BYU COUGARS

BYU Coach Kalani Sitake Was Hyped Entering LES For Utah Game

Sep 11, 2021, 7:04 PM | Updated: 7:05 pm
Kalani Sitake - BYU Football...
BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake was pumped before the Cougars game against rival Utah on September 11, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football coach Kalani Sitake wears his emotions on his sleeve. It’s one of the reasons he has become the face of the Cougars on the gridiron.

Sitake, who is entering his fifth rivalry game against Utah as head coach at BYU, showed those emotions on Saturday night.

BYU football has a tradition called a Cougar Walk. Two years ago, the tradition switched from the stadium’s east side to the west side, rolling through the new Cougar Canyon. Coaches and players walk through Cougar Canyon to fans decked out in the blue and white.

Near the end of the walk before the Utah game, Sitake was getting hyped, pumping up the fans to show his appreciation for them coming back to LES. Then he saw the BYU student section and he jumped into the throng of BYU ROC students before being embraced by athletic director Tom Holmoe.

Maybe you could credit the excitement to the recent invitation to the Big 12 Conference and last week’s contract extension for the sixth-year head coach. But Sitake, who has always made it clear, he grew up a BYU fan. Very few games bring out the raw emotion like a BYU-Utah game. We saw that from Sitake on Saturday night.

Saturday night’s game between BYU and Utah is the first time since 2019 that Cougar fans have been able to pack into LES. Last year, a few games had 6,000 fans, but nothing close to the sell-out that’s expected for tonight’s rivalry matchup, the 95th meeting in the historical series.

No. 21 Utah versus BYU kicks off at 8:15 p.m. (Mountain Time) and will be televised on ESPN. You can hear the radio broadcast on your legacy home of the BYU Cougars, KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM).

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com 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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