Matt Reynolds' BYU career coming to a close

Left offensive tackle Matt Reynolds has been a constant feature on BYU's offensive line. Cougar fans have grown used to seeing ol' number 70 out there protecting the blindside of three different quarterbacks over the years. Now the big 6-foot-6-inch All-American will play his last regular-season game as a BYU Cougar this Saturday against Hawaii.

Almost all of Matt Reynolds' life, in one way or another, has revolved around BYU football. His father Lance Reynolds has coached at BYU longer than Matt's been alive, allowing him to watch football games and grow up in the stands at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Matt Reynolds stepped foot on the field of LaVell Edwards Stadium for the last time as a player on November 19 when BYU defeated New Mexico State 42-7. Now on December 3, he'll play his last regular-season game as a Cougar.

"I imagine it will be similar to what I felt like when I played my last game at LaVell Edwards Stadium," Reynolds said. "I'm sure it will be a time to reflect and sort of a surreal moment for me. I'm sure I'll be going through different emotions. It's exciting and sad at the same time."

When BYU takes on Hawaii on Saturday, the Warriors will be fighting for bowl eligibility.

"We have to make sure we do all that we can to win that game," said Reynolds. "I know they're going to be fired up and will come out swinging to become bowl eligible. You have to think they're going to give us their best."

This will be the 28th time in school history the Cougars will play the Warriors. The last time BYU played at Hawaii in 2001, the Warriors ended BYU's undefeated season with a whopping 72-45 drudging. This will be the first time since 2002 that the two teams have met.

"We're expecting a lot of people to be at the game and in the stands," Reynolds said. "This is their chance to become bowl eligible, and in the past there was a rivalry between the two schools. I think it's definitely going to be an exciting game on so many different levels."

This won't be the first time Reynolds has been out to the Aloha State. He first flew out to Hawaii back in 1992 when BYU played Kansas in the Aloha Bowl.

The next time Reynolds made the trip out to Hawaii was when he was a Timpview High School Thunderbird.

"We played a game out there against Kamehameha High School when I was a freshman, but this is the first time going out to Hawaii as a Cougar," he said.

Despite this being the first and last time he'll travel to Hawaii as a Cougar, Reynolds is very excited to fly back out to Hawaii one last time.

"Oh yeah, it's very exciting to be able to go back out there, very exciting" he said. "It should be a good game."

In fact, even his wife Brianna became excited about the possibility of joining him. However, having to take care of a family on scholarship funds has made that possibility a difficult one.

"My wife definitely wants to come," he said. "She's just been trying to figure out how to get a ticket for the past couple of months, but it's an expensive ticket. Despite that, I am excited about going to Hawaii."

Reynolds feels he and his teammates have been fully prepared to face a team looking to become bowl eligible.

"Coach Mendenhall and the other different coaches have done a great job of explaining the situation of this game," Reynolds said prior to leaving for the Aloha State. "They're making sure that everybody is ready to go and understands what this game means. I think by the time we get there and step foot in Hawaii that we'll have been prepared really well and well enough to win."

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