The Arizona front line of offense is tall, big, and they're conditioned to handle the fact-paced offense of Rich Rodriguez. BYU will have their hands full up front, so let's take a look at how the two sides stack up on paper.
At left tackle is 6-5, 282-pound junior Layth Friekh (#58). Squaring up against Layth Friekh will be 6-3, 250-pound senior converted defensive end Harvey Langi (#21). Langi will need to bring his linebacker speed and toughness on the edge.
At left guard is 6-8, 314-pound redshirt senior Freddie Tagaloa (#72). Lining up across from Tagaloa will be 6-2, 296-pound redshirt senior Logan Taele (#62) or Handsome Tanielu (#92).
At center for the Wildcats will be 6-4, 286-pound redshirt freshman Nathan Eldridge (#64). If the Cougars go to an odd front 6-2, 296-pound redshirt senior Logan Taele (#62) will more than likely line up across from Eldridge.
At right guard is 6-7, 315-pound redshirt junior Jacob Alsadek (#78). Lining up across from Alsadek more than likely will be 6-4, 285-pound redshirt junior Tomasi Laulile (#48).
At right tackle is 6-7, 314-pound redshirt junior Gerhard de Beer (#67) who will square up against 6-2, 275-pound redshirt sophomore Moses Kaumatule (49) or 6-9, 270-pound Corbin Kaufusi
Moses Kaumatule had this to say about the matchup between the two sides.
"Well, our defensive line is very mobile, and very strong, and very strong just like their offensive line," said Kaumatule. "They look fast and they look quick and they run well as linemen. They're all really tall too with good size."
The Wildcat offensive line has been conditioned to run the fast pace offense that Arizona favors. In evaluating the film, Kaumatule has seen how the offensive line takes advantage of the pace.
"They run that no-huddle offense so they like to get to the line really quickly and either catch you napping and out of breath, off-guard, or not ready," said Kaumatule. "That's kind of the purpose of the no-huddle offense is to try and wear you down, catch you off-guard, and keep you from reading your keys, whether you're in the middle of your adjustments or not.
"We have no time to set and relax to catch your breath like you get playing against most offensive linemen. They want to wear you down and take advantage of you being tired to control the line of scrimmage. They're also a very conditioned group, so we have to be ready for that and be sure we play physical every play. We have some depth at the defensive line and a pretty good two-deep, so we'll be ready for what they bring."
Seeing how BYU's defensive line reacts to a passing down will be interesting to watch. No longer are they expected to contain, although in this case that will be expected given the fact that Arizona’s quarterback can run, the Cougars will be allowed to pin their ears back and rush the pocket.
"We're not gapping it anymore," said Tomasi Laulile. "We just get the call and go, so I think we'll play a lot faster up front than we did in the past, which will help us put more pressure on the quarterbacks. I'm excited because they're less thinking, less read and react, less contain, and more get up and go! I like it! I think it's going to help us be more aggressive up front when we face Arizona. We're getting the hang of it now but at first it was sort of an adjustment. I think we'll be good to go."
The Cougar front seven wants to try and disrupt the rhythm and flow of the Wildcat offense by placing adequate pressure on the quarterback. To do that, they'll have to get past a line that holds their blocks well within the Wildcat spread offense.
"Their linemen hold their blocks really well to allow their quarterbacks to read downfield and make the throw," said Kaumatule. "So, we have put pressure on him by beating the guys in front of us and slowing down his reads. I think also the quarterback's run just as good as their running backs, which is why they can run a one back set. So, we have to make sure we disrupt the passing game as well as the keeping him in the pocket so he doesn't run on us."
It's going to be a good challenge for the new BYU defense. They'll have to overcome the fast pace by which the offense runs while placing pressure on the offensive line. The Cougars could do different odd fronts in an effort to confuse the line and get the game to slow down. Moses Kaumatule gives his three keys to a BYU Cougar victory.
"The keys to victory is going to be us having stamina, because of their no-huddle offense they'll have they're look at 70 to 90 plays," Kaumatule said. "We have to keep our stamina up.
"We also have to play with intensity and consistency, so I would say we have to not let our level of fight lower as the game goes on. We need to keep fighting and making sure we put pressure on the offense for all four quarters.
"Then the last thing I would say is we have to be ready by watching the plays. They like to do quick screens on the boundary side and little hitches out there in the flats. They also like to do a lot of trick plays. They have a lot of fake handoffs and a lot of pulling guard plays coming from the other side and various trick plays, so we need to keep your eyes up and be disciplined and make sure we don't get caught off-guard."