PROVO — When BYU coach Kalani Sitake entered the locker room after a frustrating 21-18 loss to Cal last Saturday night, he found his players talking about what went wrong.
Sophomore offensive lineman Tristen Hoge took it upon himself to address his teammates.
“Tristen Hoge gathered us up and gave us a little speech. He told us, ‘This is behind us now. We can’t change anything that happened on the field. We took a loss and we’re going to have to move on,'” said linebacker and team captain Sione Takitaki. “We have a good team coming up that we have to prepare for in Wisconsin.’ He just let us know that we need to keep moving. We’ve got to take our licks like a man and move on.”
Sitake liked the way his players showed leadership and accountability.
“It was cool. That’s the leadership we’re talking about, holding each other accountable,” he said. “It was more of guys knowing the opportunity that they missed. It’s not good when you don’t play your best. We need to be more efficient as a team.”
“There are guys that step up as leaders. Right when we got in (the locker room), Tristen Hoge addressed the team, gathered us together, before coach Sitake said anything,” said senior linebacker Zayne Anderson, another team captain. “We have a lot of those leaders like that. He’s not even one of the leaders but there are guys like that throughout the team. Having that really helps us.”
NICE ADJUSTMENT: Anderson switched from safety to outside (flash) linebacker during the offseason.
Anderson recorded a career-high 12 tackles against Cal and he feels good about the change of position.16 comments on this story
“Yeah, I feel like the tackles were good. I feel like I can make plays at the flash position and I feel like I can make more plays whether it’s forced fumbles or interceptions,” he said. “I feel like I’ve made some progress as well.”
WISCONSIN’S WINNING WAYS: Wisconsin has won 41 consecutive non-conference home games, the fifth-longest streak by any FBS team since 1946.
The Badgers have also won 20 straight regular-season games dating back to 2016. A win over BYU Saturday would give Wisconsin its 700th all-time win and the 26th team (and fifth Big Ten program) to reach that plateau.