BYU football: Are No. 19 Cougars motivated enough to hold off upset-minded Wyoming?

BYU quarterback Jaren Hall looks on during during first day of practice in Provo on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Hall and the rest of the Cougars look to get back on track when Wyoming visits LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday night.

Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo

Will the real 2022 BYU football team please stand up?

Those words probably won’t be uttered at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday night (8:15 p.m. MDT, ESPN2) when the No. 19 Cougars host upset-minded Wyoming (3-1), but perhaps they should.


Who are these guys? More importantly, which version will show up in Week 4 — the one that blasted South Florida with a Hollywood-style array of big plays, then turned around and grounded out a tough, gritty win over defending Big 12 champion Baylor?

“I feel like we are at the point now, going through some adversity, where we can really, really make some changes, really make some improvement. I am excited about it.” — BYU football coach Kalani Sitake

Or the iteration that looked punchless and, more shockingly, defenseless in that 41-20 loss at Oregon last week?

Coach Kalani Sitake’s seventh team needs an identity. Wyoming already has one. The Cowboys, who have won three straight games and are coming off a program-building 17-14 upset of Air Force, are suddenly a threat to make some noise in the Mountain West this season, despite having had to rebuild their roster due to a plethora of transfer portal losses in the offseason.

“It is a great opportunity for us,” said Wyoming coach Craig Bohl.

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“They are such a tough team to beat,” BYU assistant head coach Ed Lamb said. “They really have an identity and most likely will stick to that as they have for years now.”

What does it mean for BYU?

It is a chance to rebound, recover, reestablish itself and start building again toward that heavily anticipated Oct. 8 clash in Las Vegas with Notre Dame. But the Cougars (2-1) can’t afford to look past the Pokes, or even Utah State next Thursday.

They haven’t shown they are talented enough to do that yet, especially being in the shorthanded state they are in, particularly on offense. Memories of 2019 still linger. That’s the year the Cougars knocked off Tennessee in Knoxville and No. 24 …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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