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BYU’s Aaron Roderick Disagrees With ‘Bowls Are Meaningless’ Narrative

Dec 14, 2021, 9:19 AM
BYU Football - Aaron Roderick...
Aaron Roderick, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, talks to media during BYU football media day at the BYU Broadcasting Building in Provo on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utahย – BYU football is gearing up for the 39th bowl appearance in program history when they face the UAB Blazers in the 2021 Independence Bowl.

This was a game that was met by BYU fans with a lot of criticism. At 10-2 and ranked No. 13 in the final College Football Playoff rankings to end up in Shreveport, Louisiana, it was met as a slap in the face to a successful season.

A season that has featured an undefeated record against the Pac-12, including a win over league champion Utah, and a total record of 6-1 against teams from power conferences. The lone setback was against future Big 12 rival Baylor.

So to end up in a bowl game that is proudly boasting BYU as the highest ranked team in Independence Bowl history, fans werenโ€™t too happy.

For BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick, he doesnโ€™t feel itโ€™s an insult to team. In fact, he passionately disagrees with the bowl game slander.

โ€Weโ€™re excited to play. I just want to say that I disagree with anybody that says โ€˜bowl games are meaningless,โ€™โ€ said Roderick to Hans & Scotty G on The Zone Sports Network. โ€œEvery bowl game Iโ€™ve ever been to was a blast. Itโ€™s a reward for these players.โ€

This will be the last guaranteed opportunity in football for three players on this BYU roster. Those players include defensive end Uriah Leiataua, wide receiver Samson Nacua, and defensive back Jared Kapisi.

Attrition is a constant in college football, and BYU is no exception. Looming NFL decisions from star RB Tyler Allgeier, among others is still being waited on. Also, the presence of the Transfer Portal always looms in the background. So Saturdayโ€™s tilt with UAB is the last chance for the 2021 edition of BYU football to lay its mark as one of the best teams in program history.

โ€Itโ€™s a reward for these players,โ€ Roderick said. โ€œThey get to play again one more time with their teammates. They get to go on an airplane and go fly to another city that most of them have never been to and spend four or five days together; hanging out together, going to activities together, and going to movies together.โ€

BYU had no alternative options to their postseason fate. They were contracted to play in the Independence Bowl if they didnโ€™t qualify for a New Yearโ€™s Six bowl game. Being one spot on the outside of the NY6 left the Cougars in Shreveport.

Another calling card to the bowl trips for BYU is the family atmosphere. For decades, BYU has always allowed players to bring their wives to bowl weeks. Thatโ€™s the case this year, as 37 married players will bring their spouses with them to Shreveport. But along with spouses, coaches get to bring their kids on the trip.

โ€My son, whoโ€™s barely seen me the last four months, is going to be hanging out with Jernaro Gilfordโ€™s son. They are best buddies. Theyโ€™ll be running around the hotel, playing Xbox, and swimming in the pool. This is great. I love it. I canโ€™t wait to go play and hopefully play well and put on a good show for everybody.โ€

BYU arrives in Shreveport on Tuesday afternoon and will have a welcome dinner at Independence Bowl Stadium with UAB players and staff.

No. 13 BYU vs. UAB

2021 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl

Date:ย Saturday, December 18, 2021

Kick:ย 1:30 p.m. (MT)

TV:ย ABC

Radio:ย KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM โ€” Extended pregame coverage begins at 9 a.m. MT)

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12โ€“3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter:ย @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU’s Aaron Roderick Disagrees With ‘Bowls Are Meaningless’ Narrative