We can score points, Taysom (Hill) is really effective, so we’ll be protecting and trying to separate from our opponent, which means they’re going to be throwing it more downfield with more opportunities, and so we can focus on that the next two weeks. —BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall
PROVO — Fans of the long ball should be happy watching BYU games over the remainder of the season. At least that’s what BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall both anticipates and hopes for.
The Cougars saw their fair share of moderate to deep passes thrown against them last week versus Virginia, with too many of them going for big yardage or resulting in penalties. Mendenhall expects teams to often throw deep throughout the remainder of the season given how he expects games to mostly play out.
“What’s happening now, I think, is with the nature of our team this year is that we’ll be out in front,” Mendenhall said. “We can score points, Taysom (Hill) is really effective, so we’ll be protecting and trying to separate from our opponent, which means they’re going to be throwing it more downfield with more opportunities, and so we can focus on that the next two weeks.”
Mendenhall plans to work on two specific areas during the bye week to be able to defend the long ball more effectively.
"Right now we need to get a little more pressure on the quarterback and play the ball downfield better to protect our leads,” Mendenhall said.
The long ball certainly worked to BYU's advantage against Virginia — particularly early in the fourth quarter when Hill hit Mitchell Juergens with a 50-yard touchdown pass. During the play Hill scrambled behind the line effectively to buy time and allow Juergens to break open.
Juergen's reception, along with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Adam Hine several minutes later, brought a big smile to Mendenhall's face due to the time spent practicing both plays.
“Every practice since Day 1 of fall camp we’ve worked scramble for basically the same reason,” Mendenhall said. “We may have repped it already 1,000 times, and for it to pay off — that drill paying off, as well as our kick return to have those two things pay off was a compliment to our staff.”
COUGARS RECEIVE D-LINE COMMIT: Tevita Mounga of Vista Murrieta (California) announced on Twitter Wednesday that he committed to sign with BYU. Mounga is a 6-foot-1, 295-pound defensive tackle who is good friends with current Cougar linebacker Tyler Cook, who played for Vista Murrieta before signing with BYU in 2014.
According to rivals.com, Mounga held offers from Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Washington and Washington State at the time of his commitment to BYU.