Provo • In a way, the BYU Cougars are fortunate that they are playing an FCS opponent, Idaho State, on Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium instead of a formidable foe.
That's because the Cougars are still having a tough time getting over the 27-17 loss to Wisconson they suffered last week in Madison.
"I think we would like to play better in a nice environment on the road and execute and block better Â the whole thing from top to bottom," offensive coordinator Robert Anae said, with not much prompting. "I believe we could have done better."
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall usually doesn't dwell on losses when he meets with the media a couple days after games, but even he acknowledged the pain lingers.
"Disappointed with our loss. Huge opportunity missed," Mendenhall said Monday. "Hard one to shake off, not only for me, but our team."
Asked to assess this year's senior class, which will play for the final time at home on Saturday, safety Daniel Sorensen seconded Mendenhall's opinion about missed opportunities.
"I don't think we have lived up to everything we could have, and should have, so in a way it is a little disappointing when you see the opportunity we had before us, and don't take advantage of that," Sorensen said Monday.
Not that bad
The rash of injuries that BYU announced on Monday makes it appear the Cougars have had a lot of them this season, but that's not really the case, head athletic trainer Jeff Hurst said.
"At this stage of the year, we are actually decently healthy," he said. "We had a few things here or there early on, some significant injuries to significant guys on the team. â¦ We are not too bad as it compares to years previous."
Monday, Hurst said receiver Mitch Mathews is out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury that will require surgery.
Linebacker Spencer Hadley (MCL tear in knee), tight end Devin Mahina (adductor strain in groin area) and offensive lineman Ryker Mathews (neck injury) are doubtful for Saturday's game but could play on Nov. 23 at Notre Dame.
BYU fans will learn some new names on Saturday, and not just because a lot of guys are expected to play in the expected blowout. With receivers Mathews and JD Falslev definitely out and Brett Thompson (eye injury) and Eric Thornton (undisclosed injury) not likely to play, coaches are scrambling to fill out the depth chart in some places.
Inside receiver Marcus Mathews has been moved back outside, and Anae mentioned Tuesday that Kurt Henderson and walk-on Colby Pearson will probably see more playing time.
Idaho State at BYU
O Saturday, 1 p.m.
TV • BYUtv