Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
KSL Newsradio's "Bronco Mendenhall Show" debuted last night at Ken Garff Ford in American Fork, and while I encourage you to listen to the audio archive of the show by clicking on the show page in the BYU Sports Menu, here are a few of the highlights from Broncos comments during last night's broadcast:
-the season opener with Oklahoma represents the "chance of a lifetime" for his players--to open the college season in a stadium that is "absolutely phenomenal."
-BYU's ultimate goal is to win the national championship, and that's not possible until you play teams (like Oklahoma) that "are competing at that level." Bronco admits there is "risk" in scheduling the Sooners.
-the Oklahoma game is "close to the biggest scale of game BYU has played for a long, long time."
-BYU's national championship of 1984 "put wheels in motion to add an exclusionary element" to college football's national title picture. He says the current BYU program is out to "undo what we started."
-noting the program's 2-18 record in its last 20 games against ranked teams, you need to "put your money where your mouth is."
-relative to RB Harvey Unga's hamstring injury situation, "we'll know only on gameday" how healthy he is. Bronco says whatever Unga's status, he's better than anyone else BYU has.
-for the first time since he's been head coach, the team will go from the airport to the stadium for a "walk-around," to take away the "shock and awe" aspect of visiting Cowboys Stadium for the first time.
-re: the return of FB Manase Tonga, most NFL scouts to visit BYU have Tonga rated higher than NFL fullbacks and former Cougars Fahu Tahi and Fui Vakapuna.
-Bronco "didn't enjoy the tail end, or a lot of last season," and acknowledges he got "caught up" in "the number of wins that we had," win streaks, etc.
-TCU head coach Gary Patterson (two recent games and one win v. Oklahoma) was "very helpful" with some "keen insight" into playing the Sooners.
-Bronco has become "relatively close friends" with Florida and former Utah coach Urban Meyer (national championship win over OU last season), who has also been "very helpful" in giving the BYU coach ideas of what he'll be facing on Saturday.
-re: Meyer, Bronco says once you "step out of the rivalry, or leave the state, there is normal life," and adds that now he has gotten to know Meyer "as a person," perception of school colors tends to go away.
-Bronco doesn't know for sure whether players have voted to retain the pre-game Haka, but believes he heard players talking about "Haka practice" as he left the field on Wednesday.