There is always a fall guy -- no exceptions -- and it is rarely the top guy in charge when things begin to go wrong. That fall guy for BYU is now former BYU defensive coordinator Jaime Hill:
"I was fired; I didn't resign. I'm OK; I'll be fine," Hill said Saturday.
"This is part of the business and it happens. It just doesn't usually happen in the middle of a season. I will join another team in a couple of weeks."
Hill was promoted to defensive coordinator in the 2008 season and did a very good job with sometimes not the best talent in the world. He was able to use schemes in the secondary to assist with a BYU secondary that was not as fast as the wide receivers, and made it work. Not only did he make it work he had the secondary thrive by being able to stop some pretty good teams.
Now to the present, where BYU is off to their worst start at 1-3 since 1973. The defense has been bad this year as they are 102nd in total defense and are giving up 433 yards per game. This is the worst defense since the 2005 season when BYU finished the season ranked 93rd in total defense.
The struggles for BYU this year go beyond the defense. The loss of running back Harvey Unga is proving to be a much bigger blow then anticipated; couple that with losing QB Max Hall, TE's Andrew George, and Dennis Pitta. That is a lot of talent to lose, and then toss in the quarterback shuffle this year between Riley Nelson and Jake Heaps.
The consistency switching back and forth has hindered the offense to grow with either quarterback and the current result is that BYU is 99th in the country in total offense and 95th in passing offense.
It does not help the offense that the same difficult pass plays were called in the Utah State game. There were a lot of fades and deep passes that would have been tough for any quarterback, yet alone a true freshman.
To date the passing game has had two of the worst games in BYU's history of the passing game. They had 88 yards against Air Force and only 115 yards against Florida State. Offensive coordinator Robert Anae could have easily have been let go, but a few reasons he was not is that Bronco is a defensive guy and the uncertainty could possibly cause Jake Heaps to reconsider his decision and transfer.
Not to say Heaps would transfer, but to perhaps go into a system change (well it would really be the same since BYU will always pass) but it would be a change. Plus, as I stated above Bronco is a defensive guy and may not have felt as comfortable calling the offensive plays or promoting current quarterbacks coach Brandon Domain to the offensive coordinator; even if it was to be on a interim basis.
Now all the pressure is on Bronco Mednenhall who is taking over the defensive play calling, and we will see what type of changes he can make to possibly show some improvement on this team. He will need to do so in a hurry, because the way BYU is currently playing they will not be getting to that magical six win mark to go bowling.