MORGANTOWN — As his crew prepares for its first-ever journey to Morgantown, BYU soccer coach Kalani Sitake is happy to expertise a WVU gameday firsthand.
“I’m wanting ahead to the cool traditions that they’ve,” Sitake mentioned throughout a Zoom press convention on Monday. “They’ve a passionate fanbase that loves their crew. I do know from speaking to lots of totally different folks which have been on the market that it’s a tricky place to play.”
Throughout their first yr within the Massive 12, the Cougars have already skilled highway video games at Kansas, TCU and Texas.
“I like followers that care about their crew and have lots of ardour for it,” Sitake mentioned. “I believe there are lots of actually cool issues about faculty soccer and I’m glad we get to go be in that setting and compete towards West Virginia.”
Sitake mentioned he’s wanting ahead to 1 WVU custom particularly.
“I’m wanting ahead to listening to all of them sing ‘Take Me Residence, Nation Roads,’” he mentioned, unaware that will solely occur if his Cougars lose to the Mountaineers. “That’s a cool music.”
BYU is faring the very best out of the 4 Massive 12 newcomers this season, sitting at 5-3, 2-3 within the Massive 12. In contrast to Cincinnati, Houston and UCF, which all got here from the American Convention, BYU had been impartial since 2011 and frequently constructed tough schedules filled with Energy 5 opponents.
“They have been taking part in a very difficult schedule during the last couple of years,” WVU coach Neal Brown provided. “After they went impartial, they have been taking part in a ton of Energy 5 faculties. I believe that’s helped of their transition.”
Whereas they’re one win away from bowl eligibility, the Cougars have misplaced all three of their convention highway video games this season by a mixed rating of 117-44. Sitake isn’t shying away from the truth that they’ll face one other robust highway setting in Morgantown on Saturday (7 p.m./FS1)
“I need our guys to go and embrace the setting,” Sitake mentioned. “There’s nothing improper with going out onto the sector and embracing the chance in a spot that’s going to be tough to win.”
This will likely be BYU’s longest highway journey this yr and its first, and solely, sport within the Japanese Time Zone within the common season. Even so, Brown expects the Cougars could have a robust fan presence in Milan Puskar Stadium.
“Watching BYU from afar, it’s a nationwide model and their group all the time travels properly,” Brown mentioned. “I believe that is the one time they’re taking part in on the East Coast, so there’s in all probability some juice there for them as a result of there’s a ton of the members of the church which can be on the East Coast and I believe they’ll be well-represented right here.”
BYU and WVU have met simply as soon as earlier than on the gridiron, in a impartial web site sport at FedEx Subject in 2016. A pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns by the Cougars couldn’t deliver them again because the Mountaineers held on to win 35-32. WVu operating again Rushel Shell ran in two touchdowns and cornerback Rasul Douglas returned a 54-yard pick-six.