LOGAN — BYU and Utah State will resume their football rivalry on Friday night in Logan. BYU has won five of the last six matchup with the Aggies under head coach Bronco Mendenhall, with the lone loss coming in Logan in 2010.
Here's a look at what the Aggies are saying about the clash with the Cougars:
Head Coach Matt Wells on BYU ...
Having won 12 of the last 13 meetings with their Cache Valley counterparts, the BYU Cougars visit Utah State on Friday night. BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall calls the contest "a great instate matchup...it should be an exciting game."
Asked to contrast the game with BYU's other historical instate rivalry, Mendenhall on Monday said "it's a different kind of rivalry" than the one with the Utah Utes.
"I'm not saying it's better or worse," Mendenhall noted after his team's late afternoon practice, "but it's just different, and I think it should be. Different teams, a little bit more distance, but still I think (it's) a great game, and it has been the past number of years--it has gone right down to the end."
PROVO — Losing to your rival is not easy, especially when it happens four years in a row. After BYU suffered yet another close defeat to the University of Utah last week, head coach Bronco Mendenhall said the team was extremely disappointed but anxious to get back to work and improve.
"It was a difficult loss. A lot of emotion went into the game, and lot of emotion came out of the game," said Mendenhall. "The best way to rebound and show resiliency is to get right back to work. I was thankful for a shorter week just to get back to improving our team and helping it reach its potential."
The players dedicated this week of practice to getting back on track before the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State ride into Provo Friday night.
PROVO — Coming off a bitter loss to rival Utah, the Cougars are using the short week to prepare for an upset-minded Middle Tennessee State team. The Blue Raiders come into Provo Friday night with a 3-1 record and they have the Cougars full attention.
"They look like a tough team. They look like they're going to give us a good run for the money, but if we go out there and do what we need to do, we're going to have a lot of fun" said BYU running back Adam Hine.
As BYU prepares for Friday night's home meeting with Middle Tennessee, the Cougars are pulling up the rear in the national passing stats--unfamiliar territory for a program credited with helping to introduce high-octane aerials to the modern college game.
Offensive coordinator Robert Anae, who as a lineman blocking for some of the school's most prolific quarterbacks in the 1980s, is acutely aware of the struggles and the stats, and acknowledges that ranking 123rd of 123 FBS teams in pass efficiency is "kind of a sign of the stage of where we're at right now."
"The pass game has not been effective," said Anae after Tuesday's practice, "and the run game has been spotty as well. It has got to be tightened down on all levels."
Since surgery to remove a cancer from his pancreas more than four years ago, BYU head basketball coach Dave Rose has returned to the Huntsman Cancer Hospital in Salt Lake City every six months, for routine diagnostic scans. "It's an interesting way to live," Rose says of the regular visits.
After years of clean reports, his most recent scan revealed cancer 'spots.' The decision was made to perform surgery to remove the cancerous tissue.
Two weeks ago Monday, Rose underwent the procedure, followed by days of recovery in the hospital. On Sunday, Sept. 15, Rose returned to his Provo home. Today, he is well into the recovery process and on track to lead his team when practice begins on October 7th.
Acknowledging that his team was "disappointed" and "saddened" by Saturday's 20-13 home loss to Utah, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall on Monday said a short week before the Cougars' next game would be "the best medicine" for his team.
Mendenhall said Friday night's home meeting with Middle Tennessee "forced (his players) to get right back to work."
"I was impressed with their practice habits today," Mendenhall told media members Monday evening, "and their resiliency and looking forward to getting back to work. That's the temperament and the mood I saw today."
PROVO — BYU announced on Thursday that the NCAA has approved a waiver request by the Cougars on behalf of Notre Dame transfer Chris Badger to allow the defensive back to play this season.
The approval makes the redshirt freshman eligible for competition immediately.
A native of Provo, Utah, Badger prepped at Timpview High School. After finishing his high school career in 2009, he enrolled mid-year at Notre Dame before serving an LDS mission during the 2010-2011 seasons. He returned to Notre Dame for the 2012 season where he completed his redshirt year.
PROVO — BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall knows what it takes to beat Utah in the team's annual rivalry meeting.
For three straight years, though, that victory has eluded him. Moreover, his attempted to squelch the flames of over-enthusiasm by approaching the battle of in-state foes as ‘just another game.'
With time running out for some of his most talented recruits to finish their BYU careers with a win, Mendenhall is trying something different.
BYU will enter Saturday's game with Utah missing one of its most important defensive players.
Senior linebacker Spencer Hadley has been suspended for five games, as the result of an honor code violation.
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced an indefinite suspension in an afternoon press release, citing a violation of team rules; school spokesperson Carri Jenkins later released a statement, in which the five-game term was attached to Hadley's suspension.
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