Kalani Sitake Media Availability - Idaho State
The following quotes were selected from BYU head football coach Kalani Sitake's Monday media availability.
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake (Video)
Another week. Really excited about this game. An opportunity to be at home again, its senior day. I want to send them out with a win. We're looking forward to the game. We’re looking forward to improving and building off that.
We had a good game last week. I’m glad that we got the win. This week, it’s our last game at Lavell Edwards Stadium for some of these guys.
The most important thing for us to do in the game of football is to perform at our best and respect our opponents
On the team being aggressive
When I say aggressive, I mean more about the mindset. I would love to blitz every down. That would be awesome. There's always payment for things like that. Our mindset is to be aggressive and be complementary to offensive, defensive and special teams. Our coaches need to manage all three phases together and work together. We want to have success and get a win. I don't really care about stats. I care about winning. There are certain stats that contribute more to the win and we try to focus on those.
On this weekend’s game
Our focus for this week is to go win this game and play our best guys for 60 minutes. I expect them to empty the tank because we have a bye next week. That is the focus. We’ve done pretty good on being respectful and securing wins.
On the seniors having an extra year
That’s a little different because many of these guys can come back and play again next year. We have some guys who are ready to be done and move on with life. Others are still trying to decide. For us, we will give them all a good goodbye, but hope they come back. We will discuss what's the best thing for them. We will give everyone a good send-off just in case. And then try to recruit them again.
On Jaren Hall
Jaren is humble and I am pleased with the way he handles himself on the field. It’s hard to handle that offense and he makes the right calls. We had to trust him with his health. He’s feeling really good now. He’s close to 100 percent. He did a good job at creating space and had no turnovers. That’s a good sign for us. I know there were some throws that he wishes he had back. We were missing two starters on the offensive line. Those filling in are doing a good job. Jaren is putting all those guys in the right spots. We have good depth and good coaches. We happen to have good quarterbacks, too. Jaren is doing a great job.
On how Jaren running the ball affects the offense
Anytime a quarterback can create more space and time, it’s dangerous. All of our quarterbacks can run. They are all athletic. That's part of our game plan. They all are able to run the ball.
Defensive lineman Uriah Leiataua (Video)
On recovering the fumble
Halftime adjustments, we were deciding to drop eight, and I was one of the only linemen that knew the drop. So I was out there on the wide receiver on the far end. It was funny because a play earlier, I was doing the exact same thing and I didn't trigger when I was supposed to. So when I came off to the sideline, they're like, hey, you need to respond faster to the run. So the very next play, I saw the run. Somebody grabbed me by the legs, and I was like, I'm taking my shot. So it just took it.
On their scheme
The scheme was great. I think the players needed to execute a little bit better, myself included, especially in the first half. I don't blame the coaches for anything. At some point, we need to take it upon ourselves to make those critical plays.
On coming back this season
I don't regret coming back. I loved it. Because it was another opportunity, another year to play. I met some cool people. It's been amazing for me, and I love the fact that I came back. I'm going to miss it for sure.
On what he hopes will carry on from this year’s senior class
The lasting impact is that we set not just a trend, but a culture. It's been a blessing for me, especially having a long career here, seeing how much the team culture has changed. We’re getting a lot of good recruits; we're going to get a lot of guys that don't know BYU when they're down. I hope that they understand that when they come here, it's to work. It's to build upon this legacy that I hope that we we cultivated as a team, especially as players. That's something I really hope stays with BYU.
On his emotions going into his final game at Lavell
This year, it feels more satisfying than it does sad. I feel grateful, and I’m trying to take it all in.
Defensive back Jared Kapisi (Video)
On the second half vs Virginia
We just needed to make adjustments, and the coaches did a great job of that at halftime. We just stuck in there, trusted the game plan. A lot of people have have their own take on what we should have done and things like that. I think if you trust the coaches, they definitely know what they're doing and know how to help us win games.
On pride in their win after tough defensive play
I think it speaks volumes to the character that all of the players on the team have. We’re all fighters. In order to be successful on the season, you need to have those those kinds of tests, and I thought this was a good one for our defense, and our offense and our team as a whole.”
On the team’s culture
The culture has shifted to the brotherhood that we have now. You can see it out in the field. When when any player makes a play, everybody's happy for that player. Before, I didn't see that kind of brotherhood on the team, so it's been great to see it grow every year.
Wide receiver Samson Nacua (Video)
On senior night
Everyone keeps talking about it. Fesi’s been talking about it, and he talks a lot about the little details and enjoying the little moments. These are the best years and we’re not going to get them back.
On being fully healthy
It’s been a long ride this year, just battling a lot mentally and physically. To come out last week and show everybody that I can be just as good as Puka. It just felt good to play some ball, and it felt good to show everyone that there's no drop off, even without Gunner. Gunner’s a big time player in this offense, and for me to be able to step into his spot and show that there is no drop off was an honor. I was able to fill the role and do my thing and it was fun.
On his goals after BYU
I would like to come back here and give back to the community. I love the atmosphere. I love being in Provo, interacting with the fans and meeting with the young kids to talk about their futures and what sports they're into. Any way I could help them and hopefully come back and train and lend a helping hand, I know there's just so much more I can do. I’ve got my degree in sociology, and I love talking to people. I love interacting. So there's more to it than football. I'm excited to explore my other options.
On the past year at BYU
This past year has been amazing. I've had great examples in front of me over the years. Being able to get closer to Fesi and coach Kalani, they opened up my eyes to see that there's just a lot more than football. Being able to bring joy to others just helps me become a better person and become a better player on the field. They taught me so much and I’m thankful for them.
On having the same stats as Puka (107 yards vs. Virginia)
I had no clue, but it was amazing. I've been telling everyone it's been like a dream, being able to take a step back from football and being a hype man. It’s been cool to see Puka do his own thing, and watch and cheer him on and come into the game and ball out with him.