Provo • BYU tight ends Kaneakua Friel and Devin Mahina didn't need to be told after Saturday's 42-24 loss to Oregon State that they dropped some critical passes in the game that hurt the Cougars' chances to move the football.
"Oh, we know," Friel said.
The tight ends combined to drop four passes that probably should have been caught, but also had seven receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown, a 2-yard catch by Mahina in the second quarter.
"I think we took a step back. ... We didn't catch the ball as well. I think Kaneakua had been playing really well early in the season, making clutch catches. Today it seemed like we struggled to just catch it cleanly and move forward," coach Bronco Mendenhall said after the game.
With Friel and Mahina struggling a bit, Richard Wilson came in off the bench and caught two passes for 23 yards. A couple of BYU's more sure-handed tight ends Marcus Mathews and Austin Holt are seeking medical redshirts this season because Mathews needs sinus surgery and coaches don't believe Holt is fully recovered from last year's knee injury and surgery.
Friel said Monday that he's not sure why he had trouble reeling in passes against the Beavers.
"I have been thinking about that throughout the weekend and coach [Lance] Reynolds and I had a chance to talk about it during the game, after the game, and even today," he said. "But it is not going to happen this game. There is a lot more focus on being crisp and everything."
In Saturday's postgame news conference Mahina blamed his drop on "not quite being focused enough."
Whatever the case, Friel said it won't happen again as the Cougars prepared to take on Notre Dame on Saturday (1:30 p.m. MDT, Ch. 5).
"This week, no matter how banged up we are, we just gotta push forward. It is a great team that we are going to be going against, and we need to be at our best healthwise, and mentally we have to be at our best and play hard," Friel said.
Notre Dame QB expected to play
Although quarterback Everett Golson did not practice on Tuesday, Irish coach Brian Kelly said in a teleconference that he expects the redshirt freshman to play against BYU. Golson failed to pass Monday the cognitive portion of his testing for a concussion suffered in last week's 20-13 win over Stanford, Kelly said. "This is strictly on our medical staff. They make all those decisions, and they come to me and tell me when he's ready to go."
Kelly said Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix would split the reps Tuesday, with Rees getting slightly more.
Mendenhall said Monday that the Cougars are preparing to see both Rees and Golson.
"But [you] adjust on game day the best you can. So we will prepare for the best of what they both do, and then we will see what happens," he said.
Having had more than a week to digest the news regarding the LDS Church's policy change allowing for young men to go on missions when they are 18, Mendenhall said there were three or four players who were undecided about whether to go first or play a year first, and "most of them are saying that they are now going to go first." ... Linebacker Kyle Van Noy was named to the CBSSports.com's 2012 midseason All-America Second Team on Tuesday. He has registered 7.5 sacks, fourth-most in the nation. ... BYU receiver Cody Hoffman has caught a pass in 26 straight games. ... Mendenhall said safety Mike Hague is still questionable for Notre Dame with a strained calf muscle.
BYU at Notre Dame
Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
TV • Ch. 5