One great defensive play saved the game last night.
— Dave Noriega (@davenoriega) November 7, 2015
A great defensive play can win a game. A great defensive player can change the momentum in a game and change the course of a season. It’s only been four years since KVN showed us how much offensive firepower a defensive player could have as he stole the show in the 2012 Poinsettia Bowl. In that game he was the defensive MVP, but they could have given him the offensive MVP award as well as he scored more points than any other player. In that game he had several quarterback hurries, 3.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble he scooped up for a TD, a blocked punt, and an interception returned for another TD.
In the 2012 season KVN had 22 tackles for loss for 120 yards, 13 sacks for another 90 yards, two interceptions for 26 yards, and six forced fumbles and two blocked punts accounting for even more yardage lost for the opposing teams. In all he was responsible for over 250 lost yards in what may be considered the most impressive defensive season ever recorded by a Cougar.
This season the defense has really stepped up their game, so I decided to check out the stats to see if any player was making a KVN-esque kind of impact. Here’s what I found…
- The leading tackler on the team right now was last night (this morning)’s hero: Michael Wadsworth, who has 58 total tackles
- The entire team currently has a fantastic 66 tackles for loss accounting for 238 yards
- The team also has 30 sacks for 165 yards
- Bronson Kaufusi leads in both those categories with 8.5 TFL (41 yards) and 6.0 sacks (36 yards). He also has an interception, four quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, and two blocked kicks. Not quite KVN numbers, but they aren’t too far off either.
- There are four other players with 5+ tackles for loss and 3+ sacks (Warner, Langi, Tautu, Takitaki)
- Kai Nacua has four interceptions for 76 yards and five pass breakups
- Michael Davis leads the team with eight pass breakups
- The team has more blocked kicks (three) than forced fumbles (two), and an impressive (for BYU) 11 total interceptions
And that’s all, just wanted to put a few defensive statistics out there. Now let’s see what the Men’s basketball team can do on the defensive side tonight.