Eye on the Y: Cougars start to gear up for the Hawaii Bowl

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars running back Sione Finau (35) runs the ball as Liberty Flames safety Isaac Steele (13) defends, in football action between Brigham Young Cougars and Liberty Flames at Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019.

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Provo • After taking a few days off following their disappointing 13-3 regular season finale, the Cougars had their first of 15 team practices this week in preparation of the upcoming Hawaii Bowl game Dec. 24.

BYU has yet to learn its opponent, but should get all those details Sunday.

Kalani Sitake did provide some tidbits of info about the team. BYU backup quarterbacks Jaren Hall and Baylor Romney weren’t available for the SDSU game, even if they would have liked to have been. Hall, who has been on concussion protocol since the Utah State game, was not cleared to play and Romney was dealing with a “terrible sickness” that a lot of people are going through around this time. Romney has also been dealing with a case of turf toe.

However, there was good news for Romney. The redshirt freshman said he will be put on scholarship in January, the Deseret News reported.

Hall has been cleared to practice and participated in Wednesday’s practice, but Romney didn’t.

Freshman Jackson McChesney should also get more action at the Hawaii Bowl. The running back had a “big game against UMass and didn’t do anything against San Diego State, and that needs to change,” Sitake said. “He needs to be given a chance to play.”

Once the Cougars find out their opponent, they can begin preparation in earnest. Until then, there is plenty to clean up after a disappointing regular season finale.

More BYU coverage

BYU football had a rough outing in California against San Diego State, scoring a season-low 3 points against the Aztecs in the final regular season game.

Volleyball returns to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 14 seed, hosts New Mexico State in the first round.

BYU and ESPN reportedly agree to a contract extension to televise football home games through 2026.

Yoeli Childs was on track for a career-best night in season debut against Utah, but a late-game injury cut him short.

Other voices

Sean Walker of KSL Sports takes a look at BYU football’s kicking woes after Skyler Southam missed two of his three field goal attempts against SDSU.

The Daily Herald’s Jared Lloyd checked in with the men’s cross country team and figured out how they ran their way to national championship.

Trent Wood of the Deseret News had three takeaways from BYU’s 102-95 overtime loss to Utah in Huntsman Center.

Around campus

• The BYU men’s volleyball has been voted the No. 3 team in the nation in the AVCA Division I Men’s Preseason Poll. The Cougars return their all six starters and an experienced libero after only losing one senior to graduation last year. AVCA All-American Gabi Garcia Fernandez and 2019 MPSF Freshman of the Year Davide Gardini headline the core group of returners. The Cougars finished 13-12 overall and 6-6 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play last year in a season that was riddled with injury.

• Six members of the BYU cross country program were named All-Americans after the men claimed the national title and the women’s team finished runner-up at the NCAA National Championships. From the women’s team, Courtney Wayment, Erica Birk-Jarvis and Whittni Orton received All-America honors for their top 40-finishes. From the men’s team, Conner Mantz, Danny Carney and Jacob Heslington were also named All-Americans.

• BYU women’s volleyball senior outside hitter McKenna Miller was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year and senior libero Mary Lake was named WCC Libero of the Year, the conference announced Monday. Miller and Lake, along with junior middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg, sophomore middle blocker Heather Gneiting and freshman setter Whitney Bower were named to the All-WCC First Team.

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