PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – This season hasn’t gone quite as expected for BYU. After getting as high as #12 in the country, the Cougars had to wait until the second to last week of the season just to become bowl eligible.

But on Thanksgiving week, they’re reflecting on what it took to overcome so much adversity.

“It has for sure put things into perspective, being Thanksgiving week,{” said wide receiver Chase Roberts. “We have had a rough season, but it’s been awesome to look back at the great times that we’ve had.”

“If you look at it, our guys went through a stretch where it was difficult and tough,” said head coach Kalani Sitake. “When you’re going through some tough times, that’s a good moment to really count your blessings still. So there’s a lot of things to be thankful for.”

So what is there to play for against 3-8 Stanford this Saturday in Palo Alto? Well for one, the Cougars can clinch a winning season with their 7th victory. Plus, they have a chance to end the year on a four-game winning streak if they can beat Stanford and win their bowl game as they head into the Big 12 Conference next season.

“I think it’s our pride as competitors,” said linebacker Pepe Tanuvasa about another motivation this Saturday. “We love this sport, we love what we do, and we love to win. We pride ourselves on being excellent, so that’s what we’re striving for.”

“This is [Stanford’s] last game, and they’re going to find a lot of motivation,” added Sitake. “But in this one, we’re trying to do something no BYU program has ever done before, and that’s beat Stanford.”

There’s no question Stanford has struggled this year. But quarterback Tanner McKee, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was highly recruited by BYU and has NFL talent.

“BYU is great with their coaches and obviously their affiliation with the church,” McKee said. “My dad went to BYU, one of my sisters graduated and the other sister is going there. So, it’s great.”

So who is his dad rooting for?

“Stanford for sure,” McKee said with a laugh.

“I think he’s a guy that will go pretty early in the draft,” Sitake said. “You can see the arm talent, you can see the poise, the athleticism and the ability to make plays.”

BYU (6-5) and Stanford (3-8) will kick off at 7:00 p.m. Saturday night.