PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – After that final pass fell incomplete, sealing BYU’s 26-20 double overtime victory over Baylor, it was pandemonium at Lavell Edwards Stadium.
“It’s exciting to see how excited everybody else gets when we have a big win like that,” said defensive back Malik Moore. “I was just overfilled with joy at that moment.”
But as big as that win was, BYU has to move past it as quickly as possible. They face another ranked opponent, #25 Oregon, this Saturday in Eugene.
“You can’t sit on your wins for too long,” said linebacker Ben Bywater. “It’s a day, enjoy it for 24 hours, then you’re kind of back to the drawing board on Monday morning.”
“We love it when the fans get excited, especially after a big win like that,” said center Connor Pay. “But for us, our minds are all on Oregon now and preparing the same way we do every week.”
As electric as an environment as it was in Provo Saturday night, with the raucous crowd creating havoc for Baylor, it’s going to be just as loud at Autzen Stadium this Saturday.
“They’ll put us to the test,” said head coach Kalani Sitake. “I’ve been in that environment. I’ve been in that stadium and it’s a tough place to play. Not a lot of teams come out of there successful.”
Now that BYU has moved up to #12 in the rankings, Cougar fans are thinking big. But the players are staying grounded.
“I think you’ve got to tune out the outside noise, and a lot of our boys do that,” Bywater said. “If you’re reading everything they’re saying about you in the media, whether it’s good or bad, you’ll start thinking different things. For us, it’s just what’s our game plan, what are we trying to do.”
Of all the great moments Saturday, perhaps the best was ESPN cameras catching quarterback Jaren Hall hugging a crying Jake Oldroyd, who missed two potential game-winning field goals in the fourth quarter and overtime.
“We talk about learning and loving and trusting each other,” Sitake said. “I trust all our guys, our leaders on our team that take care of everyone. It’s hard to see your brother that’s down and disappointed. So it’s good for these guys to pick each other up.”
#12 BYU and #25 Oregon will play at 12:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.