Veteran Cougars eager for shot at redemption in ‘Holy War’ rivalry

Posted at 3:00 PM, Sep 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-09 17:00:53-04

PROVO, UTAH – BYU starts the season 1-0 after opening against a tough Arizona opponent.

Cougar Defensive End Harvey Langi went on to say game 1 was actually more like school, comparing it to a pretest.

Heading into game 2, Langi is the only player on BYU’s roster with a Holy War win. But, that win was while he played running back for Utah. The Bingham standout transferred to BYU following a two year mission.

“Everyone has their own journey to their senior year, and once you get to your senior year, you can’t really look back and change time," he said. "So, for me, I’m at my senior year, I’m in the position that I’m at. Taysom is in the position that he’s at... We’re all in our positions because of the choices that we've all decided to make. I feel like, for me, all the decisions.... for me to this point, have been good decisions."

Each returning player for the Cougars, including Langi, has suffered a loss against the Utes. For Kai Nacua, it’s three losses. For Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams, two. The Cougars will be heading into this game with a chip on their shoulder, and a feeling of revenge, especially after last season's “Holy War in Sin City” loss.

“I know for me, I don’t plan on losing," Nacua said. "Since I came here as a freshman, I’ve been 0-3 as a freshman, and I don’t plan on going 0-4.”

Hill said he looks forward to the atmosphere in Salt Lake City Saturday.

“This is what it’s all about," he said. "As I was going through my decision-making process, these are the situations that you just cannot replicate. I can’t wait to be part of this football game. I love playing in hostile environments, and it doesn’t get any more hostile than this."

However, as much of a revenge factor as the players may be feeling, Kalani Sitake doesn’t feel like the environment is as hostile.

“I thought the fans were great," he said. "Going back to Rice Eccles, we’re excited. It’s a great place to play a football game."