the ball, and I didn’t see him coming, he just hit me. Everything happened so fast, you can’t really react to it. BYU came out playing hard, we got to prepare good this week and get ready for Wyoming, finish out strong.
That was the plan, to get the running game going. But like I said, we got off to a slow start. Once we picked it up, we was moving the ball. We just have to maintain that. …
This was a winnable game for us. If we would have came out harder than what we did, and we would have pulled out the game. But unfortunately we didn’t. ... We got a lot of talented guys, and our talent, we didn’t really show that today. …
Freshman quarterback Pete Thomas
This is the most embarrassed I’ve ever been after a football game. We played pretty bad on offense, and, I mean, you can’t turn the ball over three teams and expect to win a ball game. We can’t put our defense into situations like that. It’s just tough. I thought we came out of the tunnel pretty good, but nothing was clicking.
[on senior night] That’s the most disappointing them about this whole game. I personally feel like I let the seniors down. … We let them down today.
[on being forced to throw their game play out the window] Definitely. Obviously, we had to abolish the game plan pretty quick, and that’s not good. … It all started with the way we played in that first quarter, on offense.
To me it felt like we never quit, we stayed in there. We just couldn’t do anything. That’s the most disappointing thing, because we had probably our best week of practice we ever had. But today our plans just fell apart. And we can’t let that happen again.
I’m embarrassed. I know our fans our embarrassed. I think we didn’t expect to come out like this. Thank God we have another game…
[on BYU leaving the conference, and not being able to grow up with Jake Heaps as freshmen quarterbacks] That would be a good rivalry, but I just can’t control any of that. We just got to play who’s on our schedule.
[on losing on senior night] … It’s the opposite of what I wanted to happen. Even if it was a loss, I would have liked to play them closer and play them tougher. I’m definitely disappointed with what happened today.
I really have no idea. Even when we were sitting on the sidelines, it just felt like we couldn’t get a break, that things weren’t going our way, and I really have no idea.
It felt a lot like the game we played against them last year, where they just jump out on you, they’re so quick. Football’s such a game of emotions that if you get down even a little bit when you’re that far behind, it’s almost impossible to come back. And I kind of felt like that’s what happened.
We obviously would like to run the ball. And when you’re down 35 points, the run game’s kind of out of the window, and you’ve got to throw it if you want to stay in the game.
[on what was talked about at halftime] We just talked about getting back into the game and playing with a little bit of pride and showing people who we are. That’s what we tried to do.
I just felt like after those first couple turnovers when it was 21-0, it kind of surprised us and shocked us, and I feel like we didn’t really recover until the fourth quarter. I don’t know if that’s true or if that’s what the reason was, but that’s just how it felt to me on the sidelines.
[on getting the first fumble recovery] We thought we was going to give it to them right out there after we caused that turnover. But they came back and responded. Just like any team should.
Everybody had high hopes. Especially the seniors, you try to send them out with a last victory at Hughes. So, it just didn’t come out how we really planned it and hoped it would come out to.
Here are the two football stories about the game itself:
BYU capitalizes on turnovers, picks up first road win (Sarah's story)
Ashworth has career day in leading pass attack (Alex's story) (The article's not on the website yet, but go to page 6 of the PDF) And make sure to read the beginning. It should give you a smile:
The whole newspaper looked great today, especially the sports stuff. Check out these stories:
Packing the house, by Josh Bolding (Some great front page photos by Luke Hansen!)
Mascots play for charity, by Holland Davis (Some more cool, fun photos, by Jamison Metzger - go to page 8 of the PDF)