Kenny Cox | Posted: 2 Oct 2017 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU travels to Utah State Friday

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PROVO, Utah – BYU football travels to Logan, Utah, to face Utah State Friday night at 6 p.m. MDT in Maverik Stadium. The game will be televised on CBS Sports. 

Live radio coverage can be found on the BYU Sports Network with Greg Wrubell, which will be broadcast on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM and It will begin at 4 p.m. MDT.

BYUtv will provide pregame and postgame coverage with Countdown to Kickoff starting at 5 p.m. MDT. Postgame coverage runs for half an hour or more after the game depending on the timing of the game.

BYU (1-3) at Utah State (2-2)
Friday, Sept. 29, 2017
Kickoff: 6 p.m. MDT
Maverik Stadium (63,470)
Logan, Utah

BYU Game Notes

Utah State Game Notes


THE OLD WAGON WHEEL. This is  the 87th meeting between the two schools, the second longest series in program history for the Cougars (Utah, 92 games played). BYU has a 48-35-3 advantage over the Aggies. In the last 10 games, BYU has gone 8-2, including least year's 28-10 victory in Provo. The last time the Cougars visited Logan, BYU beat Utah State 51-28 in 2015. The winner takes possession of "The Old Wagon Wheel," a tradition between the two schools since 1948. 

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. BYU is playing its first of three Friday night matchups this season. The others will come next week against Boise State (Oct. 6) and another Nov. 10 at UNLV. Last season, BYU went 2-0 in Friday night games, defeating Toledo 55-53 and Mississippi State 28-21 in double overtime. The Cougars have won five Friday night games in a row.

FIRST TRUE ROAD GAME OF THE SEASON. With one neutral site game against LSU and three home games, the Cougars are playing in their first true road game of the year at Maverik Stadium. The last time it was the fifth game of the year before BYU's first true road game was 1979. BYU played Texas A&M at Rice Stadium in Houston and then hosted Weber State, UTEP and Hawaii in Provo before travelling to Logan for the Aggies. 

TOUGH OPENING SCHEDULE. Through four games, USA Today's Jeff Sagarin ranks the Cougars' 2017 schedule to date No. 6 in all of college football. Three of BYU's first four opponents are currently ranked in the AP Poll. The top five schedules include: 1. Florida State (0-2), 2. Fresno State (1-2), 3. Pittsburgh (1-3), 4. Boston College (1-3) and 5. Florida (2-1). 

ROYAL ON THE ROAD. Utah State is having a home "whiteout" so BYU is expected to wear its home royal blue tops and white jersey pants combo for the game. 

ALMA MATER COACHES. For the second time in as many games for the Cougars, both head coaches in the matchup are coaching at their respective alma mater. Matt Wells played quarterback for the Aggies from 1993-96 while Kalani Sitake was a fullback at BYU in 1994, 97-2000. Wells and Sitake are among 21 FBS head coaches coaching at their alma mater. 

HONORING LAVELL. Legendary hall of famer and beloved head coach at BYU for 29 seasons, LaVell Edwards, passed away on Dec. 29, 2016. The always steady and humble coach will be honored in several ways throughout the season, including the team wearing a uniform patch featuring his classic stoic profile he displayed for decades on the Cougar sidelines. Edwards not only had an impact on BYU, but also has roots with Utah State. Edwards played for the Aggies from 1949-51, and earned all-Mountain States Conference honors in 1950 as a linebacker. Edwards was named to Utah State's All-Century Football team in 1993 and was also inducted into the Utah State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.

The following quotes are from BYU's post-practice media availability on Monday:

Head coach Kalani Sitake
"Utah State had a good game last weekend and we’re excited to go up to Logan and have that game this Friday.”

“We know what we’re good at, in all three phases, and we’re trying to focus on what we’re good at and develop an identity, specifically on offense, and try to be a lot cleaner on defense and try to not give up as many big plays as we did against Wisconsin. We’re just trying to find ways to win.”

“The whole focus is just to make sure that we’re fundamentally sound on all three phases and give ourselves a better chance for success.”

“We have a great identity as a team, we just need to make more plays. I think the attention that the offense is drawing is taking away a lot of the good things I think we’re doing in the other two phases. But there are still a lot of positives on the offense side that we’re seeing. We just need to find ways to make plays and get first downs and get points on the board. That’s basically our identity right now.”

About Utah State:
“They have some really good talent in the skill positions and obviously, they’re really well coached. If you watched that game (vs. San Jose State), they did a great job doing everything; it was a good team win. It was good for us to watch to see what they go to, what their identity is and try to match up what we can do to their strengths."

About the players holding their own meeting Monday night:
“That’s a good sign. That’s what we’re trying to promote with our players – to lead this team. I’ve said this before: it’s their team and I want them to feel that they have a say in it and what we do as a program. It made me happy that they were able to take this on and have a player-only type of meeting. During week, practice wasn’t the traditional practice because we had coaches out recruiting which is something that we’re really big on – trying to get the right players here by recruiting. And with it being a bye week, this is the only by week we have, we had to take advantage of it.

"That allowed the players to speak up and teach and hold each other accountable as well. I thought it was a good week for us. We made a lot of improvements. I really believe that some players would do a lot more if their peers held them accountable. An old man whose job is to yell at you is different than a guy on the team who’s a peer, who’s a friend, that’s trying to hold you accountable whether it’s positive or negative and that’s good for a team dynamic."

Linebacker Fred Warner
“It’s been frustrating. We haven’t been playing the way we should be. I take that upon myself and the other players. The coaching staff does a really good job every week and gives us freedom to do some things, but we’ve got to use that freedom the right way to prepare ourselves. We need to have more self-discipline within the team and put the product we need to on the field.”

“We were in the locker room after the Wisconsin game, and I had an awful taste in my mouth. I went to Russell (Tialavea) and said we needed to have a players-only meeting on Monday to get on the same page. We needed to get on track of what we needed to do every day to play the football we are capable of. I wasn’t going to continue to go every week without saying anything and have a season of not living up to expectations. The player meeting went really well.”

“After the bye week, we are ready to come back. I haven’t been afraid in practice to be the bad guy and bring some competition. All the other guys are doing the same.”

“It’s frustrating when we work hard during the week, but then it doesn’t show up at the game. We are trying to work on that now, so our hard work can transfer over.”

On the Utah State game this week:
“We view it as another week to get better. We haven’t shown the team that we are, so we need to execute at a high level and prepare to win a football game.”

“They like to spread things out and use their receivers and tight-ends. We need to contain the quarterback, and make sure our corners and safeties are ready when he throws.”

Punter Jonny Linehan
"I hate bye weeks. I hate not playing. Ever since I was a little kid playing rugby, if a game got canceled or we had a bye, I would cry or something. So, byes have always been a bit of a challenge for me, but it’s good for the team to be able to get some rest and a little bit of break from focusing on another opponent and looking to just get our own stuff fixed. It was really good for us as a unit and for the guys with bumps and bruises to get healthy again."

Bye coming at a good time:
"Yeah, I think so. It’s always tough when we envisioned ourselves starting the season better than what we have and obviously, you know that, but I feel like it was a good time for to refocus. Early last week the captains called a meeting for the team and we just had a players meeting at LaVell Edwards Stadium. They were able to speak and it was just an open format. It was just as a team, no coaches, just us sitting in the bleachers of our stadium, at our home talking about how we are not happy obviously with how we played. A lot of different people got up and talked about why they play, what they have to play for and we still have a lot of games left in the season. We are not just going to roll over and die. Sure, we have had some bad losses and we haven’t played as well as we could have, but we are not going to roll over and die. We are BYU. We have another game this week and we are focused on that. We’re not focused on what could have been." 

On the rivalry with Utah State:
The Wagon Wheel is fun. I love that song by Darius Rucker and so I can’t sing it if I don’t have the wheel. Anytime there is something on the line, it just makes the game that much more important, but right now we are just playing for pride. We haven’t performed how we wanted to perform. We have not liked what we have put out on the field. So, it doesn’t matter if it’s a wagon wheel, or if nobody is watching, we need to perform for ourselves."

Wide receiver Micah Simon
“Sometimes it is hard to figure out why the looks we get in practice don’t happen in the game, but at the end of the day, we just have to go out and execute. It should all come together.”

On the players’ meeting: 
“A lot of guys stepped up, and I heard guys be vocal who had never really been before. They expressed the frustration, and we knew things needed to change.”

“We know it is a team effort, but that the offense is lacking. We have to step it up and make things happen.”

“It starts in practice and that momentum carries to games. After bad plays, we have to just let it go. Not everything will go our way.”

On Utah State:
“They are a good team with a great defense. We’ve been watching film on them and they show lots of good things. They have man press, so we have to be ready for it.”

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