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:
By way of opening comment, I'm anxious again to return to LaVell Edwards Stadium. I'm looking forward to another conference game. I'm looking forward to, again, improving our team and am anxious to have another good week of practice. The last two weeks of practice have been good so hopefully we'll be able to continue that and move forward.
TCU was the fourth-ranked team in the country; what can you can take from that game moving forward?
I think from a special teams standpoint we learned, against a very good returner, what needs to be shored up in terms of coverage lanes and coordinate to ensure a very returner doesn't get extra space. I think that's one thing. I think we learned that the defensive players continue to play hard with more effort and are executing at a higher level. From the offensive perspective I think that our identity is becoming clearer if you look at that one drive in the third quarter and what possibly we would have to do and how we would have to do it against the higher quality opponents. I would take that drive as a good starting point.
Were you happy with the play calling up to that point?
Sure. To me it's not so much of what we're calling, it's simply the continued focus, as I've said so many times before, on the execution and fundamentals. A block here, a play there and it looks quite a bit different.
If you could use a word to describe the offensive struggles this year, what would it be?
Undermining all of it right now I would say would be confidence and confidence usually comes with success. The way to build that is through simple successes of running a precise route, getting the right protection or getting the key first down. Building simple successes in practice and at key moments in the game really are what we're focusing on.
Wyoming's defense had three interceptions last week. Was that more of Utah's quarterback not being aware or of something you need to be aware of with Wyoming's defense?
Probably both. Utah won the game in a convincing fashion. I think it reflects that Wyoming's willing to play hard all the way to the end regardless of the score. I think it means that they're capable and I think it maybe means that Utah's quarterback, on those three plays, wasn't at his best. So it's probably a combination of both.
Can you talk about Wyoming offensively?
They're very creative in terms of trying to use their personnel. I've been through four films this morning. [Austyn] Carta-Samuels, the quarterback, is very mobile and has the ability to create. They're aligning in some very unusual situations so you're trying to make sure you adjust correctly. They have a lot of perimeter type of throws and run game, all with a pretty active quarterback. They have struggled in holding onto the football for significant periods of time.