Van Noy, Reynolds prepare each other

The chess match between BYU and Ole Miss is almost here, and there are two matchups in particular that are worth watching. One will be how Ole Miss left offensive tackle Bobby Massie fares against outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy. The other is how BYU left offensive tackle Matt Reynolds fares against Kentrell Lockett.

It was a constant battle between superstars. Throughout fall camp, Kyle Van Noy and Matt Reynolds squared off in a one-on-one duel that was fast, physical and violent. The two potential future NFL prospects fought each other hard in an effort to best the other.

"Being able to practice against Kyle this fall has really stretched me as a player," said Reynolds. "He's been able to challenge me and force me to become better in my vertical pass play, and that's a good thing."

At times, Van Noy was beaten at the line of scrimmage by the 6-foot-6-inch, 305-pound Cougar tackle, but Reynolds would be the first to admit that he also lost a few rounds as well.

"The one thing that Kyle brings to the field of play is speed, which is something I needed to work on," said Reynolds. "That's one thing he brings, along with a wide range of moves to go along with his speed."

There hasn't been anyone that has challenged Reynolds over the past couple of years from the outside linebacker position like Van Noy has, and that's a good thing given the fact that Reynolds will be locking horns with defensive end Kentrell Lockett, the top returning SEC player in terms of tackles for a loss (23.5).

"Lockett is very similar to Kyle is some ways," Reynolds said. "He's a really good athlete that moves well. He's quick off the ball and can really challenge you on the edge, and he's going to be a great opponent. Like Kyle, Lockett has a lot of that speed stuff and with his speed he's got a lot of strength to go with it too. I'm going to have to be really balanced in my play."

Ole Miss has an outstanding blindside protector of its own in 6-foot-6-inch, 315-pound junior Bobby Massie. He has started at left tackle the last 17 games, helping Ole Miss lead the SEC in fewest sacks allowed last season.

"They're both really big and strong, but I think one is more physical than the other," Van Noy said about Reynolds and Massie. "They're both NFL-caliber players, so I'm just going to take it as I do every week as a challenge. Going against Matt has really helped me out a bunch this fall camp."

So how has Reynolds helped Van Noy to meet the challenge of Massie come Saturday?

"That's a good question," Van Noy said. "How I look at it is you watch so much film that you respect your opponent and kind of grasp over his strengths, then you go to their weaknesses. You always want to grasp the guy's strengths first before you go on to his weakness just so you can understand how he plays. You know, if he's a hard worker, a good pass blocker, run blocker and stuff like that.

"Matt said in some interviews, and talking to him off the field, that I've been able to benefit him too. In looking at Ole Miss' line, they're big and they're fast and well coached. We do feel there are some weaknesses and we're going to try and expose them just like any team would in a game. I think Matt has helped me to get ready for the season."

For Reynolds, Van Noy's ability has prepared him for the top-notch challenges he'll face this weekend as well.

"After watching film on Lockett, and going up against Kyle in practice, I feel Kyle has been a really good challenge to where I feel confident in my abilities regardless of who lines up across from me," said Reynolds.

So as Reynolds and Van Noy get set to meet the challenges of Ole Miss, one thing is certain: both have been tried and tested.

And when it comes time for Van Noy to step out onto the field in Oxford, he won't be nervous in the least bit. He'll be ready.

"I usually don't get nervous," Van Noy said. "When I step on the field it's more excitement and enjoyment to be out there more than anything. When you've missed football for a year, you're just happy and humbled to be out there. Just getting back out on the field for Ole Miss will bring me enjoyment, just being out on the field representing BYU."

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