Here at Against All Enemies, we occasionally exchange Q&A sessions with other sites within the SB Nation network.
This week, we chatted with the BYU site, Vanquish the Foe. Their very own James Taylor answered some questions for us. Let’s take a look at some of his thoughts and my initial reactions!
1) Where did BYU lose the most talent from last year?
Taylor, VTF: Honestly, losing TE Matt Bushman is a huge loss for this team. He was actually set to come back but suffered an Achilles injury last week that will cause him to miss his senior season. He has been the team’s leading receiver for three straight years and was probably going to have another really impactful season this year.
Jernigan, AAE: That’s unfortunate. Missing a senior season is heartbreaking. Additionally, we always want the best team available on the field for the highest level of competition.
2) On offense, who should Navy be most concerned about?
Taylor, VTF: This is probably the offensive line as a unit. BYU is returning all of their starting linemen and, supposedly, it will be a strength of the team. I would anticipate there to be a size-able weight difference between the Cougar O Line and the Navy D Line. Offensive Coordinator Jeff Grimes loves to run the ball and if those big linemen can create space along the line of scrimmage, it would open things up for the Cougar offense.
Jernigan, AAE: *Takes note of the typical “size” comment*
3) How does the fan base feel about Kalani Sitake?
Taylor, VTF: I think that most fans love Kalani as a person. He represents the school really well and loves being there. The biggest issue is that the fan base also has an expectation of 10-win seasons and he has been average besides his first season. He also had a historically bad year his second season. So, while people like him and want him to be successful, his seat might be warming up.
Jernigan, AAE: I concur with everything you just said.
4) How does the fan base feel about playing Navy and should the relationship continue?
Taylor, VTF: Everyone on the staff that answered this question said about the same thing. It is really awesome that we are seeing the Cougars play the academies again. We saw Air Force a ton for years and seeing the academies play is like watching vintage college football.
Jernigan, AAE: That’s awesome to hear. I think the vast majority of Navy fans would like to establish a long-term relationship with BYU. We all recognize the Cougars as having a great football program and, of course, a team full of respectful young men.
5) Who can bench press more weight, Kalani or Ken?
Taylor, VTF: Well, Kalani is younger, but I don’t think you can rule out that “old man strength.” But of course, we’ll have to take Kalani in this one.
Jernigan, AAE: I’ve seen Coach Niumatalolo in the weight room. I once watched him bench press 285 pounds for reps and he wasn’t even fazed. But, then again, Coach Sitake looks like he could pick up some heavy stuff.
6) What is the best tradition at BYU?
Taylor, VTF: This one is tough. It’s probably lighting the “Y” for different things on campus. There is a giant “Y” painted on the mountain above campus and it can be lit up at night. My son also loves the clock tower bells playing hymns when the clock strikes the hour. BYU doesn’t have a ton of campus traditions, but the fans are super supportive of the spectator sports and that support makes it fun to be a fan.
Jernigan, AAE: The “Y” is pretty cool looking, at least from what I’ve seen on TV.
7) Who is the best BYU athlete to follow on Twitter?
Taylor, VTF: This was unanimous with the staff as well, but it is former punter and rugby star Jonny Linehan. He is very funny and loudly supportive of BYU athletics. There is a satire account as well that goes by the name of Boney Fuller, who was a player on the early BYU football teams, who gives lighthearted ribbing to opponents in the weeks leading up to the games that is really funny. You guys probably saw some of his stuff this week getting retweeted by Navy players and media accounts.
8) What will be the score of the game?
Taylor, VTF: I’m gonna take BYU over Navy 31-28. Or at least, that is what I hope happens!
Jernigan, AAE: No shot! It’s a home game for Navy and BYU hasn’t had enough time to prepare for the triple-option. The Midshipmen cruise to victory 35-14. *Thinks to self... I should have made a friendly, non-monetary wager with these guys at Vanquish the Foe*
Thanks again to Vanquish the Foe and James Taylor for the back and forth. Check out some of their recent work below.