PROVO — BYU assistant coach Ed Lamb has been trying hard this week to treat Saturday’s game against Southern Utah like any other contest.
That’s probably easier said that done. Lamb spent eight seasons as the Thunderbirds’ head coach.
“I’ve had to make a conscientious decision to make it business as usual. Those players and coaches that are still at SUU that were there during my time there, I consider them my family for the rest of my life,” Lamb said. “I’ll do anything for them. I have to take that emotion out of it. For eight years, my whole priority professionally was to make each one of those players the best student-athlete they could be. Now, 100 percent of my focus has changed to the BYU players. That’s fairly simple to keep straight. There’s no conflict there as far as my day-to-day routine this week.”
MOTIVATION: With the toughest part of its schedule behind it, what does BYU have to play for the rest of the season?
“Hopefully, we can win this week and secure a bowl game, which is always huge for us,” said wide receiver Nick Kurtz. “It would be nice to win out the rest of the season. It would be nice to end on a high note. But we’re going to take it game by game and focus on SUU.”
“The thing that motivates us is we want to finish strong. We want to win the rest of our games,” said offensive lineman Parker Dawe. “We want to win our bowl game and finish on a high note. We’re a little bummed with the way the first few games of the season went, losing games that were really close. We can still end the season on a really great note.”
‘BIG DUDES’: Dawe said he is impressed with the size and talent of SUU’s defense.
“They’ve got some big dudes. They’ve got one guy who is like three of me,” Dawe said, referring to defensive lineman Sefesi Vaa’ivaka, a 6-foot-3, 350-pound junior from Bingham High. “He looks like he can plug two gaps just standing there. He’s a big dude.”
Dawe said SUU will pose a challenge.
“They have good athletes. Obviously, we have Drew (Eide) and Keyan (Norman) from SUU. They’re starting for us. They have good athletes over there. We respect them. We’re going to play physical and hit people and have a lot of fun.”