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October 20, 2012

Bronco Mendenhall

BYU – 14

COACH MENDENHALL:  Congratulations to Coach Kelly and NotreDame.  Their team played hard and physical and they had a couple more plays than our program today.  They continue to do just what they need to do in keeping their undefeated season going, and I think they are a good football team, well‑coached and they are to be credited for their effort today.
I was proud of our team, one or two plays short from being able to come away with a victory.  Most likely the best game collectively we played offensively, defense and kicking but when you put the composite together it was good enough to get us within striking distance and had a great chance, a number of chances to maybe pull off an upset.  But ultimately didn't make a critical play here or there right down the stretch to win the game.
I was proud of our team, proud of their effort, proud of their preparation from Monday all the way through this week and I thought they played really hard.
With that, I'll take whatever questions anyone might have.

Q.  Inaudible?
COACH MENDENHALL:  Six minutes to go, thought we would have a great chance to make a stop.  It was work and longer than what I had hoped for, and with six minutes and 35, really believed we would stop and get the ball back with better field position than what we did.

Q.  Do you feel like your team used the time‑outs the way they were supposed to?
COACH MENDENHALL:  I felt good about it.  I don't think there was any fault about that and I'm not sure I would have done anything different.

Q.  Can you talk about NotreDame's running game?
COACH MENDENHALL:  Yeah, I was really impressed.  They were physical and we had a very difficult time making consistent tackles and a lot of times, seems like we had good contact, either at the line of scrimmage or shortly thereafter and the running backs kept driving their legs and running hard.  I was really impressed with their running game today.

Q.  Inaudible.
COACH MENDENHALL:  Not sure.  I don't know if they played really much different than the first half other than I think NotreDame's approach was just more conservative in trying to run the ball more and more.
But they did throw for enough big chunks here and there to kind of keep the chains moving.  So I think it was just a little bit different half in terms of the way the game was going.

Q.  You had a couple of chances, one to make a stop right on the goal line by Joe and then another one where Riley just missed Cody wide open down the field.  Another game with close chances that slipped away?
COACH MENDENHALL:  I think plays like that are what I was referring to, when one or two plays execution away from coming way with the win.  Those would be two good examples where Cody was open and we did have an unblocked player at the point of attack that just didn't make the tackle.  But those plays didn't determine the game, but those would be a couple good examples.

Q.  Did you think about when you kicked the 47‑yard, about going for it or punting?
COACH MENDENHALL:  Yeah, thought about both, the momentum and the emphasis we have been placing in practice on him kicking and how many he's made just the last two weeks really has built my confidence to where, I felt like we had a great chance.  That had something to do with the decision the second time, kind of where we were.

Q.  Can you talk about the running game, specifically, what were your thoughts on Riddick today?
COACH MENDENHALL:  Really impressed.  Just I think NotreDame is well coached, and ultimately, they executed at the critical moments.  You know, there's three or four or five plays today that ultimately changed the game, and to their credit, they made those plays.

Q.  Did you expect Tommy Rees to start‑‑
COACH MENDENHALL:  We found out this morning, or anticipated that, but didn't really change much.  The plays that we saw and preparation still was applicable, just not as much scrambling work that we had to be concerned about with the quarterback.

Q.  Can you evaluate Nelson's performance?
COACH MENDENHALL:  I liked it, thought he made good decisions and played with a lot of heart and gave us a chance to win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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