PROVO — In advance of Saturday’s Rivalry Game at LaVell Edwards Stadium, BYU’s Kalani Sitake and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham met with the media on Monday. Both coaches offered insights into the state’s biggest sporting event. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m.and will be broadcast on ESPN.
Opening statement . . .
“We are looking forward to the game this Saturday. We feel really good about it coming off that win last weekend. We’ve moved on and we will find ways to learn from the mistakes we made and improve. We are looking forward to facing a ranked team here this weekend.
I’m looking forward to the game and I know the players are, too. We didn’t get the game last year, so we’re excited. Our guys know there is a lot of work to be done the next few days so we can perform at our best against Utah.”
On the respect he has for Utah . . .
“There are really good people all over college football, especially in the rivalry game. I think it is really good for the soul to wish good things on people. I want to beat Utah, but after the game, I wish them success and I hope they do well.”
On seeking a 10th straight win against BYU . . .
“Nothing lasts forever. We’re just approaching it like we do every year and pretty much every game. The preparation will be the key. It’s not the emotional part of it, or how many wins in a row, or any of that stuff. You gotta prepare the right way. That’s your best chance to win a game, through great preparation. You prepare hard, you play hard. In the most simplistic terms, that’s what you do. If you don’t prepare on the field, in the film room, the weight room, everything that comes with it — getting your rest, hydration, there’s a ton of different aspects to preparation. You gotta pay attention to all of them, and then on game day you gotta play hard.”
On BYU’s defense this season . . .
“A little more even front than they were playing a few years ago. But the same philosophy, zone coverage is what they hang their hat on, keeping things in front of them. That really is the basics of it, don’t give up the big play and keep things in front. Rally, tackle, that’s been their M.O. for quite a few years.”