The day started very early for King High School quarterback Billy Green.
“We took a 6:00 flight down there, so I was up really early,” recalled Green. “When we got down there, I spoke with Coach Doman a little before we went down to the stadium. When we went down to the stadium, I hung out with some of the other recruits down there at a barbeque. Then after we were done with that we got to go down on the field and watch the players warm up before the game.”
Green enjoyed being out on the field getting an up-close view of what it’s like to play in LaVell Edwards Stadium.
“Yeah, I thought that was awesome being on the field,” he said. “Watching the players warm up and being close to those guys down there was really cool, thinking that’s going to be me next year.”
Before the game began, Green took his seat in the stands to take in the ambiance of a BYU game among the fans.
“It was also really cool watching them run out of the tunnel just before the game. I have to say the experience exceeded my expectations.
“It was an awesome experience to get down there and see a game at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The fans were awesome and I was just happy to get down there to see what it was like.”
It was Green’s first ever BYU game.
“It was a lot of fun and it’s unfortunate they couldn’t pull out the win,” said Green. “It was a close game up until around the last five minutes of the game, where they fell apart a little bit. I thought the team played well and I was excited to be there.”
“The fans got really loud and there was a lot of energy in that stadium. When there was a key third down the fans really got into it, so they were really loud when BYU’s defense was on the field. Then when the offense came out they kind of quieted up a little bit to let them do their thing. It really exceeded my expectations.”
BYU broke out black uniforms for the game. Seeing the fans dressed in black in support of the team also impressed Green.
“Then on top of that everyone was in black, so they really got into it,” he said. “They were really cool. I’ve seen the black uniforms before on the internet, but to see them up close in all the details that went into those uniforms was really cool. They’re a lot more impressive up close.”
Despite the outcome, Green felt that it was a very competitive game.
“I felt that BYU could have won that game but there were a few things that didn’t go their way,” Green said. “I also felt that there were a couple of questionable pass interferences that were made, and a couple of unlucky breaks that didn’t help us out. I think Oregon State also got a few big plays and we didn’t, but overall I thought the teams were pretty evenly matched. They just had a couple of big plays that kind of put them over the edge.”
After a two-week layoff to give his body a chance to heal, Nelson returned as the starting quarterback.
“I heard Riley had a great week of practice and I came out and was watching him warm up and he was doing well,” Green said. “Obviously, it’s tough coming back from an injury like that and getting the timing and chemistry down with the receivers. Going against a top-10 defense is never easy, but despite that I felt Riley did pretty good and threw for over 300 yards. He could have probably had more if a few more of those balls were caught, but that’s how it goes sometimes and it’s a tough thing.”
Watching the game inspired Green to prepare even harder for when he is on BYU’s team.
“Yeah, it’s a great motivator seeing those guys out on the field knowing that I’ll have that opportunity one day,” Green said. “It motivates me to work a lot harder to put myself in that position to be a starter one day or see the field. It was a great motivation for me.”
In reflecting on his first ever BYU game day experience, the biggest highlight for him was being among the fans in LaVell Edwards Stadium.
“I think seeing what goes on and seeing and feeling what it’s like down there was probably the biggest highlight for me. It was just a lot of fun and a great experience.”
This week BYU hits the road to take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
“One of my teammates who plays with me is actually cousins with [Notre Dame linebacker] Manti Te’o,” said Green. “He moved from Hawaii and went to Kahuku High School. His name is Laka Wilkins.”
So what does BYU need to do in order to pull out the win this week against No. 5 Notre Dame?
“I think if the offense can get things rolling early and the defense can play like they’ve shown how they can play in the past, they’ll have a chance,” said Green. “I think if they do that they can pull it out. I don’t think the defense was too happy about those big plays and so I think they’re going to come out and be ready to go.”