SAN FRANCISCO — BYU’s "go-fast, go-hard" offense is eyeing a fast start in the Fight Hunger Bowl.
At least, a much faster start than it had in its regular-season finale at Nevada. The Cougars were held scoreless in the first half before edging the Wolf Pack, 28-23.
BYU wants to play well from the beginning against Washington.
“It’s really big for any offense. That’s our mindset and our mentality,” said quarterback Taysom Hill. “We’re working hard in practice to make sure that we do get off to a good start. We’ve gone through the playbook and seen the plays and formations that have been really productive for us. That’s where we’ll start. Hopefully that will allow us to start fast and continue that throughout the game.”
It’s something that coach Bronco Mendenhall has addressed with his team.
“We talk about it all the time. That (first half against Nevada) was one of the few times this year that I was disappointed in how we played from an offensive perspective,” he said. “It wasn’t inspired Washington’s a much different team than Nevada. They’re not only fast and talented, they play fast in terms of tempo. They’re very sound defensively. They’ve defended teams with similar styles to us very well. I expect it to be tough.”
MEMORIES OF PROVO: Washington interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo played quarterback for the Huskies in the late 1990s.
His first collegiate game was against BYU in Provo in the 1997 season opener, a game Washington won handily. Then a freshman, Tuiasosopo played a few snaps at the end of the contest.
Two years later, when Tuiasosopo was the starting quarterback, the Huskies opened the season in Provo again. And he remembers that night, and a loss to BYU, well.
“First start of my career,” he said. “We felt like we had a great chance to win that game. (BYU quarterback) Kevin Feterik threw that post (for a touchdown). I remember (linebacker) Rob Morris. All the fans were blowing a train whistle. It was crazy.”
Tuiasosopo went on to be the MVP of the 2001 Rose Bowl.
RESPECTING THE BISHOP: BYU running back Jamaal Williams doesn’t see Friday’s game as a showdown between himself and Washington’s star running back, Bishop Sankey.
“I just try to play my game. I admire other running backs,” Williams said. “He’s a great running back and does what he does best. I’m just going to go out there and not worry about what other running backs do. But you still have to respect what they’ve done. That’s what I have for all running backs that play this game. I just go out there and do my best to be one of the top running backs so I get the same respect.”