Terenn Houk was turning in another good performance against the Spartans of San Jose State. However, as the game wore on his absence from the field became noticeable for BYU. It would turn out that he sustained a concussion and wouldn’t return. Today, he’s still going through concussion protocol to see when he can return.
“I’m good. I’m just following concussion protocol with the trainers and trying to get healthy,” said Houk.
He felt ready to go for last week’s contest against Missouri but was still held out for precautionary reasons. He hopes this week he’ll get the green light to play.
“I want to be,” Houk said. “I wanted to play in Missouri but it’s their final say, so if they don’t want me to go and think I still have symptoms then they’ll probably hold me out, but my goal is to play.”
So in the meantime, Houk has been practicing every day as though it were a normal practice, with the exception of contact, this week in preparation for a hopeful return to the field if called upon.
“They’ve got me just doing a lot of non-contact stuff,” Houk said. “They have me doing a lot of sprinting and running around and sprinting and just running around but no hitting. They’re trying to have me rest my head as much as possible.”
Feeling as though he could play during the Missouri game but not allowed to was frustrating for Houk. To see the offense struggle feeling as though he could make a difference was agonizing for him.
“It was really frustrating for me. Especially to see our offense struggle,” said Houk. “I don’t know, it was one thing when Missouri was an option and I could possibly play and then scouting them, seeing how their defense works, and mentally preparing for them to being told, ‘Yeah, you can’t play.’ Then not being able to travel and be with my teammates was really hard. It’s my senior year, and I only get so many chances to even suit up in BYU stuff so, yeah, it was really hard.”
Against Missouri the Cougar offense struggled to find its rhythm. Houk’s ability to get open over the middle often helped establish that rhythm early on in games. His size and ability to get open was sorely missed.
“I mean, yeah, I guess I bring that to the table, but I know that Colby and Mitchell Juergens are playmakers too,” Houk said. “We just have to find ways to get them the ball. I know that I should be out there, but we still have amazing players that can make our offense work.”
As a senior who will be honored following the game, Houk will come into his final home game at LaVell Edwards Stadium uncertain if he’ll even take the field. This thought is a difficult and trying one for him to even ponder.
“It’s hard,” he said. “I mean but I can only imagine what it’s like for guys like Taysom [Hill], but I just try and put it into perspective. I can still practice, put on cleats, and go out there and practice. It’s all about perspective and even if I don’t get to play I’ve had a good season so far and that’s all I really wanted coming into my senior year. If I get to play it’s about being ready to step up and play.”
In reflection, Houk knows he’s done well with his time at BYU. He’s contributed and made a difference for the team over the course of his junior and senior seasons. He’s grateful for the time that he’s had to don the blue and white.
“I’m just thankful,” said Houk. “There’s always room to grow and every game I wanted to do better than the last, but I feel like I did do a really good job of contributing and being a playmaker for this team. That’s all I really wanted to do was be a role player and a leader in the way I play.”
Whether Houk plays or not is still up in the air. However, whether he makes one final catch in LaVell Edwards Stadium pales to another last milestone he hopes the team achieves, and that’s one final win to go perfect at home this season.
“That would be awesome!” Houk said. “Bronco, he’s our coach and we want to do everything to make him happy. One of his goals was to get 10 wins and remain unbeaten at home. That dream and that goal is still alive. He talks about getting number eight and we have a chance to do that on Saturday.”
In speaking of milestones, there is another Houk really hopes, along with his fellow Cougars, happens this Saturday. That hope is that fellow senior wide receiver Devon Blackmon records his first BYU touchdown.
“Oh it’s going to be crazy,” said Houk. “We might get a penalty called because the whole team is going to be on the field. That’s a guy that is so happy and so energetic, and we just want to see him get one, you know? If he finally gets into the end zone people are going to lose their mind. I’m sure they’ll lose their mind.”