BYU Cougars - The Salt Lake Tribune http://www.sltrib.com/Cougars Stories from The Salt Lake Tribune &copy; 2014 The Associated Press, The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our privacy policy: http://www.sltrib.com/pages/privacy. en-us webmaster@sltrib.com (Webmaster) BYU football: Independence means Cougars see the USA http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58343224-88/cougars-byu-season-state.html.csp Provo • There’s no conference championship to play for this season, and BYU’s chances of making it to the new four-team College Football Playoff are as likely as a Democrat winning an election in Utah County. Even an undefeated season probably won’t be enough, according to many national college football experts. But at least the Cougars will see the country in 2014, beginning this weekend when they travel to the Northeast for the first time since 2006 to take on the UConn Huskies on Friday at Re... Provo • There’s no conference championship to play for this season, and BYU’s chances of making it to the new four-team College Football Playoff are as likely as a Democrat winning an election in Utah County. Even an undefeated season probably won’t be enough, according to many national college football experts. But at least the Cougars will see the country in 2014, beginning this weekend when they travel to the Northeast for the first time since 2006 to take on the UConn Huskies on Friday at Re... <img src="http://mngislctrib.112.2O7.net/b/ss/mngislctrib/1/H.17--NS/0?&pageName=RSS" height="1" width="1" border="0" alt=""/> 58343224@www.sltrib.com Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:13:38 MDT BYU volleyball: Hamson’s return has Cougars thinking big http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58344122-88/hamson-olmstead-volleyball-team.html.csp Provo • When friends, boosters and family members ask fourth-year BYU women’s volleyball coach Shawn Olmstead about his 2014 recruiting class, he has a simple, one-sentence reply. “We get a girl named Jennifer Hamson back, and that’s our biggest recruit of the year,” he says. That would be 2012 AVCA First-Team All-American and West Coast Conference Player of the Year Jennifer Hamson, who put her volleyball career on hold in 2013 in order to play for the BYU women’s basketball team full-time. Ham... Provo • When friends, boosters and family members ask fourth-year BYU women’s volleyball coach Shawn Olmstead about his 2014 recruiting class, he has a simple, one-sentence reply. “We get a girl named Jennifer Hamson back, and that’s our biggest recruit of the year,” he says. That would be 2012 AVCA First-Team All-American and West Coast Conference Player of the Year Jennifer Hamson, who put her volleyball career on hold in 2013 in order to play for the BYU women’s basketball team full-time. Ham... 58344122@www.sltrib.com Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:41:12 MDT BYU football: Cougars, UConn kindred spirits in new landscape http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58339172-88/byu-uconn-football-conference.html.csp Provo • At first glance, Brigham Young University and its opponent in Friday’s college football season opener, the University of Connecticut, don’t have much in common. The ESPN-televised encounter is the first meeting between the schools; BYU is an independent, while UConn belongs to the American Athletic Conference. Known primarily in the college sports world as a basketball school, UConn is a public research institution, owned by the state of Connecticut, while BYU is a private school owned a... Provo • At first glance, Brigham Young University and its opponent in Friday’s college football season opener, the University of Connecticut, don’t have much in common. The ESPN-televised encounter is the first meeting between the schools; BYU is an independent, while UConn belongs to the American Athletic Conference. Known primarily in the college sports world as a basketball school, UConn is a public research institution, owned by the state of Connecticut, while BYU is a private school owned a... 58339172@www.sltrib.com Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:22:43 MDT BYU Football: Depth chart is out for opener, but is Bronco keeping it real? http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/58335453-77/chart-depth-mendenhall-johnson.html.csp Provo • Well, BYU finally released its projected depth chart for Friday’s 2014 season opener at UConn, and pretty much everybody is just as confused, if not more so, than they were the last three weeks of preseason training camp. So the summer of mystery, suspense and intrigue brought about by rumors of player suspensions, players announcing their own suspensions and self-reported improper benefits violations to the NCAA continues in Provo. And judging by the way coach Bronco Mendenhall cryptica... Provo • Well, BYU finally released its projected depth chart for Friday’s 2014 season opener at UConn, and pretty much everybody is just as confused, if not more so, than they were the last three weeks of preseason training camp. So the summer of mystery, suspense and intrigue brought about by rumors of player suspensions, players announcing their own suspensions and self-reported improper benefits violations to the NCAA continues in Provo. And judging by the way coach Bronco Mendenhall cryptica... 58335453@www.sltrib.com Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:52:42 MDT Kragthorpe: Bronco should be allowed to have fun with Utah-BYU rivalry http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58333941-88/mendenhall-byu-coach-utah.html.csp Provo After all these years of wishing BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall would say anything interesting, I can’t bash him when he finally does so. Mendenhall is moving away from his carefully programmed persona, and that’s healthy for everybody. Appearing at the Big Blue Bash booster event Saturday night, he jabbed the University of Utah about the two-year interruption of the football rivalry. “We are not afraid to play anyone this year. Unlike a certain team here in Salt Lake,” Mendenhal... Provo After all these years of wishing BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall would say anything interesting, I can’t bash him when he finally does so. Mendenhall is moving away from his carefully programmed persona, and that’s healthy for everybody. Appearing at the Big Blue Bash booster event Saturday night, he jabbed the University of Utah about the two-year interruption of the football rivalry. “We are not afraid to play anyone this year. Unlike a certain team here in Salt Lake,” Mendenhal... 58333941@www.sltrib.com Mon, 25 Aug 2014 17:38:51 MDT BYU football: Upgrades, and Hill’s return, have Cougars hopeful for special season http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/58331283-77/byu-camp-mendenhall-really.html.csp Provo • Bronco Mendenhall didn’t talk to the media an awful lot during the three-week preseason training camp that concluded the middle of last week. But when he did, he often repeated a simple phrase when asked for a progress report on his 10th team as the BYU Cougars’ head coach. “I like my team,” Mendenhall would say. “I like it a lot.” Mendenhall would go on to describe the unprecedented depth at almost every position, saying there has been more competition for starting spots than he can ev... Provo • Bronco Mendenhall didn’t talk to the media an awful lot during the three-week preseason training camp that concluded the middle of last week. But when he did, he often repeated a simple phrase when asked for a progress report on his 10th team as the BYU Cougars’ head coach. “I like my team,” Mendenhall would say. “I like it a lot.” Mendenhall would go on to describe the unprecedented depth at almost every position, saying there has been more competition for starting spots than he can ev... 58331283@www.sltrib.com Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:41:51 MDT BYU football: Offense might have to carry the defense this year http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/58317922-77/6-1-cougars-season-byu.html.csp Provo • Although some opening-game suspensions loom over his program and a surprisingly high number of projected starters have missed key practices and scrimmages during preseason training camp, BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall has been uncommonly loose, jovial and upbeat the past few weeks. Having what he believes will be a pretty good football team will do that for a guy, Mendenhall explains. “I like our team a lot,” said Mendenhall as he enters his 10th season at the helm of the college f... Provo • Although some opening-game suspensions loom over his program and a surprisingly high number of projected starters have missed key practices and scrimmages during preseason training camp, BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall has been uncommonly loose, jovial and upbeat the past few weeks. Having what he believes will be a pretty good football team will do that for a guy, Mendenhall explains. “I like our team a lot,” said Mendenhall as he enters his 10th season at the helm of the college f... 58317922@www.sltrib.com Sun, 24 Aug 2014 21:13:17 MDT BYU football: Cougars turn their attention to UConn http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58326268-88/cougars-byu-uconn-hill.html.csp Provo • Preseason training camp is over, and the BYU Cougars’ focus has turned completely toward UConn and next Friday’s opener at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. But that doesn’t mean the Cougars are ready to show their hand. Coaches said after Friday’s early-morning practice — the second straight 6:30 a.m. start to a workout — that some position battles are still going on and they won’t be releasing a depth chart until Monday. “We will see what happens,” said defensive coordinator Nic... Provo • Preseason training camp is over, and the BYU Cougars’ focus has turned completely toward UConn and next Friday’s opener at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. But that doesn’t mean the Cougars are ready to show their hand. Coaches said after Friday’s early-morning practice — the second straight 6:30 a.m. start to a workout — that some position battles are still going on and they won’t be releasing a depth chart until Monday. “We will see what happens,” said defensive coordinator Nic... 58326268@www.sltrib.com Sat, 23 Aug 2014 10:44:52 MDT BYU football: Bowl blunders forced renewed emphasis on special teams http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58322006-88/poppinga-game-teams-cougars.html.csp Provo • When BYU football coaches watch film of last December’s 31-16 loss to Washington in the Fight Hunger Bowl, it quickly becomes clear why the Cougars failed to extend their bowl winning streak to five. “Special teams play killed us,” said outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Kelly Poppinga. “If that doesn’t happen in the Washington game, I believe we have a really good chance to win that game.” The Cougars gave up an electrifying 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown t... Provo • When BYU football coaches watch film of last December’s 31-16 loss to Washington in the Fight Hunger Bowl, it quickly becomes clear why the Cougars failed to extend their bowl winning streak to five. “Special teams play killed us,” said outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Kelly Poppinga. “If that doesn’t happen in the Washington game, I believe we have a really good chance to win that game.” The Cougars gave up an electrifying 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown t... 58322006@www.sltrib.com Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:29:10 MDT Monson: BYU, though imperfect, deserves better from the Power 5 http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58321970-88/byu-football-cougars-monson.html.csp The more Tom Holmoe talked during his recent media summit, the more it became clear that he knows what you know that he knows that you know: BYU isn’t just an independent. It is alone. It has been left out by the five power leagues of college football, the programs by which the Cougars measure themselves, the schools and teams that have what they want: exposure, scheduling, access, relevance, opportunity and money. As loners, they are not an exception. They are not Notre Dame, the program to wh... The more Tom Holmoe talked during his recent media summit, the more it became clear that he knows what you know that he knows that you know: BYU isn’t just an independent. It is alone. It has been left out by the five power leagues of college football, the programs by which the Cougars measure themselves, the schools and teams that have what they want: exposure, scheduling, access, relevance, opportunity and money. As loners, they are not an exception. They are not Notre Dame, the program to wh... 58321970@www.sltrib.com Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:25:03 MDT BYU football: Cougars, Washington agree to two-game series http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58317998-88/byu-washington-football-series.html.csp Provo • BYU’s home football schedule this season is fairly weak, but in 2019 it will be one of the best ever — if that is any consolation for Cougar fans. Wednesday, BYU and the University of Washington announced they have agreed to a home-and-home football series, beginning in 2018. The 2018 game will be played on Sept. 29 at Husky Stadium in Seatlle, while the 2019 game will be played on Sept. 21 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. BYU’s 2019 home schedule now includes Washington, Wisconsin, B... Provo • BYU’s home football schedule this season is fairly weak, but in 2019 it will be one of the best ever — if that is any consolation for Cougar fans. Wednesday, BYU and the University of Washington announced they have agreed to a home-and-home football series, beginning in 2018. The 2018 game will be played on Sept. 29 at Husky Stadium in Seatlle, while the 2019 game will be played on Sept. 21 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. BYU’s 2019 home schedule now includes Washington, Wisconsin, B... 58317998@www.sltrib.com Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:27:55 MDT BYU’s Holmoe says ruling on improper benefits imminent http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58317730-88/holmoe-byu-ncaa-schools.html.csp Provo • BYU should learn this week whether it will be punished by the NCAA for providing alleged improper benefits to some of its student-athletes, Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe told reporters Wednesday in a far-reaching roundtable discussion regarding the school’s sports programs. Holmoe said BYU submitted the findings of its own internal investigation to the NCAA months ago after allegations surfaced regarding former director of football operations Duane Busby. The school recently heard fro... Provo • BYU should learn this week whether it will be punished by the NCAA for providing alleged improper benefits to some of its student-athletes, Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe told reporters Wednesday in a far-reaching roundtable discussion regarding the school’s sports programs. Holmoe said BYU submitted the findings of its own internal investigation to the NCAA months ago after allegations surfaced regarding former director of football operations Duane Busby. The school recently heard fro... 58317730@www.sltrib.com Thu, 21 Aug 2014 08:57:47 MDT BYU football: At least three freshmen could start in opener http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58315114-88/mendenhall-camp-koroma-starting.html.csp Provo • With the season opener at UConn 10 days away, BYU coaches haven’t released a depth chart yet, and probably won’t until Friday, at the soonest. But there’s a strong possibility that the Cougars could be starting three freshmen, maybe more, when they line up against the Huskies at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on Aug. 29. And they are not guys who were highly touted out of high school, either. After the Cougars practiced at the indoor practice field on Tuesday, head coach Bronc... Provo • With the season opener at UConn 10 days away, BYU coaches haven’t released a depth chart yet, and probably won’t until Friday, at the soonest. But there’s a strong possibility that the Cougars could be starting three freshmen, maybe more, when they line up against the Huskies at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on Aug. 29. And they are not guys who were highly touted out of high school, either. After the Cougars practiced at the indoor practice field on Tuesday, head coach Bronc... 58315114@www.sltrib.com Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:26:43 MDT BYU football: Defensive line will rely on depth, not stars http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58308461-88/byu-defensive-kaufusi-peck.html.csp Provo • The 3-4 defense employed by BYU isn’t designed to turn defensive linemen into superstars, or even household names, but the Cougars have had more than their share of good ones since coach Bronco Mendenhall scrapped the 3-3-5 to take advantage of the wealth of outstanding linebackers his program always seems to entice. Guys such as Jan Jorgensen, Russell Tialavea, Romney Fuga and Eathyn Manumaleuna have made defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi’s 12-year tenure in Provo a success. This seas... Provo • The 3-4 defense employed by BYU isn’t designed to turn defensive linemen into superstars, or even household names, but the Cougars have had more than their share of good ones since coach Bronco Mendenhall scrapped the 3-3-5 to take advantage of the wealth of outstanding linebackers his program always seems to entice. Guys such as Jan Jorgensen, Russell Tialavea, Romney Fuga and Eathyn Manumaleuna have made defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi’s 12-year tenure in Provo a success. This seas... 58308461@www.sltrib.com Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:23:03 MDT BYU football: Walk-on OL Kyle Johnson has common name, uncommon drive http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/58306065-77/johnson-byu-friday-guard.html.csp Provo • Perhaps it is because of his plain-sounding name, or the fact that he wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school or junior college like several of his mates along BYU’s offensive line. It might be because he redshirted during his first season in Provo, after a church mission to Mexico. Kyle Johnson is sort of the man of mystery among coach Garett Tujague’s hogs up front, and the walk-on from Sandy’s Jordan High School knows it. “I’m just a hard worker who does what the coaches tell me ... Provo • Perhaps it is because of his plain-sounding name, or the fact that he wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school or junior college like several of his mates along BYU’s offensive line. It might be because he redshirted during his first season in Provo, after a church mission to Mexico. Kyle Johnson is sort of the man of mystery among coach Garett Tujague’s hogs up front, and the walk-on from Sandy’s Jordan High School knows it. “I’m just a hard worker who does what the coaches tell me ... 58306065@www.sltrib.com Sun, 17 Aug 2014 12:58:29 MDT BYU football: Defense rebounds in scrimmage http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58302029-88/stewart-defense-scrimmage-byu.html.csp Provo • Playing like it had something to prove after losing the first scrimmage last week at LaVell Edwards Stadium, BYU’s defense bounced back Friday night and was the clear victor in the 12-series exercise, by coach Bronco Mendenhall’s estimation. The offense scored just three times — two touchdowns and a Trevor Samson field goal — and one of those TDs came after it was given a reprieve after being stopped on third down. “I think they did win last Saturday,” said linebacker Mike Alisa. “But w... Provo • Playing like it had something to prove after losing the first scrimmage last week at LaVell Edwards Stadium, BYU’s defense bounced back Friday night and was the clear victor in the 12-series exercise, by coach Bronco Mendenhall’s estimation. The offense scored just three times — two touchdowns and a Trevor Samson field goal — and one of those TDs came after it was given a reprieve after being stopped on third down. “I think they did win last Saturday,” said linebacker Mike Alisa. “But w... 58302029@www.sltrib.com Sat, 16 Aug 2014 17:51:51 MDT BYU football: Offense was inconsistent, undisciplined in scrimmage http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/58304014-77/mendenhall-scrimmage-byu-injury.html.csp Provo • BYU’s biggest question marks this season are supposed to be on defense as the Cougars try to find adequate replacements for Kyle Van Noy, Eathyn Manumaleuna, Uani Unga and Daniel Sorensen. But if Friday night’s scrimmage in front of about 12,000 fans at LaVell Edwards showed anything, it is that the offense isn’t just going to roll into Connecticut in two weeks and click like a well-oiled machine. There were false starts, unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, a pair of interceptions and a b... Provo • BYU’s biggest question marks this season are supposed to be on defense as the Cougars try to find adequate replacements for Kyle Van Noy, Eathyn Manumaleuna, Uani Unga and Daniel Sorensen. But if Friday night’s scrimmage in front of about 12,000 fans at LaVell Edwards showed anything, it is that the offense isn’t just going to roll into Connecticut in two weeks and click like a well-oiled machine. There were false starts, unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, a pair of interceptions and a b... 58304014@www.sltrib.com Sat, 16 Aug 2014 15:27:28 MDT Women’s soccer: No. 22 BYU opens season searching for capable goalkeeper http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58296818-88/rockwood-byu-season-team.html.csp Provo • After departing senior goalkeeper Erica Owens played every minute last season for the BYU women’s soccer team, coach Jennifer Rockwood knew that if the Cougars were going to return to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in 10 years, she would have to come up with a capable replacement in the nets. That task was made even more difficult last spring, when projected starter Hilary Kaufusi — wife of BYU football star Bronson Kaufusi — went down with a season-ending knee injury. But Rockwo... Provo • After departing senior goalkeeper Erica Owens played every minute last season for the BYU women’s soccer team, coach Jennifer Rockwood knew that if the Cougars were going to return to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in 10 years, she would have to come up with a capable replacement in the nets. That task was made even more difficult last spring, when projected starter Hilary Kaufusi — wife of BYU football star Bronson Kaufusi — went down with a season-ending knee injury. But Rockwo... 58296818@www.sltrib.com Fri, 15 Aug 2014 09:46:53 MDT Every healthy player will see action in Y.’s scrimmage Friday http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/58298726-88/friday-scrimmage-action-bronco.html.csp College Football • BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall, pictured, downplays the significance of scrimmages in preseason training camp and usually holds out key players as a precautionary measure. That won’t be the case Friday night, when the Cougars scrimmage at 6 p.m. at LaVell Edwards Stadium. &gt; C6 College Football • BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall, pictured, downplays the significance of scrimmages in preseason training camp and usually holds out key players as a precautionary measure. That won’t be the case Friday night, when the Cougars scrimmage at 6 p.m. at LaVell Edwards Stadium. &gt; C6 58298726@www.sltrib.com Thu, 14 Aug 2014 22:50:02 MDT BYU football: Every healthy player will see action in Friday’s scrimmage http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/58298455-77/mendenhall-award-camp-hill.html.csp Provo • BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall generally downplays the significance of scrimmages in preseason training camp and almost always holds out key players as a precautionary measure. That won’t be the case on Friday night when the Cougars scrimmage at 6 p.m. at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Gates open at 5 p.m. and admission is free. This one means a lot, Mendenhall said Thursday after a morning practice at the outdoor practice facility. “We will scrimmage everybody tomorrow, so I would like t... Provo • BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall generally downplays the significance of scrimmages in preseason training camp and almost always holds out key players as a precautionary measure. That won’t be the case on Friday night when the Cougars scrimmage at 6 p.m. at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Gates open at 5 p.m. and admission is free. This one means a lot, Mendenhall said Thursday after a morning practice at the outdoor practice facility. “We will scrimmage everybody tomorrow, so I would like t... 58298455@www.sltrib.com Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:15:56 MDT