FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -Despite BYU's recent play, which includes a blowout loss and a narrow victory against a big underdog, Colorado State coach Steve Fairchild doesn't expect to face a group of Cougars on Saturday.
``That program is obviously up and running, they know what they're doing, and they got some resources and strengths,'' he said.
No. 17 BYU (7-1, 3-1 Mountain West) fell from the unbeaten ranks with a 32-7 loss to TCU, and a week later escaped at home with a 42-35 victory over UNLV.
``Our team was disappointed not only in the outcome of the TCU game, but disappointed in how it played,'' BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. ``Our entire focus and their resolve has been to continue to work on the things they can improve.''
Mendenhall said the Cougars' goal of the conference championship and a bowl invitation remain within reach.
ng. They'll need some help to win the league for a third consecutive season.
``I think all those are still possible. We have to improve our football team still,'' Mendenhall said. ``The amount of work that they're recognizing we need to do is in place after that other game.''
The Cougars have a potent offense, leading the Mountain West in passing offense and total offense.
``Offensively, they're impressive and what I like about them is, obviously, they throw the ball well and they always have,'' Fairchild said. ``It's been their tradition there and their quarterback, Max Hall, is experienced.''
Hall is eighth in the nation in quarterback rating, throwing for 2,364 yards and 24 touchdowns. His primary targets are wide receiver Austin Collie, with 60 catches, 902 yards and eight TDs, and tight end Dennis Pitta, with 50 receptions, 645 yards and four touchdowns.
BYU hasn't allowed a 100-yard game to an opposing runner in eight consecutive games.
That's bad news to the Rams (4-4, 2-2), who depend heavily on tailback Gartrell Johnson (93 yards per game) to keep defenses honest. TCU and Utah neutralized Colorado State's offense by using eight-man fronts that shut down Johnson.
the passing game better.''
That was demonstrated a week ago when Johnson ran for 130 yards against San Diego State and Billy Farris was 25-for-34 passing with 296 yards and three TDs.
BYU has won the last four meetings with Colorado State.
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