Former BYU offensive line coach, Ryan Pugh, is set to return to LaVell Edwards Stadium this fall — this time as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for the Troy Trojans. Pugh, who spent the 2018 season with BYU, said he likes to play fast and isn’t afraid to push the ball downfield — last season Troy scored 33.8 points per game and averaged 456.2 total yards per game.
“Our job is to score one more point than the other team,” Pugh said in an interview Friday. “Whether we score 60 or whether we score six, it doesn’t matter.”
In 2019, the Troy defense gave up an abysmal 34.8 points per game, highlighting the need for Pugh’s offense to continue to put up big numbers. To execute at a fast-tempo, Pugh said he relies on a plethora of talented receivers to keep players fresh.
“We like to get the ball in the hands of our playmakers,” he said. “We have five or six guys in a game we know we can get the ball into their hands and they can make plays for us down the field. We want to play eight to ten guys on the perimeter and not have a dropoff between the first group and the second group. We’re not looking for a starter at a position. We are looking for two guys who can play like starters to rotate in and keep guys fresh.”
Pugh said BYU’s front seven and defensive schematics will challenge his offense, but he believes the Trojans have an advantage at the receiver position.
Although he only spent one season in Provo, Pugh credits the program for helping him develop as a coach.
“It’s really a special place,” he said. “I felt like I was coaching in the NFL with all the players who were married. Here at Troy we have no players who are married. It’s a different atmosphere but it’s an atmosphere that is very successful and has been successful for a long time.”
When asked if his relationship with current coaches at BYU helped bring the two teams together, Pugh laughed and said he had nothing to do with it. He said that he maintains a relationship with BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and he looks forward to the chance to compete against his former colleague.
We have signed a home-&-home deal with @BYUfootball‼️
— Troy Trojans Football (@TroyTrojansFB) August 13, 2020
“Grimes texted me and said ‘Hey, do you want to play BYU?’ Lo and behold, our head coach comes in and says ‘We might be playing BYU,’” Pugh said. “This might be the first time in my life I’ve wanted to be a part of the game. I want to be in a shootout where the other team puts up some points on offense, but we come out on top.”
Regardless of the opponent and outcome, Pugh said the entire team can’t wait to hit the field.
“You talk about playing a football game, that’s an exciting thing right now.”
Written by Bridger Beal
Bridger is a student at Utah Valley University where he studies journalism and mass communication. He is the sports editor of the on-campus newspaper, The Review. Bridger is a life-long Cougar fan and college football enthusiast.
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