Chance Harridge to Run for Cover Instead of Mouth?

Even as BYU head coach <b>Gary Crowton</b> is steadfastly focused on grounding a potent Air Force team Saturday, his defensive front will be keying in on the Falcons' elusive and fleet-footed quarterback <b>Chance Harridge</b> who ran his mouth last year as much as he did his feet.

"He didn't talk that much the year before (when BYU trounced them in 2001) and if we do our job (Saturday), he won't be talking much at all," said standout senior defensive tackle Ifo Pili. "That's how you shut people up; by shutting them down. We didn't do that last year, so he talked. He's a real good player and he had a good game last year. I guess he wanted to tell us about it."

Pili added, "I'm 1-2 against them. Every game I've played against Air Force has been interesting. When I was here for my freshman year before my mission, we played them for the WAC championship and they beat us. When I got off my mission, we blew them out and last year they blew us out. So I guess it's my turn to win this next Saturday when we play them."

He, like most of his teammates, acknowledged the rivalry between Air Force has heated up. "It's always been a rivalry because we're both usually two of the better teams in the conference, but it seems to have taken off over the past two years or so."

Pili noted the biggest challenge for BYU's defensive line against Air Force's flex-option is the cut-blocking their offensive front employs. "We're a lot bigger than them up front, so they do that in order to equalize their efficiency. Sure, it's a pain, but we have to expect that."

Cougar scout team players are not cut blocking in practice to prevent unnecessary injuries – which makes it more difficult to prepare for the Falcons blocking schemes. "It's a whole different animal preparing for Air Force. They don't cut block on every down, but it's something we'll have to prepare for."

Pili's chief responsibility as an interior lineman will be defending against the dive play or belly play Air Force runs to change up option plays they run. "That's what I have to watch for first; that's my chief responsibility to stop the dive play. I sort of like going against Air Force because they run the ball a lot and I like defending against the run better than the pass."

He added this year's defense is better prepared going into this weekend's game this Saturday than at anytime before since he has been at BYU.

"We're really clicking right now as a defensive unit, but we all know that we can get a lot better. We played good for the most part last week, but when watching film, we could see that on at least 60% of the plays we had at least one person miss an assignment. If we can only get all of us to complete all of our assignments even 80% of the time, we could be outstanding," Pili said.

(c) copyright by

Total Blue Sports Top Stories