BOISE – After a week of starting a service project Monday, a trip to a local ski resort Tuesday, and training (yes, practice) in the famous blue turf, there's a football game that starts with Friday on national television.
And more than payments, gift suite of players, hospitality and 15 extra bowl practices, that's what matters to BYU head coach Kalani Sitake, leading to Cougars (6-6) at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at 2 pm MST (ESPN, KSL Newsradio).
"Being hang out with guys and spending more time, I'm really proud of the players and our coaches," Sitake says. "Many of these guys are taking the finals, and they're still at Boise, practicing, and doing a little Christmas shopping along the way. These guys are holding a lot of things.
" But the The main thing about this trip is getting into this game. I'm excited about how they play. "
Cougars will face Western Michigan (7-5), and enjoy some elements of the home-field advantage at the Broncos ̵1; not the Boise State Broncos, but the Broncos, however.
Maybe that's the reason why BYU opens as 12.5-point favorites, and the line just drops to BYU minus-12.
It's easy to imagine Cougars will have a significant advantage over Broncos, BYU's
. .. a bit closer, both in geography and culture.
BYU-Idaho (formerly Ricks College) in the eastern part of the state, Idaho is home to approximately 450,000 church members scattered in 1,126 congregations with five temples, according to the latest church statistics.
Cougars have five players from the state of Idaho on their list, five more in Western Michigan.
Obviously, not all church members are a fan of BYU – both in Utah, Idaho or any other union state.
But this is a start, and Sitake's squad sees the effect of the vast BYU base fan carrying it in places far more than a six-hour drive north of I-15.
"We'll have fans nearby; if they are here or anywhere in the world, our fans are there to watch us," Sitake says. "I hope we can be proud of them the way we play on Friday."
The game will be the final release for a long list of seniors in BYU, including quarterback Tanner Mangum, coming from nearby Eagle, Idaho; It hurts to face Austin Hoyt, the old statesman in an offensive line featuring four redshirts or real freshmen; and linebacker Sione Takitaki, whose career in BYU almost ended before it started.
Attempt was formally involved in an on-campus theft during his sophomore period, when BYU police charged two misdemeanors for the removal of athletic gear from Smith Fieldhouse while working as a custodian of the student.
The native of Fontana, California, has been suspended for a year after earning charges on charges, and used a redshirt during 2016 while away from the university.
by his girlfriend-then-wife Alyssa and family behind the house, Takitaki returned to BYU – and became a force in a defense ranking No. 18 across the country in total defense, giving 4.79 yards per play and 325 yards per game.
"Even now, I'm a little emotional thinking that this is my last training to my siblings," said Takitaki, with 99 tackles, eight tackles for loss and two sacks. "It comes quickly, but I'm sure I'll enjoy this one, try to get a win over my brothers, and finish it Friday."
Tampilaki is playing for some teammates on the defensive side line of scrimmage, too. Corbin Kaufusi, another senior, was almost living in an operating table recently in operations with an injured ankle, elbows and fingers that had gone through the whole season. Her younger cousin Isaiah Kaufusi, a sophomore, is unlikely to play the game of the bowl, and many others may be the cause for Friday.
"It's hard to lose those people," says Takitaki. "They are really great, great player impact for the team but the next person: I feel that the guys behind them are able to fill. We have a ton of skills from our last game until now . "
For BYU of 25 other seniors, the feelings of sadness playing their last college game feel like Takitaki. Some of them will continue to career future football, while others will move from the game that brought them to BYU.
But all of them are remembered by Sitake as he finishes his third season in his alma mater.  "I'm proud of these guys, from looking at them where I first got here at this job," Sitake says, pointing to Takitaki and Hoyt beside him. "These are two beautiful examples: they are both boys, married, developed from young adults to adults.
" I'm excited to see their advancement at the next level – not just football , but in life. One day, they will look at it and take pride in what they did in the field and out of the field. "