“If you don’t play physical you are going to get injured eventually,” said Lasike. “You know, I get banged up and stuff like that. It’s just the way is it and I’ve always kind of grown up like that. I can’t do what a receiver does. I wouldn’t want to run down there and catch a ball in midair and get smashed. That’s worst than being a fullback.”
When Paul Lasike lines up in the backfield the decision on who gets the ball often times is decided between the two backs.
“I mean, when we’re in blue personnel, where there’s two backs, it’s really not I’m the fullback and he’s the tailback. It’s, ‘hey, I’m going to go on the blocking side, and you’re going to go on the running side.’ I’m going to do my best.’”
Lasike isn’t a selfish player. He knows his strengths and weaknesses, so he’ll often time defer to take the handoff knowing that a back like Jamaal Williams is a much better runner than he is.
“I’m a bigger than him,” Lasike said. “I would rather get smashed for him because he’s a better runner than I am, and I’m probably a little bit more physical than he is at blocking. That’s just kind of how we work it out on the field, you know? I’ll do whatever I can to my strengths to help the team go forward.”
For Lasike, it’s easy to like a teammate like Jamaal Williams. He’s a hardworking back, who also runs hard.
“Jamaal Williams is a hard worker, he’s physical, and he’s big but he’s not a really big back,” said Lasike. “He plays like a big back, and that’s what I like about him he’s real physical. He’s not going to go down with the first person. It’s going to take a couple of people to get him down, so I like his attitude and his work ethic.”
Taking a look at the Virginia’s defense, Lasike knows that inside linebacker, Henry Coley, is a formidable force to be reckoned with. Also defensive end Eli Harold is another Cavalier defender the Cougar offense is fully aware of.
“Oh no doubt,” said Lasike. “From what I’ve seen our biggest focus is their middle linebacker and their defensive ends. We’re going to have to try and get some move and get some push on them to get some yards. From what I’ve seen on them they probably will be the most physical defense that we face so far.
“Their middle linebacker [Henry Coley] is a solid, physical player, and we’re going to have to go out there and do our best to move him out there.
The Cavaliers will mainly run a 4-3 defense and will field a similar defense to what the Cougar offense saw last year.
“I think it’s pretty similar to last year from what I’ve seen,” said Lasike. “They really try to crunch their ends to block the a-gap and try and force everything to the outside. That’s what I’ve seen, so, yeah, I’m expecting the same physical defense as last year.”
With the BYU Cougars rise in the polls the team has a lot of momentum going into this Saturday’s game against Virginia. This matchup should be an exciting one.
“Man, it’s awesome to be able to go out every weekend, and, like I said a couple weeks ago, to go out and start our season on the right foot,” Lasike said. “Every week the snowball gets bigger, so we’re just going to have to go out there and execute how we know how to do it. But, definitely the momentum we’re on is going to help us in this game, and then hopefully throughout the rest of the season.”
Cougar Cam: Paul Lasike
Lasike talks about last year's game against Virginia and the type of players on the defensive side of the ball. He talks about the running backs progressing, and the progression of Josh Whippy. Lasike also talks about the return of new fullback Toloa'i Ho-Ching, and what it takes to play the fullback position.