Kalani Sitake Breaks Down BYU’s Three QBs Before New Mexico Bowl

Dec 17, 2022, 12:29 AM

BYU Football, QB, New Mexico Bowl...

Who will start at QB for BYU football in the 2022 New Mexico Bowl. Kalani Sitake breaks down Nick Billoups, Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters, and Cade Fennegan. (Photos courtesy of Matthew Norton/BYU Photo)

(Photos courtesy of Matthew Norton/BYU Photo)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – BYU football will have a quarterback not named Jaren Hall running the offense today against SMU. The last time that happened was also in a bowl game.

The 2021 Independence Bowl was a game that BYU lost without Hall at quarterback. BYU fell to UAB, 31 to 28.


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There’s no steady option behind Hall this year, as was the case last season with Baylor Romney. Since the end of the regular season win at Stanford, Jacob Conover has found a new transfer portal home at Arizona State. So it leaves the Cougars going into today’s New Mexico Bowl against SMU with three options at quarterback.

Those options include Boise State transfer Cade Fennegan, former three-star dual-threat prospect Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters, and walk-on Utah transfer Nick Billoups.

If you’re not familiar with those names, don’t be ashamed. Only one of those three has played in a game during their time at BYU. That was Maiava-Peters in deep mop-up duty during blowouts against Navy and North Alabama in 2020.

“There are three guys that could [play]. Even I don’t know who will be taking the first-team snaps,” said BYU coach Kalani Sitake during the Friday New Mexico Bowl Press Conference.”…One of those guys will be out there, maybe even all three.”

KSL Sports caught up with Kalani Sitake for an interview to further break down BYU’s three quarterback options heading into today’s New Mexico Bowl matchup.

NOTE: Listen to the full interview with Kalani Sitake during extended pregame coverage of BYU vs. SMU from Albuquerque on KSL NewsRadio, beginning at Noon (MT) on December 17.

Sitake on Cade Fennegan

“Cade actually had some [injury] issues earlier in the season. So we feel like he’s much better now. We were not sure if he was going to be able to go in practices. He’s been able to actually power through and practice. Cade can do a lot of things. He can run and throw,” Sitake said to KSL Sports.

Nick Billoups

“You look at Nick Billoups; he’s very athletic and can really run. But I think people mistake his athleticism. They don’t really look [at his] great arm strength,” said Sitake.

Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters

“Sol-Jay’s got it all, man. He’s a gamer and he finds ways to make plays. He’s got extreme confidence. But he finds ways to make plays and buy more time,” Sitake said.

Sitake “feels good” about BYU’s three QBs at the New Mexico Bowl

“All three guys can do things that are unique and may be different from each other. But we feel really good about all three guys. I gave the challenge to A-Rod (Aaron Roderick) to just play the right guy at the right times. We have no tendencies right now with the three [quarterbacks], so just go out and have fun and see what we can do.”


2022 New Mexico Bowl

Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. (MT)


Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM – Extended pregame begins at Noon)

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. Mitch will be in Albuquerque for the 2022 New Mexico Bowl between BYU and SMU. Follow his coverage on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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Kalani Sitake Breaks Down BYU’s Three QBs Before New Mexico Bowl