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BYU Football’s Culture Reminds USF Coach Of Clemson Tigers

Aug 30, 2022, 11:24 AM
BYU Football, USF Bulls, Kalani Sitake, Jeff Scott...
BYU football opens the 2022 season against Jeff Scott and his USF Bulls. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

TAMPA, Florida – BYU football coach Kalani Sitake has instilled a culture of “love and learning” in his program.

The family approach Kalani installed at his alma mater took time to succeed initially. But now, they’ve had a pair of back-to-back double-digit win seasons and Top 25 finishes.

Sitake and his BYU program look to have another special year in 2022. They enter the season ranked No. 25 in the preseason AP Top 25 for the first time since 2009.

It’s a culture that has drawn respect from the college football community, including BYU’s season-opening opponent, the USF Bulls (Saturday, September 3, 2 p.m.).

USF head coach Jeff Scott gave glowing reviews of BYU’s gameday atmosphere at LaVell Edwards Stadium last season. The son of former South Carolina and Florida State assistant Brad Scott, Scott’s team traveled to Provo and put together an impressive effort in the second half. The Bulls ultimately lost that game 35-27 to an undefeated BYU at the time.

So he got a firsthand experience of the type of team BYU is on the field. But it’s those off-the-field characteristics about Sitake and his BYU program that stand out the most.

“Our people hear me talk about this word all the time, but culture,” Scott said during his Tuesday press conference. “They’ve got an incredible culture out there at BYU and Coach Sitake does an exceptional job.”

USF’s Jeff Scott respects the BYU Football culture

Scott enters his third year leading the Bulls program and he’s looking for a “breakthrough moment” after navigating two seasons with only one win against an FBS foe.

Before the 41-year-old Scott was hired at USF, he was a longtime assistant with Clemson under Dabo Swinney.

Scott was there in the beginning when Swinney took over as Clemson’s head coach in 2008. He saw firsthand what it took to build up a winner. Scott sees similarities in how BYU operates to his time in Death Valley.

“Their players play very well and they play together. There’s a oneness very similar to how we won at Clemson with the culture that we had; when you played one of us, you play all of us. That’s what you see when you turn on the video watching BYU,” said Scott. “These guys play very, very well together and they have a lot of confidence and that comes from the successes they’ve had in the past.”

We will see on Saturday which culture wins out in Tampa.

No. 25 BYU at USF

Location: Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Florida)

Kickoff: 2 p.m. (MT)

TV: ESPNU

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM – Extended pregame begins at 10 a.m.)

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Football’s Culture Reminds USF Coach Of Clemson Tigers