No matter what you might think about BYU playing bottom of the barrel WAC teams like Idaho and New Mexico State in the last few weeks of the regular season, don’t expect these games to be easy. Idaho might sport a 2-7 record, but they’re not afraid to play anyone because they’re a Jekyll and Hyde type of team. You don’t know which one you’ll face on any given Saturday.

The Vandals are certainly battle-tested. They have played on the road in one venue much more difficult than Lavell Edwards Stadium – Texas A&M – and their other non-conference road game was at Virginia. They lost both of them, as expected, but the game against the Cavaliers went into overtime and Idaho lost 21-20 when they went for a two-point conversion instead of kicking the PAT.

The Vandals also lost to a decent Hawaii team 16-14 on a last minute field goal by the Warriors. And then there are those games where they got crunched by teams they should be able to hang with, like Bowling Green, Louisiana Tech, Fresno State and New Mexico State, but ended up with a win over San Jose State last week. Go figure.

Idaho’s offense is led by QB Brian Reader (53% completions, 1,498 yards, 9 TDs, 8 INT) and running back Princeton McCarty (4.2 ypc on 494 yards, 2 TDs). Reader has some decent receivers, most notably Mike Scott (45 receptions, 568 yards, 1 TD) and Armauni Johnson (23 grabs, 311 yards, 3 TDs).  The Vandal defense should be pretty inviting for the rested up Cougar offense. They rank 77th in the nation in total defense and 70th in scoring defense giving up an average of 28 points per game.

The question this week is really more about the Cougars. They’ve had two weeks to recuperate and get over blowing a very winnable game against TCU. Did Bronco and his staff use that time to really improve this team in every phase of the game? Is this a hungry Cougar team that wants to steamroller their last 3 opponents and win a bowl game to finish 10-3, or are they going to show up overconfident, buying into the talk on fan boards and media opinion columns that the Idaho and New Mexico State teams are pushovers and that they deserve better opponents?

Put it this way: If Bronco and his staff don’t have this team fired up and ready to rock ‘n roll the rest of the season, then some big changes need to happen in the offseason.

Look for the Cougars to arrest the Vandals for trespassing in LES this weekend. Players down the depth chart will get some valuable game time as BYU wins this one 38-14.