(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
The following comments are from head coach Bronco Mendenhall's post-practice press briefing, including comments from senior wide receiver JD Falslev and senior linebacker Spencer Hadley.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall:
What is your assessment of the game this weekend?
I’ll just start with a number of different areas. I was pleased that Justin (Sorensen) kicked the ball well, Scott Arellano as a punter did a nice job for his first start and in an opener, Eathyn Manumaleuna and Uani ‘Unga and our defense played really, really well, and Jamaal Williams and Taysom Hill both played strong games. Some things that we need to improve are throwing and catching the ball in critical situations. We had too many drops that were game changers. We need more physical play and more continuity from our offensive line.
An update on Cody Hoffman and Uani ‘Unga:
With Cody (Hoffman) there’s not much to say, he’s only had one day of rest after the game. They listed him at about 80-85% on Saturday so right now so I’m hopeful for this upcoming week. Especially with it being a night game, it gives us a little more time. Uani Unga, the good news is the CAT scan and X-rays all came back negative. He actually hurt it in the first quarter and made it all the way to the second to last series and just couldn’t go any more.
What did you say to your team to get over this game?
I thought that we played really hard. That doesn’t mean that we played well, but I was encouraged, and I thought we gained some momentum and didn’t lose any. It was a hard loss and I’ll tell you, I’ve never been through a two-hour delay before. A lot of learning from it, but I think our team is optimistic moving forward and feels that there is progress to be made.
On some difficulties of playing fast and hard:
I think we could have played harder up front and been more physical. I think we sacrificed, or they were trained to sacrifice some of the physical play and continuity and execution for the speed. So what we have to take a step in is not only going fast but actually playing physical in our offensive front with that tempo.
How would you like to see Taysom Hill progress in week two?
Well, as the game got towards the end, there was a third and 11 or third and 12 where he’s taking shots trying to get the first downs, and it’s hard to say don’t do that. To be able to sustain it for 12 more games isn’t something that he’s going to be able to do. Everything around him needs to improve so that doesn’t happen, where he doesn’t have that burden.
On the Texas game this weekend:
They’re a talented team. A lot of their personnel is similar to what we played two years ago and a lot of their scheme is similar as well. They’re using some personnel in different regards. But they’re talented.
Senior wide receiver JD Falslev:
What does the team have to do against Texas?
They’re a great team, and I expect us to come out and play well. I expect us to come out and play hard, and I expect it to be a battle. We didn’t play up to our expectations last week, and we have to change our mindset to turn this thing around in the right direction.
What changes are you going to make this week?
Just our execution, we have to nail down our execution. We have to nail down our assignments, and we have to continue to play fast but at the same time we have to play hard. There were a few plays here and there that we didn’t play hard enough and because of that, we didn’t get our assignment done.
What do you expect to see out of Texas?
We haven’t watched a lot of film of them yet; we mostly went over what we need to fix from the Virginia game. We’ve corrected the mistakes we made in the game, and we are ready to move forward. We’ll watch a lot of film tonight and tomorrow and get a good feel for what they’re going to do.
Senior linebacker Spencer Hadley:
What does the team expect to see this weekend against Texas?
They’re a talented team, and they do some things really well. We’ve played some high powered offenses before that have put up big yards, and we’re not scared.
Anything similar from the team a couple years ago?
It’s a lot of the same offense and especially a lot of the same team. We’re not expecting a lot different from what we saw from them a couple of years ago.