The Weber State University football team will travel just a few miles south this weekend to take on Brigham Young University in an in-state matchup.
With only one game behind them and facing their second FBS opponent in a row, the Wildcats look to put up a hard fight against the Cougar football team in Provo.
WSU is coming off its first game and first loss of the season against California State University, Fresno. The Bulldogs defeated the Wildcats 37-10 last Saturday in Fresno, Calif.
BYU opened its season with a 30-6 win against Washington State University last week. Colton Swan, the WSU assistant and linebackers coach, said the WSU football team understands the situation and is preparing accordingly.
“They (BYU) definitely have the advantage of size and numbers,” Swan said. “And obviously playing at home – those are all things that they have the advantage over Weber State.”
Swan said these advantages might not be much of a factor on Saturday.
“I think it has more to do with us than (with) them. I know that, defensively, the things we are working on are getting lined up correctly, recognizing your keys and then being able to play fast . . . I think that we match up well. I think that our kids are hungry, and they want to play hard. They’ve been well conditioned; we’ve practiced extremely hard during this fall camp. We’re looking for some good things to come from our guys.”
Swan also recognized advantages for the Wildcats in the upcoming matchup.
“One thing that’s nice about BYU and what they (have done) offensively is they’ve showed us a lot of the sets that we’ve been practicing through fall camp – a lot of the same formations, and a lot of the same plays,” Swan said. “Those are some key things, and what it goes back to is the familiarity of our guys being able to see it and react to it and play fast.”
Brian Jankowski, a team captain, tight end and WSU senior, spoke for the team on its mentality and outlook for the weekend’s game.
“We are really excited to play this game,” he said. “We still treat it like every other game and have the same mindset going in, but the team is excited to play down there. It’s a good opportunity for us.”
The last time the Wildcats and Cougars played a game together was in 1979 – 33 years ago. The Cougars defeated the Wildcats 48-3. Swan explained that, while it is an interesting situation that the two teams rarely play one another, it’s also an encouraging one.
“Any time you face another in-state school, obviously it’s a big game,” he said. “We haven’t played these guys in a long time, even though they’re 70-80 miles down the road. . . . It’s always a good opportunity, and it’s always a good in-state battle between the two schools. I hope to see things like this continue.”
The game for the Wildcats and Cougars will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday. It will be held in the Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo.