PROVO — BYU sustained several injuries in a physical contest versus Wisconsin last Saturday. Several players left the game, including starting linebacker Spencer Hadley, who sustained an apparent knee injury early in the first quarter.
According to BYU trainer Jeff Hurst, Hadley is on the mend and could see the field in a week and a half when the Cougars take on Notre Dame. Hadley sustained a torn MCL and is considered day to day.
“Everything else looked good in the MRI, so we’re hoping he’ll progress so that we can get him on the field,” Hurst said.
Hadley will not play this week against Idaho State.
Meanwhile, receiver Mitch Mathews sustained a season-ending shoulder injury against Wisconsin. According to Hurst the damage to Mathews’ shoulder is significant and will require surgery.
Tight end Devin Mahina sustained an adductor injury and will be evaluated further to determine his status.
Offensive lineman Ryker Mathews did not travel with the team due to a neck injury, but coaches are hopeful he’ll return this week against Idaho State. Ryker Mathews has battled through two hip surgeries, but Hurst indicated his hips are doing “great.”
Despite all the injuries stemming from last week, and throughout the season, Hurst says the team is relatively healthy at this stage of the year.
“We’re decently healthy for nine games in,” Hurst said. “Knock on wood — I don’t want too jinx us or anything — but we’re not too bad in comparison to years previous.”
OPPORTUNITY LOST: Fans certainly weren't the only ones disappointed with a 27-17 loss on the road against Big Ten powerhouse Wisconsin. Players and even coach Bronco Mendenhall expressed some rare lingering disappointment stemming from the loss Monday.
“I was disappointed with the loss. (It) was a huge opportunity missed,” Mendenhall said. “It’s a hard one to shake off — not only for me, but for our team. I thought (Wisconsin) had one more drive on offense and we gave up one too many on defense.”
Overall, Mendenhall was pleased with how his team competed, but believes some mental errors held the Cougars back.
"We played really well when everyone did what they needed to do assignment-wise," Mendenhall said. "When Wisconsin moved the ball or when we didn't move the ball was because there were assignment errors. Wisconsin was more sound, and more consistent, throughout the whole game for a 10-point victory."
NOTES: Linebacker Kyle Van Noy has 26 career sacks, which is second nationally among active players. The standout senior is also a finalist or semifinalist for the Butkus, Bednarik, Lombardi and senior CLASS awards. ... Next up for BYU is a home date against Idaho State, which will be the final home game of the 2013 season. BYU defeated the Bengals 56-3 at home in 2011.
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