BYU Football Game Week — at Kansas

BYU football will play its first league game as a member of the Big 12 on Saturday at Kansas at 2:30 p.m. CDT on ESPN.

Game Week 4Game Week 4

PROVO, Utah—BYU will play its first league game as a member of the Big 12 on Saturday, Sept. 23 against the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kansas. The game is set for a 2:30 p.m. CDT kickoff and will be broadcast on ESPN. 

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. 

Kansas Game Week—BYU Media Availability

On week four against Kansas
"I am really excited about the opportunity to play in Kansas. We had a really good experience last week at Arkansas. What a cool environment. We are happy with the result, but we want to make sure that we enjoyed the hospitality and the competitive nature of the fans there. I hope everyone knows that we have a great appreciation for that environment, that stadium, their coaches, their program, and definitely for their fans. We got a lot of positive feedback from our fans about Arkansas. It was loud. What a good experience for our players. Looking forward to another great experience this weekend to see the wonderful campus at Kansas. Hoping our faithful fans will show up again just like they did last week."

"There are still some improvements to be made. We are looking forward to correcting those mistakes. The great thing is that our energy and effort is there. I love the resiliency and fight in our young men. To come back from two scores down early in the game and to do it again in the second half shows how much our team is buying into everything we’ve asked them to. It’s nice to see a team that can fight back when they need to. I like watching Kansas’ coach as a leader. I’ve had great interactions with him and his players, especially on Big 12 Media Day. It’s a really talented team. They have a lot of returning production. I’ve been able to meet their quarterback, and had a really cool interaction with him. They seem like really great kids who are committed to their culture and coach. I think the world of their coach, so I know they will be ready to play. We are looking forward to taking advantage of all the practice time and the preparation to play Kansas. Looking to get better from last week. We have been getting better every week. I think Kansas does some really cool things on offense. They can get over 500 yards on offense and tons of points on the board. Their defense does a great job being physical and tackling well. I think we got our work cut out for us and we are excited for the challenge."

On impressions of all the Big 12 football teams so far this season
"They are all well-coached teams with tons of talent. That’s the same. You can’t judge it all on one week or even three weeks. We are getting to that point now where people are playing conference games, so it’s all about those current matchups. Every team is dangerous in this conference. We are focused on Kansas. I’ve been around those coaches in meetings, and I’ve watched enough film to know that they know how to get their teams ready. I need to do my part to match the level of play that they have. And that starts this week with Kansas."

On Parker Kingston’s skillset
"We knew he was a playmaker. I trust Fesi and A-Rod and our coaches' evaluations in the recruiting process. We are really excited that he’s able to do some things when his number is called. It’s the little things he does that people don’t realize. He blocks well and is a great teammate. I’m glad that he was able to make those plays. I love the team and their commitment to each other. I enjoy seeing them on the sideline, believing in each other and supporting each other. We had some guys who didn't even get a stat but did everything right and we couldn't have won without them. Parker has been that guy since he got here. It just happens that he made some plays when his number was called. Really proud of him."

On defensive third downs against Arkansas
"In a lot of ways that is the only down that matters when it comes to defense and getting off the field. It’s also a down where you can wreak a lot of havoc. We want to create third-and-longs. I don’t think we had a ton of those, but looking at the film, we were able to have a bunch of meetings about it. We could've done so many more things defensively. But these are simple things that can be fixed. Us as coaches, we’ve got to find ways to eliminate those mistakes that are very fixable."

On preparing for the Kansas offense
"They have movement all over the place. It’s definitely our most difficult offense to prepare for. They do variable things; they are so diverse in their movement. They use the entire field. They can hurt you in so many ways. They have a returning rusher that rushed over 1,000 yards. Their quarterbacks run as well. When you start talking about their offensive weapons, you forget that their defense is solid too. I don’t see a lot of weaknesses on this team and that’s the reason why they are winning a lot of games. We have to take advantage of our strengths and practice what we think we are good at. We’ll see what happens on Saturday. We are really excited about the opportunity to play against Kansas. I like the young men on their team. This is a Big 12 opening game, so we are really excited about that."

On conference play for the first time in 12 seasons
"Nobody has been in the Big 12 before. I’ve been in the WAC and Mountain West as a player, and I’ve coached in the Mountain West, and I’ve coached in the Pac-12 and as an independent. We’ve been hoping for this since we were in independence. Now that we are here, it just happens to be Kansas in our opening moment. I admire the way they do things. It’s going to be a fun game. They do a lot of things there that I am trying to implement here as a head coach. We are expecting a great competition. We’ll see what happens. Being a part of the conference is fun because Conference Player of the Week stuff is released now. It’s more about the guys getting familiar with these new places. We know that Kansas will have an excited crowd and big playmakers in all three phases on the field. We are looking forward to this."

On resiliency against Arkansas
I like the connection that the players have with each other. It definitely showed last week. Kedon [Slovis] was one of those guys out there leading. The entire sideline was bought in. When we were down 14-0, there wasn't a lot of panic on the sideline. We knew that this would be a long game. My job as a coach is to make sure we start faster. We were able to weather the storm a little bit and find ways to keep going. The excitement and energy was great. Some players who didn't even get in the game were just so happy. These guys love each other, and that will go a long way to keep trusting in each other. If we can overcome adversity by not putting ourselves in that position to begin with then that might be a lot easier. I’m happy that our coaches are on top of it."

On family connection with Kansas
“This game means a lot to me. Me and my brother always dreamed of either playing together or playing against each other, and we get to do that this weekend in the matchup at Kansas. Having this opportunity in BYU’s first Big 12 game is a blessing.”

On possible matchup with his brother who plays corner at Kansas
“We talked about the possibility of going against each other the day I signed at BYU. If we do get that matchup this weekend, I know I will get the best out of him and he will get the best out of me on the field. Regardless of being brothers, we will both go out there and represent our teams, so we will both put in work.”

On what this game means to his father who passed away
“I just know my dad is smiling up there. This game is something he always wanted to see happen, and we finally get that opportunity, so it will be a big day for the family. No matter what the score is or the outcome of the game, our dad just wants us to go out there and play our hearts out with no regrets.”

On preparing for BYU’s first Big 12 game
“Our preparation hasn’t changed from week one. Even though our first few games didn’t have the same Big 12 status Kansas has, we still need to get ready for the game the same way. We need to amp things up a little bit since we have tougher opponents in conference, so we need to be locked-in every day at practice.”

On battling back against Arkansas
“We started a little slow on offense, and they went down and scored and had that punt return, so we knew we couldn’t let ourselves get down. There was a lot of football left to play since their points came in the first five minutes. We knew we would come out victorious if we played together and kept our heads up. We didn’t talk about the issues, we just focused on the solutions as a team.”

Thoughts on DE Tyler Batty’s performance against Arkansas?
“Our defense as a whole has that same mentality to just fly to the ball, Tyler obviously showed that on Saturday. He was everywhere. He was relentless with his pass rush. All the D Linemen, all the linebackers feel that we all have that mentality. Corners making open field tackles. Just the mindset as a while to just swarm the offense and don’t let them gain forward progress.”

Resiliency through adversity and what does it mean going forward?
“Anytime you start off a little slow, it’s going to take a hit to your team’s morale. Going forward and especially on Saturday we had the mentality that there is so much game to be played. It happened in the first four or five minutes of the game. We knew that we had a lot of time to regain the momentum. Just keep our composure, a couple of bad plays can’t stop a whole team’s momentum. We tried to keep that positive mindset moving forward, knowing that it was going to be a dogfight.”

On getting off the field on third downs
“As a defense, three-and-outs and getting punts early in the drive are huge plays. Getting off the field, getting the rest and letting the offense take care of business is something that you are always striving for as a defense. Those third down stops, fourth down stops were clutch throughout the game.”

How did the fourth quarter at Arkansas interception happen?
“We got to give credit to DE Blake Mangelson and the D line up front getting the rush against their big offensive linemen. Without that who knows how the pass would have been thrown. I had in my mind that he wants to hit that little curl area, just had to get to my drop and trust that guys behind me were doing their job. It would have been a tough throw to make it in that window because both sides were doing their job and upfront getting the pressure ultimately leading to a team interception.”

What has Darius Lassiter brought to the team?
“Darius and the guys we picked up in the offseason have been huge contributors with Kody (Epps) and Chase (Roberts) going through some things at the beginning of the season. Darius has been just what you want in a wide receiver. Long, big body. Go up and grab the ball. Make plays after catch. It’s been great having him and he’s been a great addition to our team and gives us a different threat on offense. I am happy that he chose the Y.”

On health through the first three games
"I feel good. My body feels pretty healthy, nothing too serious. There are always bumps and bruises and things that happen during the first couple of games that you can work through, but nothing major so I feel good." 

On the health of his ankle compared to a year ago when plates and screws were in his ankle
"I feel like there is a big difference. I still have pain in it after games and after practices, it still gets a little sore, but probably not as bad as it was last year. The main difference was that I was able to work out and run this offseason and that helped me get in shape, helped me work on my craft and improve my route running and blocking. That has been the biggest difference." 

On one-handed catches
"Well, Chase’s catch was for the win, so it's hard to compare. Chase’s was all-time, one of the coolest catches and to see it on the field was awesome. One of the best moments in BYU history. One-handed catches, there is a fair amount of luck involved. You practice them, but not as much as two-handed catches. You kind of just need to put your arm up there, reel it in and try to get the front of the ball instead of the back, unless you're Odell [Beckham Jr.] or something. There is a fair amount of luck involved but also some good timing."

On thoughts of retiring from football while rehabbing from the ankle injury
"Yeah, there were definitely times like that. I didn’t know how my body would react to all the surgeries and doctors often give you the worst-case scenario. My doctor told me that it was unlikely that I would play that season, or even play again so I made it a goal to work back. I knew that my body would react, that I had a good physical therapist that would get me back and there were a lot of miracles involved. "

On what sets Parker Kingston apart as a player
"We all know about his speed, he’s versatile, he can make plays as a receiver and teams need to start looking out for his arm too, I guess. That was a great ball that he threw; he was a quarterback in high school. He really came alive this last game and it was super fun to watch. We always knew he had a lot of talent and a lot of speed and he showed that on Saturday. I couldn’t be more proud of Parker. It was really cool to watch."

Watch BYU's Media Availability — Kansas


Game Info

BYU (3-0) at Kansas (4-0) Saturday, Sept. 23 Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. CDT

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