PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Off to a 5-0 start, ranked #10 in the nation, the BYU football team has turned a lot of heads so far this season. They’ve never even trailed in a game this year.
But the Cougars are staying grounded despite all the recent national attention.
“It’s one of those things where we need to stay hungry and you keep working,” said head coach Kalani Sitake. “If everybody thought we would be this, we would have been ranked number ten preseason. So, there are still a lot more opportunities for us to shock people. There’s still more for us to do. So I think we have to keep that edge.”
“Honestly, I feel like for the most part, all of our boys are dialed in,” added defensive lineman Atunaisa Mahe. “We don’t really pay attention to any of that. It’s really awesome and something we’ve been hoping for and we’ve been working hard for. But we’re just looking forward to week by week.”
BYU made it up to #9 in the country last year, but that was with a Covid-weakened schedule. This year’s top-10 ranking feels more legitimate to the players.
“It feels a little bit more real when it comes down to it, being ranked top-10 in the country,” said linebacker Max Tooley. “Everybody else is playing their normal schedules, so it is a big deal to us. We take pride in being ranked high, so we just want to defend that ranking. It’s as simple as that.”
BYU next hosts Boise State Saturday at 1:30 p.m on ABC4.
The biggest question is who will start at quarterback for the Cougars. Jaren Hall is coming off a rib injury, while Baylor Romney suffered a concussion in Friday’s win over Utah State. Freshman Jacob Conover finished the game, but was largely ineffective.
“As far as right now they’re all still in contention to play this Saturday,” Sitake said. “Until we practice and get a look at them no one has been taken off, so right now today everyone is still available to play.”
“I have faith in any one of those quarterbacks,” added tight end Isaac Rex. “Whether its Jacob or Baylor or Jaren, whichever one is healthy I know they’re going to play great. We’ve got their backs and we’ll be ready to help them.”
Perhaps the biggest reason why BYU is 5-0 is the play of Tyler Allgeier. Coming off a career-high 218-yard performance against Utah State, Allgeier is now 8th in the nation in rushing yards with 569 yards to go along with seven touchdowns.
“Utah State has a defense that brings a lot of pressure, and I thought Tyler ran the ball the right way,” Sitake said. “It’s stuff we thought all week we could get in practice, so it’s nice to see it transition over to the game.”
Boise State beat up Utah State a couple weeks ago, but just lost to Nevada at home. So with a record of 2-3, it’s difficult to know what to expect from the Broncos Saturday afternoon.
“I know like a lot of other teams they’ve been dealing with injuries and banged up guys,” Sitake said. “So, they’re a really tough opponent and we’re going to get their best shot.”
“Their record may not show what a great team they are,” said defensive back Morgan Pyper. “I think they are a lot better than their record shows, and we’re going to be ready to give them a good game because we know we’re going to get their best. I don’t think it’s going to take a lot to get up for games like this. We hope that we can continue to keep this rolling.”