BYU Soccer: BYU Must Start Faster, Play Cleaner Vs. Notre Dame

All the hype of uniform talk and revelation fits somewhere in the image of the BYU-Notre Dame Shamrock Series football game at Allegiant Stadium on Saturday.

But if the Cougars don’t start fast, play fundamentally healthy football, and show better discipline than they’ve shown since beating Baylor, they could ride unicorns and wear Batman costumes in Las Vegas because it wouldn’t matter.

“The last two weeks have been unacceptable as a defense for doing what we were doing. So it’s important that the leaders and everyone step forward and make sure they get started fast. “- BYU linebacker Payton Wilgar

Somehow, somehow, coach Kalani Sitake has to find a way to get the No. 16 Cougars to be the best version of themselves.

Against Oregon, Wyoming and Utah State we have seen glimpses here and there and luckily the team is 4-1 after overcoming some daunting challenges, getting the best shot of all.

But giving up third-down transformations on penalties, giving up the start of opponent’s possession in midfield on penalties, extending opponents drives on personal fouls, things like throwing a shoe or pushing an opponent’s face into the turf against Fighting Irish? Well, it’s the lights out.

Sitake must make sure that his team plays a fair game, a race similar to the Baylor game. If his team starts as slow as he did against Oregon, Wyoming and USU, the Golden Domers will put down the hammer and call him smashed Cougar Tail.

In his culture of “love and learning”, Sitake does not train with fear, intimidation or punish players for mistakes. He deals with the messes, tries to correct them, and lets his teammates hold that player accountable. He wants his players to play loose but smart.

“I think there is a fine line, a balance between all of this and there is a responsibility that I have as a coach to make these guys play their best,” Sitake told reporters during his media session on Monday.

“That means playing loose and fantastic if it means playing a little more focused. This is what I need to have a good feeling with (with) the team and we have some things we will do. Sure this week is a bit different, ”she said. “I want to give Utah State credit for being able to do some things last week against us.”

This basically included performing a new zone run offense. USU manager Blake Anderson said he wanted his players to play hard, “face each other” and in the best match they had played last week against the Cougars last Thursday, he showed it. The Aggies attack played 50 games in the first half.

BYU players, especially in defense, did not react well. The corrections did not come up to the interval. But offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick said he was partly weird. Veteran center Connor Pay has two false starts reacting to USU defenders mimicking Jaren Hall’s sprint count – not exactly kosher.

Sitake said crediting his enemy didn’t justify his boys. The errors that occurred during the film session were all correctable.

“You want to make sure you face the things that need to be addressed, but you don’t want to make things up either. So I think for what we see and what we can accomplish this week and the things we can do, I think we’re in a really good position.

“I feel good about our message to our team this week and the things I will say to the team.”

Linebacker Payton Wilgar said slow starts and BYU defense mistakes are clearly a stink bomb that cannot be tolerated in Las Vegas against the Irish. Slow start? I can not do that.

“The past two weeks has been unacceptable as a defense for doing what we were doing,” Wilgar said. “So it’s important that the leaders and everyone step forward and make sure they get started fast. From here on out, no matter who the opponent is or whatever, we will definitely have to be in our game A for Notre Dame.

“They are a great football team and there is no room to come out soft. So we will definitely have to become the leader and start everyone from the first game to the end of the game. “

In the preseason, anonymous coaches were asked what they thought of BYU. One said BYU plays at the level of its competition.

It could be a real theme.

Speaking on BYUtv, senior receiver Gunner Romney agreed with that assessment.

“I think there is a tendency to be exalted for important matches. It should be, but it could be a reason for the slow starts, ”Romney said.

If a team can’t get up for a brand like Notre Dame at an NFL venue like Allegiant Stadium, then what electric cue could Sitake ever field to get his team going?

One does not exist.

“This is why we players come to BYU, it’s to get the chance to play in big games like this,” Wilgar said.

Puma on air

BYU (4-1) vs. Notre Dame (2-2)

Saturday, 5:30 pm MDT

Allegiant Stadium

Las Vegas, Nevada


Radio: KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM / 1160 AM

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