Smack Talk From Utah Tech WR Was Motivation In BYU Football Locker Room

Nov 20, 2022, 1:31 AM | Updated: 1:01 pm
BYU Football, Utah Tech, Smack Talk...
BYU Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) scores a touchdown on a keeper during the game against the Utah Tech Trailblazers at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022.

PROVO, Utah – During the second half of the BYU football game against Utah Tech, there were some chippy penalties. To the point where some of the penalties from BYU players were trying to send a personal message.

What caused that? Smack talk from Utah Tech leading up to Saturday’s game.

In an interview, Utah Tech wide receiver Malcolm Ross-Turner, in the build-up to the first-ever meeting with BYU, gave a prediction for the game.

BYU football got chippy due to smack talk

“I’m Malcolm Ross-Turner predict the Utah Tech and BYU football game; it’s gonna be 27 to 14. I will give them 21, maybe. Who’s winning, though? Utah Tech. It’s about it, though.”

The post was shared by a former KOVO radio host on social media, making its way around apps like Twitter and on message boards before being deleted. The tweet claimed that Ross-Turner compared BYU to Sacramento State, but that supposed soundbite was not heard in the video that made the rounds on social media.

“I think the guys were a little upset and a little bit chippy because of some of the things that were said all week,” said BYU coach Kalani Sitake. “Our guys aren’t blind. They know what was being said and so they wanted to just get after it and were a little physical. It cost us some plays, you know, but that’s alright.”

BYU won the football game, 52-26. Ross-Turner and the Utah Tech offense came close to delivering the point total for the Trailblazers, but he was way off on BYU’s final output.

The redshirt junior ended up with three catches for 49 yards on eight targets.

Ross-Turner’s prediction caught the attention of BYU star quarterback Jaren Hall, who passed for a career-high 456 yards in the 26-point victory.

“Put a fire underneath” BYU entering UTU game

“Yeah, it was motivation,” Hall said after being asked if he heard what was said from Utah Tech. “We definitely heard it. Media is everywhere nowadays. Everyone has a phone. You’re not, not gonna hear something like that. So yeah, it definitely motivated us yesterday, seeing the quotes and the video. But you know, that’s the game of football. People say stuff, and you’ve got to respond. For us, luckily, it kind of put a fire underneath us and got us better prepared.”

Lighting the fire underneath them was noticed by BYU’s headman.

“Yeah, there were just some things that were said by them that our guys just really wanted to get to this game,” said Sitake.

BYU now moves forward, knowing they will be going to a bowl game this season. But before they get to a postseason bowl game, they have one game left to close out the regular season. Next week, BYU travels to Stanford for a late-night 9 p.m. (MT) kickoff.

As for Utah Tech, their season wrapped up on Saturday afternoon in Provo. The Trailblazers finished with a 4-7 record in their second fall season in the FCS ranks after moving up from Division II.

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 Mitch and his BYU Football coverage on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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Smack Talk From Utah Tech WR Was Motivation In BYU Football Locker Room