Cougar Conversations: It's Payback Time!

Dallas Reynolds, Daniel Coats, Hala Paongo, David Oswald, and Michael Reed were all part of the 2005 Cougar football team that suffered a humiliating 31-10 loss at the hands of the San Diego State. TBS spoke with these athletes about settling the score with San Diego State in today's grudge match. This year, BYU is mentally prepared so there will not be another meltdown.

Dallas Reynolds / Sophomore / Offensive Tackle

Daniel Coats / Redshirt Senior / Tight End

Hala Paongo / Redshirt Senior / Defensive Tackle

Cougar Conversations have become a constant on Total Blue Sports. But the audio interviews only work when the recorder can talk to a computer. Lacking the technology, Scotten Whaley was forced to transcribe his interviews with David Oswald and Michael Reed.

David Oswald / Redshirt Sophomore / Offensive Tackle

TBS: David, you've gone from watching on the sideline to playing a significant role on offense. How has your mindset changed in last two weeks?

DO: I think the main thing is just how I practice. Before, I always practiced hard, but now, I really focus. Every rep I mess up or everything I do wrong, I know that's something that could happen in the game. So I focus a lot more in practice.

TBS: Have you had to adjust to the difference in speed from practice to the game?

DO: Kind of, because we do much more stuff against the scout team out here and the speed rushers from TCU, it's just getting that edge. So definitely we're doing stuff faster.

TBS: How is Eddie Keele still helping?

DO: Eddie's around. He's been to most of the practices. He is still coaching us up, giving us pointers and tips and supporting us.

TBS: What was it like to play against TCU?

DO: It was fun. We got to play against good players. When our offense was doing that well, just marching down the field, it's always a great feeling getting in that end zone every time we were down the red zone I think. They were definitely faster than Utah State the week before. I thought I did pretty well.

TBS: What does San Diego State do well on defense?

DO: They also have a really good defensive group. They're tall. They've got long arms. They're fast. So I've just got to keep my technique. I keep working on it every day.

TBS: Which do you like more – run or pass blocking?

DO: That's hard to say. I used to like pass blocking more, but I think that was because I wasn't a good run blocker. I was too small and weak.

TBS: What were Coach Mendenhall's first words to the team the Monday after the TCU win?

DO: That it was time to focus on San Diego State and that we have to focus on one game at a time. That it was a great start to our conference play but we have to focus on the other game coming. We all remember last year and going down there, that was a really bad feeling.

TBS: What was the last movie you saw?

DO: This is embarrassing, The Devil Wears Prada. My wife made me go to it.

TBS: Are you a fan of the TV show "LOST"?

DO: I've never seen LOST. One of my friends was telling me he watched eight straight episodes yesterday to get caught up.

TBS: If you had a beard card like Sete (Aulai) while at BYU, what kind of facial hair would you have?

DO: A full beard, kind of short or nothing.

Michael Reed / Redshirt Sophomore / Wide receiver

TBS: How was it being back in Texas?

MR: It was a great feeling. I thank the Lord that my family and friends were able to make it. We came into an environment that was hard to play in, we were playing against a nationally ranked team and to come out with a win… it was a good day.

TBS: How many friends and family did you have in attendance?

MR: I had 42 in all. I had to get those tickets a month early. I had to start asking all the other players and they were kind enough to give me some of their tickets.

TBS: Tell me about your 40-yard touchdown catch?

MR: John called the play out, he gave me one run, but I waved it off. I told him I felt like I could beat the guy. So he gave me that eye-contact back which to told me the ball's coming to me if I want to call this route off. He threw a perfect ball and it was up to me to catch the ball and get it in the end zone.

TBS: You went down after the score, what happened?

MR: Well as I was turning I came over on that same ankle, as I was getting up I came up on that same ankle and I came up too fast and I tweaked it a little more. It's nothing I can't get over. My therapy's going great. I'm in therapy every day so it's helping it.

TBS: Before the game, the quarterbacks and wide receivers had group film study session. Did that help?

MR: Oh yes, without a doubt. We were able to sit down with the quarterbacks and figure out if they're going to play this coverage we need to know to do this. We were studying, and we got a lot done. That ‘s something we're going to do the rest of the year.

TBS: What does San Diego State do well defensively?

MR: They really have a lot of team speed on their defense. They have a pretty good secondary. As you know we lost 31-10 last year, and this defense is the same as last year. Those guys are a good group of guys, they play some tough teams. They stuck with Wisconsin the whole game. It's our job to go out to LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday and just start fast and finish this game. If we give them any doubt that we can't win, they'll stick around and that's not good for us.

TBS: What can you exploit?

MR: We're just going to take what they can give us. On film they tend to mix it up a little bit. They try to disguise—they don't want you to know what they're doing, so we'll just take what they give us. If it's underneath, we're going to take it with the running game. We'll just take what the defense gives us.

TBS: Are practices easier now than they were back in August?

MR: No, they haven't changed. We're out here half the day, but the intensity is still the same.

TBS: Do you take pride in your run blocking ability?

MR: Yes. As a receiver, I couldn't call myself a receiver if I couldn't do everything. An all-around receiver should be able to catch the ball, block, and throw the ball if he has to. It's a part of my game to be an all around receiver.

TBS: Did you stay down in Texas after the game?

MR: No sir I didn't. I came back with the team. Hopefully I'll get to see my family real soon.

TBS: Do you have any plans for bye-week?

MR: Yes sir, I plan to go back home.

TBS: What were Coach Mendenhall's first words to the team the Monday after the TCU win?

MR: On Monday, he said that game is behind us. We have a new opponent in the Aztecs and a new coaching staff, but the same players, the same players as last year who beat us. So we have to forget about that win and look onto this weekend.

TBS: What are two keys to a Cougar win? MR: Two keys: no penalties, and we don't kill ourselves by getting in the blue zone and not scoring.

TBS: What was the last movie you saw?

MR: Scarface

TBS: If you had a beard card like Sete, what kind of facial hair would you have?

MR: I would have a goatee


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