Cougars face NCAA-mandated shortened prep week for Top-25 matchup at Boise State

The undefeated No. 9-ranked BYU Cougars are preparing to play their toughest opponent of 2020: the No. 21-ranked Boise State Broncos.

The regional rivals will meet on the gridiron again in a must-win game for BYU, but the Cougars are challenged with a shortened prep week. 

On Sept. 16 the NCAA Division I Council approved a measure forbidding Division I student-athletes from all competition and practice on Tuesday, Nov. 3 in light of the election. Regardless of whether or not eligible student-athletes and coaches have already voted, practices and competitions are strictly prohibited.

The Cougars submitted an appeal in hopes that they might be able to practice on Tuesday, but their request was denied.

“I’m okay with the NCAA promoting a civic engagement. It is something that we are definitely aligned with and we will take advantage of it,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said when asked about the shortened week. “What we can do is embrace it. We are going to embrace everything about it and make the adjustments (we need to make).” 

The last time BYU and Boise State met, both teams were missing their starting quarterbacks. This time, each team is missing a very valuable day of game preparation.

“I trust our players and our coaches to get the right scheme and place and make sure we are ready to roll,” Sitake said. “I think the timing and the change will work in our benefit.” 

The Cougars have visited the “Smurf Turf” in Boise five times and were defeated by the Broncos on all five occasions. BYU will need to make history with a win at Albertson’s Stadium to stay unbeaten and keep their New Year’s Six Bowl and College Football Playoff hopes alive. 

“Obviously Boise is another rivalry team for us, and it’s always fun playing there,” senior captain Troy Warner said. “This is an exciting time and we’re going to prepare the right way. I know it’s a short week, but we’re going to do what we can and do what we have to do to come prepared and come ready for a dogfight.”

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