Cincinnati head coach Scott Satterfield wasn’t pleased when he saw the Bearcats’ first Big 12 schedule come out this summer and the first conference road game would be against BYU ... two time zones away ... on a Friday night.
“When I looked at our schedule, that’s the first thing that stood out. Number one, I hate playing on short weeks,” Satterfield said. “I don’t like it. I don’t know anybody that really likes it. The players don’t like it. The coaches don’t like it. It’s tough to bounce back, win or lose, and play the next week, particularly on the road.
“That’s a long trip for us and that’s going to be a night game,” he continued. “I think maybe 10:30 Eastern Time on that Friday night. We know that’s a hostile environment, going out to BYU. They’ve got a great football team and a great fan support there.”
That was back in July when Cincinnati’s first-year head coach discussed it. A few months removed and Satterfield still isn’t loving the prospects of a trip to Utah, but he’s at least coming to grips with the scheduling shortfall.
“We are prepared for it,” Satterfield said.
The Bearcats moved up the week of practice, going right back to work on Sunday after a 20-6 loss to Oklahoma. They practiced again Monday and had a contact practice Tuesday. Now they are staying off their feet until a Friday night kickoff.
One of the other challenges for Satterfield’s group will be the altitude difference in Provo. BYU plays at 4,600 feet above sea level. Cincinnati plays at 800 feet.
“Really the elevation is going to be a factor in this game,” edge rusher Daniel Grzesiak said.
But the one thing the Bearcats don’t seem concerned about is the crowd.
Grzesiak played at Utah State before transferring to Cincinnati this offseason. He played in LaVell Edwards Stadium in a loss last year. His evaluation? The crowd won’t be much of a difference.
“I feel like the crowd, I feel like Nippert Stadium [where Cincinnati plays] is better,” he said. “Nothing really we haven’t seen before. It is going to be loud in there [and] the elevation is going to be a little bit of a problem. But I mean I played there last year, it was nothing crazy.”
Outside of the logistics of the game, Satterfield said he is prepared to see BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis again. He scouted Slovis last year when he was the head coach at Louisville and Slovis was at Pitt.
Slovis threw two interceptions and went 16 of 29 for 158 yards in a 24-10 loss.
“Obviously a different school,” Satterfield said. “But, yeah, some of things [he did] last year he does this year. I think they do have some good skilled wide receivers that have made some great catches. I mean [Chase Roberts] made a great catch against Arkansas.”
He is banking that BYU will try to establish some sort of running game to help Slovis. BYU finished with just 9 yards rushing in Kansas on 22 carries. Grzesiak said he is looking forward to “pinning his ears back” if BYU can’t run the ball.
“They are probably disappointed in how they have run the ball,” Satterfield said. “That will certainly help Slovis. I anticipate them trying to get that going this week.”