May 21, 2013

Behind Enemy Lines: BYU

Work took me out to Salt Lake City last week. On these trips most people don't know where the heck Charlottesville is, however this trip was a different story, and got me some insight into our opening game against BYU. For those of you that don't know, BYU and the University of Utah are HUGE rivals, and aside from the Jazz there is nothing but these two in Salt Lake. They hate each other. Anyway back to us. One of the guys I was meeting with was a huge Utes fan and not only knew where Charlottesville was and that there is a college there, but also knew we were playing BYU in our first game. Despite my persistent mentioning of how unpredictable we are on the field, he gave me some keys to beating BYU, which I will share with you all now.

Tip 1: Kyle Van Noy is No Joke:
Literally the first question I was asked was "How are your tackles?" Van Noy apparently is a surefire first round pick. BYU is known for their defense over the last few years, including producing Pierce's new favorite player Ziggy Ansah. But Van Noy apparently is the best of all the prospects they've turned out. From his outside linebacker position Van Noy is solid in coverage, and a machine getting to the QB. In the Poinsettia Bowl Van Noy showed out with 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, an interception, a blocked punt and two touchdowns. WHAT? UVA will need to keep him in check. This will be a good early season test for Big Mo.

Tip 2: The Taysom Hill Hype Machine
When we got to talking about the BYU QB it sounded a ton like listening to one of us describe Logan Thomas. Taysom Hill is being hyped up as the next Steve Young coming out of Provo. However he does have a balky knee. This should be an interesting test for the high pressure defense. Getting a ton of hits on this kid will be key to shaking his confidence.

Tip 3: BYU O-Line is Replacing a Lot of Guys
This sounds familiar! Apparently the inner OL in Provo is going through a ton of changes, and we should look to attack them up the middle.

So what should we make of this? Well this is a game that sets up as a defensive struggle. If we play well, this is the kind of game that will make us love the new defense. From what I gathered, the key to the game on defense will be getting pressure on Taysom Hill, and keeping him contained.  The more mistakes we can get Hill to make the better. I'm sure Fairchild and TOB are already scheming up a way to try to take Van Noy out of the game. Containing him is going to be a huge key.

Not sure how I am feeling going into this game, but I'm slowly getting more confident.

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