The BYU football team arrived in Anaheim Christmas Night to begin final preparations for Thursday's Freedom Bowl matchup with the University of Colorado.
The Cougars will practice Monday and Tuesday and hold a light workout Wednesday, all at Cerritos Junior College. They also have planned the usual schedule of bowl-type activities. Among other things, they will visit Disneyland and Knottsberry Farm.Colorado, 8-3 and ranked 20th nationally, arrived in Anaheim Dec. 23. The Buffaloes are rated slight favorites in Thursday's game. The BYU-CU matchup will mark the second appearance in the Freedom Bowl for both teams during the past three years.
The game will begin at 7 p.m. MST and will be televised live on the Mizlou network.
After playing their regular-season finale against Miami Dec. 3, the Cougars took a two-week break to prepare for final exams. They resumed practices Dec. 17, and held three two-a-day practices, but only once were they able to practice outdoors. They took another four-day break, beginning last Thursday, this time for Christmas.
"Our practices have gone very well," says BYU head coach LaVell Edwards, whose team lost three of its last four games to finish the regular season 8-4.
The quarterback situation is still uncertain. Sean Covey, the starter, was relieved by freshman Ty Detmer in the last two games and, following the Miami game, Edwards said he would reevaluate the situation. "We probably won't decide until game time," Edwards said.
Quarterback coach Norm Chow says, "I don't anticipate any change."
Perhaps the only change in BYU's lineup will be the absence of Rodney Rice, the team's all-conference cornerback who will be sidelined with a broken arm. He'll be replaced by sophomore Brian Mitchell, who produced four interceptions in a reserve role this season.
However, defensive linemen Tim Knight and Tim Clark appear to be fit to play in the Freedom Bowl after struggling with injuries late in the regular season.
"We're in better shape now than at any time in the last month," said Edwards.