BYU Football Countdown: Player 44 – No helmet, no problem

BYU Cougars

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

The start of the BYU Football season is only 44 days away!

5.5 wins. That is the expected win total for BYU Football according to the latest Sportsbooks. What is crazy about this is BYU plays three games that are just about guaranteed wins (Idaho state, Liberty and UMass) so essentially the betting books are saying that there is a 50% that BYU Football will go 2-7 in the other games.

While 2-7 is the worst case scenario is my opinion, I find it impossible to find a scenario where BYU is actually 50% likely to do that bad. Afterall, according to ESPN projections, the Cougars are favored in their final eight games… Again, odd how they can be favored in eight games but only be projected to win 5.5 games.

Not winning six games would be only the fifth time since the turn of the century that the Cougars haven’t reached that mark. Although we can’t say BYU Football has been elite the last 19 years, we can at least say there has been consistency of getting to bowl games.

Today’s player in the Countdown came in during a bowl game in a big way helping the team win three bowl games.

No. 44 Matt Reynolds – Offensive lineman – 2008-2011

There aren’t a lot of players who have come through BYU who have played in every single game that they were eligible to play in. Matt Reynolds is in that elite group however. 2008-2011 are the years I like to refer to as the only inconsistent Bronco years that saw the Cougars go through while Bronco Mendenhall was the coach.

In 2008 and and 2009 the Cougars went 10-3 and 11-2 being ranked both seasons for the majority of the year. 2010 saw BYU barely make a bowl game after a 6-6 regular season. 2011 was a roller coaster ride for the new Independent team who started 1-2 and finished 10-3 overall.

Reynolds, although without any stats to rate him by played in some huge games including the win against Oklahoma, beating Utah twice and winning three bowl games. His most memorable moment came in his final game in his career in the Armed Forces Bowl. As time was winding down in the first half, BYU was trailing Tulsa 14-3 in a game that fans felt like BYU should win by 20+. With only 12 seconds remaining in the half Riley Nelson was scrambling looking for an open receiver. It appeared that he may get hit while trying to buy more time when a helmet less  Matt Reynolds slammed the defender and put him on his back. The block gave Nelson time to find Cody Hoffman over the middle and score the momentum changing touchdown.

The sad part is, that would not be allowed today because helmet players are ineligible to continue, making Reynolds play all that more memorable.



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