BYU Sets Sights On Cal In Home Opener

Sep 5, 2018, 6:45 PM | Updated: Sep 18, 2018, 4:13 pm

PROVO, Utah – After a big season-opening victory at Arizona, the BYU Cougars face another Pac-12 opponent in Cal for their home opener at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Now that the first game is behind the Cougars, head coach Kalani Sitake was pleased with the performance his team showed in an exciting 28-23 win.

“I think we hit on the point that we needed to improve on and the film confirmed it,” Sitake said. “It was a good learning opportunity for us and the fact that we got a win is a huge positive. I was really pleased with the players’ effort.”

The most impressive Cougar against Arizona may have been running back Squally Canada, who finished the game with 98 yards and 3 touchdowns. While he did a stellar job with the ball, it was the other things that he did during the contest that really impressed his head coach.

“I think Squally is in a position now where he’s really doing a good job of leading the position group,” Sitake said. “I’ve been really impressed with the little things, like the pass protection and the blitz pickup that he had.”

As for Cal, the Golden Bears also started their season off on the right foot with a 24-17 home victory over North Carolina. Their defense had a fantastic outing, forcing four interceptions from the Tar Heels as they withstood a late comeback effort by North Carolina.

Though it may be challenging to face another Power-5 opponent early in the season, Sitake feels his team is up to the task.

“I’m familiar with Coach (Justin) Wilcox and what he does on defense,” he said. “It’s a different opponent so we’ll have to scout them and see where we match up and where we can have some success. They’ll be ready, they’re a sound team.”

BYU is 3-1 all-time against Cal, with their last matchup a 42-35 win at California Memorial Stadium in 2014.

The Cougars take on the Golden Bears at 8:15 p.m. at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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