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BYU: BYU, Weber midterm reportcards

Six games into BYU's 11-game season, the task of giving the Cougars their midterm grades begs the question: Do you grade the Cougars on potential, on thier 4-2 record, or on performances that - due to injuries, absences and inconsistencies - haven't lived up to expectations? Here's a quick look at the season so far:

Quarterbacks: The now-injured Kevin Feterik, second-time starter Paul Shoemaker and freshman Drew Miller have been spotty. The signal-calling smorgasbord has ranged from game passing totals of 400-plus yards to sub-100 yards.Running backs: Give high marks to tailback Brian McKenzie, who has picked up nearly 500 yards in six games (4.2 yards a carry). The Cougar running game is hampered by fullback Kalani Sitake's season-ending back surgery.

Receivers: Sticky-fingered senior Ben Cahoon and TE/FB Dustin Johnson have snagged 57 of the 110 BYU receptions for more than half of the total 1,539 yards. Is it an inability to get more receivers the ball, or an inability of those receivers to get open?

Offensive line: With the line assigned to protect the QB, Feterik's right ankle was first sprained and later fractured, Shoemaker's chin sports a half-dozen stitches as the Cougars have allowed an average of four sacks a game. On the positive side, holes have been opened up for McKenzie's rushing.

Defensive line: Byron Frisch leads BYU in sacks (four) and tackles for loss and is the standout so far among solid starters. Pressure against the pass can improve.

Linebackers: The starting trio of Brad Martin, Rob Morris and Spencer Reid have accounted for a third of the team's tackles and four of 13 sacks.

Secondary: After six weeks complete with injuries, a suspension and an off-the-field fatality, BYU finally fielded its best bevy of DBs of the season last week against Hawaii, including corners Omarr Morgan, Ben Cook and Jack Williams and safeties Jason Walker and Tyler Nelson. This patchwork unit may not be merely on the mend but ready to break out.

Coaching: The coaching staff has faced this year - a quarterback controversy (whether they like it or not); injuries at fullback, tight end and now quarterback; fresh faces at the offensive skill positions and special teams and a secondary decimated by injury, an off-the-field fatality (JC transfer cornerback Terrence Harvey) and other absences. The result: LaVell Edwards & Co. have chosen a play-it-close-to-the-vest style to win ball games.

The future: With TCU, UTEP and Tulsa on tap (a combined 3-16 overall record), the Cougars can boost their grades before year-end exams against New Mexico and Utah.

*****

Additional Information

Report card

BYU WEBER

Preseason Mid-term Preseason Midterm

Quarterback B C B B

Running backs B+ B B- C

Receivers B B B+ B+

Offensive line A B C+ B-

Defensive line A B+ B- B

Linebackers A A- B- B+

Defensive backs B B B C+

Special teams C+ B A- A-

Coaches A B B+ B+