by Mike Miller
Another solid week for BYU athletics, headlined by the football team moving forward with another 4-0 start to the season. A few off the field/court moves as well means September will go down as a dream month for the Cougars.
News and Notes
Local shipping solutions company SmartyStreets made waves this week when it announced sponsorship of every single women’s athlete at BYU. The deal includes $6,000 annually along with a pair of Jordan shoes. BYU, fresh off their deal with Built Bar, continues to make headlines for their trailblazing moves into the world of NIL.
The men’s basketball team received some welcome news this week when Seneca Knight announced his waiver to play immediately as a transfer student was approved. The NCAA allowed for free transfers this year, but only for athletes who had never transferred before. The move to BYU is Knight’s second transfer, having previously played at San Jose State and LSU. The addition of Knight should add much-needed depth to BYU’s guards. In his last full season of college basketball, Knight averaged 17.1 points per game in 2019 with San Jose State.
The Cougars are 4-0, and their matchup against South Florida looked fairly comfortable, even if the team was given a slight scare at the end. The offense was firing early as they powered the team to a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Unfortunately, the Cougars went to sleep a little in the second half, scoring just one touchdown in the third quarter. This allowed South Florida back in as the Bulls made it a one touchdown game late in the fourth quarter. Although, their upset bid failed when they were unable to get the BYU offense off the field.
Next Up: #13 BYU travels up north to play Utah State for the Old Wagon Wheel in the General Conference Bowl on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. MST. The Aggies, fresh off a humiliating 27-3 loss to Boise State, will be looking to rebound on their home turf in front of a blackout crowd.
Men’s Cross Country
Another pair of first place finishes as the team won the Roy Griak Invitational in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Conner Mantz won the individual award, edging out Iowa State’s Wesley Kiptoo by less than a second. Mantz is on a four-race winning streak. The #3 ranked Cougars defeated #10 Iowa State, #26 Michigan State, Minnesota, and Wyoming.
The team’s first tournament of the season was a success as they won the William H. Tucker Invitational over New Mexico, Louisville, San Diego, and New Mexico State. The Cougars’ best individual finish was Keanu Akina, who finished tied for second at -8. Four BYU golfers finished in the top 10, an important part of winning the invitational.
Swimming and Diving
Both the men and women faced Utah in an exhibition match, although results were not made available publicly.
Next Up: The season officially gets underway as both teams travel to Grand Junction, Colorado for the Intermountain Shootout on Friday and Saturday.
The men began their 2021 season as they hosted the ITA Mountain Regionals on Saturday. While the team posted a winning record in both singles (12-10) and doubles (6-5), they failed to win any individual awards.
Conference play began this week with two more sweeps at the Smith Fieldhouse. The Cougars dismantled Pacific (25-13, 25-12, 25-17) on Thursday night. An impressive seven aces fueled the attack. On Saturday, Saint Mary’s came to town and were treated to an only slightly more competitive game. A victory over the Gaels (25-18, 25-17, 25-18) puts the Cougars at 12-1 on the season. The team was ranked #10 in the country when rankings were announced Monday morning.
Next Up: The women’s volleyball team hits the road for a pair of California conference matches. Santa Clara hosts the Cougars on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. MST. The ladies then visit San Francisco on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. MST. Both matches will be streamed live on the WCC Sports website.
Next Up: The team had an off week to think about their overtime loss to Utah State and now travel to Washington to play #20 Gonzaga. A road win over a ranked opponent would go a long way towards getting the team’s season back on track.
Next Up: The season gets underway with a pair of in-state games in Provo. The Cougars face Snow College on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. MST , followed by SLCC on Friday at 5:00 p.m. MST.
The ladies are now 2-0 on the season as they knocked off two ranked opponents, including #15 Miami, at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Invitational this week. The team finished two shots ahead of Miami and nine shots ahead of UTSA, Chattanooga, and Augusta, who finished tied for third. The best individual performance came from Allysha Mae Mateo, who finished tied for fourth at -1.
Next Up: The Cougars are in the middle of The Golfweek Challenge, which runs from Monday-Wednesday this week in Wolcott, Colorado.
Featured image courtesy Getty Images