How will the rain affect Saturday’s BYU-UAB match at the Independence Bowl?

SHREVEPORT, Louisiana – BYU soccer players and coaches enjoy unusually warm weather, sunshine, and loads of Cajun food like bacon wrapped alligator and other delicacies here in Ratchet City this week.

However, one of those elements that changed his participation in Saturday’s Independence Bowl is changing.

Weather forecasts predict a 90% chance of rain in the Shreveport-Bossier City area when the # 13 Cougars meet the UAB at 1:30 p.m. MST at Independence Stadium. According to meteorologists, the maximum daily temperatures will drop from the mid-70s to the low 60s.

“That’s all we talked about, is ready to play. Bowl games have distractions; There’s a fair amount of time between the last game and the bowl game, and usually the team that is most ready to play wins. ”- BYU Offensive Coordinator Aaron Roderick.

That’s not good news for a BYU offensive that has struggled a little in the rare times it played in the rain this season. The Cougars lost 26-17 to Boise State on a semi-rainy day in Provo and defeated Washington State 21-19 at Pullman when it kept raining throughout the game.

That was 10-2 BYU’s two lowest-scoring games of the year.

“All week we practiced preparing for a wet ball, overemphasizing ball safety and making sure we take care of it,” said BYU running back Lopini Katoa on Thursday before practice at Flyer Field Loyola College Prep School. “That’s (definitely) an issue for us in this game.”

Linebacker Ben Bywater said this attitude carries over to the defensive as well.

“We are preparing for rain so the ball safety will be tremendous,” said Bywater. “Putting the ball on the defensive will be a big challenge, as will basics like stopping the run. We know they’ll make it in tougher weather. Stopping it will be a big goal of ours. “

Co-head coach Ed Lamb said the coaches ran around in practice splashing water on the players’ hands and feet in preparation for the expected downpour on Saturday. They also got quarterbacks Jaren Hall, Baylor Romney and Jacob Conover to throw a wet football.

“You’re just trying to simulate that heavy, slippery ball,” said Lamb. “It’s actually about awareness. As a trainer, you get what you emphasize. We emphasize the ball safety phase of the game. “

Offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick said everything about the bowl so far has been top notch and the team that handles the weather best and looks forward to the game the most will likely prevail.

“That’s all we talked about, is ready to play,” said Roderick. “Bowl games have distractions; You have quite a long time between your last game and the bowl game and usually the team that is most ready to play wins.

“The other thing is the excitement of playing,” Roderick continued. “I think that’s an important factor in bowl games. The team that is most excited to be there usually has a better chance of winning.”

Regardless of the weather or how good the food is.

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