BYU’s No-Loss November

Cameron Clark, Pawprint Staff Reporter

Brigham Young University’s sports teams accomplished a remarkable feat in November. Across five different sports, the Cougars failed to lose a game. Here is a rundown of what happened in each sport.

In November for football, the Cougars had what some might call an “SEC-like” schedule, meaning that they saved all of their easy games for last. So is the life of an FBS Independent (a football team that isn’t associated with any conference). With a 59-14 win against Idaho State, and a 34-17 win against Georgia Southern, all BYU had to do was beat former Corner Canyon Quarterback Jaxson Dart and the prestigious University of Southern California (USC).

After what some might call a lucky 35-31 win, current BYU Wide Reciever’s coach, and former Hillcrest student, Fesi Sitake, said the following as the football season came to a close. “What a way to end the season!! As always, cougar nation coming through strong!!!” Sitake tweeted. “Love seeing all the blue in the coliseum!! Best Fans in the world!! I’m so grateful to be a part of this team!!”

With a 3-0 record from the football team, “No-Loss November” was off to a good start. Next, men’s basketball had to do their part in winning six games of their own. After winning the first two games, their first real test was passed when they blew #12 ranked Oregon out of the gym with an 81-49 win. After two more games in which they blew out opponents, BYU’s final game was their rival Utah.

After a good 75-64 win over a good Utah team, assistant coach Chris Burgess commented, “What a total team effort tonight on the Road! Rivalry wins always taste a little sweeter!”

Now a combined 9-0 from the men’s sports, it was time for the women to get the job done on their end. Volleyball was already undefeated in conference play entering the month and kept that streak going. Comfortably winning all their games, the Cougars never were pushed into a fifth set.

After they claimed the conference title, KSL Sports tweeted, congratulating the team on one of their best seasons in recent history. “Congrats to  @BYUwvolleyball on their first undefeated league season since 1993.” An incredible accomplishment for a team that finished the year being ranked #4 nationally.

Women’s soccer would try and add on to a 7-0 November from the volleyball team. Following two conference wins at the beginning of the month, the Cougars kicked their way into the national tournament. After handily beating New Mexico and Alabama, #1 seeded Virginia came to try and spoil the party. The Cougars came out on top, though, and after a win against South Carolina on Nov. 27, BYU soccer had a 6-0 record on the month.

That wasn’t the only incredible feat, as they have made it farther than any BYU women’s soccer team ever has in the playoffs. In her post-game interview with the Deseret News, the South Carolina head coach, Shelley Smith, talked about how good this team is. “They’re an excellent team. They showed tonight why they’re deserving to go to the Final Four,” Smith continued. “I’m happy for them; I think they’re going to make a tremendous run.”

Now a combined 22-0, women’s basketball would need to start the year off 7-0 with two upsets over ranked opponents. Those two games would come at the end of the month in a tournament over Thanksgiving. They won their first five games, including a game against Utah State, scoring 101 points. Over Thanksgiving, the Cougars then took part in the “St. Pete Showcase” in St. Petersburg, Florida. After a close win against #17 Florida State, the Cougars faced future Big-12 Conference member West Virginia.

The Cougars pulled out another narrow win in a 58-57 game in which they trailed for much of the contest. After the game, interim head coach Lee Cummard said this in his post-game interview with The Daily Universe. “I am so impressed with the grit and toughness of this group,” Cummard said. “Their belief in the game plan and in each other never wavered throughout. It was a total team effort this week and the outcomes showed it.”

With that, No-Loss November was complete. A combined record of 29-0 across the five fall sports. Outscoring opponents 1136-829 in basketball, football, soccer, and 21-3 sets in volleyball, the Cougars had a good run. They also took home the individual titles for the men’s and women’s cross country championships when Whittni Orton and Connor Mantz crossed the finish line first in Tallahassee, Florida. With that, the Cougars finished their best month, probably ever.

Head Football Coach Kalani Sitake talked about “No-Loss November” in his post-game interview with BYUtv after their win against USC. “Let’s just pretend that it’s November of 2021 every month of the year from now on.”