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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's Mendenhall likes series with Notre Dame, also wants to play Boston College

With Notre Dame having agreed to play five football games a year against ACC opponents, folks are naturally wondering how that will effect BYU's planned six-game series with the Irish. Of course, the first game in that six-game deal is Saturday, when Notre Dame plays host to BYU at 1:30 p.m. MDT on NBC.

For his part, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said Tuesday night after practice that he's not sure what will happen, either.

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"Who knows? The way things work now, hard to say," Mendenhall said. "I haven't had any indications that they won't. But too far [away] for me to say absolutely we will play all six. The series with Boise State is another good one, I would say. So, yeah, we are making progress [with the schedule as an independent]."

Mendenhall said signing a six-game agreement with Notre Dame when BYU announced it was going independent helped give the move some legitimacy, but wasn't a make-or-break type of step.

"We were looking for good opponents and good partnerships. I don't know certainly that it was a deal-breaker if it didn't happen. I wanted the game. I thought it was a nice, intriguing game, and some similarities between the two institutions," he said. "I would like to get something similar with Boston College or the military academies, etc. I think they are good games and they bring interest, so it was just the first one that happened."

Plenty of BYU-related offerings in The Tribune today, most notably this look back at BYU's only win in South Bend, in four tries. In 1994, the LaVell Edwards-coached Cougars pulled off a mild upset, surprising the Irish 21-14 after having been walloped there in their first two trips to the mecca of college football.

Here's my notebook, an online-only offering about how BYU's tight ends say they will hold on to the ball this week after Saturday's subpar performance against Oregon State.

BYU's basketball team held its fourth practice on Tuesday night at the Marriott Center; Here's a report from that.

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Forgot my video camera last night, so I wasn't able to provide video of Mendenhall's chat with reporters after practice. Suffice it to say, it was a short visit, lasting no more than four minutes.

Here are a few more comments from the coach:

On whether safety Mike Hague will be back this week:

"We hope. But not as likely as what I thought yesterday."

On having freshman running back Jamaal Williams emerge:

"It has been great to have him, and as a true freshman [that makes it even more impressive]. And considering what happened to Mike Alisa, he has been really helpful. And man, he is handling the role like he is just comfortable, which is great. I think he is doing well in school, and he's adjusting socially. There's a lot on his plate, but he's on the right track."

On how Notre Dame start Manti Te'o makes so many tackles:

"He's just a really good player. Their defensive scheme is actually very similar in style to what we play. It is a 3-4, and the middle linebacker, the mike linebacker, is really active. So it is basically the Uona Kaveinga position for us, and he's a really good player."



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