A little more than five weeks after a second surgery to remove cancerous tissue, BYU Basketball head coach Dave Rose says "I feel good...I feel better every day."
"Each week," said Rose after a late-afternoon practice at the Marriott Center on Wednesday, "I can tell that things are better."
"I'm kind of just concentrating on this team, and the team itself--you can really tell that they're young."
PROVO — Cody Hoffman is one catch away from becoming BYU's all-time leader in career receptions. Currently, Cody is tied with Dennis Pitta with 221 catches; and based on the fact that Hoffman has caught at least one pass in 36 consecutive games, the record should be his sometime Saturday afternoon.
"It would mean a lot," Hoffman said, when asked what the record would mean to him. "I know there's been a lot of good receivers here and a lot of great players overall; to break the record would be a great feeling."
Guy Holliday, BYU's receivers coach has been impressed with Hoffman since he joined the staff during the off-season. "I haven't had one (receiver) as skilled as him," Holliday said.
After preparing for and beating a Georgia Tech team intent on running the ball and draining the clock, the BYU Cougars are this week getting ready for the opposite approach as presented by the Houston Cougars: a pass-heavy, up-tempo attack that will be more of stylistic match for their namesakes from Provo.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall said on Monday that he "hardly remembers" the Yellow Jackets and their game plan.
"We've spent all day now defending four receivers and (a team) throwing the ball around," said Mendenhall after an early-evening practice, "and it's college football, which is one of the cool things about it--you're not facing the same offense."
BYU on Friday announced that senior linebacker Spencer Hadley has returned to practice after being cleared by the university this week to participate with the team.
The school says Hadley's playing status for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech will be determined by head coach Bronco Mendenhall.
Hadley was suspended indefinitely on Sept. 17 for a violation of team rules. The university later imposed a five-game term, noting an honor code violation.
PROVO — As the Cougars approach the halfway point of their season, Coach Bronco Mendenhall joined Greg Wrubell, Marc Lyons, and an energetic crowd in the President's Loge at LaVell Edwards Stadium Wednesday night. BYU is coming off a 31-14 victory over Utah State and looks forward to Saturday's homecoming tilt with Georgia Tech.
Coach Mendenhall assessed the Utah State game, saying, "I think we made progress. I think our team is growing and maturing. I think offensively we continue to find more and more rhythm within what we're doing."
PROVO — The tradition of Homecoming is all about greeting old friends and reliving the past, and this year's Homecoming football game is no different.
BYU welcomes familiar foe Georgia Tech to LaVell Edwards Stadium this Saturday -- a team the Cougars rolled 41-17 last season in Atlanta -- and looks to continue its tradition, spirit, and honor of stifling option attacks.
"I think we know what we're doing, and coach Mendenhall knows what he's doing, and it's from experience," said defensive coordinator Nick Howell after team practice Wednesday evening. "We put a lot of time, a ton of time, into preparing for the option, so we're all on the same page and have a good system [to defend] it."
PROVO — The BYU football team reaches the midway point of the 2013 season on Saturday, with the Cougars' riding high on optimism and feeling like they've got a little bit more figured out.
A 2-0 win streak — the first of the year — will do that to anyone. But so, too, will finally being able to look at game film and fix the chinks in the armor that BYU's offense developed over the first few games.
"We really went back, saw where we were successful in previous games, and we stuck with those things," sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill said on Tuesday. "We built off the good, and threw out the ones we weren't successful with."
With the 2013-14 BYU basketball team a little more than two weeks away from suiting up for the first time (the intra-squad Cougar Tipoff is Oct. 23), head coach Dave Rose says he and his staff are dealing with an unfamiliar challenge.
"It's the first time in a long time that I have more new players (than returning players)," Rose said during his annual Media Day address on Tuesday in Provo. "That is going to take a lot of patience on our part."
"We rely on those experienced guys to help bring those (new) guys along, and now we're looking at six or seven (newcomers)."
BYU has announced three new football scheduling agreements, including a deal with Stanford that will start in 2020 and conclude in 2025.
The dates of the Stanford series include two games on Thanksgiving weekend at Stanford Stadium: Nov. 28, 2020, and Nov. 26, 2022. The Cardinal are slated to visit LaVell Edwards Stadium on Sept. 2, 2023, and Sept. 13, 2025.
BYU will also renew its rivalry with University of Hawai'i; the schools will meet twice, with games scheduled for Nov. 25, 2017, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu and Nov. 17, 2018, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Above .500 for the first time in the 2013 campaign, the BYU Cougars are preparing to host a Homecoming tilt with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
It was almost a year ago in Atlanta that BYU defeated the Jackets 41-17--a game that also happens to mark the last time BYU scored in all four quarters of a game.
The performance was less notable for the Cougars' offensive output than it was BYU's defensive lock-down on a Tech attack that was among the most prolific in college football last season--particularly on the ground, with a run game that ended the season ranked fourth nationally in yards per game.
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