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Bronco downright giddy about BYU future

During a post-practice media session on Tuesday, Bronco Mendenhall seemed downright giddy about the immediate future of BYU football.

For one, Bronco really likes his revamped coaching staff that includes off-season hires Ben Cahoun (wide receivers), Joe DuPaix (running backs), and the promotion of Brandon Doman to offensive coordinator.

Mendenhall said, “I’ve had more fun in the past month and half or 2 months than I’ve ever had here in 6 years.  They are so much fun.  They (coaching staff) are optimistic, realistic, positive, they have a ton of energy, the players love them.  They are just great staff members.  For where we are to this point, I really like where we are.”

Doman, who was promoted to offensive coordinator and will call the plays, hyped the Cougars’ defense.

Doman explained, “They are really good. It is the best defense I have seen BYU have in maybe 10 years. They are talented, they have a ton of depth. They are big up front. We've added some depth to the defensive line, and some real size and athleticism up there that we have not had in a long time.”

“Then we have added some core linebackers that can play. We have had a couple of position changes. One of the guys I am most impressed with right now is Mike Hague. He moved from running back to strong safety. He is doing a fantastic job. They have added some depth over there that is going to make them really good."

When asked if the 2011 team will be the most talented during his 7-year tenure in Provo, Mendenhall responded, "Mmmm. ... I like our chances."

Even quarterback Jake Heaps admitted, “It's a totally different vibe as a team."

BYU faces a tough early season schedule that includes at Ole Miss, at Texas, Utah, and UCF.  In late October, the Cougars will play TCU on a Friday night at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX.




Kevin Wilson: Here's what I'm looking for from our starting QB...

Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson expects to play a number of true freshman and says his starting quarterback will absolutely earn the position.

On Tuesday, Wilson said, “Our plan is to play as many freshmen as we can.  From watching some of our guys, I would hope some of our freshmen are better than the guys we have on our team.  So I’m counting on a bunch of our freshman playing.”

“We are not a mentally tough team.  I think physically, we can go out there and run, but we get tired a little too quick when we practice.”

Is there a time when you want to name a quarterback?

“We had a guy a couple of years ago.  What was his name?  … BRADFORD.   We didn’t name him until 10 days before the first game.  We wanted to name him a couple of weeks before, but he had bad scrimmages.  So he hadn’t separated himself and we were waiting for him to earn the job.  It just took time.”

“It’s not like we gotta have a guy with ‘Win One For the Gipper’ speeches.  We are a no huddle team, so it’s not like he’s talking like he’s in the huddle and he’s Bart Starr…giving the great speech or something.”

“He’s just the guy speaking the plays, playing the offense.  In the summer, it will be interesting to see who can be the guy that chases the players around and gets them here for voluntary workouts because the players have to do that.  The good teams have great attendance.  And the players make players come.  One of the attributes of the starting quarterback will be to get guys to come follow him and come practice with him.”

 




Al Borges clears up a few things for Michigan fans

Michigan offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Al Borges cleared up a few things for the Wolverines’ fans this week. 

In short, Michigan will not operate out of 21 and 22 personnel every play and run “The Power” 14 times a game. 

Borges explained, "We're not a spread team, but you're going to see we are in three and four wides a lot now. Since I've been here, I think this is a perception that has been kind of inaccurate is that we're going to line up two backs under center.” 

"Watch our teams play where I've coached. We just don't do that. That's part of our offense that wasn't part of their offense (under Rodriguez) so that is different, but you'll see as much shotgun as you'll see from any NFL team. You'll see different variations of home-position running with the tight end in motion and stuff, so we do use three and four receives and we use them significantly." 

One of the challenges for Borges is developing the footwork and mechanics of Denard Robinson.  Borges said, “Footwork is about 80% of the position.” 

In a separate interview, Borges said, “I don’t want to make it sound like they haven’t been tough here.  I think they ran the ball and did some good stuff.  It’s just a different style that we play.  And we have an expectation within that style.” 

Any pressure to succeed immediately?

Borges said, “There is pressure to succeed if you have talent.  There is pressure to succeed if you don’t have talent.  There’s pressure to succeed, period.  That’s part of the job.”

Michigan opens with five consecutive home games against Western Michigan, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State, and Minnesota.




Tuberville talks challenges, likely to start 7 true freshman

On Tuesday, Tommy Tuberville explained to a crowd of Texas Tech fans that his team still has a long way to go.  Tubs pointed out to his supporters exactly what his team had to overcome last year.  He also talked about the immediate challenges for this year’s team.

According to the Midland-Reporter Telegram, Tuberville stated, “It's still a growing experience. We're not close to being the team we need to be to win the conference. We're going to have the capabilities of beating anybody, but being able to put things back to back is going to be difficult because we'll probably start six or seven true freshmen on this football team."

"Our entire recruiting class this year was based on offensive and defensive linemen and speed at receiver, running back, linebackers and on defense. We don't have much. It was tough this past year. Everything that we earned, we had to earn it the hard way with long drives. We had very little big-play capabilities.”

Of course, Tubs knows his team has to become more physical at the line of scrimmage.

"We've got to get more physical in terms of third and short, in the red zone, goal line and that will help us defensively. We weren't nearly as physical enough defensively to stop some of the teams like Oklahoma, which ran the ball right at us and we couldn't stop them."

The Red Raiders have fininished spring practice.  We didn't even know it started and we certainly can't remember a Tommy Tuberville led team talked so little about in the off-season.

Texas Tech opens with Texas State.  Following an open date, the next three games are at New Mexico, Nevada, at Kansas.

 





Al Golden: Here's how I want the depth chart set...

After having a couple of days to digest the film of Saturday’s scrimmage, Al Golden shared his thoughts today.

Summarizing the scrimmage, Golden said, “No turnovers in 111 plays, so that was good for the offense, obviously not as good for the defense. Overall, we are not in condition that we need to be.  We don’t play at the type of tempo we need to play at.  Clearly, not the type of energy we need to play at…too much of the survival type mode.”

Golden added, “That is the challenge for us this week.  Can we prepare? Can we play with Miami toughness and will we start to play with energy and passion?”

“I want the depth chart to reflect performance, not potential.  A lot of coaches get fired based on waiting for someone with potential to develop.”

“We have to get more ownership from the units and positions.”

In an interesting statement, Golden told SI.com writer Andy Staples earlier in the week, "I know this -- we have a better chance of filling our stadium than Gainesville has of putting an international city right outside its city limits. The expectations here are high, but if you're a coach, you want to be associated with a program that believes in winning national championships. That's what fuels us as a staff right now -- the yearning, coming to work every day knowing there's something absent."

 




Lane Kiffin talks about legitimate NFL players and slappys

Following Tuesday morning’s practice, Lane Kiffin talked about his biggest concerns heading into the Fall.

Alright, he didn't use the word "slappys," but Kiffin explained, “We do have some star players, some legitimate NFL star players, but there is such a game between those guys and not just the bottom of the roster but some of the lower starters even.”

“Right now, we wouldn’t be a very good team if we were playing.  We have some really good players, but we wouldn’t be able to put it all together because where the numbers are at.  It will be exciting in the Fall for all the new guys coming in.”

“(In the Fall) 24 new guys, plus a bunch of these injured guys coming back…we have a whole lot of work to develop into a team.”

“Nick Perry (DE) is a really good player and ran a 4.6 this offseason.  Two of our defensive ends ran faster than two of our tailbacks.  It’s pretty neat thing to have on that side of the ball.”

“The biggest question mark we haven’t answered yet is the offensive line right now.  We have one legitimate college player playing there right now.”

 




Video: Western Kentucky coaches play an April fool's prank

Willie Taggart, one of the most positive and enthusiastic head coaches in the country, agreed to go along with a little April fool’s joke during pre-practice the other day.

This morning, we received the video and it’s pretty funny.

Dooley would likely have a heart attack.  

At this point, Willie T is the only known coach to fringe upon Pete Carroll’s original idea to video a prank, stunt, or April fool’s joke and then upload it to YouTube.

This one is pretty darn funny, so we’ll give props to the person that came up with the idea.  As you can tell, it drew a funny reaction from several players.

If this doesn’t make you laugh, please push in your keyboard and call it day because you're definitely not in a good mood.  

Here's the evidence:

 




Chip Kelly says Oregon has broken a new practice record

It’s official.  Chip Kelly says the Ducks have broken a new University of Oregon record.

Following Monday’s practice, Kelly told a reporter, “I know Saturday’s practice was the most reps we’ve ever had in the history of the University of Oregon, despite you said we were going slow.  We were pretty close (again) today.”

So coach, are you adding anything new?  This is an experimental time, isn’t it?

Kelly responded bluntly, “No.  We don’t have an experimental time.  We practice.  We are running our offense.  We decide what we’re running and we run it. We put it in during the first five days and by then we’ll start refining it.”

College football is back.  It’s only the second week of spring practice in Eugene and Chip Kelly is in mid-season form. Beautiful.

Oregon vs. LSU is only 152 days away.

In other pace related news, Kevin Sumlin says Houston scrimmaged 100 plays in under an hour on Saturday.  Think about that.  Meanwhile, Rick Stockstill says MTSU got in 154 plays in just under 2 hours.

Meanwhile, we heard the GA's at one SEC program threw back a case of Bud heavy in just over an hour on Saturday night. 

UPDATE: We have received information from a loyal viewer that says Chip Kelly needs to watch the film of the third practice of 1978 spring ball under Rich Brooks.  A lot of reps there, we're told.  It could be close.