Off and Running – At the Mouth

Utah football coach Ron McBride had imposed an informal, unofficial season-long gag order on his players to preclude them from talking about the inevitable matchup with undefeated, ranked BYU?the supposed reason being that he didn’t want his Utes to overlook any prior opponent in the process.

Well, barring the coach worrying about his players overlooking the Cougars in their zest to focus on their Dec. 1 matchup with Air Force, the muzzles eventually had to come off.

Problem is, after senior safety Arnold Parker loudly proclaimed that BYU’s so-called ‘Domanator’ (quarterback Brandon Doman) was “about to get dominated,” following the U’s 17-3 victory over San Diego State last Saturday, McBride may have been wishing he’d kept the mandate for silence going a bit longer.

At least, that’s what he said at Tuesday’s “Coaches Huddle” at the Green Street Cafe.

When McBride showed up with Parker in tow, he immediately proclaimed to everyone within earshot, “Arnold will be seen and not heard today.”

Uh-huh.

While Parker was hardly contrite for mouthing off (“I don’t say too much I don’t believe, and that’s what I believe,” he maintained), he did acknowledge that he’s paid a small price for the words that inevitably got posted up on BYU’s locker-room wall.

“I caught a lot of grief?they’ve got my address, my phone number, my email on BYU’s Web site,” Parker said. “I haven’t checked my emails yet. [But are they] X-rated? You know they don’t go past ‘G.'”

Meanwhile, when McBride attempted to coyly sidle over to his safety and eavesdrop on any new potential verbal grenades the player might lob, Parker noticed and didn’t miss a beat.

“BYU’s great. It’s a great opportunity to play against them. We’re blessed to play against a team that’s ranked in the BCS,” Parker intoned solemnly. “And what’s their coach’s name? Crowton?yeah, he’s the best coach in this conference. We all look up to him.

“[Doman’s] a great guy and he calls a good game,” Parker added. “Hopefully, he’ll throw a few touchdowns this Saturday.”

And in the end, while McBride tried to regain his composure and stick to the old “this is what you play for” platitudes, eventually, his player’s jocular mood got the best of him, and the irascible coach violated his own mantra and got into the act.

When asked how the game plan changed with BYU receiver Reno Mahe set to miss the contest following an appendectomy earlier this week, McBride just couldn’t contain himself.

“Everyone knows the history of BYU?Of course Reno Mahe will play on Saturday,” he said.

Sounds like a case of ‘Do as I say, and not as I do.’

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