PROVO — The BYU football team travels to take on UNLV this Friday in a game most defensive linemen and linebackers alike should relish, given the Rebels' smash-mouth approach.
UNLV averages 252.6 yards rushing per game and 5.7 yards per attempt. It's not an offense that spreads things out as the Rebels prefer to run it right at opposing defenses with both their running backs and quarterback Armani Rogers.
“This should be something they’re looking forward to,” said BYU coach Kalani Sitake regarding what he hopes his defensive front's mentality is. “A team that’s committed to running the ball and basically shoving the ball right down your throat. It will make us men, I can tell you that These guys have got to be stout and stop the run. They have to be the big factors in this game.”
NOT ENOUGH SWINGS: Sitake stated prior to BYU's 41-20 win against San Jose State that he wanted the Cougars to be more aggressive on both sides of the ball. In the following game, last Saturday's 20-13 loss to Fresno State, Sitake saw some swings taken, but hwas left unsatisfied.
“I said that if we were going down, then we’re going down swinging and it didn’t feel like we took enough swings,” Sitake said.
EIGHT IS HOPEFULLY ENOUGH: The themes have been consistent throughout most press conferences and always surround the need to make improvements on both sides of the football from week-to-week. Such is the lot of a team with a 2-8 record, with Sitake against emphasizing during Monday's press conference that what he's seeing, with regards to overall team effort and execution isn't enough.
“I’ve said it over and over and over again. Eight times, you know?” Sitake said. “So we look forward to fixing it and getting better.”
When asked regarding specific strides made in any given area, whether it be a better passing game or overall defense, Sitake refused to pat himself or his team on the back.
“For me, (it’s) not good enough,” Sitake said. “There are a lot of factors that go into it, as far as us improving as a team. But it’s not good enough. Otherwise, we’d be winning.”