I am excited for another week of football. We're obviously coming off of a win last weekend. It was really good for us and our homecoming game. So, now we're back into the schedule heading out to Texas and going out to Austin to play. They are a really good team and one of the best teams in the country. They are well coached and coached by my buddy Steve Sarkisian. Looking at them and seeing them on film. We've been able to watch them play throughout the year and it’s going to be a tough task for us.
We should be working on an opportunity for us to play at our best this weekend, but watching them there’s not a lot of weaknesses and I think the goal is for us to focus on what we can get done., and then get out there and give it our best shot and see what happens. We can live with the results that we do that. I still feel like we could play better ball. I felt like we had moments in the game against Texas Tech where we felt like this is what we're used to maybe forming our identity off of that and all three phases but it also wasn't an error free game. So, some things to work on and some things to improve on.
On Texas Tech game and going on the road
I said this postgame last week on Saturday night, that there's still room for improvement. But the thing that I am really thankful for is that we play with high effort, high energy, a lot of that came from the fans and we are going on the road now so, we have to generate that ourselves and try to try to do something that a lot a lot of teams can't do and go into a very hostile environment with a fantastic fan base. They have a really great team that you see on film on all the positions in all three phases. They are a well-coached team and I know their coaching staff and a lot of guys on their on their staff.
On Steve Sarkisian
They do an amazing job and Sarkisian has been so good to me. Throughout our coaching careers, he's always been a guy that I can turn to and we keep in touch quite often. Obviously not going to be keeping in touch right now as we're opponents but appreciate his friendship and the fact that he is a Cougar and played here, so it's nice that we were able to keep that friendship. It's something that he does that I really appreciate him keeping in touch with me and especially when his career took off and had this great trajectory a lot faster than mine did, but he always was able to be kind enough to give me a lot of his time and be able to talk ball. It’s been really cool and I'm looking forward to seeing him on the field and seeing these teams compete against each other.
On BYU's prep going into Texas
I’m really hopeful that this is going to be an opportunity for our team to perform at our best and that we can generate some momentum from last week going into this game and try to find ways to make this a huge positive for us in the long run. The prep will be great us for this week. We had a great week of prep last week and I’m looking forward to keep building and trying to get to a position where we can hit our peak and keep getting better as a team. We saw some flashes of it in the game against Texas Tech but I think this is something that we are going to have to be a little more consistent and not be just flashes. We have to keep that and sustain it throughout the game and I’m looking forward to getting that done.”
On the inconsistences of the offense
Well, I think when you talk about inconsistencies they are all over the place. They just happen to be a little bit more on the offensive side. I think a lot of people want to look at it as a one person problem or a one position group problem. It's an 11 man problem, and probably extends even further into that when you're looking at the preparation, the depth that we have and the guys that we use in the rotation. So, the executions got to happen in practice, and then when we can get that that execution happening in practice, we need to put it on the game.
On the running game and establishing a consistent offensive identity
That’s a big part of us being balanced and being able to do whatever we want on the call sheet. It’s really hard when they’re not functioning well and it’s a good sign that our guys are doing things the right way but it also helps that we’re getting some momentum. When you watch the success that happens in the run game, it exactly goes back to what I said earlier that all 11 guys are doing it the right way. If we can keep that consistency then that should be there for us. These negative yards that we’ve had in the past we can turn into positive yards even if it’s one or two yards and then you rely on some effort and then next thing you know you're gaining more and more yards. That gives you a confidence and then we've just got to keep it rolling.
It was nice that we saw some flashes of it. It's good to get Aidan (Robbins) back, but we have capable running backs that we feel like can break the game open for us and then we're very close and that's a cool thing to say. But then you watch Texas on defense and they've got playmakers all over the place. It’s one of the best teams I’ve seen, they have talent and are well-coached. They’ve got so much athleticism, speed and talent. They are coached really well and you don’t see a lot of mistakes from them, or a lot of missed assignments and that's in all three phases. I like it because when you watch the film, you know that it gets the guys to be on it a little bit more.
On things Kalani learned from LaVell Edwards and how Steve Sarkisian is as a coach because of it
I got into coaching because I love the way LaVell coached me and I love the way that he worked with his staff. It's rough that he's not here with us anymore, but I keep in touch with his family quite often and his wife Patti is awesome. She's been able to be still a mentor to me and the coaches and our wives. It’s been really cool to have that influence still here. But you see it in everybody that has been coached by LaVell, From Andy Reid, Kyle Whittingham, to Sarkisian and to all these great players that have ever played here at BYU. We all go into it because I'm sure we had a lot of good coaches along the way but it's just nice when you have a college experience with LaVell.
It’s not just LaVell, but LaVell is the best part of college football. People like him and you see the influence that he's had in so many people's lives, not just coaches, but there's a bunch of men that are out there that are doing things better because they got to play for a legend like LaVell. It’s just really cool that a good number of them are coaching football.”
On hosting Sarkisian on his recruiting visit in 1995
Sarkisian is all about ball and he saw a really good team. I think the biggest concern for him during that time was is John Walsh was going to come out early for the draft or return for his senior year. So, I think that all Sarkisian was waiting for was that moment. I don’t want to sit here and act like I did a great job. I mean, the football at BYU speaks for itself. I don't think he came because of a host or because we went and hung out and played ping pong or whatever it was. I just think that he saw the camaraderie the family atmosphere here, the love that the players had for each other and he was drawn to it and I was just a small part of it.