Defense Making Some Noise

Today's scrimmage was held at Lavell Edwards Stadium, and the defense seemed to take to the big stage. The coaches tweaked the defensive depth chart again, and the changes seemed to help because the defense stepped up its intensity and fought itself out of a number of tight spots during the last scrimmage of fall camp.

The story of this year's defensive line has to be Ian Dulan. The defensive end from Hawaii has steadily risen up the depth charts and is now receiving reps on the first team. Dulan and his defensive line teammates are consistently penetrating the offensive backfield, which disrupts the running game and rushes the passing game. The strong pass rush will certainly make life easier on BYU's defensive backs.

Almost a week ago, linebacker Chris Bolden dropped from the first team to the second team defense, but today he was back with the ones showing why he deserves to be on the field. Bolden made life difficult for offensive tackles and quarterbacks whenever he was in the game. He recorded a sack on the day and made a nice play when he dropped back into the secondary to break up a pass. True freshman cornerback Robbie Buckner nearly had an interception on the day as well.

Dustin Gabriel played with the first team secondary along side Quinn Gooch, who made a nice play to break up a deep pass during the first drive of the scrimmage.

Manning the second team defensive line, Russell Tialavea got into the backfield a couple of times against the second team offensive line. Tialavea helped to force quarterback Jason Beck on a scramble to the outside and gave chase to the smaller more nimble quarterback. Matangi Tonga and Judd Anderton rounded off the second team D-line.

One of the exciting plays of the scrimmage occurred when freshman linebacker Terrance Hooks intercepted a tipped ball and, without missing a beat, ran the ball across the middle of the field, beat the offense to the outside, and turned it upfield for a defensive touchdown. The one time high school running back was greeted to the sideline with hollers and cheers from his defensive teammates.

Do or Die Time

The defense was tested several times today in goal line situations where there is no margin for error. With the big hogs up front, the offense scored on the first few plays, but the defense stiffened up to keep the offense out of the end zone on the next attempts. Dulan teamed up with Kelly Poppinga to stop tailback Fui Vakapuna short of the goal line and strip the ball from the powerful tailback. Outside linebacker Bryan Kehl picked it up and ran it back close to midfield where coaches blew the play dead.

Back to the Front

BYU freshman Braden Hansen was back on the offensive line today after being held out for most of fall camp due to a minor shoulder injury. Hansen played offensive tackle where he had his hands fill with smaller, quicker blitzing linebackers.

Injury Update

With game day rapidly approaching, the good news that came out of today's full contact scrimmage was that everyone came away relatively healthy—well, almost everyone. Cornerback Kayle Buchanan, came up with a sore shoulder after taking down big Vic So'oto. Buchanan did not scrimmage for the rest of the day although he indicated to coaches that he was ready to go back in..

Cougar Audible

Click on the following link to hear BYU Quarterback John Beck gives his assessment of both the offensive and defensive scrimmage performances.

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