PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – The Cougars are still riding high after Saturday’s thrilling 30-27 overtime win over USC, a victory that sent Provo into a state of pandemonium.
“That was an awesome experience,” said wide receiver Gunner Romney. “I’ve never been part of a storming the field type situation and it was awesome. I couldn’t get off the field for like an hour because everybody was still out there just cheering and going crazy.”
“That’s how most games are going to go,” said running back Ty’Son Williams. “Most of them are not going to be one-sided, so you have to take the ups and the downs and regardless of the situation, you have to keep fighting.”
There were so many big-time performances against the Trojans. Whether it was Dayan Ghanwoloku scoring a touchdown and coming up with the game-clinching interception, or quarterback Zach Wilson, who threw for a touchdown and rushed for a TD in the closing minutes.
“He keeps getting better,” Sitake said. “He’s an aggressive player, and he’s willing to learn. So, that’s usually a good recipe for success.”
Wilson did get a little banged up at the end of the game, but Sitake doesn’t sound worried.
“We all got banged up,” he said. “I got banged up in the mosh pit after everyone rushed the field, but I had a smile on my face. I walked out of there with a few bruised ribs, but I’m OK. It’s nothing that he can’t overcome.”
Now it’s onto another challenge against #22 Washington, who dismantled the Cougars last year in Seattle, 35-7.
“You always want to prove yourselves against everybody, but especially against a team that kind of got the best of you the year before,” Romney said. “So you have that extra motivation.”
But after back-to-back comeback overtime wins over Tennessee and USC, the Cougars confidence level is pretty high right now.
“Coming off of two high-end wins, and going in and using our motivation and everything that we’ve accomplished so far,” said defensive end Lorenzo Fauatea. “Just going into this team, I feel like we’re going to be confident and ready.”
This is a different Washington team, with a different quarterback in Jacob Eason, and a freshman wide receiver that Sitake is very familiar with — former Orem High star Puka Nacua.
“He’s an amazing player, a great talent,” Sitake said. “I know him more personally because I’ve coached his brothers. We had Kai here, so I wish him the best. Just not in this game.”
The Cougars have had two big wins this season, and Sitake has busted out two big dances in the locker room after the games, albeit against his family’s wishes.
“My daughters keep telling me to stop dancing,” Sitake said. “I told them that daddy is going to dance because the guys want me to. I don’t know if the dance moves are going to get any better. But I know if we keep winning, then I’m going to get tons of practice, so you never know guys.”
BYU hosts Washington at LaVell Edwards Stadium Saturday at 1:30 p.m. You can watch the game on ABC4.