Bronco Mendenhall described Wednesday's practice as "sharp" and said the players were "mentally a step ahead of where they were yesterday."
With just three days remaining before the Cougars host Weber State, it appears that BYU will be close to full strength.
Five days before their in-state meeting with Weber State, the BYU Cougars were back on the practice field Monday, following a weekend off that in turn followed a nationally-televised win over Washington State.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall noted his players' unusual early-season routine when speaking with reporters following Monday's practice, saying that "how well they practice this week will kind of determine how mature they are."
"To have a nice win and a couple of days off, all at the same time, at the beginning of the year, I hope they take it right," said Mendenhall, "in terms of using it for recovery and using it to re-focus."
BYU Basketball's nationally-renowned 2013 recruiting class got another shot in the arm Monday with the news that Wisconsin high schooler Luke Worthington had committed to Dave Rose's program.
The 6'8 1/2", 240-pound power forward from Homestead HS in Mequon, Wisc. said committing to BYU "just seemed right and felt right."
BYU's season-opening 30-6 home win over Washington State was at the same time extremely promising and just the smallest bit frustrating--and that's a good thing.
After helming his team to a sixth straight season-opening victory, head coach Bronco Mendenhall told us during our KSL Radio postgame coverage that "I like our starting point, and I congratulated our team. What's fun is, they fired right back how much better they can get. That's a good sign, when I'm praising them and they're knowing that they can perform better. That's a nice place to begin from."
On the day before gameday, we were talking about BYU's season opener with Washington State in a live chat Wednesday afternoon.
If you missed the live version, enjoy the almost-as-rewarding replay by clicking in below:
KSL Newsradio's season debut of "BYU Football with Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall" aired Tuesday evening, in front a live audience assembled at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Joining the Cougars' head coach was senior running back and team captain David Foote, who recently learned that Mendenhall was awarding him a scholarship for his final BYU campaign.
You can hear the entire broadcast in "Cougar Cuts," left; you can also access the audio link in the "Audio Archive" on the right-hand side of the show page.
We're two days away from the BYU Cougars' 2012 lid-lifter: a "Clash of the Cougars," as BYU entertains Washington State in renewal of a series last contested in 1990.
The BYU-Wazzu match-up takes a marquee position on college football's opening night broadcast agenda, with ESPN televising the contest as part two of a doubleheader that opens with an SEC game pitting South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
A week and a day before his team's season-opening game with Washington State, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said on Wednesday that "I like where we are, and I feel comfortable at least at this point today, that we'll be in good shape."
"I have high expectations for this team."
Nine days ahead of their season-opening game with Washington State, the BYU Cougars have moved into game-prep mode, with Tuesday morning's practice being the first featuring the offense and defense facing scout-team opponents.
The helmets-and-shoulder-pads session was also the first of what head coach Bronco Mendenhall called "basically three extra" practices added to a traditional game-week format.
With "Camp Cougar" having wrapped up and BYU now beginning Washington State prep, we ramped up the build-up with a Monday afternoon live chat.
If you missed it, don't fret--just re-live the drama and the drivel with the almost-as-good-as-live replay.
With "Camp Cougar" going in the books today, it's a good time to reflect on the last two-plus weeks of BYU Football practices and what they might mean for the season ahead.
More than a month ago, I previewed preseason camp with a Cougar Tracks list of "20 Questions"; today, I'll do my best to answer those questions with the benefit of hindsight.
A final day of two-a-days on Friday, followed by a single practice on Saturday, and BYU's 2012 preseason camp will be in the books, with Washington State game prep getting underway on Monday.
Friday morning in Provo, the Cougars held the first of two scheduled sessions; the practice was closed to the media, as all practices will be moving forward and into the season.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall said "there wasn't any easing back today; the number of (practice) periods was less, but what we were trying to get done was still (with) a lot of urgency."
Note: A former BYU receiver and return specialist (2005-2006), Nate Meikle returns to the KSL Radio airwaves in 2012, reprising the role he previously occupied as sideline reporter for BYU Football broadcasts (2007-2009). During the season, Meikle will post his weekly thoughts in "Nate's Notes."
When in 2011 I first learned that Michael Alisa was going to switch positions, from linebacker to running back, my immediate reaction was frustration.
Exactly two weeks before BYU's season-opener with Washington State, the Cougars brought a little gameday atmosphere to LaVell Edwards Stadium on Thursday morning.
With players divided into teams and coaches putting on the headsets, a competitive and lively scrimmage was the product, with head coach Bronco Mendenhall saying "that was the intent" in regards to the game-like feel, adding that "we had a little fun" at the same time, by dividing into separate squads and selecting "celebrity coaches" in former Cougars Chad Lewis and Curtis Brown.
"It was fun, and good to have guys cheering for each other a little bit," said Mendenhall afterward. "Basically,a fairly clean conclusion to what camp is going to be. A couple of 'clean-up days' tomorrow and the next day, then...Washington State (prep) starts Monday. And no injuries today. You kind of keep your fingers crossed, but we held out quite a few players to make sure that didn't happen."
According to head coach Bronco Mendenhall, camp has reached its "grind" phase, as the Cougars prepare for a second final stadium scrimmage on Thursday.
"Players and coaches get tired of each other, which was manifest yesterday," said Mendenhall after practice. "Then there's a 'reset point' which happened today, then there will be a building and in about another week it will happen again."
"Then we'll finally get to play an opponent."
Saying "it's getting difficult to practice against each other," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall guided his team through a Tuesday morning practice session, two days before the team's final scheduled scrimmage of camp.
"They're starting to not like each other very much," said Mendenhall after practice. "Coaches and players, which is about typical for this time of year, so...(we're) trying to make it through one more scrimmage before we break up into scout teams."
Offensive coordinator Brandon Doman echoed the head coach's feelings. "The guys are trying so hard," said Doman. "You can see it, you can feel it. It's a little bit out of hand."
The BYU Cougars went indoors on Monday afternoon for the second of two practices on Day 10 of fall camp. Bronco Mendenhall seemed pleased with the effort that his players gave him in both practices today.
"Got a ton of work done and some situational work", Bronco said. "I've been impressed with their day-to-day effort and their willingness to work."
BYU head basketball coach Dave Rose on Monday announced that sophomore-to-be guard Damarcus Harrison is transferring to Clemson for the 2012-13 season.
In BYU's official press release on the matter, Rose says "we appreciate the hard work and dedication Damarcus gave to our program this past season. Damarcus is great young man from a wonderful family. We wish them the very best with this new opportunity." The transfer brings Harrison closer to his South Carolina home.
Orem High School star Dalton Nixon has committed to play basketball for head coach Dave Rose and the BYU Cougars.
Nixon committed to Rose in his campus office on Friday night, in the presence of Dalton's father Kevin and Rose's assistant coaches. Nixon becomes the fourth son of a former Cougar hoopster to commit to Rose, joining Tyler and T.J. Haws (father is Marty; played 1985-90), and Jordan Chatman (father is Jeff; played 1985-88).
A versatile 6'7" forward, Nixon told me Saturday night that he was "excited to play with a lot of local kids like T.J. (Haws), Nick (Emery) and Eric (Mika)"--all three of whom play together at nearby Lone Peak HS and have committed to BYU. Nixon added that he was "happy to be close to home; I love Provo, and I love BYU."
After Saturday morning's session in Provo, the Cougars are on the downhill side of the "camp" portion of preseason practice. In previous years, head coach Bronco Mendenhall has closed camp and begun preparing for the season-opening opponent after Day 15 or 16; today was Day 9, and practice no. 11.
Mendenhall said that at this point of the month, he thinks his players have handled the workload well, and doesn't sense the "dog days" settling in.
"I'm pleased with how they're working," said Mendenhall after practice. "They're improving each day--small things, position mastery, effort is consistent. I think we're actually gaining momentum...through day number nine, I feel like we're on track."
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