Provo • BYU defensive back Skye PoVey loves playing college football so much that he’s willing to do it for free again next year, if that’s what it takes.
PoVey, who walked on in 2011 after playing a year at Snow College, still hasn’t been awarded a scholarship although he has started in six games at boundary corner and played in all 10 for the 7-3 Cougars.
However, coaches sent a powerful message to the former Ben Lomond High star earlier this season when they told him they are going to submit medical hardship papers in hopes of getting back a season so he can play again next year. PoVey played in just three games in 2012 before a foot injury ended his season.
Other players on scholarship in a similar situation, such as Austin Holt and Marcus Mathews, were urged to call it a career. PoVey believes he is fortunate because he plays a position where the Cougars always seemingly need help.
“I am really grateful that they are letting me try to come back,” PoVey said. “I want to play the game as long as I can. I told coaches I am willing to do whatever I can to help the team. They said they would love to have me back for another year, so we are trying to get it back.”
PoVey said he’s “trying to make my best case and am playing as hard as I can” in hopes of earning a scholarship, but no promises have been given.
PoVey has recorded 38 tackles, an interception and four pass breakups while playing mostly boundary corner but sometimes as a nickel back or even a safety.
Not their typical November
Since they went independent in 2011, the Cougars’ November opponents until this season were Idaho (twice), New Mexico State (twice) and San Jose State. They finish the regular season at Nevada (4-7) after playing at Notre Dame this week. The Wolfpack routed San Jose State 38-16 in Reno on Saturday and will have two weeks to prepare for BYU because they have a bye this weekend.
“Usually it is tough with these last-of-November games, but with our schedule this year, it has been great,” BYU defensive tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna said. “These next two games, going into the bowl game, are going to be crucial for us. We gotta stay focused and just prepare ourselves even better for Notre Dame and Nevada.”
Michael on the move?
Freshman receiver Michael Davis was moved to cornerback to fill the void when the Cougars’ defensive backs were going down with injuries left and right in fall camp. Davis has played sparingly at cornerback this season, but he has shown well at the position and improved by leaps and bounds, according to defensive coordinator Nick Howell.
Now with receivers Mitch Mathews and JD Falslev injured — Mathews for the rest of the season and Falslev close to coming back from a broken hand — coach Bronco Mendenhall said Monday that Davis won’t go back to receiver this season, but he “possibly” could go back to his original position next year.
“Based on our needs at receiver and how our class in the secondary finishes up, that could happen, and he would be good there,” Mendenhall said. “We really like what Michael is doing, and he has improved a tremendous amount.”
The Cougars rank No. 12 in the country in rushing offense at 265.4 yards per game. They are No. 13 in total offense at 503.7 ypg. ... Notre Dame is No. 67 in total offense, averaging 405.3 ypg. ... Notre Dame leads the series, 5-2.
BYU at Notre Dame
O Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
TV • Ch. 5