Injury Notes and Problems "Afoot"...



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Fui Vakapuna is headed for surgery to repair a boken hand, but BYU's depth in the backfield (and the emergence of Harvey Unga) makes Fui's prolonged absence less of a concern than it might have been a month ago.

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Of greater concern to the Cougar coaches (for this week, at least) is the health of wide receiver Austin Collie, who suffered a rather significant ankle sprain in the first half of the game at Tulsa. Collie is hobbling around right now and would have to be considered a question mark for Saturday's game. Should Collie's ankle not recover in time, and should Michael Reed's shoulder remain sore, the Cougars depth at wideout (or lack thereof) could be tested against the Falcons.

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Hopes are both Collie and Reed will be ready to roll, but if either or both are unavailable, look for Bryce Mahuika to see snaps at the outside receiver position, along with Matt Allen. Tyler Kozlowski would also be an outside option, with Reed White and Daniel Tervort sliding up the depth chart inside. So far this season, BYU has rarely utilized the "H" position, opting instead for multiple tight end and multiple back sets.

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Trivia:

Harvey Unga is the 7th BYU freshman to rush for 100 yards in a game. Who are the other six?

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BYU has put out a call for another candidate at placekicker. The Cougars have asked Orem High product Nathan Killpack (Class of '07) to come on out for a look-see. On the website prokicker.com, Killpack is listed as having an average kickoff distance of 57.5 yards, with a long kickoff of 63 yards. I'll have more details on his tryout as warranted.

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Speaking of kickoffs (and BYU's placekicking in general), the lack of distance on BYU's kickoffs at Tulsa was appalling. It got to the point where kickoffs were coming down at the opponents' 30-yard line, and we weren't even batting an eye in the booth. BYU has no touchbacks this season (Air Force's Ryan Harrison, by comparison, has 6), and the Cougars' field position problems are bound to resurface unless the problem is remedied.

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By the way, BYU is the only team in the MWC to miss a PAT this season, and the Cougars have missed three (9/12)!

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In all, BYU has misfired on 5 scoring kicks this season (2 field goals to go along with the 3 PAT). As many close games as BYU plays, scoring on kicks is more than an expectation, it's a necessity.

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Trivia Answer:

Jamal Willis (2), Ronney Jenkins (2), Mark Atuaia, Fahu Tahi, Curtis Brown and Mike Hague

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