Scouting Arizona's Defensive Backfield

Against Oregon, which had the leading pass defense in the Pac-10 last season, the Cougar offense racked up 375 passing yards for a Las Vegas Bowl record. The Cougar wide receivers will have their hands full again, facing some of the top cornerbacks in the Pac-10 this Saturday.

Antoine Cason is a 6-foot, 185-pound rug. The California native turned Wildcat simply knows how to cover wide receivers. BYU's wide receivers know exactly what they're getting themselves into.

"We know it's going to be either [Antoine] Cason or [Wilrey] Fontenot," said Reed. "We know what's ahead of us, and so it's going to be up to us to run good routes. It's also going to be up to us to make sure we block well on running plays…For us, we're just excited to face two of the top corners in the nation. Not only does it hype the game up more, but it also lets you know where you're at in your career, going up against two guys such as them. We're all just looking forward to playing this weekend."

"What we're expecting from the Arizona secondary is a good secondary. They are very disciplined and we've seen them on field. They know how to play their position and they're coached very well. We know they've got cornerbacks that are studs, we know they've got safeties that are studs, and we know we're facing a tough team."

"Looking at them and knowing who they are and how highly touted they are, it's obviously a great opportunity for both Mike [Reed] and I and the other receivers," said former Freshman All-American Austin Collie. "We're going to go out there and show those guys what we've got. They've got great corners that have great technique, but are we scared? No."

Reed, who averaged 28.2 yards per reception last year, feels he is well prepared to line up across the two Wildcat cornerbacks.

"Yes sir, I did play against [Cason and Fontenot] last year," Reed said. "I've studied film on them trying to see what weaknesses they have, and I'm sure they've studied film on us trying to do the same. There are weaknesses in everybody's game, and it will come down to who has prepared themselves better. We just have to play hard and we should be fine."

Despite the talent that will be lined up across from BYU's receivers, Collie is confident that he and his teammates can execute their offense.

"They're just football players and I feel that Mike [Reed] and I and the other receivers are talented enough to go out there and prove that we can hang with those guys," said Collie. "That's exactly what's going to happen. It's not going to be how are we going to get open but how are they going to cover us."

In Max Hall's opener as a Cougar gunslinger, finding holes in a Wildcat zone defense could slant the advantage in his favor. This could hold true especially if the safeties are inexperienced and debuting in their first game at LaVell Edwards Stadium as well.

"They have one safety back," said slot receiver Bryce Mahuika. "Number 23 [Michael Johnson] from last year's team is not there. From what I've seen, they are the aggressive tackler types and they are good tacklers."

"They're great zone players," Collie said. "They have a feel for the defense that they're in, and have been playing it for so long. They're good at cutting the short stuff off, and they're good at breaking on the ball. That's one thing I've noticed, and it's something that is hard to get around, but we're going to do it."

Reed, like Collie, is confident when it comes to the offense.

"We are just going to execute our offense," Reed said. "We feel like we've been successful in doing that against some tough defenses in the past. We feel like there is no defense that we can't move the ball against, and we just want to go out this Saturday and show the fans that we haven't forgotten how to do that.

"We've been facing our own tough defense day in and day out that knows how to defend against the type of offense we have. Our defense is very aggressive and we know we'll face that this weekend. We have to take it one play at a time and have five days to prepare and clean up a few things. It's going to be exciting and it's always fun to play a Pac-10 school."

Although the two teams faced each other last year, many on the Cougar squad feel the team Arizona will face this year will be a different team in terms of identity and confidence.

"I think we know each other better as a team this year," said Reed. "Last year we were kind of uncertain as to who we were and [uncertain about] our roles on the team. This year we have a different team, just like they have a different team. We're going to come out as if we've never played Arizona. I trust our guys and like who we are and what we have to offer. This is a new team and they have a new team. We're taking it as if we've never played them. We just have to come in this Saturday with a different mindset."


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