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BYU football notebook: Running back Jamaal Williams expected to play against Cincinnati

Brigham Young Cougars running back Jamaal Williams (21) looks for an opening as BYU and Mississippi State play in Provo at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016.
Brigham Young Cougars running back Jamaal Williams (21) looks for an opening as BYU and Mississippi State play in Provo at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016.
Scott G Winterton,

PROVO — It's rarely certain when best to take a bye week during a football season, but for the BYU coach Kalani Sitake, last week's bye probably couldn't have come at a more opportune time. The main reason involves a rash of injuries that has inflicted the team in recent weeks.

“It seemed like a long time, but it came at the right time, I think, for us,” Sitake said during his Monday press conference. “So I think the timing works out perfectly for us — especially in trying to get our main guy healthy.”

That "main guy" would be running back Jamaal Williams, who was a surprise scratch for BYU's 28-27 loss to Boise State due to a reported ankle injury.

The good news for BYU is his anticipated return this Saturday when the team travels to take on Cincinnati.

“I think it’s going to be huge for him, and his development, and his progression in becoming 100 percent,” Sitake said. "...He should be good to go."

OTHERS ON THE MEND: Williams isn't the only BYU player dealing with injuries — far from it. The list is large, and includes standout names, such as defensive lineman Travis Tuiloma, offensive lineman Lui Lapuaho and linebacker Butch Pau'u, just to name a few.

Sitake was unable to give specific injury updates on any of the hobbled, stating that, "There's still a lot of question marks out there," regarding those players' availability for Cincinnati, describing those injuries as, "day to day," generally.

HARSH SELF-EVALUATION: Senior defensive end Harvey Langi made the switch from linebacker just prior to the start of the season and reflected on how the transition has gone. The words he used to describe his performance through the first eight games were relatively harsh, but brutally honest, regarding his current mindset.

"I feel like I suck, to be honest," Langi stated. "I feel like I'm not where I should be and where I can be."

Langi qualified his statement by saying it's the mindset you have to undertake, at times, to continue to improve.

"I feel like an amateur, almost," Langi said. "I'm watching (film of) Bronson (Kaufusi) and all these (defensive) ends I always watch...and I just feel like I'm an amateur and I'm just learning. It's fun. It's super fun learning because I love football. I don't care where I play."

Langi's stats on the season include 34 tackles, 2.5 of them for a loss, 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

TRYING TO BE LIKE TY: Langi, and a few of his teammate Kesni Tausinga, spent part of the bye week in rural Blanding to hunt. It's an activity relished by offensive coordinator Ty Detmer, to which Langi quipped they, "tried to be like Ty Detmer for the weekend."

Langi said the hunt was successful, adding, "I was just a Tongan, acting like I knew what to do in jeans and cowboy boots, you know what I mean?"

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney