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Kalani Sitake Discussed Thought Process At QB During OSU Loss

Nov 25, 2023, 8:27 PM | Updated: Nov 26, 2023, 7:43 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – BYU football closed out its 2023 season with a double-overtime loss at Oklahoma State.

The Pokes edged out upset-minded BYU 40-34 to advance to the Big 12 Championship Game.

BYU had a 24-6 lead at the halftime break. But they squandered the lead, letting Oklahoma State take over in the second half.

BYU’s offense came to a complete halt.

Junior quarterback Jake Retzlaff, who earned his fourth consecutive start, passed for 161 yards and completed only 47% of his passes.

Accuracy was an issue for Retzlaff, who had a handful of near interceptions to the Oklahoma State secondary. Plus, he had a fumble on BYU’s opening possession of the game.

On the sideline throughout the game, wearing a yellow hat, was Kedon Slovis.

Slovis arrived at BYU this past January as a graduate transfer from Pitt. He had been sidelined since the beginning of BYU’s losing streak at Texas due to injuries.

Slovis participated in practice in the leadup to Saturday’s Oklahoma State game and was suited up and available during the rainy afternoon in Stillwater.

When Retzlaff was struggling to find success through the air, did BYU coaches consider turning to Slovis?

“Yeah, I think that was the thought process,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “But Kedon hasn’t been 100% yet. You’re putting someone at risk if he gets banged up.”

The risk Sitake is referring to is the BYU offensive line. In the past, they allowed a lot of hits on Slovis.

Retzlaff provided BYU with a running element through RPO play calls. He rushed the ball 11 times on Saturday but led to minimal gains.

Sitake adds that he and the staff were thinking about Slovis’ future after BYU.

“I think he has a career at the next level. He throws well and when he’s healthy, he’s really good,” Sitake said. “So it would be hard for us to make that move and put him under pressure.”

Retzlaff put BYU in a position to score a game-tying field goal at the end of regulation. But the conservative play-calling combined with accuracy raised questions if BYU had to make a change at quarterback with the season hanging in the balance.

“I don’t think we felt like that was the right move at that time. But we considered it,” said Sitake. We considered all that. I know Kedon was ready to go and wanted to be in there.”

The career of Kedon Slovis at BYU comes to a close with eight starts. He passed for 1,716 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Retzlaff played in four games and maintained his redshirt season. He has two years of eligibility remaining in his collegiate career.

Retzlaff finished this season with 487 yards passing, three touchdowns, and three interceptions. He also ran the ball 40 times for 119 yards.

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 Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Kalani Sitake Discussed Thought Process At QB During OSU Loss