PROVO — There's likely a good amount of people nervous about Kalani Sitake's debut as BYU football's new coach this Saturday versus Arizona. But as for Sitake himself, he's not among those feeling any amount of trepidation.
When asked if he expects to feel any butterflies prior to the game, Sitake coolly responded, "Nah, I’m good. I’ve been more nervous for a lot of different things, but I feel confident in our guys. I feel confident in our players and the talent that we have. I’m excited. I’m ready to go.”
Sitake mentioned it's all about the players, and the focus should be on them. As for those players, they've taken comfort in their head coach's demeanor, while many of the seniors are drawing on their own experience with season-openers.
"We look to him and we see him give off all this confidence," said quarterback Taysom Hill. "That confidence comes down to us and gives us confidence as players."
Beyond the confidence distilled by the coaching staff, Hill has found his own preparations as a booster.
"You work so hard, and for such a long period of time, that I haven't felt those nerves in college because I've worked so hard," Hill said. "I'm just more excited than anything else."
Depth chart released: BYU released its two-deep roster on Monday with a lot of players listed as options. According to Sitake, all players listed should see a lot of playing time in light of Arizona's high-tempo offensive attack.
“You’re going to see a high number of players on the field, depending how they’re doing and how successful we are getting them off the field,” Sitake said.
Defensive tackle Travis Tuiloma was listed as a starter at defensive tackle, although his availability is in question due to his recovery from a Lisfranc injury.
“It’s hard for me to say right now how it’s going to work,” Sitake said of Tuiloma. “We have a plan to play without him, and if he’s ready to go, it will be a bonus.”
Team captains announced: The team voted Taysom Hill and running back Jamaal Williams as offensive team captains while safety Kai Nacua and defensive end Harvey Langi were granted the same honor for the defensive side.
"The biggest thing is that it’s humbling when your teammates choose you to represent them," Hill said. "I’ll do my best to represent them on the field. It’s humbling to have that responsibility and I certainly don’t take it lightly. I look forward to the opportunity."
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