PROVO — BYU held practice inside its Indoor Practice Facility Monday night that was closed to the media. Afterwards, players and coaches were made available to reporters for interviews. It was the final time players and assistant coaches will do interviews for the remainder of the week.
While BYU has won four straight games, coach Bronco Mendenhall isn't satisfied.
"Our team is still making progress. We have not reached our potential yet," said Mendenhall. "There are plenty of areas still to improve."
Mendenhall said he dreads Rivalry Week every year.
"It's just extra work and a lot of nonsense of people saying and doing things that I think have no bearing at all. Nor do they act very rationally. And they say and do things most of the time they regret. They tell me that after," he said.
"So I really try to stay out of the public eye as much as possible in terms of supermarkets, gas stations. I'm glad church isn't in the middle of the week, even though that didn't seem to bother our ward members on Sunday. But my wife and I try to keep as low a profile as possible this particular week."
"It would be great if the fans would take on a stronger spirit of sportsmanship, to be able to compete against one another but do it in a civil way. I think it certainly is possible and I think it's desirable and would add a lot more class to the rivalry. I am speaking for both sides, not just one."
— Coach Bronco Mendenhall
on the BYU-Utah rivalry
In his sixth season at the helm, Mendenhall has posted a 16-3 record in November. The Cougars are riding a seven-game win streak in the month, with his team's latest loss in November coming in a 48-24 setback in 2008 at Utah.
Starting left tackle Matt Reynolds has been playing with a shoulder injury most of the season. He had to come out of last week's win over New Mexico due to injury, but he said he'll be ready to go for the Utah game. "There's been some bumps and bruises along the way, but nothing to keep me off the field, luckily," he said. … BYU has won 14 consecutive games decided by seven points or less. … The Cougars have played 17 freshmen this season, seven of whom have started at least one game. Freshman quarterback Jake Heaps has started seven games while running back Joshua Quezada, wide receiver Cody Hoffman, and linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Zac Stout have seen significant action this season. … BYU is No. 19 in the nation in pass defense, giving up 186 yards per game. The Cougars are No. 66 in rushing defense, allowing 156 yards per game.