"Well, things are day by day pretty much, but I think my knee is feeling better and better every day," Pendleton said. "I was going to try and come back this week but I think that might be pushing it a little close. With knee injuries you don't want to come back too soon and you want to give them time to heal, so hopefully after the bye week is when I'll first be back."
The injury occurred during the third quarter of the Utah State game.
"I was just trying to get off my block and my cleat just kind of got stuck in the turf and my knee popped."
Pendleton was expected to miss anywhere from two-to-six weeks, and this week will be his third week since the injury first occurred. Fortunately, he is making progress.
"It's feeling better and I'm going to try and run here tonight underwater and see how that goes," Pendleton said on Tuesday. "If that feels good then I can start running outside in a brace and see how that feels, but once I can start cutting on it and running and not have it bother me, I'll be back. Right now I just don't have an idea when I'll be able to practice."
Pendleton expressed optimism about returning after BYU's bye week.
"I think during the bye week – you know, since we don't have a game – I'll probably stay off of it a lot. I'll still kind of run and get back into shape because I haven't done much these past two weeks. Then after that week going into the next game I should be able to start practicing and play that week."
Coach Mendenhall took over as the defensive coordinator just after the Utah State game, so Pendleton has yet to play under him and is overly anxious to do so.
"First of all, I'm jealous because we're bringing a lot of pressure and I want to be in there," said Pendleton jokingly. "No, they've really just bought into Coach Mendenhall and what he's trying to coach and accomplish. It just looks fun, you know. They're all running and playing crazy and they're having fun. They've played really well these past couple of weeks, and so I'm just really pretty much jealous and just want to get out there."
As has been discussed in the media or on internet message boards, there was a bit of a strain in the relationship between Pendleton and Coach Hill at times. However, he said he likes Coach Mendenhall's approach to leading the defense.
"I'm pumped," Pendleton said. "I just like the attitude [Coach Mendenhall] brings. It's a lot different and I think a lot of players want to play for him more and respect him more. You know, he cares about each and every one of us a lot more and so it's easier to play hard for a guy like that."
Since Pendleton has been on the mend, true freshman Kyle Van Noy has been moved to his position. Against San Diego State, Van Noy recorded his first sack as a Cougar.
"I was happy for him, but at the same time I was thinking that should have been me," Pendleton said with a smile. "There was a little jealousy there, but I was really happy for him. I'm just happy that him and Jadon [Wagner] have been playing; they've been playing well for one. Kyle didn't know the Sam position and has kind of been learning as he's been going. He's been doing really well."
As an experienced upperclassmen, Pendleton been able to help guide Van Noy.
"Yeah, all during fall camp I've been able to watch film with him and help him out," Pendleton said. "I just give him any advice that he wants. You know, if he comes with me with any information that he wants, I'm more than glad to help him out. It's the same with any of the other guys."
So can it be said that Pendleton is happy with the way Van Noy has filled the shoes of number one out there on the field?
"Absolutely, but I'll be back," Pendleton said with a laugh. "I will be back, so he doesn't need to fill them too long."