BYU Football Game Week—Sam Houston

BYU opens the 2023 season against Sam Houston on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 8:15 p.m. MT at LaVell Edward Stadium.

Game Week 1 WebGame Week 1 Web

PROVO, Utah – BYU opens the 2023 season against Sam Houston on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 8:15 p.m. MT at LaVell Edward Stadium. The game will be broadcast on FS1. 

Use this page as a one-stop shop throughout the week for everything related to the game. Updates will be made leading up to kickoff, including broadcast plans, news, fan events and game notes. 

BYU (0-0) vs. Sam Houston (0-0)
Saturday, Sept. 2
Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. MDT
Provo, Utah
LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470)

TV/Streaming: FS1
RADIO: BYU Radio SiriusXM, BYU Radio app, KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM
Live Stats:
Pregame/Postgame: BYUtv


BYU Game Notes

Sam Houston Game Notes

Big 12 Game Notes

Cougar Canyon Backyard

Cougar Canyon & Cougar Walk
Cougar Canyon will take place on the West side of the stadium from 5 to 8 p.m. on game day. Food trucks and activities for all ages are available. BYUtv's pregame show Sports Nation GameDay and BYU Radio’s Cougar Pregame Live will also be broadcast live from Cougar Canyon. The Cougar Walk will take place from the north end of Cougar Canyon in through the soutwest corner of the stadium, starting at 6:15 p.m.

*NEW* The Backyard @ Cougar Canyon
Cougar Canyon is expanding this season, south of the stadium. Cougar Club members have access to Cougar Club exclusive activities there. There will be activities available to all fans as well.

No Bag Policy
LaVell Edwards Stadium has adopted a NO bag policy, except for a few exceptions. Small clutch bags, no larger than 5” x 8” x 1”, with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the stadium. Medically-necessary bags will be permitted after inspection. One bag per person. No outside Food or drink will be permitted.

To see all stadium policies, go to the LaVell Edwards Stadium venue page.

UTA Transit Information
Enjoy the convenience and reliability of UVX and FrontRunner to get you to and from the BYU vs. Utah Tech football game this Saturday. You can ride UVX for FREE and there will be extra service provided before and after the game.  For the best service, please head directly to the stadium stations, or bus, or UVX (it’s FREE!) within 15 minutes following the game. Note that UTA is adding even more busses to run for this 2023 season.

Visit to plan your game day travel!

*NEW* Digital Parking Passes
Parking passes for all designated BYU lots are digital this season. If you are a passholder, you will see the pass available to download in the same location where you download your digital ticket. Please ensure that you download the digital pass before you start driving to the stadium, and have the pass up on your phone and ready to display as you arrive at your designated lot. Also, familiarize yourself with the parking map, if necessary. Having your parking pass ready to display will greatly expedite the process of pulling into the lot. As all parking pass holders get used to this new process, there may be wait times. We encourage you to leave for the game a little earlier than you usually do to allow for some extra time to park.

What to Wear
Check the section of the stadium you're sitting in, and help us stripe the stadium in white and royal to stripe the stadium.

BYU Stripe the Stadium

Media Availability, August 28, 2023

Read select quotes from BYU's media availability with head coach Kalani Sitake, running back Aidan Robbins, quarterback Kedon Slovis and linebacker Ben Bywater.

Head coach Kalani Sitake
“It’s game week! We’re excited and looking forward to this matchup with Sam Houston. It’s going to be an exciting game. We’re glad to be here for this home-opener and this season. The guys are excited and we’re ready to roll.  

On Sam Houston and head coach K.C. Keeler
“After getting done with camp in the middle of last week, our focus shifted to preparing for Sam Houston. They’re a well-coached team. It all starts with their head coach, K.C. Keeler. If you know anything about football, he’s one of the best coaches in college football. I’m excited to see him and talk to him at midfield. He’s been around for a long time and had success everywhere he’s been. He’s won national championships. He won a championship at Delaware and did the same thing at Sam Houston in 2021. There are guys on that team who have won a national championship and seen success. We’ve watched all the film and see tons of talent and athleticism.” 

On getting the best on gameday
“Our best means making sure that we’re playing our best 60 minutes on the field. It’s not just the guys on the field, it’s the coaches and everyone who’s involved in the game. We need to make sure we’re operating at our best. That’s our focus. We don’t have a lot of these opportunities but now that it’s here with the first game, we need to make sure we take advantage of it.” 

On preparing for the unknowns in Sam Houston
“There are a lot of unknowns. You wonder if they’re going to do what they. They hired a new offensive coordinator [Brad Cornelson]. He’s a veteran. There’s this mindset of being ready for everything but you have to have that mindset going into game one. Everyone is doing that. There will always be some surprises. We saw that with week zero games. We have to be prepared for all of it. A team could drop everything they’ve done one week and do something completely different the next week. We need to focus on the fundamentals, make sure we have that under control, then execute with our technique.” 

On safety Talan Alfrey’s absence from the week one depth chart
“Talan is not out for the season but is highly doubtful for this week which is why we adjusted the depth chart.” 

On Ethan Slade starting at strong safety
“Ethan is a playmaker. He’s a great student of the game. He’s been a surprise for Jay Hill and really taken to the coaching and mentoring Jay’s given him. I feel really good about the safety group altogether. Obviously, it hurts not having Micah [Harper] and Talan but the guys will pick up where they left off. From what I’ve seen from the start of fall camp to now, I feel very confident in Ethan and the others on the depth chart.” 

On freshmen on the depth chart
“There are tons of talent with our incoming freshmen and returned missionaries. Jojo is going to be really, really good. He gets better every day. The sky is the limit for him and his abilities. He’s tall, smooth, athletic and has tons of speed with great ball skills. He’s in a group of talented receivers too. We only do it one way; the best get on the depth chart and the best get on the field. LJ is another one who’s going to see the field. He has tons of talent, great vision, he’s big and runs fast with a lot of power. Other freshmen like [tight end] Jackson Bowers will be on the field as well. That’s just on the offensive side. There are guys like that on the defensive side as well.”  

On the offensive line
“We’ve been able to rotate guys in different positions and we feel like we can do a lot of different lineups. We will settle on something. We’ve felt like we know who we want out there during the first part of the game and then we have enough talent that we can rotate if we want to do that. It gives us a lot more opportunities to do what we want in certain situations. I look at that as a bunch of guys who could possibly start. It’s a positive sign for us.”  

On special teams
“We feel really good about our special teams group. That’s because I feel really good about what Kelly Poppinga has done as our special teams coordinator. He’s the perfect professional when it comes to special teams. He’s able to put all those pieces together. He’s picked the right parts for the different parts of our special teams, whether it’s kickoff, punt, or kickoff return. We feel comfortable with both Will Ferrin and Matthias Dunn as our placekickers. When the time comes, Kelly Poppinga will be the one who announces the starter.”  

Quarterback Kedon Slovis
On health coming out of fall camp
“I feel great. It's always nice for me, I don’t get hit. I’m pretty fortunate to wear that green jersey in practice. My arm is feeling great. I really need to shout out to our director of sports science, Dr. Mane and Colby. They’re great and Dr. Mane gets me feeling great if anything is ever off so I can’t say enough about our training staff.” 

On fitting in at BYU and playing at Lavell Edwards Stadium
“I’m super excited. It’s been great being a part of the offense, the culture and the family, but I came here to play games and that’s all coming to fruition and going to happen on September 2nd. Being out there in front of the fans in the stadium, to have competition mean something and for there to be an outcome is what competitors do and why you play the game. We’re all excited for that because it feels like it’s been a super long offseason.” 

On fitting in at BYU
“It just worked. Just looking at my teammates, the coaching staff, we are just so similar as people and our values, what we value in a competitive football environment. And off the field, what kind of people we are off the field, what we like to do, what we value, we value helping others, we value being selfless and to me, all these people in the building and all of my teammates are super selfless, they don’t have too big of an ego, they work for the team and they do things the right way. They are great people and that has always been what I want to be a part of culturally, as a football organization and just in life. I didn’t expect to see that level of maturity from everyone in the program and that’s allowed us to work seamlessly, for me to fit in and feel comfortable being myself.” 

On Lavell Edwards Stadium debut
“The way things are brought to me, the expectations that Coach Roderick and Kalani have for me are not beyond my capabilities and it’s just me doing my job. If I execute the offense, do what I am supposed to do and what I am capable of doing, everything else will take care of itself. Obviously, I want to please the fanbase, the coaches, and the teammates around me.” 

On leading the young players
“Don’t overthink it, just go play football. If we practice the way we’ve been practicing and play the way we’ve been playing, the outcomes will take care of itself. I think sometimes, especially as a younger player, we can get caught up in the moment too much and do things differently than we’ve been practicing. From seeing everything on the practice field, the guys are doing it the right way, living the right way and I’d just tell them to play ball and the results will take care of themselves.” 

On Sam Houston defense
“They are a really talented team and a really well-coached team. Obviously, this is their first season in the FBS, but they’ve done a really good job and statistically, they are a top-20 team in almost every category. They may be new to the FBS ranks but we have a really tough opponent ahead of us that we have a lot of respect for.”  

Running back Aidan Robbins
On his excitement for week one and playing in LaVell Edwards Stadium
“I’m really excited. There’s definitely a lot of emotions and it has been a long time coming. I have been waiting on this moment since I have arrived on campus in January.”

On Sam Houston
“We don’t overlook any opponent. We are very blessed and fortunate to be able to say we can line up against a team like that with a pedigree they have. Whether it’s the FCS or the FBS level in my eyes it’s football and you still have to put the ball down and play. We don’t overlook any opponent and they have a lot of accolades to their name, especially on the defensive side of the ball and we are really excited to line up against those guys.”

On the offensive line
“We have a really talented and athletic line led by Coach Funk; he gets those guys together. We have some big boys up front that can move and I am excited to get behind them and run.”

On LJ Martin
“LJ is a fantastic football player and a great person. I kind of feel like he’s a little bit beyond his years. Being a true freshman and everything, he has a very high ceiling. I’m not going to say he reminds of anyone. He’s his own person, he has his own running style and it works for him. He's definitely going to be a really good player and he’s going to contribute for us a lot this season.”

On playing at the power five level competing with BYU in the Big 12
“I’m really excited and I’m just excited to play ball. Even if BYU was still independent, I would still be just as excited. I'm definitely excited more so for the opportunity to play an inaugural Big 12 season for BYU. It's the first time for everything and I'm just really appreciative of being able to be on the team for the first time.”

Linebacker Ben Bywater 
On seeing the depth chart
“It’s rewarding for some and obviously makes others hungry. I believe in all those guys on the defensive side of the ball. I tip my hat to the guys who are at the top of that depth chart. They’ve worked hard. I’m super excited to go out there and play with the boys on Saturday. When you’re at the top of the depth chart, you have to perform, you have to produce to stay up there.” 

On opening the season at home
“We respect all our opponents the same, but it will be nice to be at home, not traveling, in our element. We have a new defensive coordinator that’s going to be calling plays so this allows us to get some of the wiggles out in a comfortable environment will for sure benefit us in the long run before Big 12 play.” 

On facing the unknowns in Sam Houston
“When you’re playing a team where you don’t know exactly what they’re going to run, you have to stick with what you know. We’ve been going against our offense, and they do a great job of throwing the whole kitchen sink at us. If we do our job and do our one-eleventh, I think we’ll be just fine. You really have to be prepared for everything. I’m confident in our abilities and our coaches. They’ve put us in the best position to succeed.”  

On opening BYU’s inaugural Big 12 season
“Being in the Big 12 is exciting. You have so much more to play for. Obviously, being an Independent was great but now you can play for a conference championship, you’re competing, you’re watching week-to-week who’s winning and who’s losing. We’re really excited about it. There’s been a lot of anticipation and a lot of talk but I’m ready to just get out there and go do it. Obviously, in week one, we have to beat Sam Houston. That’s our goal. We have to respect every opponent the same. They’re good. They have a lot of great playmakers. This Saturday, we’re all eyes and all ears on Sam Houston.”  

On Jay Hill’s defensive playbook
“It’s more complex. There’s a lot of stuff you have to know. You have to run stunts and know the whole back end. You have to know who’s dropping where, who’s doing what. It’s good. It stretches you and makes you a better football player.”