After a frustrating loss at Wisconsin, the Cougars return to Lavell Edwards Stadium for the final time of the 2013 season to face Idaho State. The Cougars look to bounce back after making too many mistakes against the Badgers.
“We played really well when everyone did exactly what they needed to do assignment-wise,” said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. “When Wisconsin moved the ball or when we didn’t have success moving the ball, it was when we had assignment errors.”
In the loss at Wisconsin, BYU not only missed a great opportunity but also suffered substantial setbacks that will affect the rest of the season. Starting receiver Mitch Mathews was lost for the year due to a shoulder injury, and senior linebacker Spencer Hadley is listed as week to week after tearing his MCL against the Badgers.
“I was disappointed with our loss; it was a huge opportunity missed. It’s a hard one to shake off, not only for myself but for the team as well,” Mendenhall said. “I thought that they had one drive more on offense and we gave up one too many on defense. I’m looking forward to helping the team continue to grow and develop and to finish strong.”
Even with a tough loss at Wisconsin, and an upcoming game at Notre Dame, BYU is not looking past Idaho State. Many feel that beating the Bengals should be an easy task for a Cougar team bouncing back from a disheartening loss.
“We are not going to take them lightly; every opponent that we play has the potential to be a great team,” said BYU offensive lineman De’Ondrew Wesley. “We have to fix some things during practice and go through film and get some things fixed and get our plays and pass protection down. Going into this game, I feel like we will have some big plays and do some good things.”
Saturday’s game against Idaho State will be BYU fans’ last chance to see their team’s seniors play on their home field. Many of the seniors will be playing in the NFL next year, but the game will be a bittersweet one.
“They are really talented, hardworking, and they have accomplished a lot,” Mendenhall said about the seniors. “I think what they are most anxious for is to have a great finish to this year. I think that there is still a lot left that they can accomplish. I’m grateful that they came to BYU and they’ve really helped our program.”
Kickoff will be Saturday, Nov. 16, at 1:05 p.m. MST and will be televised on BYUtv and BYUtvsports.com.