Leslie Eager to Curb BYU's Slide

The Cougars have come off four straight losses. Another loss would mean five straight. That hasn’t happened since Tommy Hudspeth was the head coach throughout most of the 1960’s and early 70’s. The Cougars hit the road to play Middle Tennessee State with a desire to make sure a fifth in a row loss isn’t in the Cougar’s future.

It has to be tough. Really tough, especially for senior quarterback Christian Stewart who has always dreamed of leading BYU’s offense down the field as a young boy. He’s now been given that chance. Unfortunately, he has yet to win a single BYU football game.

“You know Christian’s a great leader and he’s been around us,” said BYU wide receiver Jordan Leslie. “He’s a great leader and comes into the locker room with an upbeat tempo, and even after a loss he’s always picking people up and that’s what you need from your quarterback.”

Much of the issues with the program have become more mental than physical. There’s no doubt the team is talented. The problem is the team hasn’t dealt with much adversity until Taysom Hill was lost among a host of others with ankle injuries. Leslie feels the team just needs to relax and go out and play football with confidence.

“I think one thing is some people have kind of put a lot on their shoulders and kind of stressed out a little,” said Leslie. “I think we just need to relax. We’ve all been playing this game for 12 to 16 years or something like that. We just have to keep going and keep pushing.

“Everyone has losses and by no means is that acceptable, but we just kind of have to get back to our fundamentals and get back to why we started playing this game. We all play this game because we love it. We have to out there with that passion and having that desire to get better during the week, and then go out there on Saturday with the passion to win.”

The mental side of the game can be just as challenging of a hurdle as the physical, if not more. When old mistakes are made, and the team is backed into a corner, a feeling of ‘here we go again’ can resonate throughout the roster.

“Of course that’s one thing that’s always on our mind,” said Leslie. “We have to have the ‘can do’ mindset and kind of get those thoughts out of your mindset. We have to look past that. Of course you want to get out there and get going fast and start scoring touchdowns. Once that happens the defense gets going and everyone gets going. If we’re not able to come out there fast we have to keep that desire going.”

The four straight loses by BYU has turned what was a promising season into a season of, “Now what?” For Cougar receiver Jordan Leslie, he’s seen fewer passes from Stewart during the loss stretch than when BYU was winning during the beginning of the season.

“Of course losing in general is difficult,” said Leslie. “If we were winning, you know 8-0, no one would be talking and no one would be upset. Of course, I want to help the offense as much as I can, but if I’m not touching the ball as much and we win I’m just as excited. As long as we’re winning we’re good.”

Despite not receiving the ball as much, and being as involved within the offense, Leslie isn’t going to raise much havoc over the matter. He isn’t the type of player that feels he needs to receive the ball every play but just wants to win.

“You never kind of want to look at that,” Leslie said. “I mean, you always want to look at yourself and kind of control what you can control. You know, when the ball comes my way I need to make a play no matter where it is or how it is. Of course Christian and I talk. He watches film all the time and we we’ll have conversations to see where we can help out. It’s beneficial for the both of us.”

Next up for the Cougars is Middle Tennessee State. BYU is only favored by four and a half points. That’s not very good. However, BYU just needs a win to get that monkey off their back and begin growing confidence among the young ranks. Jordan Leslie remembers playing the Blue Raiders last year while at UTEP and believes they’re going to come out gunning.

“Middle Tennessee, we played them last year at UTEP and they beat us,” said Leslie. “They’re going to be hard, physical, and guys flying around. I know they’re going to come out flying around. They’ve watched these last four games and so they’re going to think they can play with us. We have to go out there and kind of hit them in the mouth first. I know our fans are wanting us to have a big game.”

Cougar Cam: Jordan Leslie

BYU receiver Jordan Leslie gives his thoughts on Christian Stewart and how he's led the team. He also addresses the situation of him being less involved within the offense as of late. He also talks about Middle Tennessee State and what he expects come game day and much, much more.

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