Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Bronco Mendenhall says he does not "intend any radical changes," after a typically "thorough" analysis of his football program during the recently-completed bye week.
Mendenhall addressed the media during his weekly press conference this morning--the entirety of his comments can be heard by clicking his audio link in the "Cougar Cuts" box to the lower right.
(note: due to a late arrival thanks to the American Fork traffic tie-up on I-15, I was unable to record roughly the opening three minutes of his remarks, during which he called the bye week "productive," said the current national rankings are more reflective of teams and the rankings "matter" more now, and said BYU is the healthiest it's since going into the Oklahoma game. He added that the program self-evaluation included meetings with players to discuss leadership, etc.).
The coach said the program analysis is one that happens week to week, and that "if I saw a need to change, I would, but until then, we'll just keep winning games and hopefully competing for conference championships and playing postseason, etc."
Mendenhall anticipated a few personnel rotation adjustments in order to better balance individual workloads as they relate to pace of play. He noted that WR McKay Jacobson will return for the Wyoming game.
The coach said he has seen no signs of a letdown similar to the one his team may have suffered after last year's loss to TCU, saying he's been "encouraged" by what he's seen.
Bronco says it's "been fun" to see teams like Wyoming, San Diego State and Air Force playing "good football" within the MWC, and credited the Pokes' defense in particular for its "physical, disruptive" play.
Mendenhall says Wyoming is "innovative" on offense and is able to "create" with freshman QB Austyn Carta-Samuels.
I asked about the mentality of being the "hunters versus the hunted," alluding to the attitude BYU had when facing Oklahoma, as opposed to being the "target" team for most other opponents.
Bronco acknowledged that BYU has been "the hunted" since the latter part of his second year as head coach, but referring to the most-recent loss to TCU, he said something telling when he claimed that "at some point...you'll draw a line back to this (TCU) game--kind of like we did to the San Diego State game my first year, and whatever changes have happened that helped the program move forward could have been started or motivated by that one particular game."
My read of that statement is this: while Mendenhall says the program is not going to change for the sake of change, he senses a potential change in the power structure of the Mountain West Conference, and now it may up to him and his program to react, and respond.