Provo • Ross Apo does not want to make any excuses, but clearly, BYU’s junior receiver is playing hurt this season.
When Apo is asked about his sore right shoulder, he only shrugs and says "it is what it is," and that it won’t get better, or worse, if he plays or not.
So he’s going to continue playing, with the shoulder taped tightly, until the season is over. Then he will probably have surgery on it. Again.
"Now," Apo said on Tuesday, "I just have to step up."
That’s because Mitch Mathews, who actually plays on the other side, went down against Wisconsin and will need surgery right away for what appears to be a chipped scapula (shoulder blade).
"My [injury] is just muscle," Apo said.
There’s no question, though, that Apo, Cody Hoffman and Skyler Ridley will be called on to make up for Mathews’ absence. Hoffman and Ridley have been steady this season, for the most part. Apo has not.
"Ross had a tough game [against Wisconsin]," said receivers coach Guy Holliday. "And that happens. He had put together four good games."
Against the Badgers, though, Apo dropped a few passes, and had just one catch for 8 yards. It was a disappointing, outing, he said, because it appeared he had turned he corner with two TD grabs against Houston and two catches for 46 yards against Boise State.
"It will probably be a little challenging without Mitch, because of the tempo we play at," Apo said. "But we don’t have any other choice. We just have to do it, so we will."
Van Noy a semifinalist
BYU senior linebacker Kyle Van Noy on Wednesday was named one of nine semifinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. The trophy bills itself as the only one in college football "where character counts." IMPACT is an acronym for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity.
Six of the semifinalists are linebackers.
Van Noy now has 26 career sacks, the second-most nationally among active FBS players. The career sack record at BYU is 33.
BYU is 4-0 against Idaho State, having defeated the Bengals 56-3 in their last meeting in Provo in 2011. … BYU didn’t drop much after Saturday’s subpar offensive outing at Wisconsin. The Cougars are now No. 12 in total offense (495.4 ypg.) and No. 13 in rushing offense (248.1 ypg.). … Hoffman needs one more 100-yard receiving game to pass Austin Collie as BYU’s all-time leader in that category.
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