2023 Big 12 Media Day Quotes


ARLINGTON, Texas – BYU participated in day one of Big 12 Media Days on Wednesday, July 12, at AT&T Stadium in its inaugural season as members of the conference.

Scroll below to read quotes from players and coaches to learn more about the BYU football program, the 2023 team, upcoming season and current events. Quotes addressing the following topics are included below:

  • Entrance to the Big 12
  • BYU culture/fit in the Big 12
  • 2023 team
  • BYU/head coach Kalani Sitake
  • New defensive staff
  • New transfers
  • Big 12 Mexico
  • NIL
  • What other Big 12 players/coaches said about BYU

Select to return to Media Day Preview & Content Links


BYU defensive end Tyler Batty on what playing in the Big 12 means to him (ESPN 960)
“We are going to go out there and play football, the same ways that we always do. But at the same time, everyone does realize that now we’re in a conference. There are conference rankings and a conference title on the line. That’s super exciting. You always want to win games, but we can look at where are we in the conference standings. The chance to win an actual conference title is exciting. We had a winning record or a 10-win season, but there is now more on the line now.”

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake on BYU’s path to the Big 12, the energy of being in the Big 12 (BYU Sports Nation)
“I can’t help but think about all of the people that were involved in all of it. It’s not just the people who are here or the administration and leadership but the people who were here before. I keep thinking about LaVell. It’s a really cool feeling for me, to think about all those who have played in the past. You can feel the energy. It’s almost so thick, you can grab it.”

Sitake on his goal for BYU in the Big 12 (BYU Sports Nation)
“I want to make sure that we’re not just happy with being invited. I want to make sure that we represent well in many ways, on the field of competition but also in who we are. I want us to remember what got us here. It’s us being unique and different. Let’s make sure we give everything we have and represent well.”

Sitake on joining a conference (BYU Radio)
“I am excited about the common opponents and playing them from year-to-year. There is a reason we like to have those rivalries that we saw with Boise State, Utah and Utah State. That is going to be fun to see how that is going to work with this conference. We will always have something to play for and for the players they have the accolades and honors they get from being a great student-athlete on-and-off the field. You get noticed for things that you do, at a conference level that is important.”

Sitake on adjusting to playing Power 5 Teams (Sirius XM)
“It’s big time football. Whenever you play the best, it’s going to be difficult. The best way to learn and get better is to play the best. Le’s just get the best out there and let’s play so we can know the answers, the deficiencies, and your strengths.”

Sitake on preparing for the Big 12 (Sirius XM)
“I feel good about our staff. I feel good about what our players are doing. I feel really optimistic about what's happening. But again, the game of football is different. There’s so many variables to it. We’re getting ready with our preparation and I can feel really good about that. But every coach is saying that right now too. So we’ll see which ones are right, and which ones are wrong.”

Sitake on Big 12 style of play (Sirius XM)
“There is just so much talent all over the place. For us to come in with this difficult task and play these teams, we are excited for it. It’s an easy motivator when our players worked even harder after seeing that schedule. The sense of urgency is now, so for me as a head coach, we are ready to go. It’s one thing to be invited to a conference, but it’s another thing to be a great partner and show up with our best.”

Sitake on the feeling around BYU entering the Big 12 (ESPNU)
“The energy and excitement is all over the place. I can just feel the energy from Cougar nation, so I’m really excited to show them off on a different platform and in the Big 12 Conference. I’m excited to go to different venues, but I’m also excited to be part of a conference that’s got so much innovation and creativity. I’m excited to be here with our commissioner Brett Yormark and I’m ready to follow his leadership. I’m excited to be a part of this family and we want to be great partners.”

Sitake on his perception of the Big 12 prior to joining the conference (ESPNU)
“Just the last three years, we’ve seen six different teams play for the championship. There’s a lot of parity. 

Sitake on the level of competition in the Big 12 (ESPNU)
“There is a high level of play from the top to the bottom. We are excited to be a part of this. It ups the level of preparation and urgency knowing that we will be here. I don’t really need to say much to the team. They are ready to go and finding motivation everyday looking at the schedule and what is ahead of them.”

Sitake on joining the Big 12 (Big 12 Press Conference)
“I mean, this is something that we've been dreaming of for a while, speaking as a fan. Now that we've been given this platform, I'm excited for the opportunities that we have. I've met all the administrators from all the different schools and been really impressed with them. This isn't going to be easy, and we know that. That's why as an independent, I told Tom to find as many as he could that people don't want to play. I wanted to play them all, with the thought that possibly this could be the goal. Now that we're here, there's a high sense of urgency for us to get ready to go, and I feel really good about the progress that we've made as a team.”

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe on the financial impact of the Big 12 (KSL Sports Zone)
“It’s vastly improved for sure. We’re prognosticators and we’re constantly looking out and projecting what our budget is going to be down the road. A very important position on my staff is the CFO and a financial strategist which is one in the same. It comes into play a lot. I don’t think a day’s gone by where we don’t talk about [the financial impact]. But, it’s better. We do things a little bit differently at BYU money wise. If we try to do it another way, we will fail.”

Holmoe on BYU’s preparation for the Big 12 (Sirius XM)
“Football-wise, we will build our team around our opponents in the Big 12. As for athletics in general, I think we have improved our infrastructure of bringing the right people in and structuring things in a way to maximize what we want to do.”

Holmoe on handling a Power 5 schedule (Sirius XM)
“We will be somewhat better prepared than most, but there’s no game in a Big 12 schedule where there’s a breather.”

Holmoe on main points in transitioning to the Big 12 (Sirius XM)
“Football wise, we will build our team around how you got ot play the teams in the Big 12. As far as athletics, I bet on people. Brett Yormark said that and I like that comment, and I think that we’ve improved our infrastructure of bringing the right people in and knowing how we’re going to strategize and plan the things we’re going to do.” 

BYU wide receiver Kody Epps to BYU Radio on being part of a conference
“Being in the Big 12 allows us to have something that we can see in our future with putting in the work to be an efficient offense, defense and special teams.”


Batty on Provo (Sirius XM)
“Provo is awesome. The highlight is the people in Provo. I would vote it as the best backdrop in college football. The mountains are gorgeous. Our food is decent. Great ice cream. It's a fun experience. We are excited to have other Big 12 fans come and visit and experience what game days are like in Provo.

Batty on the Big 12 Schedule (Sirius XM)
“Our prior schedules have lined us up perfectly for this year in the Big 12. I think the competition we will face here in the Big 12 is nothing different than what we’ve been seeing the past few years. Our guys love football, so they’re just excited to be back in a conference and play some new teams.”

Batty on what BYU brings to the Big 12 (ESPN 960)
“I think our brand, just as BYU you know, who we are and the history guys before us have established. Our brand is an international brand. We bring a lot of attention to the Big 12.”

BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis on the BYU culture (Sirius XM)
“The camaraderie and community here at BYU are super important. I feel like I was brought in by my teammates really fast. Coach Kalani Sitake has built a special culture that is all about family and loving one another, which is really important to remember through a long football season.”

BYU linebacker Ben Bywater on how ready BYU is for P5 football (BYU Radio)
“We feel ready. We do. It’s one of those things where we have been putting in work all offseason. It’s been looming over our heads for a long time. It’s time to take the leash off the dogs and let them go. I am really excited for our boys this year.”


Holmoe on Big 12 Championship predictions (KSL Sports Zone)
“Our fall sports are strong. We start with women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, football and cross country. Those sports are traditionally top-10 in the Directors Cup every year. Our fall teams will have a shot. I think that some of the teams after that are teams that will need to build and gain some strength in depth. We will all be transitioning.”

Sitake on being picked 11th in preseason poll (BYU Radio)
“I understand why they did that, but at the same time I am not focused on that. My focus is getting our players ready to play at our best for the 12 opportunities that we have. That is what our focus is going to be on and then we will see what happens. As far as motivation and all that stuff, I am not motivated to prove anybody wrong, just motivated to prove myself and team right.”

Sitake on how Big 12 membership changes motivation throughout the season (ESPNU)
“I think it’s going to be huge. There’s just certain things you want to accomplish. To receive conference accolades and awards matters to young men and matters to players. It’s something you can hang on to forever. I mean, we’ve had some great talent and a lot of awards that have been won right here. I want to make sure that our guys have every opportunity to do that, and now we’re in the mix.”

Slovis on motivation of being picked 11th in preseason poll (BYU Radio)
“It can always help motivation but at the end of the day we don’t look outside the program to set the foundation of our success. We set our own precedent. We are focused on the process and not necessarily the result, but if we focus on the process and getting better everyday and we think the result will take care of itself.”

2023 TEAM

Slovis on the wide receiver room (Sirius XM)

“First I think they’re very well coached. I think Coach Fesi Sitake does such a great job. It's probably the most well coached group I’ve been around ever, super disciplined. They know the depth of their routes like the back of their hand. They work hard to do things the right way and it makes my job as a quarterback easier when you can trust these guys.”

Slovis on joining the team during the transition to the Big 12 (ESPNU)
“It’s really exciting. You look at the schedule, we are playing some big time teams week in and week out. I love our schedule, it is going to be a lot of fun, it’s going to be challenging against some big opponents. But it’s a challenge that myself and the rest of the team is looking forward to.”

Slovis on what the main aspect of his game that he feels most confident about (ESPNU)
Just where I am at throwing the ball, that’s my game. I am not going to run around too much, but I am always confident in my arm. We have some really good receivers, Chase Roberts, Kody Epps, and some transfer. I think a lot of guys in the right position receiver wise is going to make my life a lot easier.”

Slovis on the BYU receivers (ESPNU)
“I am feeling really confident. We have three guys who had a lot of experience last year, some youngins with a little bit of experience, and transfers with a lot of experience. I feel like we have 6 or 7 guys who are ready to go. It's important to have depth in that position and I am excited. We also have some tight ends, Isaac Rex is really healthy. Again, we have a good group of guys.”

Sitake on the offense (Sirius XM)
“Kedon’s got tons of experience. Going into hostile territory, seeing big time stadiums isn’t going to be new to him. I feel really good about where we’re at right now. I feel good about the team. I feel good about the way that guys are working, the way they look, and the way that they’re performing.”

Sitake on the O-line facing Power-5 teams (Sirius XM)
“I mean we played some looking at last year. For example we played Baylor and they’re known for being a physical. We played Stanford and played other teams that have been physical and played Utah in the past, so those are good lessons for us to learn on where we’re at and how we can get better.”

Sitake on Kedon Slovis (ESPNU)
“Tons of experience. It’s not like going into hostile environments is going to be tough for him as he’s been through that already. He’s played a lot of football. What I want him to do is feel comfortable mixing the different types of throws and taking calculated risks, but also just playing within the program. You know, sometimes you don’t do it all as a quarterback - you lean on your teammates, lean on the defense and special teams to be a difference maker for you. I’m excited about the progress he’s made since he’s been in Provo.”

Sitake on what excites him for this upcoming season (ESPNU)
“It starts with the line of scrimmage. I mean, BYU is always going to be about a quarterback, but I want to make sure that our offensive line and defensive line is strong.”

Batty on linebacker Ben Bywater (Sirius XM)
“Ben is a baller. I’ve known Ben for a lot of years. We actually happened to be in the same signing class. We came into BYU together following our service missions. Ben’s awesome, just a super hard worker. He gets after it. Loves football. Loves to study it. Loves to play. Loves to get after it in the weight room. He’s just that type of guy.”

Batty on defensive end Isaiah Bagnah (ESPNU)
“Isaiah’s awesome. He’s really twitchy, really quick, really technically sound. He knows football. He’s a great guy off the field as well. He’s one of my good buddies. It’s been awesome to get to know him and I’m excited to share the field with him this fall.”

Sitake on new defense (Sirius XM)
“I don’t mind taking chances and I want Jay to feel like this is the defense with his personality and feel ownership of it. The thing is, we speak the same language. What I saw in spring, he’s doing exactly what I expected him to do.”

Bywater on the defense (BYU Radio)
“Obviously last year we didn’t play up to par with what we wanted to . I think Jay Hill is doing a great job in putting the scheme together. It is one of those things that too that we have guys that believe this year. We have good camaraderie which I feel the boys are all on board with the game plan and vision. From Jay Hill down to Justin Ena, you can feel the energy and everyone's competing. Nobody is safe, you have to go out and compete.”


Slovis on Coach Sitake (Sirius XM)
“It’s been refreshing [to play for Coach Sitake]. The biggest thing that sets Coach Sitake apart is that he’s a good person. He really is. This is a guy you want to play for. A guy that coaches you hard but a coach you love. Our motto is “love and learn” and I think that’s such a great philosophy and way to go about it. You’re not pressing on kids and you’re not looking over your shoulder worried about what happened or your expectation or your standard. We do things the right way.”

Slovis on “Why BYU?” (Sirius XM)
“Looking from the outside, it’s the offense. They’ve done so many great things with Zach and Jaren and having an explosive offense. They love to throw the ball. And that’s where it all started with LaVell Edwards. Going back to the roots of that was super exciting for me. I got here and it felt like home so fast. It hasn’t been hard to try and lead the team because the guys want to be led.”

Slovis on how the team gets a long and retreat to Southern Utah (ESPNU)
“It’s been easy. We have a really good group of kids. We did a retreat a couple weekends ago with the skill players. It’s such a fun locker room to be in. It makes it really easy for a guy like me to fit in and get the team to bond even further. We went to southern Utah and hung out on the water, played some golf, just some time away from the facility and away from football. That’s important because you go through a long season and see a lot of adversity, you might as well get the guy next to you and get to know each other a little better.”

Sitake on BYU fans (BYU Sports Nation)
“I’m really excited for the fans and the opportunities they’re going to have. They’re the best part of BYU and athletics. I want to show them off a little bit. This type of platform, this type of arena, this is what it’s all about.”

Sitake on coaching staff (Sirius XM)
“My responsibility and obligation is to my players, I think of them first. Then I have to think of our fans and their expectations, and we felt there was a need for change on the defensive side of things. I feel good about where we are right now, which is tough to do, but I believe we are headed in the right direction. We need to have complimentary football between our three phases, offense, defense and special teams, and I think we have the men on our staff to get it done.”

Sitake on leadership (Sirius XM)
“I believe that if you want great leaders you have to provide opportunities for them, and that’s throughout the day. You can’t just do a pregame speech and that type of stuff. I’ve always believed in collaboration and working with others. This job isn’t about what I can do, it’s about what others can do.”

Sitake on Provo and Cougar Nation (ESPNU)
“The people are amazing. I will talk about Cougar Nation and our fans as much as I can, but you just have to come and experience it for yourself. I love that when we go on the road, we have fans that show up and represent. I am excited about them coming to Provo and having more eyes in Provo. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Sitake on the recruiting doors that the Big 12 opens (Big 12 Press Conference)
“We've seen an uptick in recruiting. I think it increases, maybe gets a little bit of curiosity for people that never thought about BYU as a destination to play. We're a faith-based institution, so we're affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A lot of people don't know much about the church or our mission, but our football program is right in alignment with the mission of our church, and that's proclaiming our belief in Jesus Christ as our savior. There's a lot of people that fall in line with that, whether they're members of the church or not. It's just opened the doors and widened our net in recruiting.”

Sitake on BYU’s atmosphere (Big 12 Press Conference)
"Well, I'm going to go back to the BYU fans. They're amazing. I am one, so the energy and the excitement that they bring to the games is a good experience for visiting teams as well. They give you ice cream before the fourth quarter, guys. I think everybody should do that. But should probably extend it to the fans -- not to the fans, but also to the coaches on the sideline. That would be really cool. That could be innovative where I'm eating ice cream going into the fourth quarter. But it's a different experience, and the beauty matches the -- the beauty from the fans matches what you're seeing in the landscape, the mountains and everything. I love that our stadium is named after LaVell Edwards. That's my guy. He's a great leader, and a lot of what I do in our program is from him.”

Holmoe on what it’s like being the AD at his alma mater (Sirius XM)
“I think I have the best job in America. I wake up in the morning, and every single day I get excited to drive to work and rub shoulders with student athletes who I know all by name. These students are goal-oriented and have incredible futures, and we get to help them grow and develop. I don’t know what could be better than that, especially at my alma mater.”

Holmoe on being an athletic director (Sirius XM)
“It’s the best thing in the world. I think I have the best job and I really do wake up in the morning and every single day I drive to work and go and rub shoulders with student athletes at my alma mater who I know them all by name. They’re goal oriented. They have incredible futures and we get to help them grow and develop. I don’t know what’s better than that.”


Batty on Coach Jay Hill and the new defense (Sirius XM)
“[Getting a new defensive coordinator] was a big change. Coach Hill is a high energy and high expectations type of guy. It’s exactly what we needed. The biggest shift on defense has been just that, to up the ante a little bit more. He’s asking a little bit more of the defense. And in return, he’s giving a little bit back more to the guys. This fall, we’re going to see a much different defense from BYU than our fans have seen in the past few years. It will be a lot more aggressive. This year, I’m excited to get after the passer a bit more myself.”

Batty on new associate head coach/defensive coordinator Jay Hill (ESPNU)
“Coach Hill is awesome. He brings a lot of experience with his previous coaching positions. He knows a lot about football and a lot about defense. It’s been awesome to learn from him and the energy he brings to the program.” 

“It’s infectious. It’s spread throughout the guys. It’s new. As guys are learning a new defense, it can be tricky. I think it’s helped guys buy-in to what he’s trying to do and help guys get excited to play football this fall.” 


Batty on the impact of the transfer portal on the roster (ESPN 960)
“We have a ton of new guys offensively and defensively. I would say all of the transfers have made really good progress at every position. We have a transfer in every single position group, not a single position group wasn’t changed. Spring ball was awesome. The summer workouts have been great. They are definitely going to be some new names for Cougar Nation to learn this fall.”

Epps on the potential impact of new transfers (BYU Radio)
“The guys that we went and got have played big time football elsewhere. They have made big time plays at the school where they played at. They know what it takes.”

On the transfer portal (ESPNU)
“The fit matters. There’s a fit that schematically makes sense, but then there’s also a fit in the culture. We want to have someone bring themselves and what they represent to our team and add to it, not just be a part of it. I want them to feel that their expectations or goals can be achieved at BYU.”

“The transfer portal is part of football. Whatever happens, we are going to adapt to it and we’re going to try to find innovative ways as a coaching staff to make it an advantage for us. That’s what our goal is. I think we’ve done pretty good for ourselves in the portal and we will see how good we did this season.”


Holmoe about being interested in Big 12 Mexico (ESPN 960)
“I think most people that are BYU fans would understand I was first in line. I cut to the first of the line in that AD room. I didn’t even ask what the perimeters were, I just said that we are in because we have an international influence. We are talking about Mexico, we could play down there and not bring people from the United States and get a great crowd.”


Holmoe on Name, Image and Likeness (ESPN 960)
“NIL plays a big role at every school in the country, including BYU. There are parts of it that I really like. I’m somebody that says I love the fact that players have the opportunity to use their name, image and likeness for their benefit. What we are trying to do at BYU is be able to do it our way, which I actually think is working for us to a degree. But it is not anywhere near where we think it could be.”

Holmoe on NIL (Sirius XM)
“[Talking about experience with NIL] I think it’s been good. I am not a huge fan of how it operates and how it works right now, but the principle of NIL where student athletes can earn cash, good hard cold cash, for name, image, and likeness…that’s a principle that no one should argue with.”



Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark of BYU (ESPNU)
"We love BYU, we’re excited to have them in the conference. They bring a different time zone, obviously, which is great for us. We’re the only conference in America that’s in three time zones.”

Yormark on the four new schools (ESPNU)
“If you were on social media on July 1, you saw the power of those four brands and how they engage with fans, how they think about brand, and how they think about social media. We’re excited to be partnered with those four new schools. And, you know, we’re now in eight states. We reach over 75 million people in our footprint now with the help of those four schools, so they bring a lot of value to this conference and we’re again very excited to have them.”

Yormark on the Big 12 readiness of the four new schools (ESPNU)
“We serve our member institutions and we’re engaged with them on a daily basis to the extent that we can help them elevate and amplify what they do and how they do it. We’ve started doing that already. We have great collaboration, and let’s face it, it’s been a bit of a step for them up to the Big 12, but they’ve embraced it. They’re investing behind it and we’re collaborating. They’re doing a great job.”

Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian on year three at Texas (BYU Sports Nation)
“It’s been a great journey. Obviously, the University of Texas is a special place. I’m humbled and honored to be the head coach here. We’ve been trying to build something here that will be sustainable for years to come. I think we have ourselves in a good position with the players on our roster and the staff continuity. We’re going to need it. This is a tough conference from top to bottom. There’s really good teams and really good coaches. It’s always a challenge in the Big 12 to go from September all the way to December and try and be on top.”

Sarkisian on his time at BYU and its influence on his career (BYU Sports Nation)
“That was a great time. I had unbelievable rapport with Coach [LaVell] Edwards and [offensive coordinator Norm] Chow. I knew at that time that I was not the most physically gifted guy. They had coached a lot more physically gifted quarterbacks than I was and a lot more have come after me. I had to find a niche to play the game where I could be the fastest mental player on the field every play. To do that, I had to pick their brains all the time. It worked for me. I didn’t know at that time that I wanted to be a coach. I had people telling me that’s what I should do. Inevitably, you start to realize that you have a passion for it. You get involved, you’re fortunate enough to be around good people, coach good players, you follow the right path and it works out.” 

Sarkisian on the 1996 BYU football team (BYU Sports Nation)
“The year before we had a good team. We finished 7-4 and tied for the conference championship but we didn’t get selected to go to a bowl game. That broke the streak. It was 20 some-odd years where BYU had gone to a bowl game. That galvanized us in a sense of ‘we have something to go prove.’ We went on a heck of a run together, culminating here in Dallas in the Cotton Bowl against Kansas State. That was a really tight knit group. There may have been more talented BYU teams but I don’t know if there’s been one that was as tight as that one was.”

Sarkisian on what BYU brings to the Big 12 (KSL Sports Zone)
“I think BYU has been a national brand for a long time. Decades even. When you go back to what Coach Edwards was able to do through the 80’s and 90’s. There have been a lot of really good wins from BYU over the years. I think there is a national brand that people respect. I know that every team in our conference does. I think it’s a great opportunity for BYU to have solid footing in a really good conference.”

Sarkisian on reminiscing playing for BYU compared to its new opportunities (KSL Sports Zone)
“I’m super pumped that we get a chance to play BYU again. I think back to my senior year when we were 14-1, finished fifth in the country and we wanted an opportunity to play in those big time bowls. Since we were in the Mountain West Conference we ended up going to the Cotton Bowl, which is now a tremendous bowl. But, because Texas at that time beat Nebraska with James Brown, they got to go play in the Fiesta Bowl and we didn't. Fast forwarding to now, to think that BYU is now in an opportunity to do that if they play well enough is awesome. I’m extremely blessed to be in the situation I’m in at Texas, but I’m also excited for Kalani and his team for years to come.

Sarkisian on relationship with Kalani Sitake (KSL Sports Zone)
“I do talk to Kalani. Fun fact about us is that he actually hosted me on my recruiting visit to BYU before he left for his mission. So we do stay connected and talk quite frequently. I have a bunch of respect for him. He does an awesome job. He’s a tough guy to compete against. I’m fired up for him because this is a great opportunity.”

Sarkisian on playing BYU (Sirius XM)
“[Responding to if it will be weird to play BYU] No, not weird. I’ve coached against them before. I’ve coached in Provo before too, but the reality of it is that Kalani and I are good friends. Kalani recruited me. He was my host when I was on my visit to BYU. Then he went on his mission, and when he came back I was done. I have a lot of respect for Kalani. We’re good friends. We talk quite a bit. I’m fired up for BYU. It’s been a long haul for them to get into a Power 5. There’s been a lot of good teams over the years. My senior year, we went 14-1, finished fifth in the country, won the Cotton Bowl coming out of the WAC, and then going independent and what that felt like and looked like, it was hard on a lot of people. For them to get to the Big 12, it’s a great opportunity for them and I’m just happy for them.”

Sarkisian on BYU joining the Big 12 (Big 12 Press Conference)
"You know, people have asked me before about BYU now being in the Big 12 and how that’ll be. To me, BYU has been a national brand for decades, and going back to Coach Edwards and what he was able to do and some of the great teams and great programs, and now to be in a Power Five situation in the Big 12. I’m happy for them. I’m happy for BYU. I’m happy for their alumni and those players. I think it’s a great opportunity.”

Sarkisian on relationship with Kalani Sitake (Big 12 Press Conference)
“Yeah, I think Kalani and I have a great relationship. I’m really proud of him. He’s always been a great coach, a guy that he’s had a chance to compete against his days when he was a coordinator before becoming a head coach.He’s earned a great opportunity. He’s done a great job leading BYU to this point, and we do stay connected and stay close that way.”

TCU head coach Sonny Dykes on his history with BYU (BYU Sports Nation)
“I’ve had plenty of opportunities to coach against BYU. Going back to my days as offensive coordinator at Arizona, I got hired there to fix the offense and we came to Provo for my first game [in 2007]. We had about 30 yards [of offense] at halftime. I thought this may be the shortest tenure as a play-caller in college football history. Then a year later we played BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl and won the game. Then I played them [while the head coach] at Cal [in 2014] and really that cost us going to a bowl game.”

“I have tremendous respect for BYU. My dad [legendary Texas Tech head coach Spike Dykes] and LaVell Edwards were close friends, so I grew up a BYU fan watching Ty Detmer. Being from Texas and Ty’s dad being a high school coach, I kind of knew the Detmer family."

Dykes on the addition of BYU (BYU Sports Nation)
"I’ve always been a big fan of the program and have a lot of respect for them. I really like Kalani. I think he’s a great guy and a good football coach. I’m excited about the addition. BYU has a tremendous history of playing great football. They’re going to bring a lot to the Big 12. I think we’re all excited about competing against them. You know what you’re going to get when you play BYU. They’re going to be big and strong and tough and play hard. We’re excited about what they bring to the league."

Dykes on advice he would give Kalani Sitake about the Big 12 (BYU Sports Nation)
“I would probably ask him for advice instead of give him advice, but the league is fun. It’s a really good league from top to bottom. That’s the thing that really surprised me [in 2022] during my first year as a head in the league, there’s not a lay-up. Every single team is very good, very competitive. They all have their own brand of football and style. You better be prepared to play well every Saturday. If you don’t, you’re going to get beat. You’re guys have to go out there and play at a high level week in and week out.”

Dykes on expectations of BYU (KSL Sports Radio)
“BYU has been a really successful program through the years. The one thing you know when you go to play BYU is that they are going to be a tough team. They’re going to be big, be physical and play hard. Provo is a tough place to play. And they got a lot of great things going for them. They know how to win and they’ve got a great fan base. And so I expect big things from BYU.”

Dykes on natural rivalry with BYU KSL (Sports Radio)
“There've been some crazy games between our programs. I remember seeing some of those games they were wild. But, I think I do see it that way. The reason is because we are built similarly. We are both blue collar football teams that go out and recruit players that are tough and good teammates. Both programs have historically had a strong culture and play hard. That’s what has made those rivalries great through the years. Every single Saturday BYU is going to give you a great effort no matter who they play and I think TCU has a good track record of doing that through the years as well.”

Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers on playing for former BYU quarterback Steve Sarkisian (BYU Sports Nation)
“He’s a great coach, a great leader for the team. What he’s brought to this university has been great. He’s won national championships, he’s played the position I play. He knows what it looks like. He knows what it’s supposed to be. Ultimately, that’s what you look for in the top guy, the top leader.” 

Ewers on playing BYU in Austin this season (BYU Sports Nation)
“Expect a great crowd, a great turnout, 100,000 people. It’s going to be a great environment, a whole lot of fun. There’s nothing like playing at DKR [Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium]. I hope you guys come and be loud.” 

Kansas running back Devin Neal on welcoming in the additions (BYU Sports Nation)
“It’s a cool experience to play new teams and have opportunities to play in different stadiums. It’s cool to welcome you guys in.” 

Neal on what BYU should know about Kansas football (BYU Sports Nation)
“They’re going to get a lot of energy from our fanbase now especially because we’re up and coming. We sold out a few games last year and those games were rocking. We brought College Gameday [to Lawrence]. With [quarterback] Jaylon [Daniels], they’re going to get a dynamic guy who can do it all.” 

Neal on BYU (BYU Sports Nation)
“I’ve always seen them as a group of guys that know how to fight. They’ve always been really good to me. Every time you sneak on the TV and you see them, one thing that’s always stood out to me is how bought-in the fanbase is. I always see the crowd going crazy. I’ve always wanted to play [at LaVell Edwards Stadium]. I know they’re going to be a tough group of guys to beat.”

Kansas safety Kenny Logan on playing BYU (Sirius XM)
“Playing guys like BYU, smash mouth football, they’re going to get to it. They’re going to execute. They’re going to be fundamentally sound.”

ESPN college football analyst Dusty Dvoracek on BYU’s offense (ESPNU)
“They want to run the ball but they have an offensive coordinator who’s great with quarterbacks and so I think they want to strike balance. When BYU’s been at its best, they can line up and run it or they can play action and also throw it.” 

Dvoracek on defensive coordinator Jay Hill (ESPNU)
“For Kalani Sitake to make this move and bring in Jay Hill, I thought that was big. Upfront, I like Tyler Batty. He’s a big, long defensive end who can really be good against the run and can rush the passer a little bit. The strength of this defense is at the linebacker spot. Max Tooley is a real guy. Ben Bywater can play as well. It sure sounds like a new philosophy, a new spin on this defense from Jay Hill has revitalized and reenergized this defense. They have some decent players. They lack overall top-end athleticism and foot speed but they’re strong, big and up front they’re very long. They lean on that defensive front to be better this season.” 

Dvoracek on the BYU brand (ESPNU)
“They’re a national brand. They have a national presence. You’re expanding that Big 12 footprint, that’s why it made so much [to add BYU]. All you’re doing is furthering, growing your brand. BYU, individually, is one of the strongest brands in the country. 

Dvoracek on LaVell Edwards Stadium (ESPNU)
“That place is electric. It’s incredible. They pack it in, sell it out.”

ESPN college football analyst Kris Budden on the atmosphere at LaVell Edwards Stadium (ESPNU)
“It is so picturesque. You just stand up there in that press box where we call [the game] and it’s the mountains. If you’re going to take the trip, go hike the Y, and then go see a football game.”

ESPN college football analyst Andre Ware on BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis (ESPNU)
“He’s so ultra-talented that he will try anything. If he can stay away from mistakes and manage what’s there, then I think BYU’s going to have production at the quarterback position and they’re going to be a team to be reckoned with in the Big 12.” 

Ware on the food in Provo (ESPNU)
“They have some great food up there too. It’s really good food. I just want some Bam Bam’s Barbecue.” 

Ware on BYU facing Texas in Austin on Oct. 28 (ESPNU)
“This has all of the makings of a fantastic game to watch.”