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. We’re looking forward to coming back to LaVell Edwards Stadium and playing another very tough opponent. From what I’ve seen of Nevada to this point, they execute at a very high level, they’re playing with a lot of confidence. This will be a formidable test and we’re looking to improve our football team.
I think overall the defense played one of its better games of the year and especially handled a lot of sudden change and poor field position opportunities at a pretty high level. Then there was a 13- or 14-play drive in the third quarter where we didn’t tackle as well as we needed to. I think fatigue was a part of it and fundamentals can still be worked on.
Were your receivers open, or did Florida State have good coverage?
Florida State’s defensive backs on the corners did an especially good job of being physical with our receivers, inhibiting our releases, altering our routes and the timing of our routes. Part of the reason the quarterbacks were holding onto the ball longer than necessary was that our receivers were taking longer to get open, then with the combination of the four-down pressure and the twists they were doing, basically all that means is that Florida State was playing at a higher level than we were.
Do you know when you will know who will start against Nevada at quarterback?
I should be able to give you a really clear idea by Wednesday. It’s becoming more and more clear to me how and in what direction we need to go, but it would be premature to say anything at this point.
Where would you rank Colin Kaepernick in the pecking order of quarterbacks you’ve seen so far?
I’m seeing him in my sleep. This quarterback is very good. What’s interesting is you’ll see an offense that is very similar to Air Force but with a downfield throwing game and a drop back passing game that is exceptional. There are a lot of moving parts to it, but the quarterback at any point can rush for 100 yards and make it look effortless. He’s fast, he’s big and he throws it well. Between Locker, Jefferson, Ponder and him, it’s kind of the who’s who of quarterbacks this year.
Are there any depth chart changes?
I don’t think so much depth chart changes as fewere players playing. One of the things that was problematic was the number of players and volume of plays to execute with plays having to be divided. We just haven’t played the same players in the same scheme running the same plays enough.
You again are underdogs, is that a position you prefer?
It’s a role that we’ve earned to this point. We haven’t played at a high enough level yet to be considered the favorite. We’re used to being the favorite, but our team hasn’t played at that level. Nevada is. I just watched their game against Cal and they’re a very good football team. They’re playing well.
With Nevada’s offense one of the best in the country, are you worried about your defense?
Considering who’ve we played, I really like they played against Washington and three of the four quarters against Florida State. They’re playing hard and showing a lot of toughness. I think they’ll look forward to the challenge.