5 To Watch: BYU Defense

Brandon Gurney of the Deseret News (Salt Lake City) offers five key offensive players to watch for BYU when the Irish host the Cougars Saturday in South Bend.

#3 -- LB Kyle Van Noy: Van Noy is far and away the best defensive player for BYU and may be the best defender the team has fielded over the past ten years. He plays outside linebacker and covers a lot of field in coverage and can mount a very effective pass rush.

He's only eighth on the team in total tackles this season, but that's largely the result of teams running away from him and coaches choosing to use him in flat coverages. He leads the team in sacks with 7.5 on the year.

#9 -- S Daniel Sorensen: Sorensen is the leader of an uncommonly good BYU secondary. He plays strong safety for the team and is fourth in tackles on the year. He likes to play close to the line and can be exposed in coverage, but has a penchant for making big plays and laying big hits on opposing offenses.

#44 -- LB Brandon Ogletree: Ogletree plays buck linebacker and leads the team in total tackles. He's a very hard-nosed player and the defensive team captain. He's very good when providing run support between the tackles, but can be exposed in the open field with his lack of speed and lateral quickness.

#98 -- NT Romney Fuga: Fuga is a four-year starter at nose tackle and is very much the anchor of the BYU defense. BYU is somewhat thin upfront with some season-ending injuries to two of its major contributors, so Fuga is seeing more reps at nose tackle than he otherwise would. Regardless of the amount of reps, Fuga is providing very consistent play and is solidifying the defense as a whole.

#47 -- DE Ezekial Ansah: Ansah didn't start playing football until he was in college, but is the surprise player for the defense this season. He's an amazing athlete and move his 6-6, 270 frame around the field remarkably well. He's very good laterally, but does lack some consistency. He's fourth on the team in total tackles and should only continue to improve the more he plays.

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