Team preview: BYU

Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2005 college football season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: July 26, 2005, 4:02 PM ET
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(All information as of July 1, 2005)

COACH AND PROGRAM


It's out with the old and in with the new at BYU, where Bronco Mendenhall takes over from former coach Gary Crowton.

It's also in with the old and out with the new at BYU, where the new boss is bringing back some old-school flavor and decking his team out in classic uniforms, white helmets and traditional logos reminiscent of the Cougars' storied past.

"This is the look of BYU football," Mendenhall said when the dark blue and white throwbacks were introduced. "Once you have a symbol that reflects greatness, it should not be changed. Consistency is key to a lasting tradition."

That tradition has taken an uncharacteristic beating in Provo the last three seasons as the Cougars have gone 14-21 since losing the 2001 Liberty Bowl.

Mendenhall was promoted from defensive coordinator to become the program's 14th head coach on Dec. 13, 2004. It is his first head coaching position after 16 years as an assistant at BYU, New Mexico, Louisiana Tech and Oregon State, among others.

In his first season in charge of the Cougars' defense in 2003, he engineered the nation's 14th-ranked unit and held opponents to 307 yards per game. Under his direction, the Cougars ranked eighth nationally in passing defense, surrendering 176.2 yards per game.

In 2004, BYU ranked third in the Mountain West in rushing defense (149.3 yards per game) and was second in the league in sacks with 34 for minus-232 yards.

"We will continue to have an aggressive defense, along with an up-tempo, high-powered offense," Mendenhall said. "Our goal is to be as exciting and competitive as any team in the country."