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BYU confident headed into bye week

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - BYU is riding high going into the bye week after their impressive win over Texas.
PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Coming off their most impressive victory in years, a 40-21 shellacking of Texas, BYU now has two full weeks to prepare for the big rivalry game against Utah.

"I'm antsy to get back out there," said quarterback Taysom Hill. "But it will be nice for the team since we have a few guys banged up. Nothing major, but it will be good to have a week off."

What a difference a week makes for the Cougars. After an extremely disappointing loss at Virginia, to a record-setting performance against Texas, the Cougars are in much better spirits this week.

"It's just a lot better from the coaches perspective, the players perspective and the fans perspective," said head coach Bronco Mendenhall. "It gives everyone something positive to talk about."

But after piling up a school-record 550 rushing yards against the Longhorns, BYU has reveled in the victory long enough. They say they are now moving on to the Utes.

"We've shifted our focus," said Hill. "It's done. Texas was a great win and we have a lot of great things to build off, but we have a lot of things that we need to fix."

For instance, the passing game needs work. Through two games, Hill has completed just 22 of 66 passes for a meager 33 percent. That completion rate has to get better to keep defenses honest.

"Anytime you're one dimensional, somebody can focus on that and stop it," Hill said. "We need to be more efficient in the pass game. I expect to see a lot of teams loading the box, and that's good for us because that means they're going to put guys like Cody [Hoffman] and Skyler [Ridley] in one-on-one coverage and we'll take that all day."

BYU's season seems to have made a drastic turn for the better, but Mendenhall warns of getting overconfident the rest of the way.

"We upped our intensity and expectations signficantly from week one to week two," Mendenhall said. "That was the message to the team today that if they want those kind of results, then their preparation in practice will be similar."

The BYU-Utah rivalry takes a two-year break after the game at LaVell Edwards Stadium September 21st. That means this will be the last time for many of the Cougars to beat the Utes, who have won three straight over BYU.

"I'm 0-3 against them," said senior linebacke Kyle Van Noy. "I want to win. It's plain and simple, I want to beat them. They don't like us and we don't like them and that's OK. It's going to be a bloodbath. We're going to rally the troops in this bye week and we're going to come ready."

"I was part of the loss last year and that's something I never want to feel again," said Hill. "So, that's a driving motivation for me. This the last time for me that I'm going to have an opportunity to beat those guys, so my mentality is different going into a game like this."
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