BYU takes on Utah State in Friday matchup
PROVO, Utah – BYU football takes on Utah State on a Friday night game at LaVell Edwards Stadium on October 5 at 7 p.m. MDT. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
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.
Fans are encouraged to wear royal blue to the game. Tickets are available at BYUtickets.com
BYU (3-2) vs. Utah State (3-1)
Friday, Oct. 5, 2018
Kickoff: 7:05 p.m. MDT
LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470)
THE SERIES. BYU and Utah State are playing for the 88th time in the series. The Cougars hold the advantage at 48-36-3, including a 28-17-1 mark in Provo. Last season the Aggies beat BYU 40-24 in Logan. In the last matchup at LaVell Edwards Stadium, BYU won 28-10 in 2016. The Cougars have not lost back-to-back games in the series since the 1973 and 74 seasons.
THE OLD WAGON WHEEL. The winner of the BYU-Utah State game takes possession of "The Old Wagon Wheel," a tradition between the two schools since 1948.
TOUGH SCHEDULE. According to the latest Sagarin ratings in USA Today, BYU has played the fifth-toughest schedule in college football. Only South Carolina (2-2), USC (3-2), UCLA (0-4) and Iowa State (1-3) have played tougher schedules. BYU and USC are the only two teams with a winning record to date.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. BYU is playing its one and only Friday night game of the regular season. The Cougars played three Friday night games last season and have won six of their last eight Friday matchups.
ALMA MATER COACHES. Both head coaches in the matchup are coaching at their respective alma mater. Matt Wells played quarterback for the Aggies from 1993 to 1996, while Kalani Sitake was a fullback at BYU in 1994, 97-2000. The two faced each other as players in 1994. BYU won the game 34-6 in Provo. Sitake had eight carries for 40 yards while Wells completed 25 of 48 passes for 218 yards. He also added 29 yards rushing. BYU has already defeated two teams this season with head coaches at their alma maters in Wisconsin (Paul Chryst) and McNeese (Lance Guidry).
The following quotes are from Monday's media availability.
Head coach Kalani Sitake
On lessons learned from Washington game
"It’s really frustrating because we didn’t play our best. We made too many mistakes that didn't make the game competitive. It wasn’t just on one side, it was all three phases of the team. We didn’t play as clean as we should and that’s on the head coach, so I have to fix it. We put this game away, learn from the mistakes and get to the next one right away."
On facing Utah State on Friday
"I’m really excited about this week. I’m glad that the game is a day earlier and that our guys get to go out there against a rival that we’re familiar with. There’s a lot of urgency from players and coaches to get to this next game. We had a bad outing last year against Utah State so I know they’ll be ready to play and so will we. We feel like we’ve improved a lot from last year to this year and we still haven’t played close to as good as I think we can. I’m excited to see us play our best game this year on Friday. We need to play better football and the only way to do that is get to the next game. Our guys are excited and it will be a lot of fun on Friday.
They have a high-scoring, power offense and a good defense too. I know a lot of coaches on that staff and they’re going to be ready. This is going to be a big game for them just like it is for us. There is a lot going into this game. They’re a well-coached team. They have good players and a good scheme. I like what they do on offense. They go really fast and we’ll have to be ready for that. Defensively they tackle well and do the fundamental part of the game really well. I’ve just been really impressed with their team and they’ll be ready to go when we play them."
On Moroni Laulu-Pututau’s ACL tear
"He really wanted this game because he’s from Logan. It’s just unfortunate. He’s had some really tough battles with injury. Starting to see him emerge as a receiver and blocker at tight end has been really good for us as a team. It’s always hard when a guy goes down but we’ll get him back next year. I know he’s resilient and he’ll want to get back with the boys and play on the field again. His leadership can still continue and the things he does for our team. It’s just hard not to have him with us, especially for this game. He’ll still be tuned in but won’t be able to play on the field. He’ll be ready to help us out any way he can.
We had to get some of the young guys ready and with his injury we’ll need Matt Bushman, Dallin Holker and Hank Tuipulotu to step up and be ready to play as soon as possible. I feel good about that position group and Coach Clark as a tight ends coach. We’ve had some guys banged up but we should get some of them back this week. That’ll help us out in this game."
Quarterback Tanner Mangum
On looking back on the film how did you evaluate it
"It's disappointing to see the lack of explosion. We did some good things here and there but I think it just wasn’t consistent. Our run game wasn’t clicking like the way it has been. That was frustrating because in the first half we were running the ball well and we had some drives, but we just couldn’t put points on the board. Then we just kind of dug ourselves in a hole. We started shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties and the turnover right before the half, just little things like that really put us in a hole. When you’re playing a good team like Washington you can’t do that and it just made it tough to go from there. It’s something that we have to work on. We have to keep working, keep grinding, to make sure that we focus on our execution and when it comes to the penalties and turnovers, that’s just us being focused and disciplined and conscious of that. I think that we’re all excited to get back to work this week."
On losing Moroni Laulu-Pututau
"My heart hurts. He’s one of my best friends and someone that I care about. He has worked so hard to get back and it’s been so fun to play with him again, so it’s heartbreaking to see him go down. I could feel for him with those injuries, they aren’t fun. I just feel really bad and we’re going to be there for him. He’s the type of guy where he’s not going to let it totally derail him; he’s got a good mindset, a good attitude, he’s going to continue to work hard and he’ll be back stronger than ever for sure. It hurts us on offense because he’s a good player. But, we have guys that are going to step up that can play, so that’s just part of the game."
On the mindset going into the Utah State game
"Once you hit Monday, it’s onto the next. We’re not going to dwell on Washington, we’re not going to talk about it more than necessary, we’re just going onto the next. That’s how it has to be every week, we have to take it one week at a time, one game at a time. I think that’s key to our preparation, to just give everything you’ve got to Utah State. First of all because they’re a good opponent, we can’t shortchange ourselves and we have to prepare hard because we’re going to have to play well and execute better. We’ll have to be on our A-game, so it’s going to take all we’ve got this week."
Defensive back Austin Lee
On the mentality of the defense
"I think we’re a little bit frustrated obviously with making the mistakes we did and not being able to put ourselves in the situations that we could have. I think we’re just frustrated, but I also think we just move on from it and take what we did wrong and expound on it for this next game we have against Utah State."
On what they have to learn
"I think the biggest thing is consistency and being consistent in every aspect, as far as being physical. There are plays where I feel like we try to do too much and that leaves us undisciplined, so we have to be disciplined consistently every single play."
On going up against a team that has put up large offense numbers
"Utah State has put up big numbers and they’re very explosive. I think as a defense we have to put ourselves in the right positions. We have to trust the process as far as the schemes that our coaches are teaching us, trusting that players will be in certain situations and will be doing their assignments. When that doesn't happen that is when there is miscommunication, we aren’t disciplined and big plays can happen. We saw that against Washington. We just have to trust the process, trust the players, trust the coaches, trust everything that’s going on. Then we’ll be able to be more of a sound defense.
Wide Receiver Talon Shumway
On Utah State rivalry and playing them Friday
"I think any in-state game you play would be considered some type of rivalry. It varies across the board but it’s an important game to us. I think we should approach each game individually. For a few aspects of what we’re doing I think it’s important to have a good bounce-back week. That’s going to start today, not Friday, so today is going to be the day we are going to bounce back. What it really comes down to a lot of times is that we just need to follow our coaching a little bit better. I think that the coaches are consistent in what they’re preaching to us and what they’re trying to get us to do from game to game. That’s something we can improve on is just following that coaching a little more closely."
On Moroni Laulu-Pututau’s injury
"Moroni has shown great resilience as far as injuries go with coming back from an injury last year. I think he is going to be fine. For right now we just want him to get healthy. It’s hard, especially since Moroni is my best friend. When you know a little more about what’s going on their head, it's hard. It’s not just hard on him, it’s hard on a lot of us."
BYU football wrapped up its first week of fall camp with its fifth practice on Saturday morning.