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Provo • Seems like it happens to BYU at least once every game: An opposing receiver gets open for a deep pass, occasionally resulting in a momentum-altering touchdown.
It happened again Saturday against Oregon State, as freshman receiver Brandin Cooks got past Corby Eason for a 59-yarder from Sean Mannion.
But BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall insists the Cougars' secondary is improving.
"The secondary, I think, is coming along, certainly with a chance to improve. But I think we are making progress," he said Monday. "We got beat on a post route, which basically we had Corby Eason by himself. But other than that, I was pretty pleased. I think we played consistently, kept the ball in front of us. Most of the calls were designed to do that, to make sure the points were about what they were defensively."
Next up for the Cougar secondary is a team, Idaho State, that Mendenhall says throws the ball on almost every down.
"At some point, we will make our share of plays downfield," Mendenhall said. "I am talking about the deep ball. And it is just taking a little longer than expected. Again, we are not overreacting to any of those because those players are trying hard and we are looking to build their confidence. At some point they will start intercepting or knocking those down."
Tight end Richard Wilson had knee surgery Tuesday and is out for the season. But reserve linebacker Ziggy Ansah is the only Cougar who is questionable for Saturday's game. Ansah suffered an MCL sprain on a kickoff vs. OSU and is day-to-day, head athletic trainer Kevin Morris said.
Defensive end Hebron Fangupo has a mild ankle sprain but should play. Nose tackle Romney Fuga (knee sprain) was cleared to return to the game but didn't, and is fine. Special teams star Mike Hague suffered a bloody nose but not a broken one when his helmet popped off on kickoff coverage.
Clash of Cougars
Washington State athletic director Bill Moos told reporters Monday that WSU and BYU have agreed to a home-and-home football series to begin next season in Provo and conclude in 2013 in Pullman, Wash. BYU and Washington State have played three times, but never in Pullman.
Idaho State at BYU, 1 p.m.
TV • BYUtv