BYU coach Kalani Sitake puts his foot down with player who tossed Tennessee quarterback’s shoe

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake as BYU hosts Northern Illinois, NCAA football in Provo, Saturday Oct. 27, 2018.

One of the lighter moments in Monday’s news conference at BYU evolved around “shoe gate,” the instance when BYU defensive end Zac Dawe ended up with Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano’s cleat in his hand on a quarterback keeper. Instead of giving the shoe back, Dawe gave it a heave toward the sideline.

Dawe wasn’t penalized for the unsportsmanlike fling, which came on Tennessee’s first drive during BYU’s 29-26 double overtime victory on Saturday. However, BYU coach Kalani Sitake said he did speak to the lineman about the incident.

“At first I thought it was a bird or something,” Sitake said of the airborne piece of footwear. “You don’t expect them to tie their shoes for them, but I asked, ‘What were you thinking?’ He said, ‘I don’t know, I just had adrenaline.’ ”

Sitake said he told Dawe to give an opponent the shoe back if that happens again.

“It was an impressive throw, though,” Sitake joked. “He should have thrown the discus in high school.”

Sitake wasn’t in quite as much of a joking mode when asked about the targeting call on lineman Devin Kaufusi, who must sit out the first half of the USC game as a result of the penalty.

Sitake said he understood the rule and that Kaufusi shouldn’t have hit Guarantano the way he did, but he didn’t feel like it was a deliberate hit and wished there was some distinction, especially since other deliberate penalties such as unsportsmanlike conduct don’t result in similar punishments.

“I know you have to protect the players to be sure, but I don’t know if it needs to be so harsh,” he said.

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