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BYU football: Quick turnaround for Cougars after emotional rivalry game

Published September 21, 2013 8:35 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Provo • The BYU Cougars won't have a lot of time to recover from Saturday's always-emotional football game against the University of Utah.

After having two weeks to prepare for the Utes, the Cougars now face a short week to get ready for Middle Tennessee State.

BYU plays host to the Blue Raiders of Conference USA on Friday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally by ESPNU. It is the first of back-to-back Friday games for BYU, which travels to Logan to face Utah State on Oct. 4.

That game will be televised by CBS College Sports network.

MTSU (3-1) opened with a 45-24 win over Western Carolina, then traveled to North Carolina and lost 40-20 at Chapel Hill. The Blue Raiders topped Memphis 17-15 at Murfreesboro, Tennn., on Sept. 14, and edged Florida Atlantic 42-35 in overtime on Saturday.

BYU will return the game next when it plays at MTSU on Nov. 1, 2014.

Heaps wins Saturday

Two years ago, quarterback Jake Heaps played miserably at LaVell Edwards Stadium in BYU's 54-10 loss to Utah. Saturday, Heaps fared better, leading the Kansas Jayhawks to a 13-10 win over Louisiana Tech on a last-second field goal.

Heaps completed 28 of 46 passes for 279 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions.

Not weird for Friel

BYU tight end Kaneakua Friel grew up playing side-by-side with his brother, University of Utah tackle Kala Friel, in Hawaii. Saturday night, they stood across the field from each other, as supposedly bitter rivals.

"At times, we used to beat each other up, but there were a lot of bonding moments that we had, a strong connection. It is kind of weird playing against his team, now," Kaneakua Friel said. "It s just different, when you play side by side your whole life, and then you play against each other."

Briefly

As expected, the Cougars wore their royal blue jerseys tops and royal blue pants for the rivalry game. Their helmets were still white, but the face masks were royal blue for the first time. The Utes were decked out in all red, which is the custom in rivalry games with BYU, home or away. … Eight professional football scouts were in attendance Saturday night, including one from the Canadian Football League's British Columbia Lions. … Temperature at kickoff was in the low 80s.