Head Coach: Kelaokalani Fifita “Kalani” Sitake
BYU Players to watch:
Senior OT Austin Hoyt (6-8/305)
Hoyt has started every game the past two seasons for BYU with 30 starts and 50 games played overall for the Cougars. A team captain in 2018, Hoyt has helped this year’s team average 230 rushing yards over the past three games to help the Cougars earn bowl eligibility.
Senior LB Sione Takitaki (6-2/231)
A team captain, Takitaki has recorded a team-best 99 tackles with 65 solo tackles and 34 assisted tackles. He has added eight tackles for loss, two sacks and four quarterback hurries as a disrupter in the backfield along with three pass breakups and a forced fumble.
***Freshman QB Zach Wilson (6-3/205)
Wilson is the youngest QB to start at BYU, making his first start in week 7 (vs Hawaii). In that game, he went 16 for 24 for 194 yards for the highest pass efficiency rating of a BYU true freshman quarterback in their first start at 167.5 He finished the regular season completing 102 passes on 164 attempts for 1,261 yards with a 139.22 passer rating.
Senior DE Corbin Kaufusi (6-9/280)
Kaufusi played in 11 games this year, he had 56 tackles including 38 solo stops. He totaled 8.5 sacks on the season as well as 9.5 tackles for loss. With the bowl game remaining, Kaufusi ranks fifth at BYU in total career sacks with 17.
Coach: Tim Lester
Western Michigan Players to watch:
*Junior RB LaVante Bellamy (5-9/185)
Bellamy led the MAC in rushing yards (1,172), rushing yards per game (97.7), and all-purpose yards (1,567). He had six touchdowns and five games with over 100 yards on the ground, including a career-high (and MAC season-high) 213 yards at Ball State on Nov. 13.
Senior OC John Keenoy (6-3/300)
Keenoy started every game at center, played 923 snaps and served as a team captain. He will finish his career as a three-time All-MAC honoree. This past week Keenoy officially accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Jan. 19, 2019.
Senior OG Luke Juriga (6-4/289)
Juriga started all 12 regular season games at right guard and played 979 total snaps. Keenoy and Juriga paved the way for WMU’s rushing attack, which was ranked 33rd in the nation, averaging 204.6 yards per game.
*Junior TE Giovanni Ricci (6-3/230)
Ricci earns his first All-MAC honor, playing his first season at tight end after making the switch from wide receiver last spring. He totaled 392 yards on 35 receptions and had three touchdowns and a 2-point conversion. Ricci also appeared on several of the Broncos’ special teams units.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
BYU 49, Western Michigan 18