BYU's bowl opponent, San Diego State, began practicing last week, but it's hard to argue against Mendenhall's routine, seeing as how he has the best record in bowls of any coach in school history, 5-2.
Traditionally, BYU never uses as many practices as it is allotted before bowl games under Mendenhall.
One drawback to Mendenhall's approach is that this intense week of bowl practices coincides with finals week, and players are expected to miss some of the practices to take final exams, as was the case two years ago when BYU played in one of the earlier games of the bowl season, the New Mexico Bowl.
Receiver J.D. Falslev said the team is motivated because it is playing an excellent team SDSU has won seven straight games in a warm-weather locale and also because it wants to send a large senior class out with a positive experience after a somewhat disappointing season.
"I am a little disappointed with how our season went just because there were so many games that we should have won," Falslev said. "But you can't say you should have won this, you should have won that.
"It has been a ride with these seniors," he continued. "They have put everything they have into this program, collectively as a unit, every guy on this team has put everything they have into this season. I don't have any regrets, but there are a couple of games here or there that we lost that we should have won.
But like I say, you can't ever say coulda, woulda, shoulda."
It could also be the final game for a junior. All-American linebacker Kyle Van Noy has acknowledged that the possibility exists that he will declare for the NFL draft in early January.
"Roller coaster," is the way Van Noy described the season after BYU moved to 7-5 with the easy win over NMSU. "We have had ups and downs. We have started to figure out that we need to put more effort into execution and making plays. I think our effort is there. I think we try really, really hard. We have that never-give-up mentality, we just need to put those to execution, and a little more effort, and I think we will not only set the foundation for right now, but for the younger guys to continue that never-give-up effort."
P BYU vs. San Diego Thursday, Dec. 20, 6 p.m., at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, ESPN