Walking Wounded

Immediately after the Cougars removed their claws from the jugular of a hapless Aggie squad on Saturday, the team began preparing for the biggest game of their season against defending conference champion TCU. Unfortunately for BYU, the team has to prepare without several key starters because the injury bug continues to bother the team.

Jake Kuresa was already suffering from a minor knee injury before he was switched to center. The versatile lineman was only out onto the field for a quarter of play at his new position when he re-aggravated the ailment. Although Kuresa did not participate in today's practice or drills, he was suited up and walking around without a visible limp.

"I'm good," said Kuresa walking off the practice field. "I just kind of tweaked my knee during the game, but I should be good to go for TCU."

Kuresa walked towards the locker room with tight end Vic So'oto who just came off knee surgery yesterday.

"This is the first time I've ever had tape on my knee," smiled So'oto looking down at the small Band-Aids. "I just had surgery on it, and it's a little sore right now."

So'oto will redshirt this year and have three years to play.

During the Utah State game, an Aggie offensive player shoved Quinn Gooch into senior cornerback Justin Robinson. The late his was flagged, but Robinson had to be helped off the field by trainers. Robinson did not participate in today's practice, but said he would be ready to go against TCU.

"Somebody pushed Gooch into me and it was a late hit," said Robinson. "I just sprained my MCL and the plan was just to rest it up. I'm about to go into rehab right now, and I should be out here tomorrow. It's just a little stiff right now, and that's about it."

So will BYU fans see Robinson suited up against TCU?

"Oh, I'll be out there," Robinson said. "I guarantee I'll be out there for the game, guaranteed."

BYU will need Robinson to get over what little bumps and bruises he may have so that he can help contain the TCU passing attack. Robinson hopes to bring the success he had against the Aggies down to Fort Worth, Texas.

"It felt good to get that pick," smiled Robinson. "It's been awhile since I had one but that did feel good. I gotta get more because I'm not satisfied with just one."

During the Boston College game, fullback Manase Tonga also suffered a minor injury. BYU coaches felt it would be better for him to sit out most of the Utah State game to protect him from further injury heading towards TCU.

"It was a mutual decision," Tonga said. "I got pretty banged up during the Boston College game. I had an MCL sprain and during the week it was pretty bruised up bad, but I was ready to go on Saturday. It's nothing against Utah State, but the coaches felt it would be better for me to sit it out.

Tonga was suited up for today's practice and participated in today's scrimmage and drills.

"I feel about 150 percent," smiled Tonga. "I'm ready to play tomorrow."

Tonga's injury did not seem to slow him down much in practice today. He carried the ball and caught passes out of the backfield.

Also recovering from a leg injury was Andrew George. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound freshman ran well during today's scrimmage but feels he still needs a little more time to get his full strength back.

"My knee is feeling good, but it still gets fatigued pretty easy," said George. "I haven't really had time to rest because I had to get back really quick and get going. It was a little set back for me, and it came at a bad time. I had a torn meniscus when I was in high school. They basically went in and cleaned it up a little bit. I just need to rest and do a little rehab and that's about it. Vic So'oto has a similar one but his was a lateral tear which is a little more of a recovery. It was just bad timing for me, but hopefully I'll get back out on the field here soon."

George redshirted last year and feels that he is getting himself back to where he can start to contribute if he is called upon to do so.

"I redshirted last year, but I'm here if they need me," said George. "I still have a little bandage on it now for this year, but I'm ready to go in if they need me to go in. It's really up to coaches right now, but I feel I can play and feel ready if they need me."

After suffering a leg injury himself during the fourth quarter of the Boston College game, quarterback John Beck was back out on the field running the first team offense.

"I really wanted to play this past week," Beck said. "The coaches came up to me and said, ‘What are your chances of playing.' I just said I think it's really good. I tried to come out last Thursday to run around hoping to feel better where I could go to the coaches and say, ‘Put me in because I'm ready to go.' Coach Mendenhall came up to me and said he felt it was in the best interest that I just rest. He said they were going to have me there on the sidelines just in case something goes wrong. If Jason were to get injured in that game, then I would have gone in, but Jason did well in the game, and there was no need to put me in for Utah State."

John Beck feels he will be ready to go when the Cougars roll into Fort Worth on Thursday.

"It's pretty similar to how Tulsa plays in some of the coverage's that they do," said Beck. "The fact that we've already played them and we lost to them by one point, because it was a tough game, how they run their defense kind of stays in your mind. I think if we prepare well during practice even though it is a short week we should be fine. We have guys that are seniors and have game experience and that helps in a shortened week."

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