7 ways this BYU football season is playing out like a horror movie


Could this football season get any worse for Cougar fans?

First we lost our hero. Then the bodies (and losses) started piling up. Finally, whatever hope of salvaging our season was probably lost in the beat down that took place in Boise over the weekend. If I didn’t know any better, I would think we’ve been living out a horror movie for the past month.

The question is, how do we end the horrors? To answer that question, I turned to the horror movies themselves. Anyone familiar with the genre knows that there are common tropes that exist in most horror flicks that help us to suspend belief and push the action along. If we study those tropes, hopefully we can figure out a way to end the madness.

1. Characters don’t heed obvious warning signs.

In the seminal horror classic “Friday the 13th,” our main characters ignore a crazy old man who warned them that there was a “death curse” on Camp Crystal Lake.

When BYU opened the season 4–0 and was the darling of the national media, we weren’t paying attention to the signs that something bad could happen. In victories over Houston and Virginia, the Cougars gave up more than 600 yards passing. We should have seen the defense’s weaknesses, but we were too busy dreaming of a playoff bid or a New Year’s Day bowl invitation.

2. An unexpected death occurs.

JanetLWhether it’s the death of Janet Lee in “Psycho” or Drew Barrymore in “Scream,” the unexpected death of a character is typically the inciting incident for the horrors that are to come.

For this year’s football team that incident was Taysom Hill’s injury against Utah State. We should have known that Hill’s injury was inevitable. In the first four games, he was sacked 13 times. Not to mention the hard hits he took running the ball. Hill put up a valiant effort to save the Cougars’ season, but his destiny was already sealed before he even suited up.

3. When you think it’s over, it’s not really over.

The perfect example of this is Mike Myers from Halloween. It doesn’t matter how many times he is shot, the guy gets up ready to kill again.

This reminds me of the UCF game earlier this season (and to a lesser extent Nevada). Against the Knights, BYU quickly fell behind 10–0 and things were looking pretty bleak, but then all of the sudden the offense comes to life and in the blink of an eye that 10-point deficit was now a comfortable 14-point lead. But in a horror movie, the last thing you want to be is comfortable because that’s when something bad happens. I won’t rehash the gory details because if you’re reading this you probably watched it, but suffice it to say UCF was like Mike Myers that night.

4. The adults are clueless.


Often times teens will run to their parents or the police looking for help, but for whatever reason they dismiss the stories as lies or the product of an over active imagination until it’s too late.

A large contingent of Cougar fans has been grumbling to Bronco through social media and message boards about how the team has been performing, but he just laughed off the criticism. After the crushing loss to Boise State, I don’t think Bronco is laughing anymore.

5. There’s no cell service.

With the proliferation of cell phones in the past 15 years, a common theme in horror movies is the lack of cell service at pivotal moments.

This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the play of the football team at the moment, but cell service in LaVell Edwards Stadium is a joke! Am I right?

6. A “pure” hero saves the day.


It is a well-known fact that to defeat the killers in most horror flicks, you need to be pure. If you have faults or are a sinner, those things will lead to your downfall and eventual death. Is there anyone on the Cougar roster that fits the bill? Some on Twitter Friday night were wondering if Christian Stewart should give way to McCoy Hill so we have an “experienced” backup for Taysom next season. Could McCoy save the season? Probably not, but I don’t see how it could get much worse.

7. There’s always a sequel.

There aren’t a lot of guarantees in life, but one thing’s for certain: if a horror film sees even a modicum of success, the Hollywood machine will turn out sequel after sequel.

If you thought Friday night’s game seemed familiar, it’s because you pretty much already lived it when the Broncos annihilated the Cougars 50–12 the day before Halloween in 2003.


Jon Eyre has worked in marketing communications at a number of high tech companies in Utah Valley for the past nine years. He is a 2003 graduate of BYU, and worked as a graduate assistant for the school's Sports Information Department for the 2003 and 2004 football seasons. When he isn't working, Jon spends his time scouring the internet searching for obscure indie bands, trying to decipher the meaning of Lost, or hanging out with his wife and three children.

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