Coach Sitake and select players spoke to the media Monday afternoon looking ahead to the UMass game. We highlighted some of the depth chart and personnel changes from the last game versus Idaho State.
- Quarterbacks: The top three QBs last week all had an “or” designation between them, but Zach Wilson was listed as the starter on this week’s depth chart. Baylor Romney and Jaren Hall are listed as the backups with the “or” designation and Joe Critchlow is fourth. With Romney still recovering from a foot injury and Hall’s status still up in the air, coaches may elect to be cautious and bring in Critchlow after Zach if/when the game gets out of hand.
- Running backs: Lopini Katoa was held out last game versus Idaho State after suffering an apparent concussion versus Liberty. Grimes mentioned that he was hopeful that Katoa would be available this week versus UMass, but BYU may be cautious with him.
- Wide Receivers: Aleva Hifo suffered what Sitake described as a “freak accident” in pregame warmups and didn’t play last game. His status is still in the air moving forward and he will be evaluated this week.
- Offensive Line: Expect BYU to continue going with the five of Brady Christensen, Keanu Saleapaga, James Empey, Chandon Herring and Blake Freeland moving forward. Freeland has played in 4 games and could be held out the remainder of the season to preserve his redshirt, but it appears coaches are leaning on playing the true freshamn in the final three games to continue his development. Freeland poses great upside and has shown well in the four games he’s played. Tristen Hoge will likely miss the rest of the season and Kieffer Longson could as well.
- Defensive backs: Seniors Chris Wilcox and Troy Warner made their season debuts versus Idaho State and are reflected as starters on the depth chart. Chris Wilcox is the starter at right cornerback ahead of D’Angelo Mandell and Isaiah Herron. Dayan Ghanwoloku moved from safety and is the starting corner opposite Wilcox; Dayan played both safety and corner versus Idaho State and will likely do the same moving forward.
Troy Warner is listed as the starter at free safety, which is why Dayan can switch back at forth more freely.