BYU's hopes for a successful football season are wrapped in a cast.

Quarterback Ty Detmer had his right - yes, the throwing - hand put in a cast Saturday night after the loss to Oregon.Detmer first sprained the hand against Washington State when he hit it against the helmet or shoulder pad of an opposing player while following through on a pass, according to BYU trainer George Curtis. He re-hurt the hand against San Diego State, badly enough that he didn't practice last week before the Oregon game.

"On game day he felt a lot better," Curtis said. "When he started playing it hurt him early, but once he got the adrenaline pumping it felt better."

Detmer is being given ultrasound and whirlpool treatments "and we want the joint to rest," said Curtis. "We're just trying to calm it down. Unfortunately, the injury was bad timing for us. He redid it in the (Oregon) game."

Detmer threw five interceptions against Oregon, his career high and as many as he had thrown in four previous games this season, but he downplayed the hand injury afterward.

"It was hard for him to throw a spiral," Curtis said. "He'd never use it for an excuse, but the kid was hurt. He's just tough as nails."

Curtis said the injury is a ligament sprain affecting the thumb, index and middle fingers. Plans are to keep the hand immobilized this week with the cast, which is removable for frequent treatment.

Curtis said it will be next Monday before the team knows if Detmer can throw without pain.

In five games this season, Detmer has passed for 2,197 yards and 14 touchdowns. He ranks second this week in the NCAA in total offense and fourth nationally in passing efficiency.

Detmer isn't the only banged up Cougar. Tight end Chris Smith had arthroscopic surgery Monday on a knee he injured in the season opener against UTEP and linebacker Jared Leavitt is having tests done regarding a recurring neck problem.

With the bye, Smith is expected to be able to return in time for the Colorado State game Oct. 13.