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Jay Drew
Jay covers BYU athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow him on Twitter @drewjay.

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BYU coaches happy with running back depth

The BYU Cougars are ready to play a football game, coach Bronco Mendenhall said on Friday.

"Everybody is," he said, "We can still do a lot more in terms of mental preparation. But it is time to play. Players know that. I know that. The trick is to make sure you structure practice in a way to really be leveraging areas where you really need to work. So that is what our job as coaches is, is to do that."

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To get you more pumped for the season, The Tribune presented its college football preview section in today's newspaper.

Here's my preview of the BYU season, in case you missed it. I tried to make the case that the Cougars will be better this year than in 2011 (if Riley Nelson stays healthy), but that their final record might not show it. That's because of four very, very difficult road games at Utah, Boise State, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech.

I just filed for the newspaper a story about offensive coordinator Brandon Doman that should be online later this afternoon and in Monday's paper.

In the article, Doman talks about how excited he is about this year's crop of running backs. He said the Cougars are so deep there that it will be difficult getting carries for the freshmen, Jamaal Williams and Adam Hine.

"We don't plan on redshirting Jamaal this year," Doman said. "He is a good football player. He can help us on special teams as well. So with a combination of special teams and offense, he will help us this year. And I am sure he will emerge as a great ball carrier for us this year as well."

Regarding Hine, the former Snow Canyon High (St. George) star and returned missionary who redshirted last year, Doman said:

"Adam will be used, absolutely. Our running backs corps right now is deep. We have got four tailbacks that are pretty good. And our scout team running back, Paul Lasike, is still learning how to play, and he is every bit as good as those other guys. He is still transitioning from rugby to football.

But man, we are feeling really good about the running back position."


College football has a new rule this year that says if a player's helmet comes off during a play, that player must sit out the next play. BYU fans are well aware that the Cougars might just lead the country in dislodged helmets, if such a stat were ever taken. Robbie Bullough of BYUtv asked Mendenhall on Friday what BYU has done to keep the helmets on the heads.

"The top buckles are drilled in, so you can't undo the top ones," Mendenhall said. "So that only leaves the two bottom ones. We have done our own study and the best two chin straps, that are the deepest fitting, are on every helmet. You only had a choice of two, rather than all the multiple ones they were choosing before."

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