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PROVO -- After a 54-3 thumping over Tulane Saturday, the #7 BYU Cougars are now preparing for Florida State this weekend. The Cougars own an 18-game home winning streak. In fact the last time they lost at LaVell Edwards Stadium was November of 2005 against Utah. Bronco Mendenhall said he's excited to have the Seminoles come to town and especially coach Bobby Bowden. Florida State lost its opener to Miami. Then barely beat Jacksonville State on Saturday.
As far as history is concerned, these two teams have played twice; both wins going to FSU. The Seminoles defeated the Cougars 44-28 in 1991, and 29-3 in 2000.If BYU wins on Saturday, that would mark the second straight season, and 13th time in program history, that the Cougars open 3-0. Last year BYU opened with wins against Northern Iowa, Washington and UCLA.
When asked about the Seminoles, Mendenhall said when you look at FSU, "speed is the first thing you see." Defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen echoed that statement, but said the Cougars also saw speed against Oklahoma and that will help BYU's defense this weekend.
On the offensive side, Bronco said he expects Max Hall to see plenty of man-to-man coverage on Saturday. Hall, after throwing for 321 yards and two touchdowns, was once again named Mountain West Conference offensive player of the week. Unlike last year, Hall is really spreading the ball around. Against Tulane, Hall threw to 11 different receivers.
One point of emphasis this week will be kickoffs. Mendenhall is very concerned since several kickoffs in the first two games went out of bounds, and with the ball now being moved to the 40-yard line, that's unacceptable. Mendenhall has not yet decided who will be given kickoff duty this Saturday. Riley Stephenson has a stronger leg than Mitch Payne, but both have had problems kicking out of bounds.
On the injury front, Mendenhall said offensive lineman Braden Hansen's knee injury is not an ACL tear. He said the injury will keep Hansen out one to three weeks. Marco Thorsen will most likely get the start in Hansen's place. To bolster the O-line, Mendenhall will move nose tackle Jordan Richardson over to the offensive line beginning today. Mendenhall also said Harvey Unga should be able to play the full game this weekend. Unga was pulled early in the Tulane game as a precaution. And defensive back Scott Johnson suffered his second concussion of the season against Tulane. Mendenhall said the hit this time was to Johnson's chin. No word yet on whether Johnson will be cleared for Saturday, right now he's listed as "possible."
Game time against Florida State is set for 5:00 Saturday in Provo. You can listen to the game with Greg Wrubell on KSL Newsradio 102.7FM/1160AM. Pregame begins at 3 p.m.