PROVO - This week BYU gears up for an early-season bout with one of the biggest programs in college football, but head coach Bronco Mendenhall says the implications of the result against Texas go beyond the win or loss in week two.
During the weekly broadcast of "BYU Football with Bronco Mendenhall," heard on KSL Newsradio, the coach said that as an independent, BYU finds itself on the boundary of a new division in college football, a division between the Power 5 or "P5" conferences, and a second-tier group of conferences, known as the Group of 5 ("G5"). Mendenhall says this fact puts a magnifying glass on games against P5 opponents like the storied Texas.
"They have one of the largest if not the largest budget," said Mendenhall. "They have the best of everything and so to have the chance to be considered or measured against that, even if it meant two (road games) for one (home game), I'm willing to do it."
PROVO - After last season's 40-21 win over the Texas Longhorns, BYU's Taysom Hill-led offense is garnering a great deal of attention heading into this Saturday's game rematch in Austin.
2013's breakout performance saw the Cougars rack up 679 total yards of offense, including a team-record 550 rushing yards, in a game offensive coordinator Robert Anae called an early turning point in the season.
"We grew as a team last year against Texas and I hope to do so this year as well," said Anae on Wednesday after the Cougars' morning practice.
PROVO — The BYU Cougars ended their second weekday of Texas prep Tuesday morning, with defensive coaches and players meeting the media and previewing a key weekend meeting in Austin.
Saturday's matchup is highly anticipated by Cougar and Longhorn fans alike. While a win on Texas' home turf could have national ramifications for BYU, defensive coordinator Nick Howell says he tries not to look too far past the opponent.
"It doesn't matter. All that matters is what we can control, and that's doing our jobs the best we can," Howell said. "Every week is a one-week season. Nothing else matters … at practice; everything that we do is put into this game right here. That's what matters."
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.