Is anybody else suspicious about the timing of BYU's two byes this season?

Consider these facts:- Last year, quarterback Ty Detmer admitted that his mind wasn't entirely on the game as the Cougars walloped UTEP on the opening day of the deer hunt. He said his thoughts were of a different kind of game - the kind you shoot.

- This year, the Cougars had an offseason schedule change that resulted in them playing San Diego State Sept. 22 instead of Oct. 20 - opening day of the deer hunt. That gave the team byes during the weeks that both the deer and elk hunts opened.

Could the Cougar brass have been thinking that it would be better to make sure that Detmer not have to play while distracted by Utah's wildlife? Probably not, but the timing was just too convenient to go unmentioned.

DETMER DATA: Detmer's 316 passing yards against Colorado State were his lowest total as a starter . . . His career pass efficiency of 161.2 is still ahead of Jim McMahon's NCAA record of 156.9 . . . With 82 pasing yards against New Mexico, Detmer will move ahead of Robbie Bosco and into second place on the Cougar career passing-yardage list. He needs 1,218 to pass McMahon . . . With 300-plus yards total offense against the Lobos, Detmer will pass Steve Young's NCAA career record of 18 300-plus games.

`DEFENSIVE' SECONDARY?: BYU's defensive backfield was getting a little peeved at critics before the Colorado State game, claiming that the reason they looked so bad in terms of yards given up and few interceptions is that they have played a lot of passing teams with great quarterbacks. Then they picked off five passes against the Rams, and here's some further support for their argument: Five finalists have been announced for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given annually to the nation's best senior quarterback, and three of them have been Cougar opponents - Bill Musgrave of Oregon, Craig Erickson of Miami and Dan McGwire of San Diego State. McGwire has been intercepted only twice all season, and one was a last-play-of-the-game desperation pass.

ALL-ACADEMIC: The WAC announced its All-Academic Team this week, and four BYU players made the first team. They are: senior offensive lineman Jim Balmforth, accounting major, 3.78 grade-point average; senior wide receiver Andy Boyce, advertising/public relations, 3.72; senior defensive tackle Pete Harston, sociology, 3.56; and senior nose tackle Rick Wilson, school health, 3.32. BYU second-teamers were running back Brad Clark and deep snapper Bruce Jenne. Hawaii led the WAC with five players on the first team, and every school placed at least two players.

STAT STUFF: Linebacker Alema Fitisemanu is still the Cougars' defensive points leader. Linebacker Rocky Biegel leads in tackles with 53, and tackle Rich Kaufusi has the most sacks, six . . . Matt Bellini needs 17 yards receiving to pass Phil Odle's BYU career record of 2,548 yards. He's also just five TDs away from the BYU career touchdown mark.