Following team and positions meetings and a team walk-through in Provo Halloween morning, the BYU football team boarded a charter for the flight east and across the Mississippi River, eventually arriving in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
After check-in at the team hotel, coaches and players met with the CBS Sports broadcast crew to provide insights into Cougar football. After dinner the team hopped onto busses and went to Central Magnet School for the traditional fireside the night before the game.
The audience was highlighted by people who drove hours to see the team. To preface his question in the Q&A session, one gentleman mentioned he drove his family five and a half hours to Murfreesboro. Another said the time traveled from North Carolina was seven and half hours.
Kicking off the fireside was defensive lineman Logan Taele. He related a personal experience and spoke about how he learned what it takes to be happy as he learned from the example of his grandparents and read the Book of Mormon. Senior receiver Jordan Leslie, celebrating his birthday, spoke about the meaining of a scripture from Psalms as he spoke at a fireside for the first time. Director of Operations Zach Nyborg then bore his testimony about the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Nyborg served his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the neighboring Knoxville mission.
A special musical number followed; the Primary song "When I Am Baptized" was performed by a collection of players including Kurt Henderson, Solomone Kafu, Michael Alisa, Graham Rowley, Andrew Mikkelsen and Harvey Langi.
The question and answer portion of the meeting featured topics including what it's like to be part of BYU football, what firesides do for the team, how to prepare for missions and the importance of trusting parents.
Coach Bronco Mendenhall concluded the meeting with his remarks as he expressed sincere appreciation for fans willing to travel great distances to seek spiritual upliftment and to support BYU football.
Fans then enjoyed mingling with the players for a few minutes, asking for autographs and taking advantage of photo opportunities.
The busses then shuttled the team over to nearby Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium. The team walked around on the field and took pictures before heading back to the hotel for the night.
BYU will take on Middle Tennessee Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS Sports Network. Select the following link for TV viewing information.