PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – So how many texts did Kalani Sitake get after BYU’s monumental 24-21 upset over Wisconsin?
“Text messages? 420,” he said. “That’s how many I got. I answered all of them back. More than when I got the job. I heard from anybody that’s connected with BYU and people that are connected with me, they reached out.”
What was most impressive about the Cougars win was how they beat the Badgers at their own game. BYU played turnoveer-free football, and were more physical on both sides of the ball than one of the most physical teams in the country.
“Coach Sitake had a meeting with us, the offensive and defensive lines, saying that the culture of toughness and physicality starts with us, the big boys down there,” said offensive lineman Austin Hoyt.
“It’s one thing to talk about toughness,” said defensive end Corbin Kaufusi. “Football is a tough sport. Everyone has toughness to a certain extent, but it’s how you translate that, and I think we have coming back from last season.”
“The culture of the team is taking form, and the players believe,” Sitake said.
Maybe the biggest key to BYU’s win was how loose they were at Camp Randall Stadium, as evidenced by the entire team jumping around when they played the song ‘Jump Around’ before the fourth quarter.
“It was crazy,” said Hoyt. “People were just waving towels. I wasn’t jumping because I didn’t want to wear myself out.”
“I think it’s one of the biggest things, especially for our team, that we have a good time,” added Kaufusi. “I’m not saying dancing around and being goofy is having fun. But whatever gets us to have high energy.”
“Maybe they’re naïve and didn’t know the type of stage they were at,” Sitake said. “But that’s OK. I think they were just really excited to play the game.”
And now BYU is back in the top-25 for the first time in three years, coming in at #25 in the latest Associated Press poll.
“I think that’s what is big for us is a lot of people doubted us, and a lot of people were unsure of things,” said Kaufusi. “I think we put a lot of that uncertainty to rest.”
But, the Cougars also can’t have a letdown this week against FCS team McNeese State, which comes to LaVell Edwards Stadium Saturday.
“I definitely don’t want to be the guy where that win alone made the season because that’s how losers think,” Kaufusi said. “We’re definitely not that team.”