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Notes and quotes from a chat with BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall today
If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know that I spoke to BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall this morning on a teleconference with other beat reporters who cover the team. I tweeted out a few of the more newsworthy things that Mendenhall said in the interview that was done so writers could put together articles for their newspapers about football recruiting. Signing day is Wednesday.
Anyway, here's a roundup of all that, along with some other noteworthy items.
First, let's get to what Mendenhall said when he was asked what stands out about last season, and what was learned. Usually, Mendenhall has a sit-down session with reporters who cover the team in early January to rehash the season, but that wasn't set up this year. So this will have to suffice.<
"I think there are a couple very simple takeaways," Mendenhall said. "First of all, as we continue to play better and better teams, which is our intent, and the difficulty of schedule, there are some fantastic learning challenges at the same time. What we know is we will be playing the majority of those teams on the road.
I strongly believe our program moved forward last year from the year before, and in relation to where we need to go. I am very confident in the direction we are headed.
We were two, three, four plays short of winning games at Notre Dame, Wisconsin, our bowl game against Washington, and probably any of the losses we had, even earlier in the season, versus Virginia and Utah.
The takeaways are that points are ultimately what matters. And so when we get in the red zone, we have to be able to get touchdowns rather than field goals.
More explosive plays, through the air, has to be part of what happens. More balance, and effectiveness in our offense.
I would say those things in particular are the main takeaways to being able to beat the best teams we play in the settings we are going to play them in.
With the style and tempo now that we are playing, we also need to add more depth to sustain playing those teams week in and week out so our special teams can be strong enough, with good enough players, to allow our best offensive and defensive players to not have even more plays than they are playing simply because we have added volume."
Mendenhall addressed a lot of personnel matters, perhaps the most newsworthy stuff of the day. A sampling;
* Michael Davis, who was recruited as a receiver before being moved to cornerback last season due to injuries at that spot, will move back to receiver "for this spring and going forward," Mendenhall said.