BYU football: Cougars know very little about OSU's new starting quarterback
Provo • When BYU's defensive players arrived at practice Monday, they quickly learned that Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion had suffered a knee injury over the weekend and would not be playing against them on Saturday (1:30 p.m., ABC).
But that doesn't mean the Cougars threw away their game film and went hunting for clips on junior Cody Vaz, who will replace Mannion in the starting lineup.
"Nothing changes at all," said BYU linebacker Brandon Ogletree. "We are still watching the same film. I don't think we have any film of [Vaz] actually playing, and so we are just going in like we are playing against Oregon State, and getting ready for what they do, and not what their quarterback does."
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said it is not really possible to scout Vaz.
"He played against Stanford in 2010. There are spring games, etc. But their offense is their offense. To make drastic changes in one week [won't happen]. They have good players around him," Mendenhall said. "They are a good team. I think that's why they are voted 10th and 14th [in the polls] and they are undefeated. It is not easy to do that. They will be good enough."
Not avoiding Poyer
Just before halftime last year against Oregon State, Riley Nelson threw a pass to the sidelines that OSU cornerback Jordan Poyer intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Last week, Poyer made three more interceptions in a 19-6 win over Washington State.
But Nelson says he is not going to avoid throwing in Poyer's direction at all costs Saturday.
"No," he said. "I watched them. He got two of them for being a nickel guy. He was that fifth DB, and he was actually playing inside the slot guy, and kind of reading him. As I watched him, they were kind of quarterback mistakes that shouldn't have happened in the first place."
Nelson acknowledged that Poyer "is a good player" and made a great play last year, but added, "I can still throw at him. I just can't throw late. I have just got to make sure the ball is on time and it is a good, confident throw."
Van Noy a Midseason Second-Team All-American
Junior outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy made Phil Steele's Midseason All-America Second-Team, the publication announced Wednesday.
Van Noy, who is also on the watch lists for the Naguski Trophy, the Lombardi Award and the Bednarik Award, has helped the Cougars earn a No. 5 national ranking in total defense. The Cougars are ranked No. 1 in the nation against the run.
Van Noy is tied for third nationally in fumbles forced (three), fifth in sacks (6.5) and sixth in tackles for loss (10.5).
Mendenhall confirmed that junior Marcus Mathews, from Beaverton, Ore., will seek a medical redshirt this year. Mathews has a sinus condition that requires surgery and has played in just three games this season. ... Kicker Justin Sorensen confirmed Wednesday that he will now kick all the field goals and PATs and Riley Stephenson will handle just the punting. ... Backup linebacker Uani 'Unga will wear the surname "Taumoepeau" on the back of his jersey to honor his mother's maiden name.
Oregon State at BYU, 1:30 p.m. MDT