(Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)
The following comments are from head coach Bronco Mendenhall's post-practice press briefing, including comments from freshman running back Jamaal Williams and freshman quarterback Taysom Hill.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall
How is Riley doing?
Riley is still beat up. Taysom took all of the reps. It’ll be similar to last week. We’ll go as long as we can and see how it progresses during the week.
How much work is Riley able to do?
Not much. He was watching mostly today.
What’s the recovery time for Riley?
So much of it is just based on how he feels and his pain tolerance, which I know is really high. He wants to play desperately in this game but he’s also realistic. It’s hard to predict. I’m following a very similar format as last week other than the chances are even more likely that he will play than last week but I thought there was a chance he’d play a week ago so it’s hard to tell.
How are the kickers roles defined?
Long field goals, I’m talking 35 yards and out, would go to Justin Sorensen. Anything from there in would be Riley Stephenson. Riley is our punter and Justin is our kickoff guy so that’s where we are.
Status of tight end Richard Wilson:
Richard is working hard. I don’t think that his ACL and the way he runs is quite back to where he was prior to injury so he’s fighting to get that up to speed as fast as possible. Practicing and playing in the games is still different at 100 percent. I don’t know if he’s quite there yet. That’s the best way to describe it.
What have the last two games against Utah State done for this rivalry?
I think it’s not only the last two games, it’s watching their program grow and build. I think Gary has done a really nice job. Not only how they’ve played us but how they’ve played the last two seasons. All of that cumulatively, they’re building a really nice program. We’re excited to play them, it’s going to be a really good game.
How does this team rank in terms of the teams you’ll have to prepare for?
One of the most difficult. I like the way they’re playing defensively. I saw their defense at Utah and was able to study it pretty closely and they did a nice job. Offensively, they have a lot of weapons. Spreading the field, the run game, mobile quarterback and a good scheme. It’s hard to say until you play someone, but at least at first glance, I’m impressed.
RB Jamaal Williams
On the improved offensive line play:
I believe it was our lineman having a different mindset. It was different from Boise State to the Hawaii game. Boise State it was a little bit stiff and we were worrying about it too much. The Hawaii game they came out aggressive and they were having fun. I saw them smiling and playing and its something I like to see them do, smiling and pounding people down.
On trusting your offensive lineman:
I have trust in anyone who lines up to block for me because I am grateful for them blocking for me in the first place.
On being the top running back:
It’s not going to just be me; it’s going to be all the running backs helping out. Because some things I can’t do and they can do better; we all have strengths to help us win. I feel like we are all the starters and are just helping each other out to become better.
QB Taysom Hill
On recovering after first start:
It was really good, I felt really good after the game. The next morning was when the bumps and bruises started to arise. As a whole no injuries, just little bumps and bruises but I’m good to go.
Now that you’ve gotten a taste of starting does it make you hungrier?
I think so. I think everybody here is in the same boat. We are all competitors and we all love to play football. The more you get it the more you want it. I had so much fun last Friday and I’m looking forward to Utah State.
How did you feel protection-wise with new guys on the offensive line?
It felt great. I think the way our o-line came and played and fired off the ball was why we were able to get off to a quick start and score on that first drive and set the momentum right from there.
On playing Utah State with the No. 11 ranked defense:
I’m extremely excited. Anytime you are playing a school in-state as well on top of that adds that much more excitement. We are ready and we are excited to play the Aggies up here.