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Before BYU learns what bowl game the Cougars will play in, head coach Kalani Sitake will begin transitioning his defense with or without a new defensive coordinator. Ilaisa Tuiaki announced his resignation Sunday after the Cougars defeated Stanford on the road in the season finale. This is the first change of DC since Sitake was hired at BYU for his first head coaching job.

Here is a look at some of our coverage of BYU’s win over Stanford:

Cougar Insiders predictions

Question of the week: Will changing defensive coordinator be the only big change Kalani Sitake will make in his football program before next season? If so, what may be some of his options and why?

Jay Drew: Rumors abound that Kalani Sitake is poised to make more changes than just his defensive coordinator, but I’ll hold off on mentioning specifics until more solid evidence comes out.

But yes, I do think more changes are coming. From what I have heard — nobody’s job is safe, and the new defensive coordinator will be given a lot of power over which current defensive staffers stay, and which ones are shown the door.

I also believe there will be some changes in regard to recruiting philosophy. The Cougars will move away from taking “developmental” players and focus more on guys who can come in and contribute right away — before or after church missions.

Another option for Sitake is a thorough examination of the strength and conditioning staff; specifically, something has to be done about the plethora of injuries the Cougars seem to sustain every year. Doesn’t that start with the S&C staff?

Dick Harmon: BYU’s offense has its struggles on short-yardage situations but overall it has elements of an elite attack. Conversely, BYU’s defense has struggled consistently over the past three seasons in getting off the field and stopping the run. Sitake had to make a change. The longer he puts it off, the more it sticks on him. This is what football coaches must do to keep programs moving forward. 

I think other changes will come in preparation for the Big 12. Many current and former players and recruits have expressed concern over a need for more position-specific training in the strength and conditioning program, more emphasis tailored to the individual. They have gone to outsiders like Dave Stroshine at Stroformance in Pleasant Grove and former Cougars linebacker Jordan Pendleton at Pendleton Performace. This has been going on since before Sitake took over and brought in his own staff. A new generation of athlete is more and more concerned with individual training in a team setting. A tweak among his strengths staff could be in the works if Sitake believes it is time. With the NCAA early signing day approaching Dec. 21, it would behoove Sitake to get answers quickly.

Cougar tales

BYU went 1-2 in a tournament in the Bahamas this past weekend, beating Dayton in overtime with a dramatic comeback in the second half. In this piece, Jeff Call describes the value of Gideon George to the Cougars campaign.

BYU women fell to Ball State after a comeback fell short.

From the archives

Cougars honor LaVell with ‘clean’ game vs. Stanford
Return to Stanford a ‘surreal’ experience for BYU fullback Houston Heimuli

From the Twitterverse

Extra points


Comments from Deseret News readers:

Out of the possibilities listed here, I’d say Nua sounds the most promising and has the most experience. Maile might be pretty good, too, but I do wonder how he’ll perform when his defense is playing P5 teams week after week rather than feasting on the likes of Wyoming and New Mexico. I haven’t been thrilled with BYU’s special teams under Ed Lamb, so I’m not sure he’s the guy for defense.

All that being said, if Holmoe is serious about paying P5 salaries for a new DC, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he and Sitake are going to look past everyone on the DN’s list here and find someone else.

— Geekusprimus

I believe there is a chance that coaches will wish they would have given Conover more playing time. Hall is good, but has been hampered by injuries. And coaches have kept him in games even though his mobility/capability has been limited. Is Conover that much worse? I wish Hall the best, but I think Hall should have stayed in baseball because he is showing a regular lack of football durability as a QB. Just my opinion.

— Elwood P Suggins

Up next

Nov. 30-Dec. 3 | TBA | Swimming | Toyota U.S. Open | @Greensboro, North Carolina

View Comments

Dec. 1 | 6:30 p.m. | Women’s basketball | vs. Boise State | @Boise, Idaho

Dec. 2 | 4 p.m. | Women’s volleyball | vs. James Madison | @Pittsburgh

Dec. 3 | 1:30 p.m. | Men’s basketball | vs. South Dakota | @Salt Lake City

Dec. 6 | 11 a.m. | Women’s basketball | vs. Utah State | @Logan

LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo starts to fill up prior to game against East Carolina on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.
LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo starts to fill up prior to game against East Carolina on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. | Ben B. Braun, Deseret News
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