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Brigham Young much different than Mizzou or Penguins

By Staff | Sep 23, 2016

When Lavell Edwards was at Brigham Young the Cougars threw the football around like it was just another snowball from the Wasatch Mountains.

When Bronco Mendenhall was coaching the Cougars, defense was actually introduced and caught the fancy of a few players.

Mendenhall moved to Charlottesville to coach the Cavaliers of Virginia . . . and Kalani Sitake took the reins of the Cougars. Sitake knows defense can win football games; so that’s what he will show West Virginia on Saturday afternoon at FedEx Field, along the beltway in Landover, Maryland.

Brigham Young has not played Youngstown State. Or Sul Ross State. Or even Howard or South Carolina State like many others have.

No, Brigham Young opened Sitake’s first season on the road against Rich Rodriguez and his Arizona Wildcats. Sitake made instant and long-lasting friends all over the Mountain State when his Cougars edged Coach Rod’s boys, 18-16.

The next week came an emotional game in Salt Lake City against the Utah Utes. The red-clad Utes edged Sitake’s crew, 20-19.

In his first home game of the 2016, Sitake’s boys were stopped by UCLA, 17-14, to move his record to 1-2 against the crispest of competition.

West Virginia has beaten Missouri and the Penguins of Youngstown State and had an open date last weekend. Both games were in Morgantown.

This WVU vs. Brigham Young matchup is a made-for-television exhibition played on a neutral field with the game to be aired on ESPN2.

The tickets are not cheap. Beginning at $85 on StubHub and rising to $185 per ducat, the seats are expensive and then some. Of course, parking costs are additional . . . and don’t even mention food, drink, souvenirs or other concessions.

Brigham Young is going it alone, not playing in any conference and trying to thrive on a purely independent schedule.

This will be West Virginia’s last game before dipping into the cauldron of red-hot offensive spirits called the Big 12 Conference.

Big 12 noteworthies Oklahoma, Oklahome State, TCU and Texas have all lost at least once.

Oklahoma was blasted by Houston and Ohio State, choosing football teams instead of the luxury of facing Texas State, North Texas and Prairie View A&M.

Oklahoma State fell to Central Michigan at home in Stillwater and Texas dropped a 50-43 verdict on the road to the California Golden Bears.

Baylor and West Virginia are the only unbeaten conference teams after just three weeks.

Running backs Rushel Shell and Justin Crawford will see a sturdier defense than they encountered in the other two games. Skyler Howard and receivers Daikiel Shorts and Shelton Gibson will more than likely to be the ones who move the Cougars backward or score the points.

Field goals on both sides are a likely concession to the quality of the defenses.

Brigham Young has already played its in-state rival and still has other Top 25 teams on its schedule. West Virginia will go full-bore against only Big 12 schools after the Landover afternoon bout against the Cougars.

It’s made for cable television. It’s at 3:30 p.m. And it’s a costly afternoon of entertainment for anybody wishing to enjoy a family outing at a major college football game.