PROVO (ABC4 Sports) – The 2017 Brigham Young University football team enters Year 2 of the Kalani Sitake era with more comfort and confidence. That was the recurring theme at BYU’s Football Media Day Friday.
At this time last year the Cougar players were scrambling, trying to get used to a new coaching staff and a new system but now with a season under their belts they say it’s a completely different feel.
“With a new coaching staff you kinda just have to get used to the personalities,” junior quarterback Tanner Mangum told ABC4 Sports. “How they coach, what are they like. Are they joking? Are they being sarcastic? Are they being serious? You know what I mean? Now we’ve been able to spend a lot of time together, kind of develop a friendship as well as a coach-player relationship…As far as scheme is concerned, Xs and Os, we know what we’re doing.”
After stumbling to a 1-3 start in Sitake’s first season, the Cougars rebounded to win 8 of their last 9 games to finish 9-4 with a Poinsettia Bowl victory over Wyoming.
“I remember being really nervous going into the first game and trying to ease along as the season progressed,” Coach Sitake said. “But now going into it there’s more anticipating it and excited and anxious. I just want to get to the season and want to get to fall camp…We can be a little bit more excited because we know what we’ve already dealt with and what we have going into the season.”
This fall they face several big name opponents including LSU, Utah, Wisconsin and Mississippi State.
“Now it’s ‘OK it’s not about the new staff, it’s about us’,” junior running back Squally Canada said. “It’s about us going out there and winning games.”
The Cougars kick off the season August 26th against Portland State.