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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 is behind schedule in preparing for GT's spread option offense, Bronco says

BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said Wednesday that the Cougar defense faces its biggest challenge of the season on Saturday against Georgia Tech.

Bigger than Utah. Bigger than Oregon State. Bigger than Notre Dame.

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"We could use another week [of preparation]," he said.

Of course, stopping the Jackets' prolific rushing attack out of its spread option offense and how Mendenhall is relishing the challenge is the topic of this story in today's Salt Lake Tribune.

Here's a notebook with various odds and ends, including Mendenhall's reply when I asked him if BYU and Ohio State were really discussing a game to open next season, as was reported in the Columbus Dispatch. It fell through, according to that newspaper. Mendenhall said he heard about it a few weeks ago, but didn't reveal whether he was in favor of it or not.

Probably not, would be my guess, seeing as how the Cougars already have Texas, Boise State, Utah, Georgia Tech, Houston, Wisconsin and Notre Dame on next year's schedule, among others.

Regarding GT's spread option, Mendenhall said it compares favorably to the flexbone offense the Cougars used to see annually from Air Force.

"Well, they are playing better teams week in and week out than most of the other option teams that we have played in the past," he said. "Doesn't mean they are better or worse, but 37 points a game against good competition [is impressive]. I don't know how to compare them until we have played them, but that's quite a statement."

Mendenhall said Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington "runs it really well. Throws it well enough. Again, they are not having the success they are having offensively without good players and a good scheme."

BYU's coach said Wednesday the team is a couple days behind schedule in preparing for the option.

"We finally got a decent idea [Wednesday]," he said. "That lets you know where you are assignment-wise. We are about two days behind, so we gotta crank it up."

What sets Tech's offense apart is its ability to throw the ball well, he said. The Jackets are averaging 18.1 yards per reception.

"They run, run, run, and eventually your secondary doesn't pay attention, and they throw it over the top of you. So a lot of concentration is required," Mendenhall said.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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