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“Nationals October 2019

BYU rips Navy, postpones Army

| September 18, 2020, 09:46 PM

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Cougars Dominate Middies

BYU’s opening week opponent, Navy, was no pushover, and if you were so inclined to check the BYU odds at Intertops, you would have found that the Cougars were a mere one-point favorite versus the Midshipmen in hostile territory. Sometimes the oddsmakers get it right, and sometimes they don’t. In this case, the numbers were very much off as BYU stunned the Middies and coasted to a dominating 55-3 victory.

Perhaps Navy missed their raucous fans in the stands and the majesty of a flyover by a pair of F-18’s but whatever it was, the Cougars gave them no shelter from their blistering attack and suffocating defense.

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Navy head coach, Ken Niumatalolo, was in disbelief after his team’s trouncing and felt his focus on keeping his players safe came at the cost of preparing them to play football, “Boy, that game was 1000 percent my fault,” Niumatalolo said. “Obviously, we weren’t prepared. One team was playing football. There’s nobody to blame but myself. I erred on the side of trying to keep our guys safe. I’d say it’s the worst Navy football game we ever played.”

“You ever see us play like that before? You hope that it doesn’t turn out like that, but there was a lot of concern,” Niumatalolo said. “The last time we tackled anybody was the bowl game, nine months ago. I made a decision on the safety side of it, and we were weren’t prepared.”

Navy got a taste of their own medicine as BYU ran the football with authority all game long, piling up a whopping 301 rushing yards with Tyler Allgeier leading the way with 132 yards on the ground and two trips into the end zone. Cougars’ junior quarterback Zach Wilson was efficient through the air, connecting on 13-of-18 passes for 232 yards with a pair of touchdowns strikes and one interception.

Date with Army Postponed

Prior to the team’s season opener against Navy, the Cougars all tested negative for COVID-19 but after the game was played a few cases tested positive on the return to Provo, Utah. Armed with that information, the decision was made to cancel the game against Army.

BYU head football coach Kalani Sitake stated, “Unfortunately we’re not going to be able to play the game against Army this weekend,” Sitake said during Monday’s press teleconference. “I want to express that I have a lot of confidence in our sports medicine department and our administration, in the decision-making process they go through.”

“Because of variables involved because of the travel, you can imagine all of the people we had to connect with,” Sitake said. “We got a lot of feedback from a lot of separate entities. After looking into it more, our administration and the sports medicine department decided that postponing the game would be the responsible thing to do.”

Sitake is hopeful the game against the Black Knights will be rescheduled later this season and is looking forward to what has become the team’s home opener against Troy State on September 26th. “We’ve tried to provide an environment so we can get the whole team back as soon as possible,” Sitake said. “We’re practicing in smaller groups this week and hoping that by next week we can get back to practicing together.”

“We test three times a week and when you test and get these positives, you have to respond accordingly,” Sitake said. “If the players want to play football, this is the deal. But we get to still play.”

One of the biggest hurdles for the Cougars, as well as any sports program at the collegiate level, is the traveling involved which inevitably causes the team members and the rest of the traveling party to interact, however briefly, with people from all over.

“I feel like we were really prepared,” Sitake said. “I don’t think there is any chance that you could look at recklessness being an issue here. We want to make sure we get this right. What complicates things the most is the travel. Had this been a home game, I think things might have been a little bit different.”

Senior defensive back, Troy Warner, stated, “When you get COVID-19, it’s a very unfortunate situation. When you are doing all the right things and putting yourself in the best position possible to be clean and safe, at the end of the day you could still get it. That’s the tough part about this all.”

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Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Fahie

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages. She can usually be found on a baseball field!

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