BYU defensive dominance excites Fonua

Over the years the Cougar defense has gained a formidable reputation. Coach Mendenhall's swarm defense is known for being tough, very physical, disciplined and unafraid. Cougar safety commit Kavika Fonua watched firsthand how BYU's defense physically wore down a talented Texas offense.

Texas has some outstanding running backs that were among the very top prospects in their respective recruiting classes. But against BYU's defense, Johnathan Gray, Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron combined for a total of 108 rushing yards, 74 fewer yards than BYU running back Jamaal Williams had against Texas alone.

"All around, BYU's defense played better as a team," said BYU safety commit Kavika Fonua. "I don't know, Texas has a lot of talent but BYU's defense just played more physical and was able to stop them on third downs. Defensively, BYU is just well coached and you can see how well they play together to beat teams like Texas. It's just a lot of fun to watch a defense shut down an offense as talented as Texas."

Following BYU's 40-21 victory, much of the national sports media softened the severity of the Cougar win, focusing on Texas playing poorly rather than BYU playing well. Fonua thinks the results weren't a fluke.

"Some say that Texas had a bad game and everything, but I would say our defense just stomped them completely," Fonua said. "BYU's defense just wore then down and broke that offense down to where they couldn't do anything. BYU's defense is really good. You saw how they were breaking down and giving up by the third quarter.

"The offense was doing really good against Texas. I mean, we were just running and running and running against that defense. I heard after the game that Texas fired their defensive coordinator. We just did really good."

Seeing how physical and tough BYU's defense is sparks a sense of responsibility for defensive recruits like Fonua.

"Knowing that I'm coming there to play football makes me want to work even harder so I can keep that standard up," said Fonua. "When I come back off my mission I'll be joining that defense, so I have to live up to that standard."

Syracuse High School has won all three of its games so far. It beat Box Elder 16-7, Highland 17-14, and Mountain Crest 21-10. Next up for Syracuse is Davis High School, which is also undefeated after beating Copper Hills, Hunter and Taylorsville.

"We're playing Davis this week and it's televised on KJZZ I think," Fonua said. "I've just been playing running back on offense and playing on defense too. I've been getting a lot of tackles but I'm not sure how many. It gets pretty tiring because I never come off the field. I also do punt returns. I don't know my overall stats, but I know I've scored a couple of touchdowns on offense."

BYU on the other hand has a bye week this week, but the Cougars will face the Utes of Utah next weekend. For Fonua, he's got a bit of a conundrum on his hands. His brother-in-law is a running back for Utah, but he's committed to play for BYU.

"I think it's going to be a good game," said Fonua. "Both teams are doing good and I'm excited to see my brother-in-law Karl [Williams], who plays running back. I'll be cheering for BYU to win, but I'll cheer for Karl to do good too. It's kind of like that, I guess. I'm just excited to watch the game."

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