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Game Day Q&A With BYU OC Aaron Roderick Before Notre Dame Matchup

Oct 8, 2022, 3:00 AM
BYU Notre Dame, Aaron Roderick, Dallin Holker...
To get ready for BYU/Notre Dame, OC Aaron Roderick spoke with KSL Sports. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

LAS VEGAS – A much-anticipated BYU football game day is here. Tonight the 16th-ranked BYU Cougars take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Allegiant Stadium.

BYU comes into the game with a 4-1 record but is the underdog in the matchup.

 

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Notre Dame is 2-2, with one of those losses coming against Marshall. But they are trending up after a week off to enjoy the blowout win over North Carolina on the road.

To prepare for tonight’s matchup, Cougar Sports Saturday host Matt Baiamonte and I caught up with BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick this week to receive insight on BYU’s offensive approach against the Irish.

Note: Listen to the entire conversation with BYU OC Aaron Roderick during the extended BYU/Notre Dame pregame on KSL NewsRadio beginning at Noon (MT) on 102.7 FM, 1160 AM, and the KSL NewsRadio app.

KSL Sports: What do you think of this opportunity against a brand like Notre Dame?

Aaron Roderick: Well, I don’t know about the brand, but they’re a good team. And we’ve been playing a lot of good teams the last couple of years. They’re right up there with the best teams we’ve played; very physical and excellent skill players and you know, a bunch of four-star and five-star recruits.

KSL: What has the emphasis been in preparation for this game?

AR: It’s the same as always — we want to start fast, be physical, and take care of the football. You know, we need to play better in the red zone. We’ve been one of the best red zone offenses in the country in the last two years, and this year we haven’t lived up to our standard so far. So that’s an area we need to improve upon. But we just need to take care of the ball and play well. We don’t have to play perfect to win, we just need to play good football.

KSL: Is it going to be another running back by committee situation here against Notre Dame?

AR: Well, we don’t really consider it running back by committee. I mean, we have three good backs. We played three backs last year, too. Tyler [Allgeier] got the majority of the carries, but I don’t really think of it a lot differently than it’s ever been. We just play guys based on the situation play calls and then, also, health has a lot to do with it. How many reps they were able to take in practice and then throughout the game, we rotate guys, you know, sometimes guys get tired and need a break. But I have a lot of confidence in all three of those guys.

KSL: Speaking of health, where are Puka Nacua and Chase Roberts trending for this game?

AR: I am hopeful for both of them. And that’s all I can say right now. Not to avoid your question or whatever, but that’s sort of been the story of the season we just have to get ready with whoever’s available. And it’s been a challenge. It’s been a totally different lineup almost every game. That’s also been one of our challenges on offense is just adapting to which personnel we have each week.

KSL: Miles Davis is in the same situation, I assume?

AR: Yeah, there’s a number of players in that midseason form. That’s why Notre Dame just had a nice bye where they were able to get some guys healthy. We had a couple of days. But, you know, we’re in that time of the year where people are getting pretty beat up.

KSL: What do you think of Notre Dame’s defensive line, and how do they compare to Baylor or Oregon’s defensive fronts?

AR: I would say they’re on that level that Baylor and Oregon would be, you know, you’re talking about guys that have a lot of big physical guys with length and athleticism, and they present a lot of problems. So, I think it’s going to be a similar type of game to those two. One of those games we played well enough to find a way to win, the other one, we didn’t show up at all. But it’s going to be that type of street fight.

KSL: Do you like being in the role of the underdog? Especially after the best few weeks being in the hunted spot.

AR: Yeah, for sure. I’ve mentioned to our offense that we are an underdog, and we’ve got to go down there and play well to have a chance to win.

KSL: How do you prepare for maybe the jitters of a big game and an NFL stadium against a name brand?

AR: The same way as you do every week. I know it sounds cliche, but our players are not in awe of anybody. We’ve played in a lot of big games and we’ve played in the same stadium before and we have a veteran team. We respect Notre Dame, for sure, but we won’t be in awe of them and we’ll be ready to play.

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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