3. Cougar defender needing to step up

November 23, 2018

3. With Corbin Kaufusi out for the season, which BYU defensive player will need to step up and have a big game against Utah?

DICKSON: What made Kaufusi so valuable was his versatility. Whether dropping into coverage or rushing the passer, he was a 6-foot-9 utility knife for the Cougars. I think linebacker Sione Takitaki will have a big game, but he’ll need some help. I think Khyiris Tonga needs to have a dominant game in the middle to help take away the Utes run game. It’s time for Tonga to step up and show his NFL potential on Saturday.

LLOYD: No single player can replace everything that Corbin Kaufusi did for the Cougars, so a number of guys have to elevate their games. BYU has to be able to get pressure while still stopping the Utah run game, so I’m going to point to the middle of the Cougar defensive line as needing to make a lot of plays. I think Khyiris Tonga, Bracken El-Bakri, Zac Dawe and Merrill Taliauli have to be stone walls in the middle, making tackles at times, but more importantly tying up blockers and limiting running lanes. If the Cougar linebackers are free to come downhill, the Ute offense is going to control the game.

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