Just the Next Game

Despite the next opponent being against their chief rival, BYU players are looking at this week's matchup against Utah as just the next game on their schedule. In doing so, they're taking on the mentality of their head coach in keeping an even temperament and steady focus week in and week out, regardless of who the opponent may be.

The BYU vs. Utah rivalry is a very intense rivalry that sees fans of each side of the ball talk trash and become very emotionally invested in the outcome. Despite the emotional investment fans may put forth, one would never be able to take note of it attending practices down in Provo this week as the Cougars prep for their big in-state rival.

"It's just our next opponent," said offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds. "I know that a lot of fans get up for this game and we'll be up for it as well, but we're up for every game. We just have to look at it as our next opponent that we have to get ready for, and we'll be fine."

Reynolds is not unique in his sentiment regarding this weekend's matchup against Utah. Indeed. you could give the same quote Reynolds gave above, put in any player on the roster's name with the quote, and be pretty darn accurate to within a few words.

The Cougar players are marching in a straight line, which is very much following the straight line set forth by their head coach Bronco Mendenhall. A good head coach is able to mold his team into his personality and his focus. If this week is any example, Mendenhall is doing a pretty decent job of translating his focus and personality on to the team which he coaches.

"Yeah, I guess you could say that," said Reynolds when asked if the players are taking on the focus and personality of their head coach. "We're very focused and we're not going up or down every week due to every different instance or opponent that comes our way. We're focused and determined to just execute what we do and we'll be fine. If you let emotions come into play then you're not consistent and you're playing for the wrong reasons."

The Cougars are playing for a Mountain West Conference championship, which is very much attainable. If the Cougars are to win just one of their final two games, then the outright conference championship - which is the focus of the team - is theirs.

"It's a big game because we'll win the conference outright," said Reynolds. "Any other thing really isn't important. It's all about taking care of our business and not getting caught up in other things."

Defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen echoes the sentiments of Reynolds and gives a scouting report on Utah's offensive front.


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