BYU Defense Preview

BYU's defense is always solid and will try to limit USU's big plays Friday. BYU seems to have more depth this year.

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINE

LEFT END

The starter at LE is 6-4 280 Graham Rowley (Scout 4*). The junior was orginally recruited as an offensive guard and was rated as the 11th best guard in the country by Scout.com. Playing primarily as a backup in 2013 Rowley totaled 16 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 2 QB hurries and 1 pass breakup. Now as a full time starter in 2014 Rowley has logged 7 tackles. The backup to Rowley is 6-3 285 sophomore Tomasi Laulile (Scout 2*). Laulile has played in all 4 games in 2014 and has collected 2 tackles, 1 QB hurry and recovered 1 fumble.

RIGHT END

6-4 271 junior Remington Peck (Scout 3*) has earned the starting job opposite Rowley. Originally recruited as a TE Peck struggled through an injury plagued 2013 only recording 5 tackles while playing in just 4 games. Peck had his best season in 2012 as a sophomore when he tallied 38 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 pass breakup. In 2014 Peck has recorded 5 tackles and 2 QB hurries. Junior Logan Taele (Scout NR) has earned the backup role. The 6-2 280 Taele played sparingly as a sophomore in 2013 recording 3 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, and blocking 1 kick. Taele is off to a fair start in 2014 making 5 tackles along with 1 tackle for loss.

NOSE TACKLE

Travis Tuiloma (Scout 2*) should be the starter Friday night. The 6-2 285 sophomore played in all 13 games in 2013 totaling 12 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. In 2014 Tuiloma has started 3 of the first 4 games and he has recorded 4 tackles so far. The backup at NT is 6-2 308 Marques Johnson (Scout 2*). Johnson played in all 13 games as a junior in 2013 tallying 31 tackles. In 2014 the senior has started 1 of the 4 games that he has appeared in while being credited with 4 tackles on the season.

LINEBACKERS

(WEAK SIDE)

Athletic 6-7 265 junior Bronson Kaufusi (Scout 4*) returns to the lineup after missing the previous 2 games with an injury. As a sophomore in 2013 Kaufusi played in 13 games as a DE logging 37 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 1 interception that he returned for a touchdown, 1 forced fumble, 3 QB hurries, and 6 pass break ups. In 2014 Kaufusi has recorded 4 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 QB hurries in just 2 games. Senior Michael Alisa (Scout 2*) has moved over from the offensive side of the ball to earn a spot in his final season as a linebacker. The 6-1 228 former running back missed all but 4 games in 2013 with a knee injury earning himself a medical redshirt in the process. Alisa started the previous 2 games and has appeared in all 4 up to this point in 2014 logging 11 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble. In the event that Kaufusi is unable to play Friday night Sae Tautu (Scout 3*) will provide back up to Alisa. The 6-3 235 sophomore appeared in 8 games as a redshirt freshman in 2013 totaling a meager 2 tackles, and 0.5 tackles for loss. However Tautu is off to a good start in 2014 playing in 3 of 4 games while adding 7 tackles, and 1.5 tackles for loss.

(STRONG SIDE)

6-5 234 senior Alani Fua (Scout 3*) is in his second season as a starter on the byu defense. In 2013 Fua recorded 63 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions including one returned for a touchdown, 1 QB hurry, and 10 pass breakups, in 13 games. Fua is currently fourth on the team in tackles in 2014 having already tallied 24 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 3 QB hurries, and 1 pass breakup. His backup is heavily recruited true freshman Fred Warner (Scout 4*). As a high school senior in 2013 Warner was named to the All-Callifornia First Team by USA Today and earned Avocado East League Defensive Player of the Year, as well as being named the All-San Diego Section Defensive Player of the Year. At 6-3 220, Warner has already played in all 4 games in 2014 adding 6 tackles.

(MIDDLE)

Zac Stout (Scout 4*) a 6-1 235 senior has been plagued by injuries throughout his career. In fact Stout appeared in 10 games as a true freshman in 2010 and has only played in 5 games prior to the 2014 season since. Stout is hoping to erase all of that by having a solid final season. It's been so far so good in 2014 for Stout as he has started all four games thus far, leading the team in tackles with 27, while adding 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 pass breakup. A duo of players backup Stout. The first off the bench is 6-1 231 Teu Kautai (Scout 2*). The junior has nearly played in as many games in 2014 as he had in the previous 2 seasons combined. Kautai has already more than double his career totals by logging 8 tackles, and 2 pass breakups in 4 games in 2014. The second and final player vying for time at the middle linebackers spot is former Under Armor All-American RB Harvey Langi (Scout 4*). The recently returned LDS missionary seemed poised to return to the school he orginally signed with and played his freshman year for, The University of Utah. However, Langi had a late change of heart and he made his way a few miles down south to provo and has made the switch from offense to defense. In 2014 Langi has appeared in all 4 games but he has yet to record any stats.

(BUCK)

Listed as a co-starter and originally recruited as a fullback, starting Buck linebacker Jherremya Leuta-Douyere (Scout 3*) has made a successful move from the offensive side of the ball to the defense. Leuta-Douyere has appeared in 22 games over the past 2 seasons. Now as the starter in 3 of 4 games to kick-off 2014 season Leuta-Douyere has recorded 14 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 forced fumbles, 1 QB hurry, and 3 pass breakups. Also originally recruited as a fullback, Manoa Pikula (Scout 3*) made the move to defense as well, when the cougars began to make a change in offensive schematic philosophy. The move turned out to be a good one for the 6-1 235 junior as Pikula has appeared in 25 games prior to 2014. Pikula has made the most of his opportunities in 2014 starting 1 game and playing in all 4 contributing 14 tackles, and 1 tackle for loss.

CORNERBACKS

(FIELD CORNER)

Starter Michael Davis (Scout 2*) orginally came to byu intending to play WR. Following a rash of season ending injuries in the secondary during fall camp of 2013 Davis made the move to CB and it has paid off quite nicely for him. The the 6-2 181 sophomore played in 9 games in 2013 making 2 starts in 2013 recording 17 tackles, and 1 pass breakup as a true freshman. In 2014 Davis has started 3 of 4 games and he has already totaled 13 tackles, and 1 pass breakup. 5-10 189 senior Jordan Johnson (Scout 3*) returns to the two deep depth chart after missing the 2013 season with a knee injury. In 2012 as a sophomore Johnson was a solid contributor on defense as he appeared in 12 games adding 48 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery, and 15 pass breakups. In 2014 Johnson has played in 3 of 4 games including 1 start, making 6 tackles.

(BOUNDARY CORNER)

6-1 205 senior Robertson Daniel (Scout NR) is back for his final season. Originally recruited as a safety Daniel made the move to CB prior to the 2013 season where he ended up starting the entire year producing solid numbers contributing 66 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 9 pass breakups. Daniel was suspended for the season opening win at Connecticut but he has started the 3 games since adding 11 tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 3 pass breakups. 6-0 183 redshirt freshman Jordan Preator (Scout 2*) orginally came to byu with the intent of playing at safety however Preator made enough of an impression on the coaches early in fall camp and he earned a start at CB in his first collegiate game. Preator was subsequently injured in that game and missed the remainder of the season and redshirted. Back at full strength in 2014 Preator has played in all four games, starting 1 for the suspended Robertson Daniel, recording 9 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 2 pass breakups.

SAFETY

(KAT)

Dallin Leavitt (Scout 3*), a 5-11 200 sophomore is starter number 1 at the safety spot. Leavitt played in 13 games as a true freshman in 2013 making 17 tackles on the year. Now in 2014 as a starter in 3 of 4 games, Leavitt is fifth on the team in tackles with 20, while also contributing 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 QB hurry, and 1 pass breakup. Providing backup at the KAT spot is a combination of players in Nebraska transfer senior Harvey Jackson (Scout 4*) and sophomore Kai Nacua (Scout 2*). At 6-3 215 Jackson appeared in 35 games as a Cornhusker but he chose to move on following graduation and he seems to have found a home in provo. Jackson has played in all four games in 2014 adding 5 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 QB hurry, and 1 pass breakup. Nacua played as a true freshman in 2013 recording 10 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 2 pass breakups. Nacua has appeared briefly in all four games in 2014 but he has only managed to contribute 1 tackle up to this point.

(FREE)

Returning starter Craig Bills (Scout 4*) is back for 2014 manning the defensive backfield. The 6-1 210 Bills was rock solid in 2013 totaling 78 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, and 7 pass breakups. Bills is off to an even more impressive 2014 season coming in second on the team in tackles thus far with 26. Bills has also added 0.5 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, and 2 pass breakups. Backup Skye PoVey (Scout NR), is back for his final season at byu as well. PoVey had a solid 2013 junior season when he finished with 47 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, and 5 pass breakups. Although listed as a backup, the 6-0 200 senior has started 1 game in 2014 in place of Dallin Leavitt, and PoVey has played very, very well in all 4 games thus far, coming in third on the team in tackles with 25, while also logging 1 tackle for loss, and 1 pass breakup.

PUNTER

Senior Scott Arellano (Scout NR) is a returning starter at this spot for byu. The 6-1 187 former walk-on had a solid 2013 junior season punting 80 times for a 41.0 yard per kick average with a long of 73 yards. Arellano also landed 28 kicks inside the 20, with 13 50+ yard kicks, 19 punts fair caught, 10 touchbacks, and 3 of his kicks were blocked. In 2014 Arellano is fairing even better, averaging 47.2 yards per kick, landing 9 inside the 20, 8 50+ yard kicks, and 4 punts have been fair caught.

KICKER

Place Kicking in Division 1 football for the first time ever in 2014, 5-11 183 Trevor Samson (Scout NR) has done an admirable job. The walk-on senior has connected on 5 of 6 field goal attempts with a long of 37 yards, and is a perfect 19 of 19 on his extra point attempts.

Brian Phillips - Football Insider for UstateAggies.com


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