PROVO — BYU senior right tackle Braden Brown can't help think about the Poinsettia Bowl being his final college game.
But at the same time, he is focused on preparing for San Diego State.
"I definitely think about how it's my last game as a BYU Cougar. It's crazy how fast it's gone by," said Brown, who joined the program in 2008. "That's in my mind. It's a bowl game, but we have to prepare like it's any other game during the season. I think (San Diego State) is going to be hungry and we have to come out hungrier. This game's personal. I don't think they like us very much. They're going to come out and give us a dogfight. We're playing a tough opponent. We have to be ready to play good football. It's four or five weeks since we played our last game. We've got to practice well and get ready to play a tough opponent."
Brown knows that San Diego State considers BYU a rival, and that the Cougars will need to match the Aztecs' intensity.
"They're coached to be physical, to smack you in the mouth," he said. "They're going to come in with the mindset that they can outplay and out-tough their opponents. We need to come in with the mindset that we're not going to let that happen."
INJURY UPDATE: Running back Michael Alisa, who suffered an arm injury against Hawaii on Sept. 28, is back practicing again.
"Mike (Alisa) came out and ran around a little bit," Mendenhall said. "He's still a ways off, but it was good to see him running around a little bit."
Offensive coordinator Brandon Doman said Alisa was tentative on Monday, but looked "significantly better" on Tuesday. "We'll see how he does each day. If he can be Michael Alisa, then he'll help us a lot," Doman said.
Meanwhile, senior center Braden Hansen (groin injury) is listed as day-to-day. Mendenhall called Hansen "the biggest question mark" of his team's injured players.
NOT THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE: BYU's bowl practices are geared toward beating San Diego State, not preparing for next season.3 comments on this story
"Not a whole lot of effort placed on next year," Doman said. "Hopefully the plan, what we do and some of the things we put together can have an impact on next year, but as far as focusing on giving reps to young guys, there are plenty of young guys getting reps for next year already, so we don't need to worry about it."
UNLUCKY: According to an article on ESPN.com, BYU is among the "unluckiest" teams in college football this season.
The Cougars posted a 1-4 record in games decided by six points or less, including a 17-14 setback at undefeated Notre Dame.