Provo • It was almost comical in the first half against Washington State, how quickly the personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties came for BYU.
Without an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on linebacker Spencer Hadley for excessive celebration (he motioned to the crowd for a response after a tackle) and personal fouls on defensive backs Joe Sampson and Jordan Johnson for retaliating, the visiting Cougars might not have scored last Thursday.
Having watched the game film over the weekend, coach Bronco Mendenhall said after practice on Monday that he isn’t too concerned with the perceived bad behavior by his players in the opener.
“I talked to them [about the penalties], but I didn’t see them [on film],” Mendenhall said. “That doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.
“But I would rather tone [players] back than go the other way, so I don’t really see it all as being completely negative. I didn’t see them on film. Again, doesn’t mean they weren’t there, so if they are over-aggressive to begin with, I will take that as a good sign.”
BYU was penalized 10 times for 112 yards in the 30-6 win.
“You score 30 points and you win by 24, you got to be happy with that,” said quarterback Riley Nelson. “So all is not lost.”
BYU trainer Jeff Hurst said receiver Cody Hoffman, who suffered a left quadriceps contusion against Washington State, practiced on Monday and “looks great.”
Backup safety Craig Bills suffered a “bell-ringer” against WSU and returned to practice Monday. He should play Saturday against Weber State.
Backup defensive back Skye PoVey re-aggravated a foot injury and will see a specialist Tuesday. He won’t play against the Wildcats.
Tight end Devin Mahina (broken hand) is back practicing and caught a pass in skeleton drills. Solomone Kafu, an OL who also has a broken hand, practiced in a rubberized cast and said it felt good.
Defensive back DeQuan Everett hurt his back in the weight room and is day to day.
Aggies want home and home
Saturday’s game marks the first of three in-state games for BYU this season, as it will play at Utah on Sept. 15 and play host to Utah State on Oct. 5, the second-straight year the BYU-USU game will be held in Provo. Monday, USU coach Gary Andersen said he doesn’t like having to play two-for-ones against BYU.
“I don’t think we [are] a program that it has to be a two-for-one,” Andersen said. “That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. .... I think the way that we have played against BYU over the last three years states a case for a game that people are going to watch,” he said.
Two Cougars honored
Quarterback Riley Nelson and tight end Kaneakua Friel shared the FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week honors on Monday, while punter/kicker Riley Stephenson is the Special Teams Player of the Week. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, a former BYU recruit, is the Defensive Player of the Week.
P Weber State at BYU, 1 p.m.
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