A few leftover notes and quotes from the Cougars' 20-13 loss to Utah on Saturday night in a game that ended at 11:47 p.m. ...
* Receiver Cody Hoffman had 108 receiving yards, and is now No. 4 on BYU's all-time list for receiving yards with 2,889. Hoffman passed Margin Hooks. It was his 15th career 100-yard receiving game; BYU's career leader in that category is Austin Collie, with 17.
* Mitch Mathews caught three passes for 54 yards, both career highs.
* Filling in for the suspended Spencer Hadley, senior linebacker Tyler Beck had 10 tackles, a career high.
* It was BYU's first home sellout (63,470) since Oct. 13, 2012 against Oregon State.
* Jamaal Williams, who was released from the hospital Sunday morning, picked up 52 rushing yards before being injured in the third quarter and now has 1,153 career yards, good enough for 26th place on the all-tme list.
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall only spent between three and four minutes in the postgame interview room giving an open statement and answering eight quesions. Clearly, it was one of the most difficult losses in the nine-year coach's tenure at BYU, given how hard the Cougars prepared for the matchup, how much momentum they had coming off that blowout of Texas, and that it was the rivalry game.
Here's what the coach said:
"First of all, another hard-fought game. I was proud of my team, with the effort from beginning to end. I really enjoyed working with them this week from practice to today, all the way through the very last play. I think it was a typical BYU-Utah game. I think both sides competed very hard. And ultimately Utah, I think, made one more play, if you look at the collective.
And they are to be given credit for that, and so I congratulate them. Looking forward to working with my team again, starting on Monday. Certainly they are disappointed and I am disappointed, but I am anxious to see their resiliency and resolve to get back to work.
I would also like to express my thanks, man, our student section has changed our stadium. How they welcome us here, and man, the support they gave us. They gave us a home-field advantage. So I thought that was awesome."
On Jamaal Williams' injury and how it effected the game:
"Anytime Jamaal is off the field it effects the game. Our concern right now is just for his health, and hopefully we get a good prognosis. I haven't heard anything since they took him to the hospital."
On the last play and how pass interference wasn't called:
"I think it was more than bumping."
On whether it was pass interference:
"That's what I thought."
On Taysom Hill's play:
"Man, I thought he was tough. I thought he gave us a chance right down to the end, and that's all I can ask of any quarterback. And he will continue to learn and grow, as will our team, but I like him a lot."
On the bye week and whether that played a factor one way or the other:
"I don't think so. I think the two teams are pretty evenly matched, when I looked at it. And as I watched it unfold, whether it was right after the last game or the bye week, I am not sure that would have changed the outcome."
On what areas the team could have done better in:
"Oh, we had the ball four downs from the 10-ish yard line. I mean, that's got to be converted. Gave up two big plays defensively that changed field position. Man, there's not many. The game was close. It was one or two plays."
On the 4th and 1 at midfield and not going for it, and how close he was to going for it:
"Close. But the way our defense was playing, I didn't think it was likely [that Utah would drive down and score what proved to be the game-winning touchdown]."
On whether he can pinpoint the problems in the blue zone:
"Not yet, not without watching them. We will just have to take a better look, try to analyze what it is. I think, in going back to the number of missed opportunities, I think we had a missed field goal as well, so that would be one of a handful of plays that usually change games like this."
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