BYU football: Clawson mixed over hard hit on Bradford
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
PROVO — Suffice it to say that Coleby Clawson — a returned LDS missionary who's married and has a young daughter — is probably the most unpopular man in Oklahoma.
The BYU senior linebacker's hit on Sooner quarterback Sam Bradford late in the first half of the Cougars' 14-13 victory, which knocked the Heisman Trophy winner out of the second half, has been replayed almost ad nauseam on ESPN and other sports networks.
Along with BYU's monumental upset, Bradford's shoulder has been the most talked-about story of the young college football season.
Clawson, a senior from Wales, Utah (population: 300), watched the highlight (or lowlight if you're part of Sooner Nation) a few times on the plane ride home.
"Since then, I haven't really turned on the TV to watch it," Clawson said. "But people have told me it's been on over and over again."
Clawson admitted he has some mixed feelings about the result of his hit on Bradford.
"It's kind of the nature of the beast, I guess, playing football. I really do feel bad because he's a great player and a good person, too. I feel bad he got hurt. I hope he can get back soon. As far as our game, I think it helped us win," said Clawson, who put a couple of hard hits on Northern Iowa quarterback Pat Grace in last year's season-opener. "I love rushing the quarterback. That's what I did as a defensive end when I played at Snow College. I'm always trying to get big hits, but I'm never trying to put guys out or hurt anybody."
Though Clawson's hit on Bradford has changed Oklahoma's season, he said Sooner fans have been "classy" toward him and his family, for the most part. His wife, Breanna — who wore a T-shirt bearing Clawson's No. 41 and his name at the game — were among the Clawson clan at Cowboys Stadium.
"OU's fans were really great. They treated my family and my wife good. They were some of the most classy fans I've ever met," Clawson said. "(Family members) were in the middle of all the BYU fans, so I think they felt safe. (OU fans) even came up and congratulated us."
Some OU fans have expressed their displeasure, however. "I've had a few messages through Facebook and stuff on my e-mail," he said. "I think it was mostly sarcasm, but there was a few OU fans that told me where to go. Overall, everyone's been really classy about it."
FOCUSED: BYU quarterback Max Hall said that he and his teammates aren't taking this week's opponent, Tulane, lightly, though the Green Wave have lost nine straight games.
"We know that if we don't win games and finish the season — that was game one (against Oklahoma) and people are making a big hype about it — but we have 11 more games to go," Hall said. "If we don't win the games that we're supposed to win, then all of the sudden, it takes that win we just had and lessens the importance of it. In order to honor that win and make it worth what it really is, we've got to keep winning."
CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES: The Cougars returned home from Texas in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday and were greeted by hundreds of exuberant Cougar fans at the Provo Municipal Airport.
As for the rest of the day on Sunday, coach Bronco Mendenhall celebrated in a low-key way. He and his wife, Holly, and three sons, Cutter, Breaker and Raeder, slept in before church.
"Holly makes these great cinnamon rolls, so we had those," Mendenhall said. "We just tumbled around on the floor with the boys. It was a great night. We had s'mores (Sunday) night by the fire. It didn't feel like the season. It was really nice."
INJURY UPDATE: Linebacker Matt Bauman suffered a mild concussion against Oklahoma. He is probable for Saturday's game.
Mendenhall said he was surprised that running back Harvey Unga, who was sidelined for the season-opener due to a lingering hamstring injury, did not play.
"I really expected Harvey to play, the way he had progressed," Mendenhall said. "I really thought he'd play and play well. Maybe this is the week that this happens."
BYU on the air
BYU at Tulane
Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
TV: ESPN2 Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM
Missed the game?
BYU's big 14-13 victory over Oklahoma also will be rebroadcast in its entirety on BYU Television on Friday at 7 p.m.
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