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BYU players eager to play again after rivalry game loss
Two defensive players -- Eathyn Manumaleuna and Daniel Sorensen -- and two offensive players -- Mike Alisa and Taysom Hill -- were brought into the post game interview room to talk to reporters after Saturday night's game.
All four had difficulty, at times, talking about the devastating loss.
Senior Tyler Beck filled in for the suspended Spencer Hadley at buck linebacker and recorded a career-high 10 tackles. BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall was not asked after the game for more on the Hadley situation in what was the media's first chance to talk to the coach since the punishment was meted out last Tuesday.<
"I think the guys that stepped in played hard tonight. They played really well. Our defense as a whole we played well, except for two plays. So I think those guys that stepped in worked really hard during practice, and they gave everything they had. I don't think that was as big of an issue as people think."
Sorensen was then asked whether Hadley's suspension was a distraction.
"I was not distracted," he said.
Manumaleuna said the Cougar defense prepared for Utah QB Travis Wilson to run the ball more, and was mildly surprised when he didn't. Like Sorensen, Manumaleuna praised Wilson's poise, and said the sophomore made one real big play, the 74-yard pass to Dres Anderson.
"It is very frustrating to have this loss. It is very tough. We thought we prepared really well this past week, and they just made more plays than us," Manumaleuna said. "It is just a football game. Obviously, there is an emotional aspect to this game since it is a rivalry, but other than that, it is just a football game. You try to make more plays than them. Tough loss."
Manumaleuna said he expects the Cougars to bounce back.
"We have been in this situation before. Kinda had a slow start in years past, and bounced back. We can't worry about it now. It is done, the game's over, so we need to get some rest and focus next week because it is a Friday game next week. You can't really focus too much from this game, but learn from the mistakes and take the good things that we did today and run with it and just prepare for next week."