The following quotes are selected from BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake's Monday media availability. Quotes from selected players are also available.
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake (Video)
Looking forward to this week and getting back to work. Not feeling all that great about the loss, but it’s an opportunity for us to perform a lot better than we did the last two weeks. We need to get off this losing streak and work hard in practice.
We need to stay focused on our next opponent and learn from the mistakes and the shortcomings that we had over the weekend. They’re a really good team. Big team and a physical team. We didn’t match their physical presence well enough to earn the victory.
Really hoping to change that against Washington State. We’re on the road again and they’re a really good opponent. I appreciate the fans for showing up at the game at Baylor. There was a lot of royal blue. I’m looking forward to getting that same support in the Northwest. They’re coming off of some wins. They’re playing really good football right now. They’re an explosive and well-coached team. It will be a tough match for us. We will play our best. We’re looking forward to it and we want to get to this game already.
On not having a bye week yet
I don’t know how it has affected other team’s. It usually helps to get the team healthy. A lot of people don't realize that during the week at practice, we have to be physical and put the pads on. I don't have any other way to prep for games. We have to be physical in practice. The unfortunate part was that we felt that we had a great week of practice and it didn't transfer over to the game. There’s some disconnect there and that’s my job to figure it out.
We are mid season. We have guys that are banged up, guys that are playing with injury and guys that aren’t 100 percent. That’s the game of football. We are depending on depth and talent. Sometimes inexperience shows a little bit. It’s time to grow up and get better. We aren’t 100 percent, but neither are Baylor and Washington State. We have to tough it out.
On changes to the defense
We are open for all of that. I’m not closed to making changes. Baylor decided they were going to go big and shove the run down our throat. We didn’t respond the right way. If Washington State decides to do that, then fine. We need to toughen up. If they decide to run the ball and spread, we need to figure out how to stop the run. If you can get a team to be more one-sided, that’s a huge advantage and is more predictable. That was a huge disadvantage for us against Baylor.
On Jayden De Laura, Washington State’s quarterback
Really really good player. Looking at his athleticism. He has a lot of confidence on the field. When they win, it's when he is doing well. He’s always a threat. For a young guy, he has great poise. It's hard to shake those types of guys. He has a great presence and can take over a game. There's a reason we liked him in the recruiting process. He's a playmaker. We will see what we can do against Washington.
On the run and shoot
It's not your typical run and shoot. It has evolved. They have added a lot of different plays. Nick Rolovich is always advancing. We have played against him enough. It's not always the same. Rolovich does a great job of utilizing the right people. They utilize the right people and get the ball to the playmakers. THey're mostly full wide outs. They have a good group of running backs.
On Washington State’s defense
Very solid. I know a lot of the coaches on the defensive side. They play with great technique. You don’t see a lot of mistakes on their defense. THey're well coached and have a lot of experience. Those kids are tough.
Wide receiver Puka Nacua (Video)
On taking advantage of play opportunities at Baylor
When we take long shots, you want to come down with a touchdown. We were able to at least complete the ball, and that’s the biggest goal whenever they throw the ball deep. There’s definitely room for improvement as well. There’s definitely a lot of things we’ve got to clean up.
On if their game day routine will change
I kind of like our routine. I think it’s more of an in-week adjustment. We need to make sure we come out at practices and that we’re not just going through the motions. We want to keep everybody healthy, but bring the intensity and energy that practice needs in order for us to execute perfectly on Saturdays.
On playing with Samson
It’s the best. He sees things differently, coming from his life situations and coming from Utah and what I learned from the University of Washington. He’s such a blessing to always compete against; I know he’s always got my back and I’m always there for him so it’s been a huge blessing.
Linebacker Ben Bywater (Video)
On leading the team in tackles
We have a great scheme. Our defensive coaches are great, and so is our D-line. The biggest thing for me was just getting big and durable. I always knew that once I was on the field, I had the ability to do it, but it was just putting in the work in the offseason.
On leadership within the defense
With Keenan going down, those are big shoes to fill. One person that stands out to me is Tyler Batty. He’s a very vocal leader, and he’s someone that’s always harping on us to be better and to be great. Everyone’s stepping up.
On what it will take to play more physically
We needed to be more stout. I’m not going to sit here and sugarcoat it and say that we did what we needed to do, because we didn’t. So, being more stout this week. It’s a mindset thing, throwing your body out there and being prepared and being confident.
On the team’s morale
I wouldn’t say that the team is disappointed or down. Obviously, we’re frustrated, because we know we can play better. After a loss like that, there’s always lessons to learn. You can sit there and point fingers at what position group could’ve been better, but at the end of the day, a loss is a loss. So you show up Monday, see what you can do better, and then it’s on to Washington State.
BYU offensive lineman Clark Barrington (Video)
On the team’s morale
We’re more just disappointed in ourselves because we know we can play better, and we didn’t play up to the ability that we know we can. The morale is, let’s get back to work, let’s get back to the basics, let’s be physical like we know we can be, and improve on the small and simple things. As we do that’ then we’ll be prepared for this weekend.
On what he’s seen in film from Saturday
We’ve got to do a better job at all being on the same page as an O-line unit, and all five of us being one. I think that’ll be a big focus this week, doing the small and simple things right and being physical and running off the ball fast.