Sitake’s Body Language, Comments Reminiscent Of 2017

Oct 15, 2019, 4:00 PM
Head coach Kalani Sitake of the Brigham Young Cougars reacts during the first half of a game agains...
Head coach Kalani Sitake of the Brigham Young Cougars reacts during the first half of a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – This season’s BYU football team is getting extremely close to mirroring the 2017 season when the Cougars went 4-9. Head coach Kalani Sitake’s recent press conferences look a lot like his conferences midway through the 2017 season, according to KSL’s UnRivaled.

The message is nearly the same from Sitake, Scott Mitchell and Alex Kirry pointed out.

Currently, the Cougars are on the outside looking into a bowl game based on ESPN’s Football Power Index. BYU is projected to finish with a 5-7 record, however, the Cougars are close underdogs to Utah State and San Diego State with a win probability at 44 percent and 46.4 percent, respectively.

Sitake is starting to become short with his answers and is repeating a lot of the comments he said during the 2017, four-win season.

Below are two quotes from Sitake, one is from this season and one is from 2017. Both came after a loss.

“I think that I need to be really blunt about it. As the head coach, this is all on me,” Sitake said after the Cougars’ loss to East Carolina in 2017. “The way I approach it and demand it has not happened now and it is starting to get desperate. My mind is that if you are going down you need to go down swinging.”

Here is what Sitake said after the South Florida loss during his weekly press conference.

“I am hands-on with everything so anything not functioning well is my fault and that is how I look at it,” he said. “I am hands-on with the offense, defense, and special teams. We are not performing well and that is on me.”

“I’ve been in tight spots before where we’ve had to respond well with coaching,” said Sitake. “Been coaching for 19 years so this isn’t new to me. So we’ll respond the right way.”

2019 Looking Like 2017

BYU is not used to losing seasons and it has to be driving fans, staff, players, coaches, and anyone involved nuts that a losing season could happen again, pointed out UnRivaled.

Kirry has a sense Cougar fans are in a state of déjà vu now that the team is sitting at 2-4.

“This was as bad as a loss I have seen,” Kirry said. “Barring the 2017 season where a loss to East Carolina at East Carolina and the loss to UMass at home when BYU was 1-7 at that point of the year those feel really bad. I will tell you, the feelings inside this BYU team and inside BYU nation is that their feelings feel a lot like 2017.”

Before the season, Mitchell thought things were on the rise for the Cougars with running back Ty’Son Williams coming in as a grad transfer – but he got hurt. Quarterback Zach Wilson was leading a passing attack that was top-three in FBS – but he got hurt. Those injuries are a large part of the BYU slide.

“What makes this so hard is that they felt that they got it fixed like they turned a corner with maturity,” Mitchell said. “BYU felt like it had more depth, they found its quarterback and felt like this would ever happen again. There is no way this team could go back to 2017.”

Going into the South Florida game, everyone knew this was an important game and a win or loss on the road against the Bulls could make or break BYU’s postseason chances.

“I remember having the conversation last week about this game playing South Florida – that is not very good – will actually probably be the determining game whether BYU gets bowl eligible,” Mitchell said.

“That statement was meant as ‘that’s ludicrous, or it’s crazy’ since this game was one of the easiest on their schedule, supposedly, was actually the one to determine more or likely if they are to be bowl eligible because there is nothing else to look forward to.”


For BYU to become bowl eligible they will need to win four games over the final six and this week will be the Cougars’ biggest test of the year. They host undefeated Boise State who have their eye on a New Year’s Six game.

Tune into KSL Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast. 

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Sitake’s Body Language, Comments Reminiscent Of 2017