BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
The following is a partial transcript of BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall's weekly press conference:
Good morning. I think that our team is improving. I think how to measure it and what kind of progress is probably three weeks away to gauge where this victory fits in. I do think we threw and caught the football at a higher level. There was more balance in the offense and I think the defense remained relatively consistent. I think our team played hard and is gaining confidence and optimism. Out intent is to carry that on the road as we play Colorado State in our next chance to improve.
Was playing at a higher level mainly because of your opponent, or things that you've worked at coming up to the game?
I'm holding judgment for the next three weeks to see exactly how much was what you were talking about. I do think the bye week helped, I think an increased focus helped, I do think there was improvement, but certainly our opponent did have something to do with that. So, again, until we see our next game at Colorado State and then New Mexico and then Utah, it's hard to say how much of a step we did take forward.
Colorado State did force five turnovers last game. Tell us what you saw and what you think of Colorado State.
Their defense is deceptive as I've seen before, a lot of slanting, a lot of angling, a lot of showing run coverage and then spinning to another coverage and it looks to me like they have more speed. I think that they're playing at a pretty high level. Their scheme itself, if you're not prepared, could lead to turning the ball over.
From an offensive perspective they also have a young quarterback, some new offensive lineman, but capable skill people. They're still able to throw and catch the football downfield. I don't think it was an accident that the San Diego State vs. Colorado State game was a close football game. I don't think it was a product of just five turnovers; I think that's just basically who Colorado State is. I would liken them a lot, even though their record doesn't show it, to San Diego State.
You've witnessed first-hand some struggles with your freshman quarterback. How does that affect how you attack their freshman quarterback?
He's tall, he'd prefer not to run it out of the pocket if he doesn't have to but has very good vision and a strong arm. He delivers the football downfield in a pass-first mentality pretty well. They're doing a nice job of protection for him. But any time you're going after any quarterback, including the one this past week, I'd like the ability to pressure, I'd like the ability to play zone, I'd like the ability to play some max coverage and hopefully they don't know which one is coming and when.