PROVO — Suddenly, BYU has its second bye week in October.

With the postponement of Saturday's game until Dec. 1 due to the wildfires ravaging Southern California, the Cougars are in bye-week mode. They practiced Wednesday and will hold another practice today before taking the weekend off.

BYU is already preparing for its next game on Nov. 3 at home against Colorado State. The Rams, who earned their first win of the season last week at UNLV, host Utah Saturday.

"We're just going to focus on what we're doing, focus on our execution and work on doing things better," said quarterback Max Hall. "We need to get better at what we do and this will be a time to get ready for Colorado State."

The Cougars had their regularly scheduled bye week the first week of October between the New Mexico and UNLV games.

BYU will take advantage of the unexpected break to rest from lingering injuries.

"This gives us a chance to heal," said Hall. "(Wide receiver) Matt Allen has a sprained ankle and I think he could have played this week if there had been a game. (Receiver) Austin (Collie) is nearly back all the way."

HILL'S VIEW: BYU cornerbacks coach Jaime Hill is a native of San Diego and has family that lives in the area. Obviously, he has deep concern for the tragic events happening in Southern California.

"My parents passed away recently but I have two brothers down there and I've talked to them and they are OK," Hill said. "They live in an area that is in the way and where the fire is headed. You can see the hills burning from where they live. I was looking forward to going home to San Diego this week, definitely. I'm more looking forward to people being healthy and safe right now."

VENUE CHANGE? Moving Saturday's game from San Diego to Provo was considered and discussed, said Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson. However, the league did not want to give one team a competitive advantage with five conference home games.

"That's much of the reason we went to nine members to get back to the 4-4 home balance," Thompson said.

LAST POSTPONEMENT: This marks the first time a BYU football game has been postponed since 2001. The Cougars were scheduled to visit Mississippi State on Sept. 15, but because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the game was almost canceled. After a couple of weeks of brokering, the game was moved, coincidentally, to Dec. 1, 2001.

Hawaii and BYU had been scheduled to meet on Dec. 1 that season in Honolulu, but that game was pushed back one week so the Cougars and Bulldogs could play each other.

BYU defeated Mississippi State, 41-38, to improve to 12-0 that season. However, the Cougars' perfect season was wrecked the following week at Hawaii, 72-45.

TICKET INFORMATION: As a result of the postponement of Saturday's game, the BYU ticket office is offering a refund for fans who purchased tickets but will be unable to attend the game on Dec. 1.

For fans who plan to attend the game on Dec. 1, tickets for the Oct. 27 game will be honored at Qualcomm Stadium. For more information, contact or call the ticket office at (801) 422-BYU1.

E-mail: [email protected]

Contributing: Dick Harmon