Wednesday's Bye Week Preparation

In what should have been a typical Wednesday practice where the offense and defense scrimmage in preparation for the following Saturday's game, the Cougars fully turned their attention to CSU and used practice as a typical Monday practice.

Monday's practice is generally the time when coaches like to throw things in and experiment in order to prepare a better game plan for their next opponent. With the unexpected bye week due to the wildfires in San Diego this week, the coaches treated Wednesday as a typical Monday practice and began preparing for CSU.

"Today was just a day to kind of get a feel for what Colorado State is going to throw at us," said outside linebacker Chris Bolden. "We already kind of have an idea, but I think Coach Mendenhall wanted us to see and go through the plays in person to see how they run things."

The day's preparation started off with every position group meeting separately with their position coaches.

"How much film you watch or what you do is basically up to that position coach," said Bolden. "It's basically up to them how much film we watch or how in-depth we go into evaluating each team we face. What we did as an outside linebackers group is take a look at their favorite plays, their personnel and kind of what we expect them to throw at us."

The individual groups then gather together on the field, having a better understanding of those they will face during the game. The coaches then begin revising a game plan using the scout teams during practice.

"Basically we just got a head start on Colorado State," Bolden said. "What CSU is doing is they're getting ready for Utah, so we just took this opportunity to get ready for them instead of just wasting time. It was basically a Monday's practice where we don't go as long and we don't hit or anything and just have our thud pads on. It's still the same mindset to focus, but we just don't hit on a Monday practice."

Colorado State just came off their first win of the season last Saturday, beating UNLV 48-23. The Rams have struggled this season in what has been a down year for the Rams. Still, the Cougars will take this extra time and use it to their advantage.

"It's just that we might as well take advantage of it while we have it," said Bolden. "I'm sure if Colorado State had the same opportunity that we have, they would do the same thing. For us as individual players, we're going to use the time to further improve our abilities. As for me personally, I want to try and get better in every way, whether it's a bye week or not."

The Cougars as a whole are relatively healthy this deep into the season. Often times coaches will allow players to use the extra time to get themselves back into better physical conditioning. Other than a few key players such as Dallas Reynolds, who is still nursing a minor ankle injury, and Harvey Unga, who didn't participate in Wednesday's practice, the Cougars are in good shape.

"We're pretty much healthy except for a few key people," Bolden said. "So we're going pretty well as a team in that regards, but we're just pretty much using the time to take advantage of what we have to prepare for Colorado State."


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