Preparing for "Bronco v. Bowden"



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One of college football's youngest coaches meets one of the game's most venerable sideline bosses this Saturday in Provo, as Bronco Mendenhall and BYU meet Bobby Bowden and Florida State.

Bronco addressed the matchup in comments you can hear by clicking his audio file in the "Cougar Cuts" box to the right.

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As heard on KSL Newsradio's "Coach's Corner" this morning, LG Braden Hansen is expected out one to three weeks with a left knee injury (not an ACL tear). Marco Thorson is expected to get the start on Saturday, while former NT Jordan Richardson will move to the offensive line (guard or tackle) starting today.

Officially, Hansen is most likely "doubtful" for Saturday.

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Safety Scott Johnson is recovering from his second concussion in the last three weeks. If he passes protocol, he will play on Saturday, but is today listed as "possible."

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RB Harvey Unga came through the Tulane game with only hamstring tightening, and without any re-injury. Bronco told us Saturday he expects Unga to be able to play the full game versus Florida State.

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Bronco said speed is the first thing that jumps out at him from watching Florida State video, calling them "talented and athletic," playing a lot of man coverage with the intent of putting pressure on the quarterback. He said he expects Seminoles to see this game as "athletes against athletes."

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The BYU-FSU game is the first of a two-game series; as for playing any "2-for-1" series with big-name opponents, Bronco says BYU has "earned" home-and-home status, calling any two-for-one propositions "an insult."

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The coach says if Riley Stephenson can maintain his kickoff distance and acceptable accuracy in practice this week, he will likely be BYU's kickoff man v. Florida State. I thought Stephenson would have secured that position in camp, but Mitch Payne's lesser leg and accuracy issues led to the change in game number two and could be a permanent switch if the Tulane game is any indication.

That being said, Stephenson had his own kickoff issues on Saturday, and no matter who is doing the job, BYU absolutely needs more consistency.

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Bronco expects the combination of altitude and Max Hall's play-calling prowess in a quick tempo offense to "make a difference" in the FSU game. He says "tempo should and probably will play a role."

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You can hear group interviews with Jan Jorgensen, J.J. DiLuigi, Andrew Rich and Andrew George in "Cougar Cuts." Listen to the "Cougar Countdown Show" on Saturday afternoon for Alex Kirry's one-on-one interview feature with Jorgensen.

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