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Peavler: Fans excited about BYU's new coaching staff

PROVO — BYU fans showed up in droves on Saturday to see the new coaching staff and the excitement was palpable at LaVell Edwards Stadium. About 19,000 fans came to see the Cougars scrimmage, and some of them came more than three hours early.

Mote Mounga was one of those fans and he is beyond excited to see what this new coaching staff will bring.

"I think Kalani [Sitake] is going to do a good job. He's going to surround himself with good coaches," Mounga said.

"When Kalani came on board, you could just feel this new energy," said Gretchen Cook, who was another fan who arrived early for the scrimmage. "This energy is uniting the players back to this band of brothers. It's a buzz. You can feel it with the players. You can feel it in the attitude of everybody."

Then there's Eric Larsen, who drove down from Rigby, Idaho, to see the Cougars with his two children. "We watched coach Sitake when he was at Utah and he did a good job there. Of course, we love Ty Detmer," Larsen said. "The level of excitement is high because of coach Sitake and coach Detmer. We want to see what their new ideas are."

And don't forget about current BYU students. McKay Lyman was in the Marriott Center on Tuesday when Sitake joined the ROC. "He was right in front of me and it was awesome to see him," Lyman said. "I think he's a fun spirit to the game and to BYU."

Cougar fans love the excitement that Sitake has brought to Provo, but they also love the choice of Detmer as BYU's new offensive coordinator, despite his lack of coaching experience at the college level. Marc Good is one such fan.

"I was more excited to have Detmer here," Good said. "I know people say he doesn't have much coaching experience, but we know that his football IQ is just off the charts. I'm not going to doubt him one bit."

Also, BYU fans seem to be largely undaunted by the difficult schedule waiting for the Cougars this fall.

"No problem. You watch him (Sitake). He's going to walk through them," Mounga said. "He's going to out-coach them. He's going to make it work."

Other fans were a bit more guarded in their expectations.

"I don't know. I'm not expecting them to win all those games," Larsen said. "I think it will be tough to win, but I think they'll surprise a few people with how well they'll do because they have a lot of good players coming back."

And yes, the rivalry with Utah did come up.

"I know with the new staff, we ought to curb our expectations. But I think some good things will happen this year. Beating Utah is number one, right?" Alan Turpin said. "We've got to win that game."

While nobody knows how BYU will perform under Sitake, this much is certain: Cougar fans are excited about their new coaching staff.

Lafe Peavler is a sports strategist for the Deseret News and KSL.com. Follow him on Twitter @LafePeavler.