BYU opened the 2017 football season with a 1-2 record, which may concern some.
However, based on recent seasons with similar starts, things could turn around quickly for the Cougars.
“Looking at our schedule we have a lot of winnable games ahead of us,” said BYU student Brennan Earl. “I think our coaching staff will make sure the players use [the Utah game] as a learning opportunity about how to overcome adversity.”
Independence has brought a traditionally front-heavy schedule to Provo, with more manageable games later on.
Most recently, in the 2016 season, BYU started with a 1-3 record.
However, the Cougars ended up finishing the season with a winning record of 9-4. The team also went on to play in the Poinsettia Bowl, where they came out with a 24-21 victory.
In 2010, 2011 and 2013, BYU started with 1-2 records but ended all three years with winning records.
The 2007 and 2006 football teams also started with 1-2 records, but went on to win 10-straight games both years, giving BYU an 11-2 record for both seasons.
Both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll ranked BYU No. 14 after the 2007 season and BYU won the Mountain West Conference championship in 2006.
Even with the recent success, rough starts have led to disappointing seasons in the past.
In 2004 and 2005, the Cougars also started with 1-2 records.
Instead of mounting comebacks, the 2005 season turned into a 6-6 season and 2004 ended with a losing record of 5-6.
Despite the 2005 and 2004 year seasons, most years starting out with a 1-2 record turned out pretty well for the Cougars.
Some fans aren’t so confident the team will turn things around this season.
“We’re letting people pass on us the whole entire game, and it’s just driving me crazy,” said pre-business management major Andrew Solomon. “When you have a bad start it’s really hard to bounce back. I know we’re going to play some easier teams, but do we really want another 8-4 season again? Naturally, we’re just going to win some more games, but I want us to beat a team that has a name.”
Coach Kalani Sitake is determined to get a signature win this weekend.
“All I care about is getting a ‘W’ this weekend, and we’re going to do whatever it takes,” Sitake said at a press conference earlier this week.
BYU hosts No. 10 Wisconsin on Saturday. Sept. 16 at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Cougars are 1-3 against top-10 teams and just 3-7 in their last 10 games against ranked opponents.
Saturday’s game will kickoff at 1:30 p.m. MDT and broadcast nationally on ABC.