Two days after their 40-21 demolition of Texas on national television, the BYU Cougars were back on the practice field Monday, with head coach Bronco Mendenhall seeking to "set the vibe" heading into a bye week and a looming matchup with Utah.
Mendenhall said the early part of the week would focus on "fundamentals and younger-player development," with preparation for Utah picking up on Thursday; players will then be given the weekend off. The Cougars and Utes will play in Provo one week from Saturday at 8:15 p.m. MT on ESPN2.
Four years and three months after a rare form of pancreatic cancer almost took his life, BYU head basketball coach Dave Rose underwent surgery on Monday to remove "cancerous spots" discovered in Rose's most recent routine cancer screening.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Courtney Scaife at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital in Salt Lake City. In a statement released by BYU, Dr. Scaife said "the surgery went well. I expect him to make a full recovery."
If you want to hit it big in Vegas—maximize your potential payout and increase your chances of an early retirement—do the following: take your life savings and make one bet. Put all your money on red, or black for that matter. But the key is to make just one bet. And then walk away. Never come back.
That's exactly what Vegas doesn't want you to do. They want people to play over and over and over again. In the long run, they win. In the short run, stuff happens. For this reason a statistician might say that the "Go fast" portion of the new motto is the exact opposite of what BYU should do.
When one side has superior talent, knowledge, expertise, etc.—it wants to increase the number of repetitions in competition. Vegas wants you to play as much as possible; the superior basketball team wants to get "up and down." It hates the stall. In the long run, the better team wins. In the short run, it might not.
PROVO — "BYU Football with Bronco Mendenhall" aired in front of a raucous crowd Wednesday night in the President's Loge at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Coming off a tough loss at Virginia, Coach Mendenhall addressed the game and gave his assessment on what he learned about his team after watching the game film and what was the difference in the game.
"Our team played collectively harder than what I thought they were playing on Saturday," Mendenhall said. "If we are able to convert more on third down … I think the game becomes quite different."
PROVO — The BYU Cougars are well aware of the statistics Texas put up in their season opening win against New Mexico State. The Longhorns put up 715 yards of offense last weekend. As Texas visits LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, the Cougars enter the game confident against the Longhorns. "Texas is a good team," cornerback Rob Daniel said. "With all the preparation we're doing, there (is) nothing special about them."
Coach Bronco Mendenhall was asked if he likes the fact that his team isn't intimidated by the Longhorns. "No disrespect to anyone we play, and Texas is a good team...we're not afraid of anyone."
"I'm looking forward to it (playing Texas)" Bronco said. Our team is looking forward to it; I think we have a good chance...I think we'll have a good chance in every gamey; certainly we need to improve and improve substantially, but I'm looking forward to the game."
PROVO — After the offense stalled in a 19-16 loss to the University of Virginia last Saturday, offensive coordinator Robert Anae is looking to jump start his crew before they take on Texas this week by shaking up the offensive line.
"We're going to do some shuffling of the line, and we're going to see how some other guys respond," said Anae. "We have four guys right now who look to hold their spots...and we only want the best players on the field."
Those starters will be Michael Yeck switching from right tackle to left tackle, Manaaki Vaitai at left guard, Terrance Alletto remaing at center, and Brock Strigham taking over right tackle. The starting right guard position is still open to competition. Anae said the purpose of the change is to find unity up front to allow both the pass and run games to prosper. "That's been our primary focus this week — to develop ourselves as a group," said Anae. "A group that not only goes fast but can go hard."
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall says despite a disappointing season-opening loss at Virginia, he is "encouraged" by the team's performance, while at the same time acknowledging the 19-16 defeat "was a hard loss... really hard."
"I thought we played really hard," said Mendenhall on Monday after practice. "It didn't mean we necessarily played well."
PROVO — The year's first "BYU Football with Bronco Mendenhall" show aired Wednesday in front of over 100 fans at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Mendenhall said the team is excited fall camp is over and that it's finally time to open the season against the Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday.
"Fall camp did not seem shorter," Mendenhall said. "If anything, it seemed longer. I think fall camp is a week too long. Ask me again when I see us play Saturday to make sure on that, but … I think we could do it in a week less, and it would be better for the game and for the players."
PROVO ‐ BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall described Wednesday's practice as, "no pads; shorter, recovery-oriented (and) assignment-oriented. Similar format tomorrow with the intent to get our team as fast and as healthy and as recovered and assignment-sound as possible…next we'll just have to play and see where we are."
With Saturday's season opener against Virginia just days away, players and coaches were putting the final touches on their game plan for the Cavaliers. As is the case with most programs before a new season, it's hard to gauge where the team is without a game under its belt. "I don't think I absolutely know anything about this team until we play a game," Bronco said.
"I think they'll try hard; if I had to say what I most likely know, it's that."
"I'm going to read off fifteen words," my statistics professor Daniel Ho said, "and then give you a chance to write down as many words as you can remember."
Professor Ho read the words, waited fifteen seconds, and then told us to start writing. Once we had all finished, we repeated the exercise with a second set of fifteen words.
Once the second exercise had concluded, Professor Ho said, "Raise your hand if you remembered seven or more words from the first list." About half the hands went up.
PROVO — Four days away from the BYU football team's season opener at Virginia, offensive coordinator Robert Anae should be working on a game plan to pile on the points on the Cavaliers.
There's some of that. But Anae, who returned from a two-year sabbatical as co-offensive coordinator at Arizona, has enough to worry about with his own team.
The Cougars could start any one of nine guys on the offensive line, with only sophomore center Terrence Alletto cementing himself in the trenches. Every other position on the two-deep depth chart features co-starters, including junior Michael Yeck — the only lineman who saw time in every game a year ago.
On a day that BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall unveiled a post-camp depth chart, the Cougars continued game-week preparation for their season-opener at Virginia, with the team holding a typical "Tuesday" practice on Monday in Provo.
"It was very physical, it was fast, we got a lot of plays in," said Mendenhall of the late-afternoon session. "Lots of special teams emphasis; Justin Sorensen continues to kick the ball very well."
"I think we're deep at running back, and I think that we have plenty of receivers to throw the ball to."
PROVO — In ksl.com's final set of build-up previews to the 2013 college football season, this week's assignment is to make each in-state team's case as "Best in State."
My job is to state the case for the Cougars, so here we go:
Beehive Boot bragging rights
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall called it "one final chance to get a look at a few situations," after watching his team go through a Wednesday morning scrimmage at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
With most first-stringers held out, Mendenhall said the exercise had as its primary objective the identification of personnel depth, "to see if we could solidify any extra players that we might want to take with us when we go to Virginia (for the season-opener on Aug. 31)."
The West Coast Conference released its 2013-14 Men's Basketball schedule on Tuesday, with the travel-partner format restored, as Pacific joins the fold to form a ten-team league.
BYU will open its conference season with the Los Angeles road swing through Loyola Marymount (Saturday, Dec. 28) and Pepperdine (Saturday, Dec. 30), before opening the home slate the following weekend, with San Diego visiting the Marriott Center on Saturday, Jan. 4. The Cougars will close out their WCC campaign by visiting the Toreros on Saturday, March 1st, following an in-week bye.
BYU's two byes come early (Thursday, Jan. 2), and late (Thursday, Feb. 27) in the conference season. From Thursday, Jan. 9 through Saturday, Feb. 22, BYU will play Thursday-Saturday every weekend, for seven consecutive weekends.
New faces in new places were the order of the day Monday in Provo, as the BYU football team opened its last day of a camp two-a-days with a morning session at the outdoor practice fields.
Due to multiple injuries, three players have been added to the 105-man roster, while at the same time, three players have been assigned to the defensive backs group--a position group hit hard by injuries over recent months.
The BYU Cougars neared the two-week mark in camp with another day of two-a-days on Friday.
The morning session (which reporters observed for the final 20-25 minutes) concluded with three series of 11-on-11 work; quarterbacks Taysom Hill, Ammon Olsen and Jason Munns each led one drive.
No touchdowns were scored in the no-shoulder pads, no-hitting "team" session.
PROVO — BYU announced its 2013-2014 men's basketball non-conference schedule on Thursday. In total, the Cougars will play 13 non-conference games; six at home, three on the road, and four at a neutral site.
After two preseason games at home against Colorado College and Alaska Anchorage on Oct. 26th and Nov. 2nd, the Cougars will begin the regular season at home against Weber State on Nov. 8th. The Cougars will then travel to Stanford on Nov. 11th to face the Cardinal in Palo Alto.
BYU has been invited to participate in the College Basketball Experience Hall of Fame Classic. The tournament will feature home games on Nov. 14th and 16th, and then the championship round at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri on Nov. 24th vs. Texas; followed by a matchup with either Wichita State or DePaul on the 26th.
Heading into spring ball, BYU first-year defensive coordinator and secondary coach Nick Howell thought his cornerback spot had never looked better.
Field corner Jordan Johnson was returning for his junior season after breaking up 15 passes in 12 starts last year. Junior college transfer Trent Trammell was expected to immediately compete and likely replace Preston Hadley at boundary corner. Football/baseball cross-over Jacob Hannemann was penciled in to push for playing time. Veteran corner/safety combo players Mike Hague and Skye PoVey were projected to contribute, juco recruit Sam Lee boosted corner depth, while freshman Dallin Leavitt was another standout addition from the recruiting Class of 2013.
"We, I believe, had more depth than BYU has ever had at corner," said Howell this week. "Healthy bodies, good players...and now, things change fast, so you've gotta adjust on the fly and you've gotta go--that's what happens."
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall on Wednesday abbreviated a scheduled morning practice, calling for "a slight break today."
Citing injuries and fatigue, Mendenhall said "I thought we started to lose some momentum in camp." He said the team did not do any 11-on-11 work today, but instead worked on individual/unit assignments, wanting to "work on some recovery, physically, and focus on treatment," before "looking to gear it up again."
Mendenhall said the practice was conducted at "walk-through" tempo; the session ended before reporters arrived, so the scheduled media observation period was not held.
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