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BYU Football Arrives In Shreveport For 2021 Independence Bowl

Dec 14, 2021, 10:17 PM
BYU Football - Kalani Sitake - Independence Bowl...
BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake arrives in Shreveport with his team for the 2021 Independence Bowl. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

SHREVEPORT, Louisianaย – BYU football has arrived in the boot for the 2021 Independence Bowl. The No. 13 Cougars are preparing for only their third-ever game in the state of Louisiana (2009 Tulane, 2017 LSU). It will come against the 8-4 UAB Blazers from Conference-USA.

BYU flew out of Provo Airport and flew on a charter flight that included members of the football team and their families. A total of 37 players on the BYU football roster are married. The wives and children of those players joined them on the flight. Same for coaches and their families.

“It’s going to be a good time,” said BYU coach Kalani Sitake. “I just appreciate them (spouses) for allowing us to take their loved ones away for quite a bit of time, you know, to prep for football games, travel, and things like that.”

BYU arrived in Shreveport to greetings from Independence Bowl committee officials, who placed Mardi Gras-style beads around their necks as they walked into the team hotel.

After settling into the hotel and talking to the local Shreveport media, there was a welcome party dinner for both teams at Independence Stadium. On tap for the meal was a Louisiana specialty, alligator.

Food was something that the players and coaches were excited to try as many of them make their first trip to the state of Louisiana.

“There’s not a dish I haven’t tried that I didn’t like. So, you know, I’m going to try it all, I’ve tried everything. I don’t know if there’s anything I can say I don’t like, I’m not picky,” Sitake said. “I think I’m every chef’s dream because I’m always going to want seconds and thirds. That’s how it works.”

Along with alligator, there was also a roasted pig available.

The rest of the meal included sausage, shrimp, potatoes, and rice.

After BYU and UAB players were done eating, Xbox consoles were present to pick up the sticks for some Madden NFL video game action.

No. 13 BYU versus UAB kicks off on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. (MT) on ABC. Radio coverage of the Independence Bowl begins at 9 a.m. on 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 12โ€“3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter:ย @Mitch_Harper.

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