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What Kalani Sitake Is Looking For During First Scrimmage Of BYU Camp

Aug 12, 2022, 1:45 PM | Updated: 2:42 pm
BYU Football, Kalani Sitake...
Making game-by-game predictions for BYU football in the 2022 season. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The first BYU football scrimmage of camp takes place on Saturday at LaVell Edwards.

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake has some expectations from what he wants to see out of the first game simulation.

“Fundamental football,” said Sitake.

What does fundamental football look like to Sitake?

“Fundamentals for me is can we block well, can we tackle well, can we take care of the football on offense and special teams, and can we take the ball away on defense and special teams,” Sitake said. “So that’s what it comes down to.”

Fundamentals are key to Kalani Sitake

BYU donned pads for the first time in fall camp on Thursday in preparation for Saturday’s scrimmage that isn’t open to the general public.

“I want to see how well our guys tackle,” Sitake said. “There’s guys that have tackled before but haven’t done it in a while. So get in there and just kind of shake off the rust there. But the rest of the guys, I want to see if they can do that.”

Throughout fall camp, BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick has noted that he will sideline players to give them an off day during camp to get the critical guys to the regular season.

Sitake still points to the importance of playing football with intensity during these times in camp.

“We put the pads on this Saturday and the lines are always going to be a place where guys really get after it. So it’s a full go for them. Guys get banged up, but we have to be physical,” said Sitake. “We talk about staying healthy, but you’ve got to play football. So, we’re doing that. We’re being mindful of their body and trying to get them the rest that they need, but right now, so far, we’re still planning on having everybody for the first game.”

BYU football position battles entering the scrimmage

With such an experienced team returning, there aren’t many noteworthy battles going into the first scrimmage, but Sitake points to a few he will be tracking.

“I think we still need to figure out some things along the offensive line because there are so many good players. Then, decide what we want to do with our personnel packages on defense. It’s another thing to get the best 11 out there, but now looking at the matchups and the different personnel sets, we feel like we have more than just 11 starters on offense and defense.”

That’s a nice luxury for Sitake to have. Along the offensive line, it’s a group that runs ten deep right now, with it being likely that more than five players along that unit will play during games.

On defense, BYU football has given a lot of snaps to players in recent seasons. They now have a seasoned team, even with some of their underclassmen, that have played a lot in games. It gives them an ability to try to drill down who the top 11 will be going into the season opener against USF.

Could USF be close to announcing their QB1?

Speaking of USF, the Bulls will also have the first scrimmage of their camp on Saturday. Third-year head coach Jeff Scott said before the start of training camp that he wanted to have a starting quarterback in place after the first scrimmage.

USF’s top two contenders for the starting quarterback job include Baylor transfer QB Gerry Bohanon and sophomore Timmy McClain. Both quarterbacks gave BYU their share of headaches last season. But since the Bulls pursued Bohanon after he entered the portal before the May 1 deadline, it would seem that he has the inside track. But no official announcement has been made yet from Bulls camp.

*****

Tune in to Cougar Sports Saturday on KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM, KSL NewsRadio app) on August 13 from Noon-3 p.m. for a live reaction from BYU’s first scrimmage.

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 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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