Kind of a shorter BYU Monday morning news conference today with school officials able to round up just two players -- LB Jameson Frazier and DB Joe Sampson -- to talk to the media.
Of course, coach Bronco Mendenhall's weekly chat was main reason for the gathering, talking for nearly 13 minutes and answering an assortment of questions -- most of them relating to BYU's performance against UCF last Friday and this Friday's game against Utah State.
"We are making progress," Mendenhall said when asked about what a viewing of the game film revealed. "We are certainly not playing to our potential yet."
The coach said he "would hope for the same type of improvement" this week against USU, and said the Cougars will have to take another step forward to beat USU, "which is necessary."
He said he was "encouraged and pleased" by some things he saw against UCF, especially the plays made on special teams.
* Mendenhall said he can't give an update on the status of WR Ross Apo, who suffered a concussion in the first quarter and missed the remainder of the game. Nor could he say what's new with Houston Reynolds (foot).
He did say that there's hope LB Jordan Pendleton can play vs. USU after missing the UCF game with an ankle sprain. He was told if Pendleton was held out vs. UCF he should be able to go against USU.
* Pressed on whether Jake Heaps was still "accurate" vs. UCF when the game film was reviewed, Mendenhall said "I like the way [Heaps] played."
* Mendenhall called USU's 2OT loss to CSU "what a heartbreaker" and "a tough loss" and said turnovers cost the Aggies the game.
* The coach said he likes the BYU-USU rivalry and wants to play it every year. He wants the three instate D-I schools to play each other every year.
* Mendenhall said Joe Sampson won't be moved to safety. He said Mike Hague is pushing Travis Uale for playing time, but hasn't overtaken him yet.
He said Carter Mees and Jray Galea'i are pushing Daniel Sorensen for time at the other safety spot, but doesn't foresee any personnel changes this week among the starters.
* Asked if the game against USU is a revenge game for the Cougars, because of what happened last year, Mendenhall said he's not certain because so much has happened since then, and because the Cougars turned their season around after that game.
"We think Utah State is a good football team," he said.
* Asked about the tight ends, Mendenhall said they are "more consistent than I thought they would be." He said Austin Holt in particular is farther along that he though he would be.
* Mendenhall called USU QB Chuckie Keaton "really athletic" and a great fit for USU's offense, comparing him favorably to UCF's Jeff Godfrey. He said USU OC Dave Baldwin is a great coordinator and has "a fun offense to watch."
* Mendenhall said although USU's record doesn't show it the past few years, that it is "close to turning the corner" into becoming a winning program.
* Mendenhall called voting for the Top 25 "an acquired taste." He gets an email from BYU SID Brett Pyne late Saturday night with the results of all the games. Then he has to turn his ballot in before 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. He said he does it before he prepares his [church] Primary lesson.
All for now. More later from Mendenhall, Sampson and Frazier.
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