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Your DL has played a bit better than I expected as well, how do you see them matching up with FSU in running situations? Who has surprised you on the defensive line?
The defensive line has been more impressive then anyone thought. The rush defense for BYU has been solid as was able to stop Oklahoma's two 1,000 yard rushers to under sixty yards each in the opener. So far this year Florida State's rushing game has not been to impressive and BYU should be more concerned in the Seminoles passing game.
The BYU rush defense on the year has been good, they held the two Oklahoma 1,000 yard rushers to under 60 yards apiece in the opener. Also, BYU is giving up only 2.82 yards per carry which is 33rd in the nation. Those numbers may not stack up against Florida State because the Tulane game skews those numbers since they were passing from being behind formostof the game. The defenisve lineman that FSU needs to worry about is Vic So'oto who has been making plays and leads BYU with three tackles for loss this year, and also Jan Jorgensen who leads the defensive lines in tackles and is an all confernece defensive lineman.
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Last year BYU's defense. got torched by teams that made BYU defend a mobile QB (even if they chose not to run that QB), like TCU and Utah (and to a lesser extent Washington). Do you think BYU will improve against teams forcing BYU to defend the zone read and option plays? If so, why?
We really will not know the answer to that until game time. I do not think it was the mobile quarterback that was an issue it was the fact that BYU's secondary was terrible last year. They played at least six yards of the line of scrimmage in hopes to not get beat deep, so teams would then throw short passes and exploit that.
The BYU defense is much improved this year and seems to be faster by adding JUCO recruits and a better scheme with Jaime Hill calling the plays instead of head coach Bronco Mendenhall. It is hard to say how effective they will be because last year BYU was a slow defense. I have reservations that BYU will be this dominate all year, because against Oklahoma they were going against a rebuilt offensive line and Tulane offered no threat. While FSU has one of the most experienced offensive ines in the country and will be a big difference then Tulane and even Oklahoma.
Do you consider FSU a key game like Utah and TCU, or is FSU looked at a lower lvl team in the eye of most BYU fans.
I consider FSU just as big mainly because of the Florida State name with their history and that a school from the south is coming to Provo, Utah. We all know that this Seminole team is not the same as the mid to late nineties, however nationally people still think of FSU as a very good program. Even though the past few years have not been up to their past decades success. Part of the reason this game is possibly bigger then conference rivals TCU and Utah is that it is a game against an ACC team, and with the Mountain West trying to stake a claim on equal footing as the other BCS leagues a win goes a long way. While a loss will discredit what BYU has done because they are in the top 10 and currently FSU is not ranked.
Oklahoma's offensive line was very young, and OU's offense committed 11 penalties alone, for about 100 yards. It seemed from watching the film that OU was shooting themselves in the foot over and over again, putting themselves in disadvantageous situations rather than BYU putting them into those spots (of 28 1st down plays, only 3 were stopped for negative yardage). Do you feel that BYU's can beat a good offensive team if the other team doesn't self-destruct? The thinking being that every team should defend 3rd and long well. It is getting the opposing offense to 3rd and long that is difficult.
BYU did take advantage of Oklahoma's offensive penalties and mistakes, but BYU was able to get pressure and create turnovers. Also, in the Oklahoma game while the OU offensive line was inexperienced their replacements are all four and five star recruits BYU was able to out play them. Florida State is different since their offense is more experienced and also have good recruitng classes each year. BYU's defense will come in with some confidence with so far only allowing 17 points all year. However BYU's secondary can not be trusted until they paly a team with a good passing attack which Florida State has with over 600 yards in two games. BYU is better then last year in the secondary but look for Florida State to have some success in the passing game.
BYU seems to be pretty multiple on offense, lining up in two tight end-two back sets, and also running 5 wide receivers. What do you expect to see from BYU on Saturday, a smashmouth, ball control, play-action approach, or a wide open, put the game in max Hall's hands approach?
BYU is a passing team and sometimes they force the pass because they have Max Hall and good receviers in McKay Jacobson and TE Dennis Pitta. If RB Harvey Unga is fully healthy from his bum hamstring then look for BYU to run the ball more, because when healthy Unga is a very effecitve running back.
If Unga is not playing or being effective BYU will use JJ DiLugi and Bryan Kariya who have been good enough to get the job done. However, if Unga is not fully healthy BYU will revert to more of a pass attack and at times could rely too much on that which could hurt them. However, if BYU starts slinging the ball around they have improved in spreading the ball around, last week against Tulane Max Hall connected with eleven different players.