"Last year we were protecting rather than pursuing and there's a huge difference in mindset," Mendenhall said. "I learned a lot in terms of possibly changing that, but I'm not perfect and neither is the team. We hopefully will grow and learn from it at the same time."
A year ago the Cougars were fresh off two straight undefeated runs in conference play, were ranked in the preseason, picked to win the Mountain West Conference, held the nation's longest win streak, had just won two bowl games as national pundits predicted the Cougars to be the BCS buster.
After going 6-0 and achieving a No. 7 ranking, it all unraveled in a 32-7 loss at TCU and the season concluded with losses to Utah and Arizona.
It does not take scheduling Oklahoma this season to humble the squad, Mendenhall said.