One of the more entertaining bowl games will take place on Saturday, when in-state foes Utah and BYU meet-up in the Las Vegas Bowl for the Holy War in Sin City. Besides the natural rivalry, there is also the element of BYU’s conduct at play. There was the brawl with Memphis during last season’s bowl game, the crotch punch against Boise State, and the kidney punch against Utah State. The basketball team even got into the act, as a BYU player was ejected for a cheap shot against Utah two weeks ago.
The two teams had a welcome dinner and dance-off tonight, and the wary bowl organizers had teammates face each other instead of their opponents in an attempt to make sure things didn’t get out of hand. As Utah defensive lineman Viliseni Fauonuku got up to dance, however, the organizers gave him the mic and he had a message for BYU. “Y’all a good team, but you’re a dirty team,” said Fauonuku. “Don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing.”
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham specifically told his team not to fan the flames:
“We’ve had that conversation, to make sure there’s no issues, or anything going on that is unnecessary,” he said. “Our guys are pretty good about keeping their poise and keeping their cool, so we don’t expect anything different this game.”
But that didn’t stop Fauonuku’s teammates from reacting jubilantly to his warning:
This game better live up to the hype.