BYU Football Knows They Belong, Now Looks To Build On Success

Jun 22, 2022, 10:04 PM


BYU football offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick leads an offense looking for more in 2022. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The independence era’s final BYU football media day was true to its name. An opportunity for the media to catch up with BYU coaches and players about the upcoming season.

BYU didn’t need to roll out a fancy announcement or an ESPN personality. They did have ESPN’s Pete Thamel on for a portion of the Independence Era program on BYUtv, but the point stands, it was a business-like media day.

That wasn’t always the case for BYU as they navigated the road less traveled of independence. Questions typically from media centered around, “Where does BYU fit in college football?” No sign of that on Wednesday. BYU knows they belong among the power conference structure with their membership in the Big 12 awaiting on July 1, 2023.

The focus now is building on the success that has led to BYU producing Top 25 seasons and a wave of momentum that hasn’t been seen since the late Mountain West Conference days.

Can BYU Football maintain its success?

Coming out of the business-like media day, there’s optimism from BYU coaches and players that the good times in Provo can keep rolling.

“It was two years in a row we sort of had something to prove and we could each week we could kind of come up with our own motivations about who’s not respecting us or whatever,” said BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick to KSL Sports. “I’m excited about going into the season knowing we’re a good team. We’ve been a good team for a while; can we stay good?”

There’s no reason to think BYU can’t stay good in 2022. BYU brings back the second-most returning production in college football this season. It also doesn’t hurt that Jaren Hall is returning for his second entire season as the starting quarterback.

Roderick couldn’t help but rave about Hall. After a year when Hall passed for 2,583 yards and completed 64% of his passes, Roderick is confused about why he isn’t getting more attention. “It surprises me how sort of unnoticed he went and how great he played. He was one of the best quarterbacks in the country last year.”

Kalani Sitake focuses on the final tour of Independence

It’s easy for everyone outside the Student-Athlete Building walls to look ahead to 2023 and BYU’s future home in the Big 12 Conference. Trust me; there was plenty of Big 12 talk at BYU’s Broadcasting Building. Some BYUtv employees were sporting BYU merchandise with Big 12 logos on their attire.

Kalani Sitake isn’t taking that same approach as he gears up for his seventh season leading his alma mater. The focus is on the final Independence Tour that will see BYU do what they typically do, rack up a bunch of frequent flier miles as an Independent team.

“Here we are; everybody knows we’re going to the Big 12. But we’re going to get this thing focused on the thing that matters the most and that’s 2022 and getting it focused on these seniors that will not be playing in the Big 12,” said Sitake to KSL Sports. “We need to make sure that they feel that they get all the attention and respect they deserve and make sure we’re focused on this year. And giving them all of my energy and all of my effort.”

The 2022 schedule is another gauntlet of challenging games for BYU. Five games headline it against Power Five opponents. Four of those five could be Top 25 programs entering the pre-season.

But first, an opener against a revamped USF team in Tampa on September 3. A team that BYU lost to with Hall as the quarterback in 2019. It will be another chance for BYU football to display the high-level success from the past two seasons.

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.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

Cougar Tracks

BYU Football, Zach Wilson, Kalani Sitake, Signing Day...

Mitch Harper

Ranking BYU Football’s Best Players To Sign During The Kalani Sitake Era

The best players to sign with BYU football for Kalani Sitake from high school and the Transfer Portal.

2 months ago

Foster Pavilion, Baylor Bears, BYU Basketball, Big 12...

Mitch Harper

Foster Pavilion Was Great Stage For BYU’s First Big 12 Road Game

Baylor's new $212 million home was a great setting for a Big 12 basketball game.

3 months ago

BYU Football, 12-Team Playoff, LJ Martin...

Mitch Harper

Three Things BYU Football Needs To One Day Reach 12-Team Playoff

The 12-team Playoff is coming in college football. What does BYU need to do to one day play in the bracket?

3 months ago

Big 12 Basketball, BYU, Dallin Hall...

Mitch Harper

How Will BYU Basketball Fare In Big 12? Projecting 2024 Order Of Finish

Where will BYU finish in their first season of Big 12 Conference play? Time to make predictions.

3 months ago

BYU Basketball, Mark Pope, Big 12...

Mitch Harper

Mark Pope Lays Out BYU’s Expectations For Inaugural Big 12 Schedule

Big 12 play has arrived for No. 12 BYU Basketball. Mark Pope shares his expectations for conference play.

3 months ago

BYU Basketball, Trevin Knell, Three-Point Shooting...

Mitch Harper

What We Learned About BYU Basketball During Nonconference Play

BYU basketball turns its attention to Big 12 play. But first we take a step back at look at what we learned about the Cougars in nonconference.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

BYU Football Knows They Belong, Now Looks To Build On Success