Kalani Sitake Press Conference - No. 21 Washington


The following quotes are selected from BYU's Monday press conference prior to week four's game against No. 21/22 Washington on Sept. 21 at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Watch the full press conference here

Head Coach Kalani Sitake
I’m looking forward to this matchup against Washington and I’m looking forward to learning from some of the things we did against USC.

On their fourth-quarter rallies.
Our players have done an amazing job believing in each other and trusting that their energy and effort will pay off. That’s been the key for us and the players keep working at it. That’s a huge compliment to our guys and the way our players take control and the leadership that we have in this group.

On the health of the team.
We’ll see how it goes today. I know there are some guys going into the game that weren’t able to perform, and we had to tap into our depth a little bit. We had some guys get banged up, but I thought the guys that stepped up did a good job. The coaches did a great job prepping them for that opportunity and they made the most of it.

I don’t predict health. The only thing I can predict is if our depth is ready. We’ve learned a lot of tough lessons that our depth needs to get better. As much as you can preach it, sometimes going through the experience and having guys knowing that they’re close to playing in the game, that’s the best lesson of all. Our guys did an amazing job prepping for this game, trusting their preparation and it paid off. I’m glad we got the win, but more importantly, I’m glad our guys learned and improved. Our guys on the depth chart stepped up and made some plays.

On how USC compared to the other power-five teams.
Every game has been a great experience for our guys and they gave us opportunities to learn. Regardless of the outcomes, there are opportunities for us to improve every week. Just like a lot of other teams in the country that are getting better every week, we’re following that trend. As long as we can keep getting better every week and play better, it’s more opportunities for us to learn. That’s what we’re focused on right now as a group. We’re looking forward to the preparation and the excitement of the game.

On Washington.
There are a lot of returning players, but there are a lot of different pieces to their team. I have a lot of respect for Coach Chris Petersen because he can get that group ready. That’s what they do, guys graduate and get drafted, then they bring more guys in. They don’t even miss a beat. It was a great learning experience for us last year, and we’re looking to see how much we’ve learned from that and how much we learned from last week. We’ll see how we match up. I have a lot of respect for that program and what they’ve done since Coach Petersen has been there. I have a lot of connections and friends on that staff and they’ll have them ready. It’s going to be fun to have them here in Provo.

Wide Receiver Gunner Romney
On the scramble pass from Zach Wilson
I was just running my route. Zach got a little bit of pressure, so we just did a scramble drill. We work on that in practice all the time. I saw him scrambling so I took off down the field, it was a big-time play in a big-time situation.

On the fourth-quarter rallies
I think it shows the toughness of our team. We’ve been able to come back and be able to persist in those hard situations at the end of games. It shows the character that this team has. We don’t give up and we keep fighting to the very end to come out on top in those tough situations.

On being on the field at the end of the game
Man, that was an awesome experience. I’ve never really been part of a storming-the-field type of situation, so that was awesome. I couldn’t get off the field for an hour. Everybody was still on the field just cheering and going crazy, so it was a really cool experience.”

On having 11 receivers get catches during the game
“It’s awesome just knowing that we have so many different weapons. So, we can score and we can make plays from tons of different places. It’s nice to know as a receiver that you can go out and make a play whenever your number is called. It’s not just one guy that you’re going to all the time, so you can step up when your opportunity comes and you can get the opportunity to make a big play.

Running Back Ty'Son Williams
On his evolution and contributions to the team
I run the ball, that’s something I’ve always done naturally, but besides that I’m just trying to play my game. Outside of that, receiving and blocking, just trying to take those things to the next level.

On when things started to click offensively
I mean, in games it’s not going to always go our way. So, in games you just have to keep fighting. Things will fall our way eventually. But in the game, for me, I don’t think there was a time where I can say that it’s all fitting. Every time we’re on the field I feel like it all fits but, we have to keep chipping away, keep improving.

On not having turnovers in the last couple of games
That’s probably the main thing that you want to do when you step on the field. You don’t want to have any turnovers because that just gives the defense momentum, and a lot of times it gives them great field position. So, anytime we don’t turn the ball over it’s great.

On his proudest moment while being at BYU
Just trying to be a great teammate. Whether that’s playing on the field, being in a leadership role, talking to the younger guys on the team and giving them some of the knowledge that I’ve learned throughout my career so that they don’t have to go through as many bumps and bruises. Hopefully my knowledge can make their path a little bit easier. That’s something that I really take pride in. I’m just glad that I can be in that position and do that.

Defensive Lineman Lorenzo Fauatea
On being a part of the defense for Saturday’s win
It was really fun. Going through that experience during Saturday’s game brought back a lot of memories from Tennessee and last year at Wisconsin. Every time the defensive players are on the benches, when offense is on the field, we’re looking at each other thinking, “It’s on us. Let’s keep this going.” When we actually make the plays in the game, it’s a whole different feeling because we did it. We shake each other’s hands and give props to those who made the play. That’s the brotherhood that I’m grateful to be a part of. 

On the strengths of the defense right now
Everyone is sticking to their role individually while trusting technique, coaches and the game plan going into that week. Monday we install, then Tuesday we watch the film and install more from there. Wednesday we finalize it and practice. On Thursday it’s all a walk-through. The strength of it is that we trust each other. We have young players on the team in different positions, but we trust them and the coaches in giving them the chance to play their position.

On making strong plays during the BYU vs. USC game
I’ve been learning from game to game. When you take a chance with some plays, you’ll make it. I feel like that’s what I did in this game. In past games and last year I focused on playing with technique and doing my assignment. Even if I didn’t make the play, I did my job. This year I’m trying to do all of that while also putting myself out there to make plays and helping the team out where I can.