A signal that it could be another crazy day in Cougartown? First, former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz mentions BYU in Friday night's baseball broadcast when TBS runs a commercial about the television show Cougartown, and then the guys on the GameDay set Saturday morning told fans to remember the name James Lark.
For the record, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard picked BYU to win today's 1:30 p.m. game at LaVell Edwards Stadium, while Lee Corso and celebrity picker Vince Vaughn, the actor, picked Oregon State.
Here's my take on today's game published in Saturday morning's Tribune, and what's on the line for the Cougars and the No. 10-ranked Beavers, trying to get to 5-0 for the first time since 1939.
With Notre Dame looming next week, keeping Riley Nelson healthy today is a huge priority for BYU, along with getting the win, of course.
'Yeah, he will probably have to be a little bit smarter in how he handles himself and hopefully I can coach him to protect himself a little bit better," offensive coordinator Brandon Doman said earlier in the week. "I am not going to be able to stop him from scrambling around. So here's hoping he stays healthy."
Tuesday, Nelson called football "a brutal, violent game, and it is not for the faint of heart, and so we are rolling with the punches, and come out every week to compete, and look for a win. I will keep playing as I have been playing. I didn't play hesitant. I took all the hits I needed to take, and ran when I needed to run when I was playing with fractures in my back, so now that they are healed, I don't expect to revert back and play anything differently."
Time to empty out the ol' notebook with some of the week's better comments:
BYU linebacker Brandon Ogletree on whether a team's ranking gets their attention:
"Yeah, definitely. I mean, we treat every team the same and we definitely worry about us more than the other team. But anytime you are playing the No. 10 team, at home, on national TV, it is a cool thing. And it is an opportunity that doesn't come around every day. So we are going to make the most of it."
Ogletree on whether OSU is better offensively this year:
"That is hard for me to say. I see the same team on film. That's not a knock on them. I think they had a good team last year. Where they have made major improvement is on the defensive side. But we will see. I think as a team we respect them a lot."
Linebacker Spencer Hadley on whether they can get a midseason bump with a win over OSU:
"I guess so. Anytime you play a top-10 team, there is definitely an opportunity for you to propel your team, earn some respect, and move forward in the minds of sports fans.
But as far as in our preparation, and the mindset, I don't really think of it as, 'oh, we are going against No. 10 Oregon State.' My matchups are these guys, and I am looking for these formations and stuff.
My personal mindset and preparation for the game, I am not focused on them being No. 10 in the country, but anytime you play somebody who is ranked No. 10, it is an opportunity to move your team forward from a national perspective."
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