Going for Win No. 11: BYU soccer plans on enterprise as normal vs. UAB in Independence Bowl | Information, Sports activities, Jobs
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BYU and UAB helmets sit on the rostrum earlier than a press convention for the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. (Courtesy BYU Picture)
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BYU head coach Kalani Sitake talks to his crew as they put together for the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. (Courtesy BYU Picture)
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BYU soccer gamers are greeted as they arrive for the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021. (Courtesy BYU Picture)
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BYU soccer gamers pose for a photograph after profitable a contest as a part of the festivities for the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. (Courtesy BYU Picture)
On paper, the matchup between the No. 13-ranked BYU soccer crew and UAB in Saturday’s Radiance Applied sciences Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, must be labeled as a mismatch.
After all of the Cougars are 10-2 and simply missed out on incomes a spot in a high-profile New 12 months’s Six bowl sport, whereas the Blazers are available at 8-4, completed second within the West division of Convention USA and are ranked No. 49 by CBS Sports activities.
Why even play the sport, proper?
However in response to BYU head coach Kalani Sitake, that’s precisely what his crew needs to do most.
“All in all, we’re actually enthusiastic about this sport,” Sitake stated in Friday’s bowl press convention. “I’m trying ahead to tomorrow and being on the sphere with these guys yet one more time.”
It’s simple to wonder if the Cougars will have the ability to match UAB’s depth, for the reason that Blazers are getting a shot at a program-defining upset.
“I believe any bowl win is massive, however that is a type of packages that you just develop up watching,” UAB head coach Invoice Clark stated. “You watch them in massive video games. You watch their historical past. I do know that’s vital to them. There’s an enormous custom there. We had been speaking about traditions we’ve began at our place. Colby [Ragland] was alluding to the previous and possibly not profitable as a lot till he will get right here after which it’s anticipated. We anticipate to win. They anticipate to win. So clearly being a historical past buff, particularly a university historical past buff, and understanding about their program it might imply so much clearly.”
However Sitake was fast to level out that his crew has seen the Blazers in motion and is aware of that UAB almost beat then-No. 15-ranked UTSA late within the season.
“We’ve a bunch of soccer junkies on our crew, so we love faculty soccer,” Sitake stated. “We don’t have an NFL crew in our state, so every part is about faculty soccer. Our guys like to observe the sport and while you see a crew like UAB that’s gained a number of video games and you’ve got a coach that’s gained Coach of the 12 months numerous instances, that’s what we’re targeted on and we respect. Final 12 months, we performed so many of their convention that it carried over. We performed La. Tech and UTSA, these video games carried over, so we noticed them as an opponent that we noticed on movie and in scouting. And also you respect good soccer while you see it.”
Identical to has has all season, Sitake stated comparative rankings and outdoors notion are irrelevant on the subject of enjoying soccer.
“We’re probably not involved with that stuff,” Sitake stated. “To be sincere with you, no one thought we’d be ranked within the preseason. Being targeted on what we’re making an attempt to perform is extra vital than anything. I’ve a number of respect for UAB and the way hungry they’re. I don’t assume individuals notice that our program focuses on one factor and that’s being targeted on what we’re making an attempt to perform instantly. We’re probably not fearful concerning the future and probably not fearful about what different individuals say.
“There’s a quantity that’s hooked up to our title that wasn’t there. That doesn’t drive us. That doesn’t have an effect on who we’re. We’re targeted on enjoying this sport the correct means. I need our guys to be right here, be ready, benefit from the festivities and all that enjoyable stuff however a part of that’s acting at their greatest. I’m not fearful concerning the consequence of the sport. The main target is that we present up and play our absolute best, that’s it. We will dwell with the outcomes afterwards.”
He stated he expects UAB to indicate up and compete in all phases of the sport.
“I believe in case you take a look at their protection, they’re dedicated to stopping the run,” Sitake stated. “I believe typically that overshadows an offense that’s bodily and might run the ball, however they will additionally take some photographs down the sphere and make massive performs. You praise that with how laborious they play with how bodily they’re on the line of scrimmage it’s going to be an awesome problem for us.”
For his or her half, the Blazers know they don’t need to should attempt to dig out of a gap in opposition to the Cougars.
“We all know how vital it’s to begin quick,” UAB tight finish Gerrit Prince stated. “We all know now we have to go on the market and now we have to execute and do what we observe to do. We all know how good they’re. They’re an excellent crew. They’re good. They do what they do very properly. So, we all know we’re going to should carry our A-game and we hope to do this.”
No. 13 BYU vs. UAB
TIME: 1:30 p.m. MT
WHERE: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana
THE WORD: This would be the first assembly between BYU and UAB. The Cougars are at present 39-12-1 in opposition to groups from Convention USA … That is BYU’s thirty ninth bowl look and the Cougars have compiled a report of 15-21-1, together with final 12 months’s 49-23 win over UCF within the Boca Raton Bowl. The Cougars have appeared in 19 completely different bowl video games in opposition to 34 completely different opponents … That is the fifth bowl sport for the Blazers, who’re 1-4. UAB was scheduled to play in 2020 however the sport was cancelled when South Carolina withdrew … BYU is enjoying simply its third sport within the Bayou state and first postseason contest. The Cougars performed each earlier video games within the Superdome in New Orleans. Most lately, BYU performed LSU in 2017 and again in 2009 matched up with Tulane.