Status of Gunner Romney, Puka Nacua still unknown for BYU’s home opener vs. No. 10 Baylor
Head coach Kalani Sitake acknowledged in his Monday press briefing that several players are ‘questionable’ for the 8:15 p.m. showdown with the reigning Big 12 champions
BYU football coach Kalani Sitake was effusive in his praise of the Baylor Bears — who walloped FCS Albany 69-10 in Waco, Texas, last Saturday — but he didn’t have much to say regarding the status of his two best receivers, senior Gunner Romney and junior Puka Nacua on Monday.
Romney didn’t play in the 50-21 win over South Florida, while Nacua left the game in the first half with an apparent ankle injury and didn’t return.
“Yeah, I will probably know a little bit more later today,” Sitake said during his weekly press briefing at noon on Labor Day. “Right now, I can’t count anybody out yet. So, (we will) probably have more for you in the next couple of days. There are some guys who are questionable, but we will see what happens.”
Defensive linemen John Nelson and Gabe Summers also left the game with what appeared to be cramping issues.
Offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick said on his “Coordinators’ Corner” program that Nacua “seems confident he is going to be OK.”
As for Romney, who hasn’t practiced much since the first week of fall camp, Roderick said he’s hopeful the big receiver will be available against the Bears.
“We thought he was close last week (to playing),” Roderick said.
Nacua caught just one pass, for 22 yards, but still had a huge effect on the game. He took the first play from scrimmage, a jet sweep, 75 yards for a touchdown. He added a 5-yard TD run six minutes later.
“I feel good about our preparation (for USF),” Sitake said. “I think we can feel good about some of the points that we put up, but I am looking at the opportunities that we missed on, and some plays we wish we could get back again.”
He said a lot of players “got valuable reps” in the absence of the star receivers and because the game got lopsided.
“I think that is going to help us out with our depth moving forward,” Sitake said. “I hope it carries over, because we are going against a really, really good team, a ranked team, and so we gotta prepare for it.”