Big 12 News

Kalani Sitake Says BYU QB Battle Will Continue Into Fall

LAS VEGAS — Want to know who BYU’s starting quarterback will be when the Cougars host Southern Illinois on Aug. 31?

Well, BYU coach Kalani Sitake said on Wednesday at Big 12 media days that, well, the players will tell him that by their play on the field. He’s been through this before, and he’s glad to have four quarterbacks that have started a college game going into fall camp.


“We’ve been through it before,” Sitake said. “We knew we needed to get better (after last season). I can’t tell you what the deadline is except that we’ll now when the player takes it. We have four quarterbacks that have played college football. They’ve all started games. We have a much deeper position now.”

The focus is on Jake Retzlaff and Gerry Bohanon. Retzlaff started several games last season but struggled with turnovers. But he has great arm talent. Bohanon, at one point, played for Baylor. Last year he played at South Florida and his Big 12 experience could be helpful. So could his near 5,000 yards of total offense in college.

Last year’s injuries at quarterback taught Sitake one lesson — he needs a deep quarterback room and the Cougars appear to have that this season.

BYU enters its second season in the Big 12, along with Cincinnati, UCF and Houston. The quarter is part of the turnover in the conference. Texas and Oklahoma joined the SEC on July 1. Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah join the Big 12 officially in August.  

BYU went 5-7 in 2023 with a 2-7 record in the Big 12.

Head coach Kalani Sitake returns five offensive starters, mostly on the offensive line. Wide receivers Darius Lassiter and Chase Roberts return.


Five starters also return on defense, including defensive ends Isaiah Bagnah and Tyler Batty, along with cornerback Jakob Robinson. All made an impact, including Robinson with four interceptions. Notably, three defenders are back from injuries that caused them to miss most or all of last season — linebacker Ben Bywater, safety Micah Harper and safety Taran Alfrey.

BYU hosts Southern Illinois on Aug. 31 to open the season. Then, BYU has back-to-back road trips to SMU on Sept. 6 and Wyoming on Sept. 14.

BYU hosts Kansas State on Sept. 21 to open Big 12 play, followed by a trip to Baylor on Sept. 28.

The Cougars host their next two games against Arizona on Oct. 12 and Oklahoma State on Oct. 18. Then BYU hits the road to face UCF on Oct. 26.

BYU renews “The Holy War” with Utah on Nov. 9 at Salt Lake City, and then hosts Kansas on Nov. 16. After a trip to Arizona State on Nov. 23, the Cougars end the regular season at home on Nov. 30 against Houston.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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