College Football News Preview 2020: BYU Cougars

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

College Football News Preview 2020: BYU Cougars

BYU

College Football News Preview 2020: BYU Cougars

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4. College Football News Preview 2020: BYU Cougars Defense 3 Things To Know

– There defense was okay, but it was hardly the rock – especially against the run – that it was in 2018. The pass rush wasn’t there and the secondary was spotty, but it was young group that went through the growing pains – 14 of the top 16 tackles are expected to be back.

The linebacking corps should be one of the team’s biggest strengths. Leading tackler Kavika Fonua is back in the middle coming off an 83-tackle season, but the 6-0, 205-pounder is built like a safety. So is third-leading tackler Isaiah Kaufusi on the outside, but 6-3, 235-pound sophomore Payton Wilgar is a thumper on the inside.

This is a DEEP group that can easily get creative with the alignments – leading tackler-for-loss guy Chaz Ah You has to be on the field.

The defensive line has plenty of options to be fine, but the pass rushers have to emerge around 6-4, 321-pound Khyiris Tonga on the nose. No one came up with more than two sacks, and that means senior Uriah Leiataua needs to rise up on the outside, and 6-4, 305-pound Lorenzo Fauatea has to be more active at his tackle spot.

– The defense has a whole lot of depth, experience and talent among the front seven, and the secondary has that, too. It just has to do a little work.

The situation is hardly a problem, though, with 6-2, 200-pound Zayne Anderson back somewhere – either safety or linebacker – after being in-and-out of the mix over the last two years.

D’Angelo Mandel is a veteran corner on one side, and 6-2, 195-pound Chris Wilcox is back after missing almost all of last year to potentially take over on the other. Getting back Isiah Herron – who flirted with the transfer portal – is a help.

NEXT: College Football News Preview 2020: Top BYU Cougars Players

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