PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Following its 45-14 win over Louisiana Tech on Friday, BYU moved up to #15 in the latest Associated Press Poll.
But headed into Saturday’s home game against UT-San Antonio, the Cougars are more concerned about blocking — as in blocking out all the hype.
“I asked the players not to worry about that, not to look a the media attention we get,” said head coach Kalani Sitake. “We don’t worry about it before the season, why worry about it during?”
“We’re ranked #15 now, we’ve got that target on our back, and the target will get bigger and be on our backs,” said linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi. “But we can’t focus on those things, and focus on what people are saying. Coach Mateo likes to call it poison, just that poison. Stay away from it, don’t let it get to you and find ways to get better.”
“Finding another way for us to be our best, that’s the focus as a team to perform at our best,” Sitake said. “I feel like we’ve done that three times and looking forward to doing it a fourth.”
The only real knock on the Cougars so far is their strength of schedule, and the fact that they really haven’t played anybody of national note yet. But that doesn’t bother the Cougars.
“I’m not really worried about strength of schedule and all that stuff,” Sitake said. “All we care about as a team is this game, and making sure that we’re at our best and correct some of the things that we saw that we can improve on and play tough football. That’s what we’re going to plan on doing this Saturday.”
BYU has outscored its first three opponents, Navy, Troy and Louisiana Tech, by a combined score of 148-24. But the Cougars say there will always be things they can work on.
“I feel like there’s always, always, always, always room for improvement, ” said running back Tyler Allgeier, who had 93 yards rushing and a touchdown against the Bulldogs. “Like last game, I had a couple of runs that I could have read better and probably would have ended up being a touchdown. Just looking back at film, whether its blocking assignments from the o-line, or reads from the quarterback, or a route for a receiver, there’s always room for improvement. We can always get better during practice this week and getting ready for the next game.”
“The mindset that we have is, we’ll take on anything, anytime, anywhere,” added Kaufusi. “Give us a challenge and we’ll look at it in the eyes, right in the face and we’ll get after it.”