BYU Football Roundtable – Defensive Discussion

We wanted to try something a little different as this off-season is getting underway.  We asked ten questions of some of our Cougar contributors about the state of the BYU football program as well as what they say in 2012 and hope to see in 2013.

This group will be familiar to many of you, but just in case you need a refresher, here it is: Matt Quinney, Carl Behunin, Mike Livingston, Don MacArthur, and new-comer Scott Gower.

We will post one question with each response every day for the next ten weekdays.  Make sure to check in every day to get your BYU Cougars update from our roundtable of Cougar faithful.

BYU LOGO6.  Lets talk about the defense:

  1. Who played the biggest part in this season’s defense and why?
  2. Who can be 2013’s shining star for the defense (aside from Kyle Van Noy)?
  3. Will Kyle Van Noy be around to anchor this defensive unit in 2013?

Carl Behunin:

  1. BYU LinebackersWait for it, here it comes, Brandon Freaking Ogletree!  You thought I was going to say KVN didn’t you?  I like guys in the trenches that are dependable, have a knack for being around the football, and largely let their play tell you they’re a good player rather than their antics.  Ogletree was that guy, leading the team in tackles.  Furthermore, I believe it was Ogletree’s superior play at his position that allowed for KVN, Ansah and others to shine.
  2. Truthfully, I’m not sure who can shine and I think this question will not be answered until game 3 or 4 of next season.  There is no player taking the reins right now.  But Spencer Hadley and Devin Unga are currently my frontrunners for outstanding defensive athlete for next season.
  3. Considering his showcase game in the Poinsettia Bowl, KVN will be head to the draft like Hoffman.  Likewise, he’ll get reports about the draft and I figure if he’s projected 4th round or higher, he’s a goner.  Of course, fans wish him and all our potential draftees the best in their future with the NFL and hope their journeys are not as tumultuous as Austin Collie’s.

Don MacArthur:

  1. ZiggyThe linebackers as a group, and KVN in particular is the obvious choice, but I think the MVP on defense was Ziggy.  When you think about what he was able to do and the disaster that was averted due to injuries because he was able to step in as a major force…it was damn impressive.
  2. Jordan Johnson, Craig Bills, Alani Fua, Spencer Hadley, Bronson Kafusi…there are a lot of studs that could excel next season.
  3. I don’t think he will stay.  Hoping I am wrong.

Matt Quinney:

  1. The easy answer(s) is/are Kyle Van Noy and Ziggy Ansah, but I think the best answer is Brandon Ogletree.  He was the rock of the defense and his season may have earned him some new interest at the NFL level.  He wasn’t the most talented but because of the scheming to keep Van Noy and Ansah out of the plays, Ogletree played a crucial role in keeping the defense strong all season.
  2. PikulaWell since Ansah, Ogletree, and Uona Kaveinga are all graduating, that doesn’t leave a lot of room.  I would put the onus for defensive anchor on the shoulders of DLs Eathyn Manumaleuna and DL Bronson Kaufusi to control the line of scrimmage and keep the opposing offenses in front of them, as well as LB Manoa Pikula to join Spencer Hadley and Kyle Van Noy in the line backing crew to continue to being the strength of the defense.
  3. Well, on December 31, he announced he was staying due to unfinished business at BYU.  Whatever that means for him it is good news for Cougar fans in 2013.

Mike Livingston:

BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall

Preseason I would have said KVN would have been the make or break player this year.  I honestly think the beauty of this defense is it was absolutely a team effort.  BYU is missing Sampson but the front 7 is as good as we’ve ever had. Bronco gets the credit as the standout for the ’12 success.

Scott Gower:

  1. KVN IIKyle Van Noy. KVN has been my favorite defensive player for quite some time. He does so much and is so versatile. He does everything for BYU. In fact, he actually typed this up for me. I’m so excited he’s coming back.
  2. Outside of KVN, I’m excited to see what Eathyn Malemaleuna can do if he’s able to get the extra year of eligibility. If he’s able to get healthy and stay healthy in 2013, it’ll really help keep the defense from dropping off too much from this year.
  3. Yes.
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