The practical lessons and experiences the Cougars received during the Utah game should help them as they prepare to face a similar hostile environment at Boise State. One area that’s difficult to replicate is stadium noise, which there was plenty of during the Utah game.
“I don’t think we could have had any better practice for Boise State because of how we practice in preparation for Utah,” said Michael Alisa. “With the loud crowd like they’re going to have up there in Boise, I think our experiences at Utah will really help with that.”
With three first-year starters in Ryker Mathews, Blair Tushaus and Brock Stringham, BYU’s offensive line struggled against a talented and more experienced Utah defensive front. Despite the huge task that lies before them, Alisa feels the experience gained by the offensive line will help their overall performance against Boise State.
“I think our offensive line did so well against Utah’s defensive front given the challenge they had,” Alisa said. “We knew they were going to be tough up front and be big and physical, especially with Star [Lotulelei] and the Krugers. That was a big thing our o-line was preparing for, and for the most part I think our line showed up. It was a though challenge, but it will be good preparation for Boise State’s d-line.”
BYU’s offensive focus will now switch a little given the different defensive strengths between Utah and Boise State.
“Utah’s strength was their defensive line and Boise State’s strength is their linebacking corps,” said Alisa. “Their linebackers look really athletic and are good run-stoppers. You know, they’re big and fast and will come up and plug the whole like we’ve seen on film. They can even get to the outside as well, so, yeah, it’s going to be a challenge.
“They have a similar type of secondary, if not better than Utah. They’re going to be a good team and it’s going to be tough facing Boise State, so the game preparation we had against Utah will be good for us. The focus of our offensive line is working on up to the linebackers.”
With the Boise State game being played on Thursday, the Cougars have limited time to prepare.
“We watched film a little bit on Utah just to clean up on a few things that we messed up on, you know, to clean up on a few keys, but we went right into Boise State,” Alisa said. “We don’t have much time. On a normal week we would spend more time looking at the previous game, but we can’t just because it’s Thursday.
“From what I’ve seen on film, Boise State’s defense has a couple of differences than Utah. With Utah, we saw a couple of things that we felt we could use to our advantage. It’s definitely different with Boise State’s, so our game plan isn’t going to be similar at all really, but there are some things that worked well for us we might be using against Boise State as well.”
Cougar fans are hoping that BYU can right itself with a victory over a tough Boise State team and rid them of the emotional hangover still lingering. It will be a tough challenge, but hopefully the refiner’s fire that the Cougars went through will bolster their chances.
Riley Nelson audio
Riley Nelson gives some of his thoughts on the past game against Utah, and what BYU will need to do in order to come away with a victory over Boise State.
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