“I always look forward to road trips,” said Apo with a smile. “It’s a lot more fun than playing at home just because you’re at another stadium, and the odds are against you, and you have a lot more to play for.”
This year Apo will have a new roommate on the road. Over the past couple of years Cody Hoffman had been the one to share a hotel room with Apo whenever the team went on away games.
“Cody has been my roommate for the past three to four years. Jordan Leslie will be my roommate this year,” said Apo with a chuckle. “I just told him he needs to keep the room clean. It took me four years to train Cody so he needs to learn fast. Our room was always pretty clean.”
Bob Diaco took the UConn job after serving on the Notre Dame coaching staff as a defensive coordinator for four years, so the Cougars have had to go back and watch film on the Irish to get an idea of what to expect when they face Coach Diaco’s defense this Friday.
“Their defensive coordinator is from Notre Dame, so we watched Notre Dame film to see what schemes they do in certain down and distances,” said Apo. “Then we watched their film [UConn] just to see how their personnel is, if they can run, or flip their hips and see what we can do best against their players. We’ve kind of gone back and forth from the UConn film to the Notre Dame film.”
The Huskies will run a 3-4 defense similar to BYU’s with man coverage. Apo expects BYU to come out with more cylinders firing unlike when they faced Virginia last season.
“I think the chances are a lot higher than they have been, just because this is our second year in our offense.” said Apo. “Last year I felt like going into our first game we were still trying to learn, and we were still getting used to the signals and the boards and all that. Since spring started I feel like the team has hit the ground running. It’s just second nature now and more muscle memory. It’s just line up and run, line up and run. Nobody is having to think about anything, and I think that’s going to help us out a lot.”
Last season the Go Fast, Go Hard offense took some time to find its grove as players and coaches sorted out and learned what kind of scheme that was being implemented. Ross Apo believes now that the offense will be faster this year due to the single fact the players know what to expect.
“We’re expecting more,” Apo said. “The coaches want us to run like 20 or 30 plays more than we ran last year. You know, that’s a high number of plays compared to how many we ran last year.
“Knowing that we could have gone faster than we did last year, and knowing that we could do it, the coaches didn’t want to try and push us to do it. That should change this year.”
The Cougars will look to start off the season more experienced, more versed within the scheme, and more ready to do battle. Winning the first game of the season is an important part of setting the tone early for the rest of the year.
“That’s very important,” Apo said. “If you lose the first game like we did last year it’s kind of rough. It gets kind of iffy whether or not if it’s going to work, or, you know, if we should keep a player here or there, but if we start off fast there’s no questions about it. If you start off a game fast the other team is not going to want to play, especially with how hard our defense plays. If our offense can start off fast that will be the best thing.”
Ross Apo Video
BYU wide receiver talks about the depth on offense and the urgency of the players to start of the season strong. He addresses the challenges of this year's traveling schedule and gives a tentative scouting report on UConn's defense and much more.