PROVO, Utah – BYU football looks to bounce back against Utah in the Deseret First Duel on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 8:15 p.m. MDT. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
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 BYUCougars.com. It will begin at 6:15 p.m. MDT.
BYUtv will provide pregame and postgame coverage with Countdown to Kickoff starting at 7 p.m. MDT. Postgame coverage runs for half an hour or more after the game depending on the timing of the game.
BYU (1-1) vs. Utah (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017
Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. MDT
LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470)
Fans are encouraged to wear royal and pregame events will be held throughout the day near LaVell Edwards Stadium:
- General Public Tailgate: Lot 18 at 7:00 a.m. MDT
- Traeger Tailgate: Lot 7 (west side of LES) at 5:00 p.m. MDT
- Cosmo’s Kids Zone: north side of LES at 5:00 p.m. MDT
- Cougar Walk: east side of LES at 5:45 p.m. MDT
DESERET FIRST DUEL HISTORY. BYU and Utah are set to continue the rivalry and the Deseret First Duel in 2017. Last season, Utah edged BYU 20-19 in another thriller. BYU scored a touchdown in the final minute and opted to go for the win on a two-point conversion attempt but failed to reach the end zone, falling to the Utes. Utah leads the all-time series 56-31-4. In the past 21 meetings, 16 of the games have been decided by seven points or less.
RIVALRY COACHING CONNECTIONS. BYU head coach Kalani Sitake coaches 10 seasons with Kyle Whittingham at Utah, working his way up to Whittingham’s No. 2 man as assistant head coach. Sitake returned home to BYU as the head coach in December of 2015. Both he and Whittingham played under Hall of Fame coach LaVell Edwards. Defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki, defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi and tight ends coach Steve Clark have all spent time on the Utah staff. Utah co-special teams coordinator and linebackers coach Justin Ena, tight ends coach Fred Whittingham and wide receivers coach Guy Holliday all spent time at BYU as players or staff members and are among many rivalry ties between the two schools.
BYU vs. PAC-12. After playing three teams from the Pac-12 in 2016, the Cougars face just Utah this season. BYU is 72-124-6 overall against the current members of the Pac-12.
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 the classic stoic profile he displayed for years on the Cougar sidelines.
The following quotes are from Monday’s post-practice press briefing from head coach Kalani Sitake and select players.
Head coach Kalani Sitake
Increasing the execution on offense
"Winning first and second downs. We have to get positive yards on those two downs and get in better position for third downs. That was our struggle from the first week and we struggled again with it the second week more so. We met as a coaching staff and re-evaluated everything and saw what we needed to fix. I think we will be better this week. I think that it was on me. The players played hard, they were physical and they tried to do as much as they could. It’s on me as a coach to get these players as ready as I can."
"It’s what I’m used to seeing. I recognize a lot of things they are doing offensively and defensively. I think they have a really good quarterback. I think that he is dangerous on the ground and had a lot of rushes. When I was there, we focused on our depth. From what I see, they have replaced their four draft picks at O-line with really solid players. They seem to have a young backfield but those players are capable too. That’s huge compliment to their coaching staff and their recruiting. What Coach Whittingham has done and what his vision was has a lot of influence on what I want to do as a coach here. The goal here is to make sure that we have better depth and that we play better."
"I just love football. It’s one of the best rivalry games in the country. I think there is a lot of respect on both sides from Utah and BYU. It’s fun and this type of weekend is what college football is about. We will try to enjoy the process and try to get a win."
Message to players about the rivalry game
"Regardless of how the teams are doing in the season, the game has been pretty close in the last decade. People keep saying to treat it just like another game but it’s not. They are 40 miles up north and there are a lot of connections between the two teams. You just try to play it knowing our strengths. It's going to be a packed house. We are excited to be home."
Senior linebacker Fred Warner
Mood of the team
“We’re excited about a new week. That’s what’s great about football — you always get to play another week. We’re excited because it’s a big game this week and it’s at home, so spirits are high right now.”
“I think this week more than any week, coming off the game we just had, I feel like we’ll have more fire than ever and we’ll be practicing really hard this week to prove ourselves.”
As a captain, is it your job to rebuild the guys after a game like that?
“Absolutely, we need to lead by example. I just talked with the defense after practice and we have control, especially on my side of the ball. The offense is going to do what they’re going to do, but it’s our job to make sure that if the opposing team comes out we hold them to minimal points so our offense doesn’t have to work on trying to gain a lead. We’re putting it on us more so than the offense.”
“I know everybody involved brings a lot of passion to this game. Everybody has a lot of emotion toward this game. A lot of people from both sides know each other. A lot of people who grew up in Utah are on both teams. Maybe some people that went to the other school wanted to go to the other one. Just being here, and being in those games, there’s just a lot of emotion and we’re just making sure that we’re containing that to an extent and using it to our advantage.”
Breaking the streak
“It would mean everything, especially for myself. I’ve played this team twice. There’s going to be a lot of emotion for this game, and the fact that it’s going to be at home is going to be huge for us. We’ve just got to make sure that we’re firing on all cylinders.”
Senior linebacker Matt Hadley
“We aren’t going to sit back and think about the past, but instead we are going to focus on what we can control, which is bringing all the emotion that we have and bringing all the passion we know we have. Preparation this week is so important to get ready and bring it against Utah.”
“I think we’re matched well. Our defense is nice because we rely on speed, and we have speed. We also have size. We have gotten as big and strong as we can, but we are also fast.”
“We have the athletes that can make the plays and do their job. We are confident in that and they are too. In the first two games, things happened, but they are athletic enough to get it done.”
“It is a great rivalry. I grew up in Washington and saw the rivalry there with Washington State, so I’ve seen that. Coming down here, it is the same type of deal, if not more because we live so close. It is a fun rivalry—one of the best in the nation.”
Senior wide receiver Jonah Trinnaman
“We are pretty confident and know what we need to fix to play the way we want to play. We left a lot of plays out on the field this weekend, and it’s about making the plays when they come our way.”
“We have confidence in Tanner (Mangum), and we know what he can do. We have his back.”
“This is my second game against Utah. Last year was close, and we should have won it. It’ll be a good game, and we’ll be ready come Saturday.”
“Coach (Ty) Detmer told us to keep looking forward because last week was last week. We just need to fix our mistakes and look forward to a good game.”