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COUGARS GETTING READY FOR OPENER

Two-a-day practices are over, as are full-fledged scrimmages. Now it's game week.

The BYU football team has just five days remaining until it opens the season in a game that could have WAC title implications. Saturday morning the Cougars will take on Air Force, the hottest team in the conference at the end of last season."It would be nice to be like basketball and have a Lower Slovenia or somebody like that to work out the wrinkles against," Cougar coach LaVell Edwards said. "Playing Air Force is not my idea of working out the wrinkles, but that's college football."

The Cougars held a situational scrimmage Saturday morning with the BYU offense going against the scout team defense impersonating Air Force and vice versa. The Cougars will spend this week gearing up for the potent Falcon wishbone attack.

"Our focus is now on Air Force," Cougar defensive tackle John Raass said. "They finished tough last year and their wishbone is hard to defend. It will take a great effort for us as a team to go over there and beat them, but we can do it."

The Cougars have a number of players nursing minor injuries but only backup defensive lineman Larry Harmer (dislocated elbow) and backup safety Jon Pollock (lower back problems) were training camp causualties. Harmer, a junior, will be out 4 to 6 weeks, while Pollock, a senior, is gone for the year.

After an 0-3 start, Air Force won eight of its final nine games last year with the only loss at Notre Dame. BYU has had the Falcons' number over the years, however. The Cougars have a 16-1 all-time record against Air Force. The Cougars' only loss to the Falcons was by one point in 1982.

The Cougars' home opener is Sept. 9 against 15th-ranked UCLA. Gametime for that one is 5 p.m. It will be televised by ABC.

BYU is at home for another league contest on Sept. 16 against San Diego State and then travels to Fort Collins to meet defending champion Colorado State.