BYU’s First Opponent Looking To Gain Advantage With Spring Game Decision

Apr 6, 2022, 6:54 PM
BYU Football, USF Bulls, Kalani Sitake, Jeff Scott...
BYU football opens the 2022 season against Jeff Scott and his USF Bulls. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – When BYU football takes on USF to open the 2022 season, the Bulls will be a much different team than the one in Provo last September.

That’s because the Bulls have added a lot of potential impact players out of the transfer portal. USF landed 14 commits from the portal, with 13 of those players coming from Power 5 programs.

So the Bulls could be a completely new look compared to the group that only won one game against an FBS team last season.

USF head coach Jeff Scott wants to keep that mystery intact for BYU. It’s why Scott has decided that USF’s spring game this Saturday at Raymond James Stadium won’t be streamed or televised anywhere. But, on a positive note for any Bulls fans, they get to attend the spring scrimmage in person.

USF is not broadcasting their 2022 spring game

“I’ll say this, especially during my five years as Co-OC at Clemson, the hardest games to prepare for are always your openers because everybody has a new team from December to September of the next year. That’s been magnified more than ever with the transfer portal,” Scott said to reporters.

The third-year head coach pointed to an experience in 2008 at Clemson preparing for Alabama in the Georgia Dome, and the Tide had a JUCO transfer in Terrance Cody that caught everyone off guard on the Clemson staff.

“We had no idea who he was until the game started when we figured we couldn’t block him. We wish we had known about it earlier. But you know, some schools due to a conference like the SEC –because of their contracts– they have to stream and play all of their spring games. So that’s the number one tape to get. We would get that, and we would cut it up, and that would be the number one cut up we would use because you’re getting to see the new team.”

BYU football will have to prepare for two new USF coordinators

Along with many new players from the transfer portal, USF also has two new coordinators in Travis Trickett (Offensive Coordinator) and Bob Shoop (Defensive Coordinator).

“The other thing that is very difficult to prepare for is if the team you’re playing has a new coordinator. Because then you’re trying to figure out what he’s going to be doing schematically. What are his alignments? Is he an over front, under front, is it bench, or is it field? What alignment does he play with his nickel and SAM? Maybe a normal fan watching the game wouldn’t notice. But coaches seeing that, you can kind of see the DNA,” said Scott. “And then with our situation with two coordinators, who both of our coordinators have not coordinated in two or three years; so BYU, they’ve got to go watch 2018 Mississippi State. They’ve got to go watch 2017-18 Georgia State and then they’ve got to think about what’s happened over the last three years that they may be doing.”

BYU’s history against USF

The season opener between BYU and USF in Tampa will be the third meeting all-time between the two schools. Last year was BYU’s first victory against the Bulls, a game that saw BYU coast after building a 21-0 lead. Scott was complimentary towards BYU fans calling LaVell Edwards Stadium one of the best atmospheres he’s seen in person.

But in 2019 –BYU’s last trip to Tampa and Jaren Hall’s first career start— the Cougs suffered one of the worst losses in the Kalani Sitake era.

BYU has come a long way since that 2019 setback, producing back-to-back double-digit win seasons that have resulted in final rankings in the AP Top 25. Meanwhile, USF has only won one game against an FBS team in the past two seasons. So it’s understandable why USF’s Scott is looking for any advantage he can get.

“BYU is not worried about it on April 9th, but they will be July 20th through the end of August, whenever you start really kind of breaking it down,” Scott said. “Not trying to fool anybody or trick anybody. It’s just this year is in our best interest to have a little bit of mystery there with what we’re doing.”

Game time and TV info for BYU football versus South Florida are still determined. BYU’s radio broadcast will air on September 3rd on KSL NewsRadio, your legacy home of the Cougars.

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

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