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BYU football: Cougars using bye week to get healthy, set new goals, hit the books

Published October 30, 2012 8:00 pm

College football • Cougars fine-tuning during their time off.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Provo • BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall promised his players last week that if they put everything on the line in preparing for the Georgia Tech game and the Yellow Jackets' spread-option offense, he would "take care of them" this week.

The coach must have liked the way his guys prepared, linebacker Brandon Ogletree said Tuesday, "because he's kept true to his promise so far."

With no game this weekend, the Cougars are enjoying their first and only bye week of the season. They had a short, no-contact practice on Tuesday after foregoing the traditional pre-practice film session, and likely won't go hard again until next Monday when they begin preparing for Idaho.

"Lots of individual work with the coaches. Just fine-tuning some things," Ogletree said of Tuesday's practice. "Bye week is a week to recover and get ready for the next week. Less film room. Catch up on schoolwork, let your body recover."

Mendenhall said his goals for the week are to give players time to catch up on academics, allow injured players time to recover, and train new and young players.

Meanwhile, the coach reminded the defensive players of their goals and telling them their desire to finish the season as the No. 1-ranked defense in the country is still reachable. Currently, the the Cougars are No. 4 in total defense (263.56 yards per game) and No. 10 in rushing defense, allowing 95.78 ypg.

"Coach kind of showed us a few of the defensive rankings, and showed us what teams are in front of us," Ogletree said. "He pointed out that, 'Hey, you are not No. 1 in any of those [categories] right now.' "

Ansah and agents

BYU senior defensive lineman Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah confirmed Tuesday that he is indeed starting to draw a lot of attention from NFL scouts. How does he know?

Because he's been contacted by nearly a dozen agents and/or their representatives in the past month. He said he tells them that he is just focusing on finishing the season well and that he will talk to them after it is over.

"I am sure I will get somebody to help me out [when the time is right]," he said.

Ansah said he doesn't have a favorite NFL team (he grew up in Ghana, West Africa) for "obvious" reasons, but has been watching the New York Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul and the Green Bay Packers' Clay Matthews for tips on how to rush the passer.

Briefly

After BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe made some remarks at the West Coast Conference basketball media day regarding the football team's season and the struggles of quarterback Riley Nelson on Monday, among other things, Mendenhall said Holmoe met with him early Tuesday to give him a rundown of what he meant. … Several Cougars were asked what they will be for Halloween on Wednesday. Ogletree said he probably won't dress up, but his young son will go as a raccoon. Nelson said he will hit the Internet Wednesday for a quick and easy costume.

drew@sltrib.com

Twitter: @drewjay —

Idaho at BYU

P Nov. 10, 8:15 p.m.

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BYU defensive ranks

Category National Rank Per game

Total defense 4th 263.56

Scoring defense 8th 14.33

Rushing defense 10th 95.78

Pass defense 12th 167.78

Sacks 21st 2.67

Tackles for loss 23rd 7.22