Provo • When BYU last had a bye, coach Bronco Mendenhall said before the Utah game in September he preferred to keep the momentum going that the Cougars established against Texas in a 40-21 win the previous week.
This time, with somewhat similar circumstances after BYU downed Boise State 37-20 last Friday, Mendenhall thinks the bye comes at an ideal time. The Cougars’ next game is Nov. 9 at No. 22 Wisconsin.
“The bye week comes at a really good time for us to heal,” Mendenhall said. “… I like where our bye has come, and I think it is setting up nicely for our stretch run in the next four games, but more importantly, our next game.”
In his weekly press briefing Monday night, Mendenhall said the Cougars (6-2) will focus two days on “physical prep” for Wisconsin this week “and then most of our Wisconsin work will be next week.”
If the game were this week, the guys who suffered concussions against Boise State — safety Daniel Sorensen, cornerback Mike Hague and defensive lineman Marques Johnson — might not be cleared to play, Mendenhall said.
“That would be touch-and-go,” he said. “But being the next Saturday, there is no risk.”
The coach said inside receiver/tight end Brett Thompson didn’t play against Boise State because he got hit in the eye by a football, and had a detached retina.
Mendenhall said the only offensive lineman definitely out with an injury is Terrance Alletto; the other eight or nine who have played are in a constant competition for playing time.
That’s a keeper
Cody Hoffman said Monday that he got to keep the football thrown to him for his 31st career touchdown catch, which broke Austin Collie’s school record.
“It’s in my locker right now,” the senior said.
Hoffman needs just 14 receiving yards to pass Collie’s BYU career record of 3,255 yards.
BYU quarterback Taysom Hill, linebacker Uani Unga and Navy kicker Nick Sloan won FBS Independent Player of the Week honors on Monday.
It’s the second straight honor for Hill, third this season, and fourth of his career. Unga was honored for the first time in his career.
Hill is the only quarterback in the FBS with more than 600 rushing yards (841 total) and 2,000 passing yards (2,019).
Unga had a team-high 15 tackles, including five solo, against Boise State. He also forced a fumble, had a tackle for loss, and had a pass breakup. Unga is 15th in the nation in tackle with 10.4 per game.
Also Monday, linebacker Kyle Van Noy was named a semifinalist for the 2013 Butkus Award, which honors the country’s top linebackers.
BYU at Wisconsin
P Nov. 9, 1:30 p.m. MST