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BYU vs. UCF an Insider Preview

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 11:57:46 AM America/Denver

PROVO — Charles Kano, senior writer for truebluecougars.com, spoke with University of Central Florida insiders Marc Daniels, play-by-play voice of the UCF Knights on 740theGame.com, and Iliana Limon, a blogger for the Knight Notepad of the Orlando Sentinel newspaper. He asked them a series of questions to help Cougar fans get some insider views on UCF Knights football in anticipation of the UCF-BYU game in Provo this Friday night.

What is the buzz around the Knights’ camp and the campus about the match-up against BYU?

Daniels: The loss to FIU was really deflating to the fans and players. Fans have seen the momentum that UCF has built over the past few years winning a couple of conference titles, getting a top 25 ranking and really manhandling Boston College a few weeks ago. The loss to FIU was very uncharacteristic of a George O’Leary coached team. They were disappointed but need to have a quick turnaround going into their game with BYU.

Limon: UCF fans expect this game to be a challenge. They are also anxious to see if the Knights can correct the mistakes from last week’s game as most were not expecting a loss against FIU. Most UCF fans thought the program was much further along. The players have acknowledged that they had the right game plan but did not perform well enough to win.

What are the UCF coaches and players saying about BYU at this point?

Daniels: UCF is past the wow factor of playing a team like BYU, not that they don’t respect them, just that they feel that can play with anyone. Coach O’Leary has said that they are throwing out the Utah game because they don’t feel it is representative of Bronco Mendenhall's team. They are anticipating a big, tough offensive line and an aggressive attacking defense. Coach O’ Leary and his staff also respect the schedule that BYU has played so far, including the physicality of the Cougar team.

Limon: On offense they are going to try and establish the run against the BYU defense. They are used to playing defenses with a lot of speed. They see the BYU defense, especially the defensive line, as maybe not being as fast but having good size and power.

The defense is looking at Heaps as the main threat on offense. One player said this week that they watched the Utah game but aren’t going to be fooled into thinking that they will see the same team in Provo.


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0 Comments | Posted in Football By Charles Kano

BYU vs. Ole Miss from an Ole Miss perspective

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 8:17:11 PM America/Denver

As BYU goes independent it means new teams on the schedule and places to play. True Blue Cougars wll bring you a weekly look at the coming opponent from their own perspective.

Charles Kano, senior writer for Truebluecougars.com, spoke with Ole Miss insiders Austin Miller, sports editor for the Daily Mississippian newspaper, and Jake Adams, senior writer for Theolemissblog.com sports blog. We asked them a series of questions to help Cougar fans get familiar with Ole Miss and its football team in anticipation of the season opener in Oxford, Miss., against BYU.

What is the buzz around campus and the community about the impending home opener?

Miller: Fans are reminded of the home opening 49-48 loss to Jacksonville State last year. They are hoping for a better showing this year against BYU.

Adams: Fans are cautiously optimistic coming into the home opener, especially given the bad showing in 2010. Ole Miss is an SEC team, so they should have the speed and size advantage over BYU.

What are Ole Miss fan expectations for the season? Miller: There is some excitement coming into the season based on the solid recruiting class. Ole Miss picked up Nickolas Brassell, a 6-foot, 175-pound, speedy wide receiver from Batesville, Miss., and Tobias Singleton, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound receiver from Madison, Miss.

Ole Miss also returns a very deep offensive line from last year under the leadership of 6-foot-7, 315-pound Bradley Sowell and 6-foot-6, 325-pound Bobby Massie.

Adams: I think most fans are expecting a 6-6 or 7-5 season. The biggest issue is the defense. Ole Miss has had a traditionally strong defense, but the 2011 team is thin at linebacker, and the secondary was just awful last year with little to no sign of improvement this year.


0 Comments | Posted in Football By Charles Kano

One on One with Iona Pritchard

Friday, June 10, 2011 3:12:47 PM America/Denver

Former BYU freshman stand out Iona Pritchard returned April 21st from his LDS Mission to the Marshall Islands. Truebluecougars.com recently caught up with him and asked him about his mission experience, being home and football.


Truebluecougars.com: Tell us about the Marshall Islands and the people you served.


Iona: The Marshall Islands aren’t very big and are actually atolls that are long but not wide it is a very small place. The people are also small people in stature, but they are giants in generosity and kindness.


Truebluecougars.com: What positive effects did your mission have on you?


Iona: The effects my mission had on me were life changing. The opportunity to serve was like a deal with the lord. I would serve him for two years and he would teach me what really matters in life. My mission helped me mature and grow, both spiritually and temporally. I loved my mission and the people I served amongst.


Truebluecougars.com: How often if ever did you think about football?

Iona: There definitely were occasions on my mission where I would think about football. I would reminisce on past events during games and practices, mainly the feelings, the atmosphere, the fun. Some things are just unforgettable.

Truebluecougars.com: Did your family and friends keep you up to date on Cougar football or just Bingham?


Iona: My family did keep me somewhat updated with things in Provo. I was always more interested in how Baker was doing in football. My last mission president was a huge BYU fan so he always threw in some BYU updates right before I would leave the office.


Truebluecougars.com: Did any of the coaches keep in touch with you while you were out?


Iona: The coaches did keep in touch through a monthly letter which contained a spiritual thought and zero talk of football. The only thing they did mention was when BYU went independent. Even then coach Mendenhall apologized for bringing up football in the letter.


Truebluecougars.com: What does it mean to be able to play with Baker?


Iona: More than words can express. I have never had the opportunity to be able to play on the field with my brother. The thought helps me work harder in the weight room and push harder on the field. It’s an opportunity I don’t want to miss out on, it means too much to me. My dad and my brother are my best friends and to be able to be coached by one and play with the other brings out the best in a person, on and off the field.

Truebluecougars.com: Was playing with Baker part of the plan when you committed?


Iona: Playing with Baker was a long shot in high school. As we started looking down the road with college in the midst and serving missions, we figured we would have an opportunity to play together, that is if we went to the same school.


Truebluecougars.com: Did you have any input on his decision to play at BYU?


Iona: I told Baker the Y was a great place to play ball. I told him that it was a different type of football and people. I remember Baker would joke around sometimes saying he wasn’t going to the Y. I promised myself I would follow him to wherever he would go even if I had to walk on. I would joke around and say just don’t go to the U.


Truebluecougars.com: Have you noticed any changes in the program since you’ve been back or does it feel the same?

Iona: The feeling definitely changes when you come back and you don’t recognize anyone. Most of the guys I knew were older guys and those of my recruiting class. Now those upper classmen are gone and there are a lot of new faces. There are a lot of changes at the Y right now; we are independent with a lot of new coaching staff. The feel has definitely changed since before.

Truebluecougars.com: What are your thoughts on the new coaching staff?


Iona: I haven’t really had the chance to meet all of the new coaching staff. I have heard good things about them and look forward to working and meeting with them.

Truebluecougars.com: You were so versatile before your mission able to play both ways do you expect to do that again?


Iona: The only expectation I have is to work hard and see it pay off. I would love to play both sides of the ball again, which is something that requires a lot of work. The challenge is one that I will enjoy pursuing.


Truebluecougars.com: What position do you prefer?


Iona: It is too hard to go with one or the other. My preference would have to be both.


Truebluecougars.com: What are your thoughts on BYU being independent now and playing on ESPN?


Iona: I remember before my mission, coach Mendenhall said that we were striving to be a beacon of truth to the world, and what better chance to do so than on ESPN. I think it will provide numerous kinds of opportunities and open various doors that will lead to good things. It is an exciting time to be at BYU.

3 Comments | Posted in Football By Charles Kano

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