Just as the Cougars are playing the best they have all year, the team will take a week off from play for the first time since mid-September. Despite the team’s soaring momentum, coaches and players are positive about the break in action.
“I like where the bye has come, and I think it sets us up nicely for stretch run of the next four games but, more importantly, our next game,” said head coach Bronco Mendenhall.
The game to which Mendenhall is referring is the team’s Nov. 9 matchup at no. 24 Wisconsin. Wisconsin provides ample reason for the Cougars to appreciate an extra week of preparation. The Badgers rank eighth in the nation in rushing yards per game and feature Heisman hopeful running back Melvin Gordon.
Mendenhall, who last week accepted a bowl invitation and began to talk about the Wisconsin game in practically the same sentence, says the team needs all the time it can get to ready itself for the game.
“It’s a really good time for us to heal and have a few extra days to look at Wisconsin,” he said.
Needing time to heal are defensive backs Daniel Sorensen, who was knocked out of the game against Boise St. on Oct. 25 with a concussion, and Mike Hague, who left with a shoulder injury. Both injuries were troublesome, as each player has provided solid play in a banged-up secondary, but both players are expected to be ready for the contest on Nov. 9.
BYU’s breakneck offense will also appreciate the bye week, having run 88 plays per game since the last time the team had a week off. Extra rest will be sweet for sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill, who either throws or runs the ball on 58 percent of BYU’s plays this season and appears to take a physical beating week after week.