Y revs up for TCU

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    By BRANDON JUDD

    It?s not about bleach blonde hair and foul language-ridden lyrics. But the message stills rings true.

    Will the real BYU Cougars please stand up?

    Only two games into the 2005 football campaign, the question remains of just how good the team is. But following a bye week, the Cougars (1-1) are confident that Saturday?s 1 p.m. matchup with conference foe TCU at LaVell Edwards Stadium will provide some answers.

    ?Physically, they don?t match up to us,? said BYU running back Curtis Brown. ?Skill-wise, they don?t match up to us. We need to just come out and play our game.?

    The game, televised on KJZZ Channel 14, will be the Cougars? first Mountain West Conference opener at home since 1999 and caps a three-game homestand to start the season.

    ?This is our place,? linebacker Aaron Wagner said. ?We want that home-field advantage. We want to bring somebody into our house and send them away not wishing ever to come back.?

    In order to open conference play with a victory, BYU must find more consistency on the offensive side of the ball. In Game 1, the Cougars rolled up the passing yards, yet managed only a field goal in a 20-3 loss to nationally ranked Boston College.

    In their next game against Division I-AA Eastern Illinois, the Cougars used a balanced offensive attack to roll to a 45-10 win, but they fell asleep in the third quarter, being outscored 3-0 by the Panthers.

    ?Our goal all year long is to execute what we do and make them stop us,? BYU quarterbacks coach Brandon Doman said. ?I think it will be hard to stop us if we execute right.?

    On the defensive side, the Cougars have been more consistent, ranking first in the MWC in rush defense ? giving up an average of 101.5 yards per game ? and in scoring defense (15.0 points per game).

    The Horned Frogs (2-1 overall, 1-0 in MWC) will counterattack with a rushing game that employs an option package and is bolstered by freshman Aaron Brown, who rushed for 163 yards in a 23-20 overtime victory over Utah last week.

    ?He was confident with the football and he certainly wasn?t afraid of contact,? BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said of TCU?s new-found weapon. ?He wasn?t looking to run out of bounds. He was looking to gain positive yards.?

    The Horned Frogs are also led by fifth-year senior quarterback Tye Gunn, who has compiled a 12-3 record as a starter.

    ?I don?t think the approach to defending Tye Gunn is just to play coverage,? Mendenhall said. ?I think it is to make sure you can dictate when the ball?s thrown.?

    TCU will also be a force on the defensive side of the ball as well, as the Horned Frogs are tops in the conference in total yards (271.7 ypg) and pass defense (145.7 ypg) and are behind only the Cougars in scoring defense (17.0 ppg).

    But for many of the Cougars, getting back on the field and hitting someone who isn?t a teammate is as important as the extra time BYU had to prepare for the Horned Frogs and get some injuries healed up.

    ?It?s great to get the pads back on,? BYU linebacker Justin Luettgerodt said. ?It?s great to hit. Three days off [last weekend] for the guys who didn?t need it, they were bored out of their minds.?

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