When BYU wins, like the 11-2 Cougars did in 2009, critics routinely tell reporters before or after games with BYU that the Cougars enjoy a big advantage playing athletes who have been on two-year missions. Some soft-petal the criticism, others trumpet it loud to reporters.
Weber, who has coached at UCLA, North Carolina and Oregon State, doesn't flinch a bit: it is a huge advantage and he likes it.
In an interview this fall, Weber praised the maturity, mindset, discipline, experience and knowledge his offensive linemen bring to college football. He says it allowed him to reload in time to face then No. 3 ranked Oklahoma last September after losing starters Ray Feinga, Travis Bright, David Oswald and Dallas Reynolds in 2008.
For a lot of programs, losing four starting O-linemen would be a disaster. For Weber, it became a matter of program maturity to kick in. He had answers.
"That's one of the beauties of this place," Weber said. "These guys are mature young men who wait to play. It is what BYU football has come to be."