KSL UNRIVALED

Jaren Hall: There Is Still A Lot Of Excitement Within The BYU Football Program

Oct 21, 2022, 12:25 PM
BYU QB Jaren Hall under center against Arkansas...
BYU QB Jaren Hall under center against Arkansas (Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO – BYU football is just past the midway point of the season with a 4-3 record and two losses in a row to Notre Dame and Arkansas.

This past week has seen fans and even coaches get irritated with the performance on the field.

Head coach Kalani Sitake has mentioned changes that he wants to put in place to help the ailing defense, but he is keeping those close to the vest heading into a Liberty game where its program is treating it as its biggest home game ever.

BYU always has a target on its back due to its national brand and success on the football field. The Flames are also a religious-based university and an independent football program, so there are things in common with the Cougars.

Cougar quarterback Jaren Hall knows that this game is going to be a big one and is ready for what Liberty will bring their way. This team wants to bounce back and he told Unrivaled during his weekly appearance where the team is now.

“To have so many things click, to feel good and still lose, it sucks to learn from a loss,” Hall said. “For us, there is still a lot of excitement in this building because we know how much better we can be. We felt things start to roll and the wheels start to turn on Saturday. For us, our talk as a team is to take this opportunity to test our manhood and run with it.

“They sold out their stadium for the first time, I don’t know in how long, so it’s a big deal for them, we can tell. We cherish that opportunity.”

The Flames are treating this like their Super Bowl and the Cougars are ready for that challenge.

Comparing Midseason From 2021 To 2022

Last year, BYU exceeded a lot of people’s expectations by sweeping their Pac-12 opponents and going 6-1 against Power 5 teams. This year the team had even higher aspirations – probably more so from outside the program – with so many returning players like quarterback Jaren Hall and multiple receivers like Gunner Romney and Puka Nacua.

The schedule has been tough, if not tougher than last year, with a number of Power 5 programs on the schedule and ranked teams as well along the way. It is hard to have 10-win seasons for multiple years in a row and BYU was looking for its third straight.

Hall said the feeling at this point of the year feels the same as last year at this time, despite the worse record.

“There is no different feeling. I think last year we had a little bit better record to this point. Looking at our schedule, it’s a bummer to lose games to those types of teams we played,” Hall said. “When you are in touch with reality and you look at how it is, we lost to some really good teams. One of them is ranked 10th right now and the other two have been ranked. Arkansas is a really good SEC team that will send a lot of guys to the league, same with Oregon and Notre Dame.

“Having dropped some of those games close, it hurts because you know what could have been and what our record could be. At the same time, there is still something in it for us. There are still five games to go, and you add a bowl game. You go play the way you need to every single game and it can still be a great season, a phenomenal season.”

This BYU team can still get to that double-digit win goal if they win out, including their bowl game. That will be a tough task as ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Cougars just an 8.3% chance to win out, and an overall regular season record of 7.2-4.8.

Tune into Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 3-6 p .m. on 1280 AM and 97.5 FM, or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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