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With BYU having traversed the toughest part of its 2012 schedule, BYU Offensive Coordinator Brandon Doman believes the next challenge is "to be able to finish". The Cougars will play their final home game of the season this weekend at home against the Idaho Vandals (1-8, 1-3 WAC).
Doman spoke with the media after Tuesday evening's practice, with media sessions also conducted by quarterback Riley Nelson and running back Jamaal Williams.
Idaho's season went from bad to worse in recent weeks with the firing of head coach Robb Akey and dismissal of the team's starting quarterback.
Akey was partly responsible for defensive coaching duties. Now, that responsibility lies solely on defensive coordinator Mark Criner. Doman thinks the BYU offense will come in prepared.
"The last few weeks, we've been seeing some of the same coverages and I would suspect that they'll play some of the same zone coverages that we've been seeing all season long," said Doman.
BYU is coming off of a bye week after beating Georgia Tech 41-17 in Atlanta. Coach Doman attributed the Cougars' success against the Yellow Jackets to big plays and winning the field position battle.
"For an offense, coming out from the 50-yard line most of the game was quite a benefit for us offensively," Doman said.
BYU's depleted offensive line has seen many new faces over the weeks due to starters getting injured and rotations being made. One constant has been redshirt freshman Ryker Mathews. Doman mentioned that Mathews still has some growing to do but "athletically, he's as good as anybody we'll play against."
"I would foresee him being one of the great tackles here at BYU as time goes on," Doman continued. "He's going to be a good one."
Quarterback Taysom Hill is recovering from a surgery he underwent a few weeks ago following a leg injury he suffered against Utah State. Doman used the word "pleased" when giving an update on Hill's status.
"[The] diagnosis was far better than we had anticipated," said Doman.
Even though Doman is encouraged with Hill's recovery, he was careful not to raise expectations too high. "I think we're a month away from really knowing how well the movement is and then how fast it will progress," he said.
The Cougars have yet to play a game in the cold, but it looks like they might be dealing with true winter weather this weekend against Idaho. Doman embraces the cold while Jamaal Williams is not looking forward to it.
"I don't think you can have a football season without one cold football game," joked Doman.
Riley Nelson said the cold weather doesn't affect the way he prepares or plays the game. "It's not going to be cold enough to worry about it," he said. Nelson dis have some advice for the fans, though. "Don't try and be a tough guy sitting in those stands," he warned, "That'll chill you to the bone."
This week's game will likely be the final game of the season in which the Cougars will face cold weather. They travel to San Jose State and New Mexico State to finish off the regular season and will then head to San Diego to play in the Poinsettia Bowl.
The big news Tuesda was the scheduling announcement between BYU and the Michigan Wolverines. The Cougars will be heading to Ann Arbor in 2015 to play in the Big House. The only other time BYU played against the Wolverines was in the 1984 National Championship game. Doman was excited about the opportunity to play them again.
"They're one of the greatest football programs in the country," said Doman. "Their tradition is strong, their fans are great, their stadium is great I think it'll be a great opportunity to play them"