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Cougar Tracks: BYU Football with Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall, Week 3

Cougar Tracks: BYU Football with Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall, Week 3

By Skyler Hardman, KSL NewsRadio Sports Intern/Cougar Tracks Contributor, and Greg Wrubell | Posted - Sep. 13, 2012 at 8:20 a.m.



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KSL Newsradio's Wednesday night broadcast of "BYU Football with Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall" presented a focused coach, a defensive captain and an esteemed author.

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After seeing his team jump out of the gate with a 2-0 start for the first time since 2009, head coach Bronco Mendenhall welcomed two guests this week: defensive captain Brandon Ogletree and co-author of "Running into the Wind," organizational behavior guru Paul Gustavson.

You can check out the show in its entirety in "Cougar Cuts," above left; you can also access the audio link in the "Audio Archive" on the right-hand side of the show page. But, for nuggets and side notes, just keep reading.

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The President's Loge was again near capacity as Mendenhall dived headfirst into questions about this week's rivalry game with Utah. He insisted that he and his staff keep the practice model for this week very routine but do limit media interaction with the players. "One of my jobs this week, maybe more than any other, is to keep the team focused and not expose them to the reactionary kind of questions that are asked to them."

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BYU enters Saturday's game ranked 25th in the AP poll, and while it may benefit his team, Mendenhall doesn't think the season's first polls should be released until after week seven. That being the case, he's still happy to be number 25.

"We're lucky now because you go across the little ticker at the bottom once you're in the Top 25 which is great for exposure," said Mendenhall. "But to say that we know, (who the best 25 teams in the nation are) we don't know."

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The show's first guest was Gustavson, whose book is sub-titled "Five Strategies for Building a Successful Team," and examines organizational strategy as adapted and implemented by the BYU Football program.

A former Cougar football player, Gustavson earned his Masters degree in Organizational Behavior from BYU and has since gone on to experience notable success as a consultant in the corporate world. His professional path intersected with Mendenhall's soon after Bronco took over the head coaching job in late 2004, and Gustavson has served as BYU Football's organizational mentor of sorts ever since.

Mendenhall spoke of how the football program's unique profile required a unique organizational approach, and that approach is fully examined in a book that will interest BYU fans and business leaders alike. For more on Gustavson and "Running Into the Wind," check out this recent edition of "Nate's Notes".

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During the question-and-answer portion of the night, Mendenhall pointed out how important running the ball will be against Utah, saying on the ground is where football games are won.

Cougar fans can expect "a little bit more of the unconventional runs we have to be a little bit more creative. Maybe use the quarterback a little more, not only in designed runs but in letting him be creative."

Mendenhall was also asked about Notre Dame's decision to become an affiliate member of the ACC, and how that decision might or might not impact BYU Football. The coach said he was hopeful that any future schedule modifications for the Irish might create some openings for the Cougars. Mendenhall also acknowledged that Notre Dame's new direction could possibly affect the six-game scheduling pact between ND and BYU.

"I bet they take a look hard at who they're going to play," said Mendenhall. "We'll see; it wouldn't be the first time that someone has gotten out of a contract, but where there are challenges there are also opportunities."

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Next week's broadcast of "BYU Football with Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall" is set for Tuesday, September 18th at 7:00pm. Stay tuned to Greg Wrubell's Twitter feed (@gregwrubell) to find out when the seat request link will open up for next week's show.

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Skyler Hardman Sports Intern/Cougar Tracks Contributor
      Greg Wrubell

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