PROVO — The BYU Cougars returned to practice on Monday after a season-opening victory at UConn last Friday night. Up next for Bronco and the boys is a trip to Austin, Texas, to face the Longhorns on Saturday.
BYU’s signature win last season was against Texas at LaVell Edwards Stadium, when the Cougars crushed the Longhorns 40-21. In that game, Taysom Hill ran for 259 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns. That performance has obviously stuck with Texas, which has been very vocal about having this year’s BYU game circled on its calendar.
Despite all of the talk of last year’s game, Bronco Mendenhall doesn’t believe it is very relevant.
PROVO — The BYU Football team is days away from the start of its 2014 campaign, and as the game against the University of Connecticut approaches BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall is excited to see where this current group is headed.
Entering his 10th season as head football coach Mendenhall knows there is a clean slate, but also recognizes the expectations as well.
“A good year every year at BYU is top 25, 10 or more wins and that’s just what’s expected. Anything above that becomes a great season,” Mendenhall explained on Tuesday during the season’s first 'BYU Football with Bronco Mendenhall' radio show.
After what he called a "great" Monday morning practice, BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall looked ahead to his team's Friday night season-opener at Connecticut, noting that "it's always difficult to tell exactly where you are going into the opener."
Reflecting on last season's 19-16 loss at Virginia to start the season, Mendenhall said "I was shocked that we didn't score a bunch of points in our opener last year, based on how our offense had moved it against our defense."
"I'm more cautious," said Medenhall on Monday, "and maybe less accepting of exactly what I see and then trying to predict what that will really look like."
PROVO — Friday’s BYU football practice was the second day the Cougars have focused on UConn, their opponent in the season opener in East Hartford, Connecticut. With the game against the Huskies one week from tonight, the players and coaches felt good about how seamlessly the team has slipped into game prep mode.
“We’re ready; I can for sure say that,” receiver Mitch Mathews said emphatically. “(Our) bodies are beat up, but that comes with every team in the country. But we’re focused on redeeming ourselves from the opening game last year.”
While last year’s season-opening loss at Virginia is something BYU is trying not to duplicate, the players, and specifically quarterback Taysom, believe that they have made huge strides since then.
BYU on Wednesday announced another Pac-12 football scheduling agreement, this time with the University of Washington. The teams will meet at Husky Stadium in Seattle on Sept. 29, 2018, with the second game of the series scheduled for LaVell Edwards Stadium on Sept. 21, 2019.
The deal brings to nine the number of Pac-12 teams on future BYU schedules, accounting for 22 games in total, from 2014 through 2025.
With the season opener at Connecticut only ten days away, BYU is making the transition from training camp to game prep.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall said Monday represented the final day of two-a-days, while Wednesday will feature a final camp scrimmage, "for younger players that are working their way to get on the travel team to possibly establish some depth or a special-teams role."
"Then, we'll move on to UConn."
SAN BRUNO, Calif — The West Coast Conference released its 2014-2015 men’s basketball conference schedule Monday. The BYU Cougars will begin and end WCC play against Gonzaga. BYU will host the Bulldogs on Saturday, Dec. 27, at the Marriott Center in Provo, and end conference play in Spokane on Feb. 28.
The Cougars won’t play more than three consecutive road games (Jan. 15 at Pacific, Jan. 17 at St Mary's and Jan. 24 at San Diego) and more than three consecutive home games (Feb. 12 vs. St. Mary's, Feb. 14 vs. Pacific and Feb. 19 vs. San Diego) in conference.
The WCC regular season will end Saturday, Feb. 28. The 2015 West Coast Conference Basketball Championships will take place from March 5-10 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
BYU on Friday night held its second training camp scrimmage--an exercise that actually produced fewer points than the first scrimmage six days ago, but had head coach Bronco Mendenhall optimistic about a team he said is "more explosive, faster, and more dynamic" than previous versions.
The offense accounted for two touchdowns and a field goal in 12 series. The estimated LaVell Edwards Stadium crowd of 12,000 fans saw quarterback Taysom Hill lead seven series, with backup Christian Stewart getting five sets of snaps.
Hill threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Kurt Henderson on his second series of the night; his other six series ended in five punts and an interception.
Two weeks to the day after his players reported for training camp, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall approached the halfway-point of camp by saying "I like where we are now," looking to Friday night's stadium scrimmage as "basically a little navigational guide" to help him determine what needs the most attention before the seaon opener at Connecticut.
Speaking after a two-hour practice at the outdoor practice fields, Mendenhall said "we'll scrimmage everybody," presumably meaning that no one will be held out except for health reasons.
"I would like to see really clean execution offensively," said Mendenhall, ticking off the objectives for Friday night. "I'd like to see physical defense, and I'd like to see good tackling."
Not quite halfway through four weeks of preparation for BYU's season opener at UConn, head coach Bronco Mendenhall on Tuesday said "man, it seems like camp has gone on forever, already."
Pronouncing the team "relatively healthy, and progressing, peaking towards scrimmage Friday night," Mendenhall said that "I feel good about where we are," but acknowledged again the grind of the preseason--a preseason he has said before could be a week shorter without sacrificing any readiness for opening day.
Asked if there might ever come a time when a coach voluntarily opts not to use the maximum of NCAA-allotted preseason practice periods, Mendenhall said "(I'm) tempted to (shorten camp), because I know of a lot of coaches right now that don't use their double-days when they have them."