Kneauxing the Enemy
Brigham Young is a football independent. Their other teams participate in the West Coast Conference. They opened the season with a 20-7 victory over FCS opponent Portland State last Saturday.
The Cougars are missing dual threat quarterback Taysom Hill and running back Jamaal Williams who finished their eligibility last year. The two accounted for over 6700 yards rushing combined in their careers at BYU.
Brigham Young has four starters returning on their offensive line. Senior Tejan Koroma returns at center. Tuni Kanuch and Keyan Norman are senior returning guards. Sophomore Thomas Shoaf, a freshman All-American, returns at one of the tackles.
Junior Tanner Mangum is the starting quarterback. He started 12 games in 2015 as a freshman. He was 16-27 passing for 194 yards and a touchdown against Portland State. Mangum completed passes to 10 different receivers last Saturday. Three of the tosses were to freshman tight end Matt Bushman for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Junior running back Squally Canada ran for 98 yards and a touchdown last Saturday. Sophomore Talon Shumway ran for 59 yards last week.
Senior Fred Warner, and juniors Francis Bernard and Butch Pau’u are three returning starters at the linebacker positions. Warner had 10 tackles, seven solos, against Portland State. Sophomore Addison Pulpisher, listed as a 6-5, 270 outside linebacker, had seven tackles last Saturday. Pulpisher had extensive playing time one year ago.
The Cougars return two starters at the cornerback positions. They are sophomores Dayan Ghanwoloku and Troy Warner. Senior Mike Hanneman returns at safety.
Brigham Young lost seven experienced defensive linemen from their squad last season, but they return five players with starting experience. It sounds like Wisconsin last year, a lot of guys with no huge stats, but a lot of playing time.
In 2016 the BYU defense was second nationally with 31 turnovers gained, and ninth in rushing defense, allowing 112.85 yards rushing per game.
Brigham Young did not look good against Portland State, but they have one game to examine themselves. The Purple and Gold may possibly be facing an evolving team, so they must be careful, and be ready for anything.