BYU football: Cougars talk about this week's Utah game
Don't expect to hear much from the BYU Cougars this week as they prepare for Saturday's big game against the University of Utah. As they usually do, BYU officials are cutting back on the access the media has to BYU coaches and players this week. Monday, only BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall and team captains Riley Nelson, Brandon Ogletree and David Foote will be made available for interviews. During "normal" weeks, all the players and coaches are available after Monday's practice. Tuesday, the only media availability is an early afternoon teleconference with Mendenhall. And that's it until after Saturday's game, which will likely kick off around 8:15 p.m. MDT and end just before midnight. (No, I don't count Mendenhall's radio show on Wednesday nights as media availability). As you might expect, Mendenhall, offensive coordinator Brandon Doman and several players were peppered with questions about playing Utah immediately after the Cougars did away with Weber State 45-13 on Saturday afternoon. A lot of their comments, as they pertain to this week's game, are in the story about the Cougars' newfound No. 25 ranking in the AP Top 25 Poll that I filed earlier today. Here's the rest: Receiver Cody Hoffman on his feelings about playing the Utes: "It is always exciting, no matter what. Especially since last year, we are going to come ready on Monday, and we are going to practice hard." Quarterback Riley Nelson on playing at Rice-Eccles Stadium: "I did in high school. Had a lot of fun and had a lot of success. So hopefully that trend continues." Cornerback Preston Hadley on last year's 54-10 beatdown: "Well, this is a new year, and we are a new team. So, the standard doesn't change. Our goal is to not let anybody score any points on us, so we are going to do what we can to keep it that way." Hadley on whether last year's big loss still stings: "Like I said, it is a new year, so you just have got to have amnesia and stuff. So obviously, I think our team is motivated. Nothing has to be said. So we are just going to worry about us." Receiver and punter returner JD Falslev on how the loss to Utah spurred them in the offseason: "You know, we are not looking backwards. I think the whole season, from last season, really left us hungry, really left us wanting more. I mean, we had a great bowl game, and this and that, but we wanted more. And I think that is evident of this team. We want more. We are fighting for every blade of grass. We have that in the defensive room: there is a quote that says, 'fight for every blade of grass.' I think that is evident on the field, and there's not so much of a split between the defensive and offensive sides of the ball." Defensive tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna on whether BYU is better prepared to battle the Utes in the trenches this year: "Yeah, but we will get to that Monday. We will focus on the mistakes we made in this game, and fix them, and then Monday we will start that preparation." Brandon Doman on his overall thoughts going into another Utah week: "I am excited. This is a fun week, and I know that we only have a couple more of them for a little while. But reality is, it has kind of morphed itself. It has changed a little bit, and we got a lot of good opponents on this schedule. I think we will have to be careful not to do anything different than what we've done. Like we have said, every day is game day and we will approach the game the same and hopefully just play an efficient football game and the best team will win, I am sure."
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