PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Seven weeks from today, the BYU football team begins its toughest schedule in school history.
Starting with the rivalry game against Utah, the Cougars will then play at Tennessee, followed by home games against USC and Washington. The Cougars will also face the likes of Boise State, Utah State and San Diego State, making this one of the toughest schedules in the entire country.
But the Cougars say bring it on.
“It’s an amazing opportunity,” said quarterback Zach Wilson. “I know a lot of teams wish they had our schedule. I know I would rather be playing these big time teams, competing with the best, then I would be playing a bunch of crappy teams and beating up on teams. So, I’m glad we have this schedule.”
“When I got the job, I was really excited because of the schedules that are out there,” said head coach Kalani Sitake. “It’s stuff that would scare away a lot of coaches from this job. It did the opposite for me because I played here. I would have loved to play in this type of schedule.”
Such is life as an independent, as BYU has to seek out games against the toughest teams early in the season.
“We don’t get enough recognition for the fact that we choose our schedule,” said offensive lineman Tristen Hoge. “We chose one of the hardest schedules in college football right now. It’s just a testament to toughness, fighting it out those first four or five games and coming out on top. I think that will be a big testament to our character as a team.”
Because of their schedule, BYU’s record may not indicate how good they really are. The Cougars will try to improve on last year’s 7-6 mark, but they need to be ready to go right out of the gates.
“Last year I think we struggled with starting fast and finishing games,” said linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi. “With this schedule, we’re going to have to learn how to start fast and finish.”
The fun all starts August 29th at LaVell Edwards Stadium.