PROVO — Amid a season that's seen BYU lose two starters to season-ending injuries, and several other players sidelined for multiple games due to a variety of ailments, the Cougars are about as healthy as they've been in a while.
Head trainer Kevin Morris is happy that players could get rested and healed during the bye last week.
"The bye week came at a very good time," he said. "We were able to get some guys who were dinged up feeling healthy again."
Even outside linebacker Jordan Pendleton, who's been out since the Utah State game with a knee injury, is possible for Saturday's game against UNLV.
"Right now I would list him as possible, but not probable — whatever the difference is between those two, probable is closer than possible, then I would say that is where I would put him," said coach Bronco Mendenhall. "He hasn't practiced yet."
Meanwhile, inside linebacker Brandon Ogletree, who has an ankle sprain, is probable for Saturday's contest, Morris said.
Defensive lineman Vic So'oto almost didn't play against Wyoming due to a shoulder injury. "I ended up playing but my other shoulder got tweaked," So'oto said. "I feel as rested as I can be. I'm ready to go, ready to finish off the season and get after some quarterbacks. I've got to get more sacks."
Wide receiver McKay Jacobson, who hurt his knee on the first play against Wyoming, has been practicing this week and will play Saturday.
Meanwhile, safety Andrew Rich, who sustained what Morris likes to call "a full body contusion" earlier this season, but hasn't missed playing time, is now wearing a custom padded shirt made by McDavid, a company that manufactures sporting attire.
"It's a goalkeeper shirt modified for football," Morris said. "It's an Andrew Rich special. (McDavid) special-made it for us."
TIGHT END WOES: Usually a go-to position for the offense, tight end, has been used infrequently this season. The Cougars would like to throw to the tight end more, according to Mendenhall.10 comments on this story
"It's been a point of emphasis. The first thing is, they have to be open," he said. "They have to work harder in their route-running to create separation from whomever is covering them. Probably Marcus Mathews right now is doing the best job of that."
RECRUITING UPDATE: BYU's recruiting class for 2011 has been all but wrapped up for a while now. The Cougars have 14 players committed for 2011.
Asked if his team's struggles on the field have negatively affected those recruits, Mendenhall replied, "The class is already committed, and they are excited to come. I think they are eager to play here for all of the same reasons they committed to."