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Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

BYU football notebook: Coaches make notable depth-chart changes

By Brandon Gurney, Deseret News

Published: Mon, Sept. 1 10:15 p.m. MDT

 BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall watches his team play the Connecticut Huskies at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. BYU won 35-10.

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall watches his team play the Connecticut Huskies at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. BYU won 35-10.

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

PROVO — Cougar coaches weren't joking when saying their depth chart could change on almost a daily basis.

Last week's game against UConn saw several depth-chart changes to what was released the Monday prior to the game, and this week could see similar changes as the team now prepares to take on Texas.

Coaches released a tentative depth chart Monday with several notable changes. Whether that depth chart will hold through to Saturday's kickoff is anyone's guess.

Perhaps most notable was a shakeup at both cornerback and at safety.

Robertson Daniel, who was suspended for last week's game, was listed as the starter at one cornerback position while Jordan Johnson was not. Johnson was also suspended for last week's game, but like Daniel, was listed as a starter last Monday. Johnson is now listed as a backup behind Michael Davis.

So why the change?

According to coach Bronco Mendenhall, it simply involves confidence in Davis and his ability to take the majority of reps at one corner position. Mendenhall also expressed confidence in Jordan Preator, who also started against UConn, but is now listed behind Daniel on the depth chart.

“They both did really, really well,” Mendenhall said. “Man, I’m so confident now with what our depth looks like out there and the competition it provides.”

Harvey Jackson, who was not listed on last Monday's depth chart, is now listed as the backup at one safety spot after performing well against the Huskies.

Other players returning from suspensions listed on Monday's depth chart were Marques Johnson (second-string nose tackle), Devon Blackmon (second-string receiver) and Jamaal Williams (first-string running back.)

Mendenhall expressed satisfaction with how each player handled his suspension, saying, "They were unselfish. They were accountable. They knew what they did and they’ve been working really hard."

Bittersweet penalties

BYU was flagged for 15 penalties against UConn, and although coaches certainly want to cut that number down, they weren't exactly displeased by all of them.

“Much like I though there was tons of aggression out there,” Mendenhall said of the penalties. “And I’d rather have that and bring it back than the penalties being because of lack of technique or because of a lack of effort and being lazy. … There were some of them that actually made me smile.”

Additions at kicker

Kicking was a problem against UConn, and coaches hope the addition of both Corey Edwards and Andrew Mikkelsen can help address the problems. Both players return from injury, and the team may take one of them, if not both, to Texas if they can simply get better distance on kickoffs.

"I’ll travel whoever can kick it a long ways,” Mendenhall said.

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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1. CougFaninTX
Frisco, TX,
Sept. 1, 2014

Have the Cougs ever had two deep at Corners and Safety, where you could feel confident that any of the eight players could get the job done with very little drop off? Johnson is very good, so to get beat out, Davis must be a notch above.

Looking forward to Saturday!

2. Not Much of a Fan
OC, CA,
Sept. 2, 2014

Can't overstate the importance of the Texas game.

3. Hank Jr
Draper, UT,
Sept. 2, 2014

The Coug's would be better on defense if they disguised and used the 'bump and run' on occasion. Their corners play back too deep and they suffer the consequences as a result. Try mixing it up so you can confuse the offense. Trust me, it works.

4. Mountanman
Hayden, ID,
Sept. 2, 2014

"There were some of them (penalties) that actually made me smile.” I love Bronco, he is a great coach and man!

5. Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT,
Sept. 2, 2014

The Cougars sound realistically confident this season, as opposed to past years. I love it!