PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – To come so close, a yard and a half in fact, only to watch its undefeated dream season end, makes BYU’s 22-17 loss at Coastal Carolina that much more painful.
“It’s hard to relive,” said wide receiver Dax Milne, who was stopped at the one-yard line as time expired. “I feel like I could have maybe been more in the end zone, try to have been more across the line when I made the catch. But, tough to be yard short.”
“They made one play more than us,” said head coach Kalani Sitake. “It was one of those games that was exciting all the way down to the last second. We came up a yard short, but it was a classic game that didn’t end in our favor.”
“Literally this may have been one of the biggest games in all of our lives, and we lost,” added offensive lineman Brady Christensen. “It sucks, it just sucks.”
But regardless of all that was lost from this game, including most likely a New Year’s Six Bowl Game, the Cougars have no regrets about playing on such short notice.
“You’re asking a guy that loves to coach, and you’re asking a team that loves to play football if they would like to play a game,” Sitake said. “Yes, if there’s a chance we could play a doubleheader and take back to back games, we would take that.”
The best way to get over a loss like this is play again. And that’s just what the Cougars will do against San Diego State this Saturday on Senior Night at LaVell Edwards Stadium. BYU will be out for a little revenge, seeing how the Aztecs beat the Cougars last year in San Diego, 13-3.
“Last year, we would drive the ball down to the red zone, basically every drive, and then we’d stall,” said Christensen. “This game, we just want to show the growth of our offense. We’re a different offense than last year.”
“We played terrible last year,” added safety Zayne Anderson. “We didn’t execute. The best thing we can do is come out and show out what team we really are, what team we’ve shown we are this whole season.”
This may also be Zach Wilson’s final game in Provo. The Cougars star quarterback is expected to declare for the NFL Draft after the season is over.
“The fact that our quarterback is being mentioned as a possible guy to go to the next level,” Sitake said. “That’s a good sign that the program is developing well.”
On the coaching front, offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes reportedly interviewed for the Utah State head coaching job.
“If we have guys that are going to be future head coaches, future coordinators and future AD’s and things like that, I want them to pursue it,” Sitake said. “I’m going to be the one pushing them to go and get what they want.”
BYU and San Diego State will kick off at 8:00 Saturday night in Provo.