More notes, comments from BYU's Monday practice
Say what you want about BYU quarterback Riley Nelson's performance in football games. In post-game and post-practice interviews, Nelson continues to deliver the goods. He keeps us laughing. For instance, Nelson went into the locker room after practice last night and showered before meeting the media throng. When he emerged he was looking spiffy, so spiffy that I asked him if he had a hot date. First, he explained that his clothing options Monday were limited because he hadn't had time to do his laundry. Then, the truth: "I have a bad grade in a class I had this morning, so I had to wear super nice clothes so the profession thinks I am trying hard. Which I am," he said. I will have more from Nelson in a later blog post. First, here's my report from practice last night, with the biggest news being the injury (groin tear) to starting center Braden Hansen that will sideline the senior for 2-4 weeks. A few more odds, ends and comments from coach Bronco Mendenhall's chat with the media that didn't make the notebook: * Redshirt freshman Alex Kuresa's role this week will be the scout team quarterback as the Cougars prepare for Georgia Tech's option attack. * Mendenhall on whether it was a mistake to burn two timeouts in the second half before Notre Dame took over with six minutes remaining: "No. I mean, you manage the game the best way you can, and that didn't make or break or win or lose the game for us. I actually didn't even think about it until being asked that in the press conference after. I don't think that was really a significant issue, quite frankly." * Mendenhall on why there were so many missed tackles against Notre Dame: "I was really impressed with Notre Dame's runners. They had three of 'em, and over the course of the game. Well, I shouldn't say that. We missed some the first and second plays of the game, and so I realized right then that they were good. So trying really hard to get extra players to the ball was really what we were working to do. But they had quite a few yards after contact, and broke a lot of tackles. To our guys' credit, they were great in the blue zone, and they held the points down to where we had a great chance to win. So I still thought they played well. Didn't tackle well, and gave up a crucial first down on the third-and-five. But other than that, I mean when you compare our game against anybody else they played, we had as good a chance as anybody [to upset them]."* Mendenhall on why Paul Lasike has not carried the ball since his fumble vs. USU:"Probably correlated somewhat. But I don't think you can underestimate Jamaal Williams' role. ... I am not sure how much you want to give it to anybody else right now. He's done a nice job."* Mendenhall on why Joe Sampson is returning kicks out of end zone:"Yeah, from the last week in practice, the instructions were pretty clear: Don't return it unless you can get past the 25. And so, that level of scrutiny has certainly gone up."* Mendenhall on Jamaal Williams' play:"I am really impressed with just the way he is managing the settings he goes in, the touches he gets, and how he is running the ball. He seems confident, and I think he's on the right track." * Mendenhall on coach Robb Akey being fired at Idaho: "I am saddened and disappointed. Just a couple years ago, there was a bowl game for Idaho, and longevity for head coaches is not something that I think is recognized past two or three years. It is hard to see friends not have the success others deem necessary to keep going. But I think he's a good man and a good coach." * Mendenhall said nose tackle Tui Crichton will be moved over to train with the offensive linemen this week. "Hopefully that will stop the bleeding for this week, so we can practice," he said.