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BYU Football Looking To End Day Game Struggles With Routine Change

Oct 12, 2022, 12:01 AM

BYU Football, Day Game, Arkansas...

BYU football has struggled recently in day games. To get ready for another day game against Arkansas, they are changing things up. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The last six losses for BYU football dating back to 2020 have all kicked off before 6 p.m. (MT). Out of those six losses, four have kicked off at 1:30 p.m. (MT).

Since 2019, BYU has only defeated one Power Five opponent in a day time kickoff. That was USC in 2019.

Heading into this week, BYU gets another crack at a Power Five foe in the day time when they host 3-3 Arkansas from the SEC at 1:30 p.m. (ESPN, KSL NewsRadio) at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Over the past few seasons, BYU football has been the resident late night team. Compiling wins over the likes of Baylor, Utah, Arizona State, USC, and Virginia well into the night.

Is there something to the day time struggles BYU has recently experienced?

Two days after BYU lost to Oregon earlier this season, which was a 1:30 p.m. (MT) kick, BYU coach Kalani Sitake was asked if he’s aware of his team’s struggles in the day time. When asked that question on September 19, he said he wasn’t aware of that. He followed it up by saying, “maybe we have to redo things when it comes to day games.”

Fast forward to Arkansas week, Sitake is in fact redoing some things with day game preparation according to his players.

“We play a lot of late night Saturday games. But for example, this week, we’re playing at 1:30, correct? So this week we changed our [daily] lifts,” said BYU linebacker Ben Bywater after Tuesday’s practice. “We’re lifting at 7:45 in the morning, just so we can get up, get going, get the juices flowing. So by Saturday, we will be locked and loaded, that’s already something we’ve been doing all week.”

For a BYU team that’s at 4-2 at the midway point, Saturday against Arkansas is a big game to get back on track.

Bywater concluded, “There’s definitely a lot of cerebral things that happen behind the scenes that we’re not a part of but it just gets implemented. So for us, 1:30, we’ve just got to come ready to go. That’s as simple as that. You gotta start dialing it up at 7:45 in the morning not, you know, 4:45 in the afternoon.”

BYU vs. Arkansas

Location: LaVell Edwards Stadium

Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. (MT)

TV: ESPN

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM – Extended pregame begins at 9 a.m.)

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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BYU Football Looking To End Day Game Struggles With Routine Change