PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Coming off its bye week, BYU is hoping to pick up where it left off this Saturday at defending national runner-up TCU.
The Cougars went into the bye week with a 35-27 victory Cincinnati, and has worked on getting healthy during the bye, and are eager to get back on the field.
“I’d like to do it, and say that it a week’s time of having a week off that we’ve fixed all the issues and away we go.” head coach Kalani Sitake said. “Let’s see what happens this week.”
Sitake know’s that’s not realistic, and coming out of a bye week, teams can either be rested, or rusty.
“We definitely know that that could happen and what you battle is guys coming out flat,” Sitake said. “I think that happens mostly when you don’t, when you’re not physical. We were really physical last week and, we lean heavily on our sports scientists to tell us what we’re allowed to do.”
“I think the important part of it is never turning your switch off if that makes sense,” said BYU safety Crew Wakely. “It’s like, it’s a bye week, but it’s not like the end of the season. It’s not like it’s good because you get a good chance to recover and kind of reset. But you can’t get out of your groove either.”
BYU coaches and players like the way the team responded after a loss at Kansas to begin Big 12 Conference play, and want to stay sharp against the Horned Frogs Saturday.
“For me personally it’s just about preparing the same way I would if it was a game week,” said running back Deion Smith. “So kind of not breaking that routine or that habit of getting myself physically and mentally prepared to play, even though we didn’t have a game last week, I was still in that same mindset and that same mentality.”
But going on the road against a team as talented as TCU will be a challenge. The Horned Frogs are not the same team that advanced to the national championship game last season. TCU is 3-3 on the season with two straight Big 12 losses to West Virginia and Iowa State. But winning on the road in the league is always a challenge.
“We’re looking forward to the game this week and I know we’re going to be on the road,” Sitake said. “It’s hard to win at home in the Big 12 and I know it’s even harder to win on the road, but we’re seeking our first Big 12 road victory. So hopefully we can get that done against a really talented team.”
BYU (4-1) and TCU (3-3) will kick off at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.