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Monson: BYU, Utah, USU coaches find themselves in perfect place
College football » Enough mistakes littered the opening-week wins to motivate coaches.

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They threw for more than 300 yards, got another 123 on the ground, yet suffered zero turnovers. They possessed the ball for nearly 36 minutes, while the other Cougars had it for just 24. Their defense looked sound by keeping Washington State’s throw game in front of it, making sure tackles and surrendering nothing on the ground. When a defense holds an opponent to minus-5 yards rushing, what’s a coach supposed to say?

Well, he complains about 12 penalties, which cost BYU 112 yards. Some of those flags came on moronic infractions by players who didn’t use their brains or keep their cool. And in the red zone, the offense too often settled for field goals when touchdowns were available for the mere price of crisp execution.

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"We can play cleaner," Mendenhall said.

"We’re excited because we played well enough to win the game, but we still have a lot of stuff to clean up and get better," said Bronco Junior, aka quarterback Riley Nelson, who isn’t a coach but talks like one.

Andersen uttered the exact sentiments, if not the exact words, up in Logan.

All three teams are in that perfect place: They won big but are convinced they have to work bigger.

GORDON MONSON hosts "The Big Show" weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 1280 and 960 AM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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