Cougar Canyon tailgate kicks off BYU vs Arkansas game

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Football players do the traditional “Cougar Walk” at the end of Cougar Canyon. BYU fans attended the tailgate for food and activities before the Homecoming game. (Robyn Christensen)

Hundreds of Cougar fans gathered west of LaVell Edwards stadium for festivities before the football game versus Arkansas on Oct. 15.

The event featured food trucks, face painting, caricature drawings, a tribute to LaVell Edwards and free blue cotton candy. A live band played music on a stage and people took pictures in various photo spots.

A band plays live music on a stage. The performance was part of Cougar Canyon. (Robyn Christensen)

A line of BYU students wrapped around the street as they waited to enter the stadium. August Jacobs, a student waiting in line, said he arrived at 9:00 a.m. to get in line, even though kickoff time wasn’t until 1:15 p.m.

“It would be really nice if they had like a big cart on the road that had some nice free food,” BYU student Drew Zarbock said of the line.

The BYU student section, also known as the ROC, ranked number one for Best Student Sections on a college sports Instagram account after the rowdy students helped clinch the double overtime Baylor football game on Sept. 10.

“I feel like the ROC makes a huge impact on games,” BYU student Andrew Mill said. Every time we get super loud, the other teams falls apart. They have false starts and it’s just awesome to see. People hate playing at BYU.”

At 11:15 a.m. Cougar Canyon concluded as the football team walked down the length of the street to greet fans. Head football coach Kalani Sitake followed the players as they waved and signed autographs amid cheers.

Mills said Homecoming week certainly helped with getting students to the game. “BYU did a good job this week with all the activities that they were planning and putting on,” he said. “It definitely got more students involved with participating and getting excited and hyped for the game.”

Cougar Canyon attendees order lunch at food trucks. The Cougar Canyon tailgate activities and food before BYU’s Homecoming football game. (Robyn Christensen)
A toddler sports a BYU shirt and hat. Cougar fans of all shapes and sizes attended Cougar Canyon before the football game. (Robyn Christensen)
Photographers take pictures of BYU football coach Kalani Sitake as he participates in the Cougar Walk. BYU fans attended the tailgate for food and activities before the Homecoming game. (Robyn Christensen)
Students line up along the street for BYU’s Homecoming game. Many of these students attended the Cougar Canyon tailgate before the game. (Robyn Christensen)
Pictures of LaVell Edwards were on display at Cougar Canyon. The tailgate provided food and activities for BYU fans to enjoy before the Homecoming game. (Robyn Christensen)
BYU Color Guard marches with flags in the Cougar Walk. The Cougar Walk is a BYU Homecoming tradition. (Robyn Christensen)
Caricature artists draw their subjects. This was one of the many activities in which BYU fans could participate during Cougar Canyon. (Robyn Christensen)
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