Sitake Feels Good About BYU WRs Puka, Samson Nacua Playing Against Utah

Sep 5, 2021, 12:02 PM | Updated: 12:05 pm
Samson Nacua - BYU Football...
BYU football wide receiver Samson Nacua celebrates the Cougars win over Arizona. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Two of the noticeable personnel absences from BYU’s win over Arizona were wide receivers Puka and Samson Nacua.

The two Transfer Portal additions for BYU were both were dealing with injuries coming into the Vegas showdown with the Wildcats. Each was listed on the depth chart, though, which according to Kalani Sitake, meant they were available to play.

On Saturday night, both were suited up and were participating in pregame warmups. However, neither took any snaps at wide receiver. Puka was out the entire game, while Samson Nacua made a cameo late in the 4th quarter to secure the 24-16 victory for BYU by recovering Arizona’s last-ditch onside kick effort.

“We had some guys that we tried out, practiced all week, and then tried in the game,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “When it came time to make a decision on what was best for the young men. …I think the decision was just to keep them out. And you know, try to find a way to get them healthier next week.”

Next week’s game isn’t just any ordinary game either. It’s the rivalry game against Utah. Samson Nacua’s former school.

Sitake gave an optimistic outlook on the two Nacua’s playing next week against the Utes. Players that they’ll need to complement QB Jaren Hall if they want to end the nine-game losing streak versus the Utes.

“We feel really good about the Nacua’s for next week,” Sitake said. “You know, Samson went back in there and got on our hands’ team. We were lucky he was aware and he knows where he’s supposed to be, lucky that he helped win the game for us. So we’re hoping to get those guys back 100% for next weekend.”

The availability of the Nacua’s will be a big storyline to monitor. In the first quarter of BYU’s win over the Wildcats, senior wide receiver Gunner Romney suffered an injury that forced him to leave the game on crutches.

BYU’s home opener against Utah kicks off on Saturday, September 11 at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN and KSL NewsRadio.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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