Fans can tune in for live coverage on the Cougar IMG Sports Network with Greg Wrubell, which can be found on Sirius XM 143, 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and BYUcougars.com. IMG’s radio coverage will begin at 6 p.m. MDT.
BYUtv will provide pregame and postgame coverage, with Countdown to Kickoff starting at 6 p.m. MDT. Postgame coverage runs for half an hour after the game.
Houston (1-1) at No. 25 BYU (2-0)
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 at 7:01 p.m. MDT
LaVell Edwards Stadium
Last meeting: The blue Cougars and red Cougars met for the first time in 2013, when Taysom Hill pulled off a last-minute touchdown pass to Skyler Ridley to claim a BYU victory 47-46.
BYU vs. AAC: The Cougars are a combined 17-2 against American Athletic Conference opponents. BYU defeated AAC opponent UConn in the 2014 season opener, taking down the Huskies 35-10 on the road.
Run, Taysom, run: Junior quarterback Taysom Hill led BYU to a 41-7 victory against Texas with three rushing touchdowns in the third quarter. Hill leaped over a Longhorn DB on his way to a 30-yard touchdown run, his first of the game, launching a 28-0 scoring streak in the third quarter. Hill was named FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row.
Making history: Hill is one of eight players in the NCAA history to ever throw for 400 yards and run for 100 yards in the same game which was against Houston in 2013. He finished with 417 passing yards (4 TDs) and 128 rushing yards.
10 seasons: Bronco Mendenhall began his 10th season as head coach of the Cougars with the season opener at UConn. Mendenhall has an 84-34 record entering his 10th year. BYU ranks 12th in total wins during his tenure.
Well, really I don’t think anybody on the team is satisfied. Like I said, we want to be undefeated. That’s only one win. That only counts as one, even though we might think it counts as three because it’s such a big win against such a great team, but it only counts as one. We have to get ready for the next team and can’t be too satisfied.
Houston’s good. They had a little hiccup against UTSA, but they came out strong the next week. Their defense is going to be good. Of course their offense is going to be good, they always put up big points. It’s going to be a great challenge for us.
I went against Houston a lot when I was at UTEP. You know they like to go fast-paced and stuff like that. It’s going to be a fun game. Both offenses are going fast-paced. So, don’t miss it.
On Houston defense:
Especially with Taysom (Hill), we’re expecting them to go man, cover-1, maybe cover-3, to stop him from running. Like we’ve said before, he’s so athletic, if he gets loose, there’s no catching him. We expect them to try to stop the run, try to stop Taysom. That’s a lot of pressure on us, we have to make plays.
On being recruited by Houston:
Yes, they actually offered me. I chose not to go there just because it was too close to home. I kind of wanted to get away. They’re a great school and it was a hard decision not to choose there.
On BYU fans:
I love it. Seeing the fans at the away games, I can just imagine what a home game is going to be like. It’s just fun. They’re so passionate. This team it’s just–we’re a band of brothers. I said that when I first got here, but now that I’ve been here for a while, I’ve been able to witness and see how we are on the field, we really are a band of brothers.
I don’t think we have any fans in the world like BYU fans. I just can’t wait for a home game. I know it’s going to be loud and it’s going to be fun.
On Taysom’s running:
He’s athletic. He’s the man. He can run any time he wants to. That really puts a lot of pressure on the defense. It forces them to put eight in the box and man up. As a receiver, that’s what you want, you want man coverage. That’s kind of what you dream for, us being the bomb squad, we expect to make plays.
I didn’t play in last year’s game because of a concussion. What I saw on the field, they made a big special teams play which kind of got them back in the game and they made a long throw that really got them back in the game.
They’re a good team. They’re capable and they have a lot of good athletes.
Last year he kept plays alive and he keeps eyes down field. He’s a guy that can definitely hurt you if your eyes are wrong. Especially in the secondary, we need to stay straight on our keys and we need to be disciplined
On home opener:
It’s really exciting. Definitely coming off of two away games, where it’s a long distance away and we still have a good turnout for those games, but it’s going to be fun getting back into our stadium in front of our home crowd.
The natural tendency would be to try to feel good a little bit longer than we have time for. As you all know yesterday was ‘Wednesday’, today’s ‘Thursday’ and tomorrow is the day before the game. So it’s hard even though we’ve done it a lot of times, it’s hard to get used to it still. Bumps and bruises have to heal faster. Good performances have to be forgotten as well as some that could be improved have to be forgotten. A lot at stake, but I would say so far, so good in the two days we’ve had on the field.
On the BYU running game:
Having Jamaal (Williams) and Adam (Hine) back there really helped. As the game went on, we didn’t slow down. When you consider now Algie (Brown) and Paul (Lasike) as well, it’s a nice stable of backs to have. It’s more than two deep, so you end up almost being three deep with different combinations which is really helpful in keeping the workload as much as possible off Taysom, even though he’s really dynamic with the ball. We’re throwing it better, so that helps too.
On bumps and bruises:
They’re there. Normally it’s a walk-through on Monday rather than a Wednesday’s practice for that very reason. So, they just are what they are. So I don’t think there is anything game limiting in addition to what you already know. Hopefully we’ll be as healthy as possible by the time we play.
On Houston’s film–what do you see?
Same as a year ago. Really good schemes and good players. They’re doing a really nice job.
On BYU defensive performances:
Really good. 17 points in two games. If that keeps up, we’ll have a good chance at every game that we play.
On keeping a strong defense:
It’s just the system. For nine years we averaged in the top 20 in scoring throughout that entire time and so really, it’s just replacing parts now. We have good leadership with our defensive staff.