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CougarCast: 2020 BYU Football Season Preview

The Cougars haven’t cancelled and are giving it the old college try.

NCAA Football: Hawaii Bowl-Brigham Young vs Hawaii Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

Following the loss to Hawaii in the 2019 Hawaii Bowl, here’s something that no one could have ever dreamed of predicting:

The BYU Cougars are going to take the field as the NCAA’s westernmost team playing football in 2020.


The Y’s 2020 schedule will only have 2 of the 12 teams remaining — the rest will cancel.

Obviously, it is a crazy world with unique circumstances. Despite all the turmoil, the Cougars press on to play a college football season that will constantly carry the condition that plans are subject to change.

So with instability being the rule, it is weird to think of the 2020 BYU Football team has being relatively stable. Here’s the overview and you’ll notice not much has changed.

Kalani Sitake is back on his 2nd contract. The rollercoaster of inconsistency and risk taking marks his first 4 years and explains his 27-25 record. Sitake has impressive wins (at Michigan State, Mississippi State, @ Wisconsin, USC) and some baffling losses (UMass, Northern Illinois, South Florida, Utah State (2x), Fresno State). Will 2020 ironically bring consistent performances?

Ilaisa Tuiaki enters his 5th season as defensive coordinator. His defense does a reasonable job of keeping points off the scoreboard, but does little to actively change the outcome with sacks/tackles for loss, turnovers, or defensive touchdowns. The secondary has a lot of depth, but no star. The linebackers have a lot of depth, but may have a star in Payton Wilgar who enters his sophomore season. The defensive line has a star in Khyiris Tonga again, but the scheme counts on this unit to hold ground and keep contain. Is it reasonable to expect anything different than what has been observed for 4 straight seasons?

Jeff Grimes returns for his 3rd campaign. Quarterbacks situation? The same. Zach Wilson’s potential excites, but questions of health and consistency are warranted. Meanwhile a pair of backups in Jaren Hall and Baylor Romney provide real options. Running Backs? By committee. Wide receivers? Still looking for someone to emerge as a #1 playmaker. Tight ends? Matt Bushman. Offensive line? Same unit, more experience.

In this season preview episode of CougarCast, Keith talks program narratives, offense, defense, and special teams and what needs to happen for the program to take the next step forward.