PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – It will have been 19 days between games for the BYU football team when they take the field this Saturday against Troy, but the Cougars are just thankful to play again.
:We still have some more tests to go this week, but everyone is still in play right now as we go towards the game,” head coach Kalani Sitake said.
After having to cancel last week’s game against Army because of positive COVID-19 tests, BYU is being much more mindful about their behavior these days.
“There’s got to be some accountability from our players to be able to gage their own lives and be smart how they approach their everyday living,” Sitake said.
“We’ve all got to have our masks on, stay as far away as we can from each other in the film room,” said quarterback Zach Wilson. “Outside of that, at practice we’ve got to wear our masks and stay away from each other in the weight room.”
Wilson actually tested positive for COVID-19 this past summer at a party, but he is OK now.
“We had a bunch of the football guys over and we were just having a little gambling night having some fun,” Wilson said. “Somehow a bunch of us got it. Honestly, for me and the other guys that had it, it was just like a cold. We had just minor symptoms, and just tired and fatigued.”
But Wilson knows how serious getting the virus can be.
“A teacher at Corner Canyon that I loved when I was there was in the ICU right now struggling with COVID,” he said. “So I know it affects everyone differently.”
“Especially in Utah county, it’s really bad around here,” said linebacker Zayne Anderson. “So we were just kind of advised to do our best and stay away from anyone in the public.”
BYU practiced in small groups last week, but as of today, they are back practicing as a complete team. And they hope they can build on the momentum they gained from beating up Navy 55-3 back on September 7th, even if it was nearly three weeks ago.
“We have some veteran guys,” Wilson said. “So even taking three weeks off of not having live reps is not going to matter for this team. I think everyone is just ready to go.”
“I think they’re chomping at the bit,” said Sitake. “They’re ready to get back on the field, and it being the home opener here at LaVell Edwards Stadium.”
“Even though there’s only going to be 6,000 fans, it’s going to be fun to be able to play in front of our families since our families get to come,” added Anderson. “It’s just one of those blessings you can’t take for granted.”
#18 BYU (1-0) and Troy (1-0) will kick off at 8:15 p.m. Saturday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium.