PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – There are ten days before BYU opens the 2022 season against South Florida at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. And as training camp winds down, the Cougars are chomping at the bit to get out there.
“We’re sick of playing against each other,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “We want to play against somebody else. This is the right moment to end camp. Let’s start putting all of our energy and focus on South Florida.”
It’s going to be hot and humid in Tampa come September 3rd, so the depth on BYU’s roster is definitely going to be tested in this game.
“We’re going to have to rely on our depth going into that humidity,” Sitake said. “I think it helps that we had some record-high temperatures in the state of Utah this summer. So there’s been a lot of heat, but humidity is a different story.”
“I’m more confident than ever in our depth,” added running back Lopini Katoa. “It’s just nice knowing we have multiple guys who could start and do well. So I think we’ll be able to keep fresh bodies out on the field.”
There is so much excitement about the BYU offense this year with the likes of Jaren Hall, Gunner Romney, Puka Nacua, Chris Brooks, Isaac Rex, and maybe the best offensive line they’ve ever had. But offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick still thinks there are a few things that need improvement.
“We’re going to be good,” Roderick said. “I’m really confident we’re going to be good. But there’s some things we’ve got to work on. But sorry, for strategic reasons I don’t want to say what those things are. But we’ve still got a lot of work to do. We’re nowhere near ready for a game yet. We’ll be ready a week from Saturday.
With ten days before the start of the season, not all the starting positions are set in stone. A depth chart will be released next week, but there still are some position battles going on in camp.
“There are a lot of battles, and they’re ongoing,” Roderick said. “The offensive line thing might be a season-long thing. There’s some good players there that no matter what we do, there’s going to be a couple good guys standing on the sideline.”
“We have a lot of returning talent, and a lot of people are trying to tell us that we’re going to be great,” Katoa said. “But we’re treating that a poison right now.”
Perhaps the most important thing to come out of fall camp is there were no significant injuries. Plus, players coming back from injuries like linebackers Keenan Pili and Payton Wilgar, as well as tight end Isaac Rex, were able to get healthy.
“We did good,” Sitake said. “We haven’t lost anybody for the season. That’s crazy when you’re talking about how much 11-on-11 football that we’ve done. But knock on wood, we’ll just keep working.”
BYU will keep working until the season opener September 3rd at South Florida.