The Kalani Sitake era has officially begun, after BYU beat Arizona last weekend 18-16 in a surprising defensive struggle. The former Utah and Oregon State defensive coordinator took over the head coaching job in the off season when Bronco Mendenhall headed east for Virginia. The new era brings hope to fans of "the Y" might break a five game losing streak against the Utes.
BYU legend Ty Detmer is the new offensive coordinator under Sitake and he has some weapons to use at his disposal.
The Cougars have arguably the best backfield in the state with the return of Jamaal Williams this season. Williams sat out last season for personal reasons and his absence was noticed. Now back with the team, Williams has an opportunity to break Harvey Unga's career rushing record of 3,455 yards this season with a 1,000 yard season. Williams picked up 162 yards on 27 carries, but didn't get in the end zone against Arizona last week.
Algernon Brown handled the running duties last season to the tune of 709 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. With Williams back, brown is slated to handle fullback duties this season, but is versatile enough to slide back to the tailback position if needed.
At the receiver
Moving to the defense, former Utah defensive line and Oregon State linebackers coach Ilaisa Tuiaki is the new defensive coordinator and has installed a 4-3 scheme for this year, different from the 3-4 scheme Mendenhall ran. There is a lot of talent returning on the defensive side of the ball and also some position changes as
On the defensive line, Harvey Langi
Junior Fred Warner will highlight the BYU linebacker group after a productive 2015 season. Warner does a little bit of everything with the ability to rush the passer, stop the run and drop into coverage. He is a top
In the secondary, senior Michael Davis is the veteran of the group at right corner. At 6-2 190lbs.
BYU is a talented group and definitely has motivation heading into this game. Not only will they be looking to avenge last season's Las Vegas bowl loss (or win depending on which BYU fan you ask), they also have a five game losing streak against the Utes and have lost seven of the last ten meetings. They undoubtedly would like to begin a winning streak against Utah and show well for the Big XII, which will surely will be paying close attention to the Cougars opening three games against Pac-12 foes.