BYU ready for risk, rewards of independence

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- As a surfer, BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall knows plenty about risk and reward, from riding that perfect wave to experiencing a major wipeout.

Soon he'll see how his team handles the concept as it embarks on its first season as an independent.

Start with a baptism by fire with opening games on the road against Ole Miss (Sept. 3) and Texas, followed by a Week 3 showdown at home with instate rival Utah, which also has plenty to prove after jumping to the Pac-12 Conference.

After that the Cougars face Central Florida, one of the favorites to win the Conference-USA title, followed by October road games against Oregon State and TCU.