Cougars return home to host San José State
PROVO, Utah – BYU football returns home to host San José State on Saturday at 1 p.m. MDT at LaVell Edwards Stadium, which will be televised nationally on BYUtv and ESPN3, as well as the BYUtv and WatchESPN apps.
Live radio coverage can be found on the BYU Sports Network with Greg Wrubell, which will be broadcast on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143 KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM and BYUcougars.com. It will begin at 11:00 a.m. MDT.
BYUtv will also provide pregame and postgame coverage with Countdown to Kickoff starting at 12:00 p.m. MDT. Postgame coverage runs for half an hour or more after the game depending on the timing of the game.
BYU (1-7) vs. San José State (1-7)
Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. MDT
LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470)
SERIES NOTES. BYU and San José State are playing for the 18th time. The Cougars trail the Spartans 7-10 in the series, with 13 of the games happening between 1946 and 1969. Since then, BYU is 3-1. The Cougars won the last meeting, a 17-16 game in San José in 2015. The Spartans went for two after a touchdown in the final minute but BYU’s Michael Wadsworth knocked away the pass to preserve BYU’s win.
TEAMS COMING OFF A BYE. The Spartans are the third and final team the Cougars face this season that is coming off of a bye week. Earlier this year, Mississippi State and Boise State both had an extra week of preparation before playing BYU.
COACHING CROSSOVER. San José State head coach Brent Brennan was the wide receivers coach at Oregon State when Kalani Sitake was with the Beavers as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator in 2015. Spartan defensive coordinator, Derrick Odum, coached defensive backs under Sitake at Oregon State. The two also worked together at Utah (2005-07). Odum played defensive back for the Utes (1989-92).
INJURY BUG. BYU has had 35 different players miss significant time with an injury this season. Of those 35, 23 have been members of the two-deep and 13 have been projected starters.
PINK GAME. With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Cougars will be adding some pink to their uniforms with pink athletic tape, sweatbands, socks and other accessories to show support.
HONORING LAVELL. Legendary hall of famer and beloved head coach at BYU for 29 seasons, LaVell Edwards, passed away on Dec. 29, 2016. The always steady and humble coach will be honored in several ways throughout the season, including the team wearing a uniform patch featuring his classic stoic profile he displayed for decades on the Cougar sidelines.
The following quotes are from BYU’s post-practice media availability on Monday:
Head coach Kalani Sitake
Need for aggression
It’s a new week, and we have to do whatever we can do break the losing streak. There is a lot to learn from the film. The goal is to be as aggressive as we can and develop an identity as a team.
Those of you who know me coaching know that I’m aggressive and this is not the type of way that we play. I’ve expressed my concerns to the coaches and staff and ask that the players keep buying into our culture and team. We’ll see if the results are any different this weekend.
I’m going to stay positive, but there is an urgency to get better now. We need to work hard and be more aggressive. I need everyone to buy into that philosophy.
We need to score points, no matter what it takes. I’m giving free reign to our offensive staff to get it done and utilize the talent we have. We have enough talent to win games.
For our seniors, it is getting to be the end. They are continuing to lead, and we want to honor them in how we establish our program. They are going to be happy in saying they helped build and establish this program.
San José State
Coach Brennan is a good friend of mine. We lived in the same neighborhood at Oregon State — our families are close. Derrick Odum is their defensive coordinator, and we worked together at Utah and at Oregon State. I know more of their staff and I know they are hard workers. We need to protect our home turf. We need to do whatever it takes to win the game.
Senior linebacker Fred Warner
Feelings on the season as a senior
Obviously, it is very frustrating the way the season is going. You never think that this is the way you are going to finish your college career. In regards to what I can do to contribute to this team, I can continue to play at a high level and get better each and every day. There are little things I can work on every day, regardless of how well I do.
And then continue to be a leader to this team and not just jump ship because of the situation we are in. Just to be able to savor these last few games of college football, because I know that after this is over, it’s a whole other level at the next level. I am enjoying the time I have left.
It’s a group thing. It’s a team game. Everyone at all levels is at fault for how we have done this season. In my opinion, players make plays and players are the ones the put the product on the field. Regardless of how the coaches coach us or anything that goes on in that area, it’s the players' job to make plays.
Learning from adversity
You learn lessons from any type of adversity you go through in life. It makes you tougher and stronger. People say all the time that “tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” I’m taking what I am learning right now and it’s obviously going to make me a better person going forward in my life, career or whatever.
Sophomore offensive lineman Thomas Shoaf
What is going on with the offense right now what are you doing to change things?
I think a lot of it is consistency and executing. There are a lot of plays where the scheme is good. There are breakdowns, protection and a route where they can slide the ball in. I think that the biggest thing that we are working on is being confident in our technique and working together to put a good product out there. We have a good game plan going into every week — I think that we just need to execute it.
What is going to be different going into this week?
I think we have to dig deep and continuing to fight. At some point, it’s going to work. We trust our coaches and our technique. We just need to execute. It’s a broken record but it’s the same every week.
Impact of no rotation on offensive line
It has definitely helped on unity and communication. We are talking a lot in practice and in the games. We’ve played next to each other enough that a lot of that communication is unsaid and we can trust each other and know each other.
What’s left to play for?
There is a lot of negativity out there. We are very blessed to play football. We have five guaranteed possibilities and possibly a chance at a bowl game, but we are playing for our seniors. We want them the best we can for the rest of the season. At the end of day, we get to play the game that we love. We are playing for the ones that love us and appreciate us, and for each other.
Senior linebacker Grant Jones
Overall, everybody is pretty frustrated that we haven't played our best football yet. But at the same time, we have to focus on San José State this week. We need to focus on getting better and making sure we're staying together as a team and play our best football.
We still haven't played our best football this whole year that we know that we're capable of and we know we're all frustrated and we've just got to make sure that we stay with each other and lift each other up and do what we need to do.
How moving around different positions has affected him
It's taught me how to adapt quickly to different responsibilities. It's also taught me that once you get to this level, offense and defense are very different games. It's almost like they're different sports. You have to have a totally different mindset. You have to think differently. The things that you see are different. I think playing both sides of the ball have helped me to see things a little bit better and play a little more instinctive.