Football on the road again at No. 11 Washington Saturday
PROVO, Utah – The No. 20 BYU football team will take on No. 11 Washington on the road at Husky Stadium on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. PDT. The game will be televised on FOX.
Live radio coverage can be found on the BYU Sports Network two hours prior to kickoff with Greg Wrubell, which will be broadcast on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2, KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM, BYUCougars.com/LiveRadio, BYURadio.org and on the BYU Cougars app, BYU Radio app and KSL app.
No. 20 BYU (3-1) at No. 11 Washington (3-1)
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. PDT
Husky Stadium (70,138)
THE SERIES. BYU and Washington are meeting for the 10th time in the series, with BYU looking to even the series at five wins apiece. The last time the two schools met was in the 2013 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. The Cougars led 16-14 at halftime but were shutout in the second half and fell to the Huskies 31-16. The last time in Seattle, BYU won 28-27 on a blocked extra point.
GOOD START. BYU is off to its best start since a 4-0 start in 2014. It is just the third time in the last 10 seasons the Cougars have won at least three of the first four games including the 2014 campaign. BYU got off to a 3-1 start in 2009 before finishing the season ranked No. 12 with a record of 11-2.
PAC-12 AGAIN. This will be the third game of four scheduled matchups with the Pac-12 this season. BYU beat Arizona 28-23 in the season opener and then fell to Cal 21-18 in week two. The Cougars will end the regular season against Utah. Four games against the Pac-12 will be the most BYU has ever played in a regular season. Since 2003, BYU has played at least one team from the Pac-12 every year, including the postseason. The Cougars have played at least two Pac-12 teams in six of eight seasons as an independent. A win for BYU would give the program its first season since 2008 with two wins over the Pac-12 in the same year. The Cougars defeated Washington (28-27) and UCLA (59-0) in 2008.
POWER 5 WINS. BYU already has two Power 5 wins with victories over Arizona and Wisconsin. A win over Washington would give BYU at least three wins over Power 5 opponents for the second time in three years. In 2016 BYU defeated Arizona, Michigan State and Mississippi State. The Cougars have 25 wins over Power 5 opponents since 2003, the most among non-Power 5 teams.
RANKED MATCHUP. The Cougars and Huskies are meeting as ranked teams. The last time BYU played a ranked team while being ranked was 2015 against No. 10 UCLA when the Cougars were No. 19. BYU came up just short to the Bruins in a 24-23 loss at the Rose Bowl.
The following quotes are from Monday's press conference.
Head coach Kalani Sitake
On BYU’s defense
“There’s a lot of places we can improve. We’re always going to want to lower the missed tackles and missed opportunities. We had a lot of our hands on balls where we could have gotten more interceptions. If there’s one thing to really focus on, it’s coming down on the sacks. We’re getting pressure on the quarterback, we’re just missing some sacks every week. We’ll keep working on it. The guys are aware of it.”
On what the offense is doing to prevent turnovers
“They’re taking care of the football. They do ball security and the quarterback is mindful of the throws. It’s been a huge emphasis that we’re trying to do. Obviously, offensively you know you need to take care of the football. It’s never perfect but you can’t be mindless and taking huge risks. Turnover margins need to work in our favor in order for us to have a chance with getting team wins.”
On the Washington matchup
“It’s another opportunity to play a great team on national TV. We’re really excited about the opportunity. We like all the matchups. I like the schedule at the beginning of the year and now that we’re here against Washington, I’m really excited for the game. We have a lot of fans in the Northwest so our players are excited about going into a difficult place to play. Our players are looking forward to the challenge. We have a lot of respect for everyone that we face. We have a lot of respect for Washington and are looking forward to the opportunity to represent ourselves and play as a team.”
On new players on the offensive line
“They’re doing a great job. Coach Pugh has done a wonderful job with that group and their development. Understanding the scheme and technique of the position is difficult. Coach Grimes and Coach Pugh have been great for our offensive linemen. There’s a lot more they can do and I trust the fact that we have a lot of big guys that can play. We travel 11 offensive linemen because we think they can all play.”
Wide receiver Dylan Collie
On the passing game
"I think we have to start with the relationships and trust and the ability to say we can throw the ball. It’s huge and it’s something we have to execute and it will come. We have a great offensive line and a great system going. We’re on the up and up and there’s no need to press or look at the panic button in any way shape or form. There’s nothing to worry about except what we’re going to do this week and how we’re going to play. Whether that be running the ball or throwing the ball, it’s a football game, and however you get the job done you’re going to get it done. That is what’s going to create a successful atmosphere and a successful culture."
On Top 25 ranking
"It’s not a big part of conversation. Yeah, it’s pretty fun. But it’s not what we define ourselves as. We have been defining ourselves as a winning culture and a winning team since the new staff got here in January. I was just lucky to be a part of it when I came in June and we’ve just built on it every since. That won’t stop. It’s a number in the big scheme of things. What really matters is what we’re doing to progress every single day."
On playing well in away stadiums
"LaVell Edwards Stadium is just as good as any of the places we play on the road. I’ve played in a lot of big stadiums in my career and I put LaVell Edwards Stadium up there with the top of them. The environment that we create during practice, the environment that we create at home and the environment that is created at other places, it’s all even keel. Going into Washington is just another day in the ballpark for the Cougars."
Linebacker Adam Pulsipher
On what they learned from McNeese
“It comes down to playing hard. We’re a physical bunch and really from the beginning I don’t think we came out with the same energy and the same mental focus. Once we cleared that up we were able to stop them and shut them down in the second half. I think that it just takes that effort and commitment from the beginning.
On matching up to the Washington offense
“Washington presents different challenges. They’ve definitely got a lot of speed on the outside, the receiver position and also the running back position. I think that will test us. It’ll be a good chance for us to really come to play and set the tone from the beginning.”
On they they maintain what they are doing with starters out
“I think it speaks to the depth of our team. We knew we had some returning players at a lot of positions that were good. But I think guys have stepped in and have stepped up. Guys like Riggs Powell, Isaiah Kaufusi, who have come in at the linebacker position. Then you look at the D-line. The D-line probably rotates in like 10 guys. And even in the secondary with Tanner Jacobson stepping in and making a play. I think it just speaks to the depth and the quality of players that we have.”
Running back Matt Hadley
On how the offense matches up against Washington
"We have a lot of different shifts and motions, with jet sweeps and running the ball between the tackles. It’s kind of a power offense, I guess you would say. We’ll see how it matches up. They are fast. I think we’ll stick to our game plan and we’ll do our thing and it’ll work out."
On decision making on kickoff returns
"You can pay a lot more attention to the height of the ball and get a mental count. If it’s hanging up in the air for a while it’s going to be hard for everybody to hold their blocks longer. So that can determine whether or not you throw up a fair catch signal. Obviously I think where it’s placed in the end zone is kind of the same as it used to be. It just kind of depends on your special teams coordinator. Aleva Hifo is the main returner so I try to help him out the best I can."
BYU football wrapped up its first week of fall camp with its fifth practice on Saturday morning.