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. It's a different task for our team this week as we prepare for a short week and an in-state road game. There's a lot to look forward to and a lot to prepare for and we're anxious to get back to work.
With Romney Fuga's injury, will you move Eathyn Manumaleuna over to Fuga's position at nose guard?
We were planning to continue to redshirt Graham Rowley, but now that won't be possible. Graham will be trained as a back-up defensive end and Eathyn will be trained at nose tackle, so that gives us six players on the defensive line now. We were hopeful not to play Graham this year but that looks like what we will do.
How did you find and recruit Cody Hoffman?
A college roommate of mine at Oregon State was responsible for letting me know there was a player in his area that he thought would be a good fit at BYU and a good athlete. At that time, [BYU quarterbacks coach] Brandon Doman covered northern California, so he got in contact with my former college roommate and that's how the process started. Cody's only other opportunity to play football was at Sacramento State. He's way up in northern California at Crescent City; it's not a place people normally go to recruit because it's a hard place to get in and out of, so without having a personal connection we might not have found him.
If wins aren't coming, how did you measure the positives?
From this past game I saw a number of things that were improving. I think our pass game did improve, especially over the past two weeks. I think our special teams continue to be solid, especially the cover units and how we're kicking the football. I think especially in the second half our run defense and the way we defended a pretty difficult scheme showed improvement.
How badly does this team need a win?
I think any team and any person, when you measure just simple successes to continue to have the motivation necessary adds to it, but it certainly, in my mind, is not a make-or-break game, nor are any games this season. It's the next chance to improve, it's the next chance to measure, it's the next chance to develop. Certainly a win is what we're shooting for and what we will prepare for, but I have said all along that I think this is going to be a longer process than what many would like it to be, but I think the direction is the right direction.
Can you talk about Utah State and the job Gary Anderson has done while he has been there?
Yeah, I think Gary is doing a nice job; I think he's reinvigorated the program and I think there is a different belief in that they are capable and they can compete and can win. I think he's hired a good coaching staff and I think they are matching the schemes to their personnel. I think he's reinvigorated the community to Utah State football.
What are you looking forward to on Friday?
I'm looking forward to being with our team again. I love coaching this particular team and I love the way they work, watching the way they grow and how eager they are.
What will you miss the most with Romney?
Romney's played very well in every game. He's consistently doing what he's supposed to do, not only during practices but also during the game. He adds a sense of composure and experience to our team and has played, in my opinion, as well as any defensive tackle that's played here since I have been head coach. He's just so, so consistent. We'll certainly miss Romney, not only how he plays but his presence.