Now that his football team has shifted back into win gear, BYU Coach LaVell Edwards would just as soon keep it rolling.
"I thought we made good use of the time off last week," he said, referring to the team's bye a week ago Saturday. "We got healthy and we worked hard on our execution."But I'd rather keep going now."
He doesn't get a choice, however. His team gets another Saturday off this week, returning to action Oct. 27 vs. New Mexico at Cougar Stadium. It's probably more time than the Cougars need to prepare for the Lobos, although it would be a mistake to take New Mexico for granted. The Lobos played Wyoming tough in Laramie this past Saturday before losing 25-22 on a fourth-quarter field goal.
And while Edwards may be sorry to see another bye week, quarterback Ty Detmer isn't. The deer hunt opens this week, and if given a choice, Detmer might tell you that he'd rather hunt than play football.
By the way, Detmer said his hand felt great Saturday, and the stats seem to back him up. He even may have been throwing harder than usual, considering the way his receivers kept dropping balls.
Against CSU, though, receivers weren't the story. It was BYU's running game that made the big difference, churning up enough ground to keep the Ram defense from concentrating solely on the pass - and pass rush.
"The run attack is something we've been working on all year long," Edwards said. "We were embarrassed by our performance at Oregon (with the run)."
"We kind of got away from the running game the last couple of games," fullback Peter Tuipulotu said. "And it showed in the Oregon game."
Edwards said that the team practices running plays probably two or three times as much as passing plays, and that they always go into games intending to make it a major part of the offense.
"Then if it works we stay with it, and if not we throw a little more and come back to it," the coach explained.
"If the running game is working it makes it a lot easier for Ty, it keeps the pressure off him," Tuipulotu said. "These next couple of games we're going to emphasize running."
The next couple of games means New Mexico and Air Force, teams ranked third and first in the WAC, respectively, against the run. If the Cougars can run against them, they should be able to run against any of the other teams left on the schedule.
If nothing else, the two weeks off will give the Cougars time for injuries to heal. Cornerback Tony Crutchfield continues to suffer from tendinitis in one knee, and missed part of the CSU game, and safety Norm Dixon hurt his Achilles heel in practice before the Ram game and also sat out for a while Saturday.
On the brighter side of the injury situation, linebacker Scott Giles, replacing the injured Jared Leavitt in the starting lineup, led the team in tackles against CSU with six.