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Brigham Young Cougars defensive lineman Corbin Kaufusi (90) celebrates after the Brigham Young Cougars stop the Northern Illinois Huskies on third down during NCAA football in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)
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BYU Ready For Another Meaningful Senior Day Game

(Ravell Call, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – With the exception of the 2017 season, Cougars fans have been treated to a meaningful Senior Day game at LaVell Edwards Stadium every year that BYU has been independent.

Last season’s home loss to UMass was the first time in the independent era that the Cougar seniors played a meaningless game in their final game on the home field. Perhaps due to a lack of motivation, BYU lost that game 16-10 en route to one to the conclusion of one of the worst seasons in program history. Other than that, the Cougars have always been in contention for a bowl game when playing their final home game of the year.

Win And Go Bowling

This season, however, the pressure is really on as BYU must win either this week against New Mexico State or next week at Utah to become bowl eligible.

According to head coach Kalani Sitake, going to a bowl game can be very beneficial, especially for a program full of young players.

“We’re just trying to focus on the task right now and that’s trying to get this win, and then we’ll figure it out,” said Sitake. “But if you’re talking about the amount of practices a team gets from being bowl-eligible, that really helps the program out. Especially when you have a lot of young guys and inexperienced players. It gives you another spring ball type of deal. For us, that’s an important part of building a program, having that extra practice time.”

Sitake Grateful For Seniors

Although the program is experiencing a youth movement, Sitake continued to express his appreciation for this year’s senior class.

“I know we’ve played a lot of young guys, but this program is really moving in a great direction because of the seniors and the leadership they’re providing and the roles they’re relishing, whether it’s on the field or as a mentor on the sideline helping young guys out,” said Sitake.

Takitaki Will Remember His BYU Days Fondly

Senior linebacker Sion Takitaki was emotional when discussing his feelings on his final game at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

“Just yesterday I was thinking about my career as a whole,” said Takitaki on Monday. “Making it to BYU after wanting to come here for so long and having my family be a part of BYU will definitely make it memorable. I’ve put in years of work to get here and went through a lot of ups and downs at BYU.”

 

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