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[30 Jul 2014 | | ]

No.4–MLB Austin Heder
The return of Zac Stout (6-2, 217 Jr.) at mike linebacker following his dismissal from school in 2012 is big for BYU football this year, and so is the return of Austin Heder (6-1, 241 So.) from his mission in Montreal, Canada.
The two of them create what should be a very solid 1-2 punch in the middle of the BYU defense, with Heder being more than capable as Stout’s back up after make a contribution on the offensive side of the ballĀ  prior to his mission.
As a true …

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[30 Jul 2014 | | ]
Key BYU RMs to Watch: Ului Lapuaho

No. 3–OT Ului Lapuaho
He’s big. He’s athletic. And he’s just what the doctor ordered for a BYU offensive line that has struggled the past few years.
Though he’s a true freshman, expect offensive tackle Ului Lapuaho (6-7, 320 Fr.) to make a big impact this coming season.
He’s listed as the back up to De’Ondre Wesley (6-7, 330 Sr.) going into fall camp, but don’t be surprised if he works his way into the starting line up on either the left or right side before the season is over.
During national signing day …

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[30 Jul 2014 | | ]
Key BYU RMs to Watch: Travis Tuiloma

No. 2–NT Travis Tuiloma
BYU is hoping that Travis Tuiloma (6-2, 320 So.) can team with Marques Johnson (6-2, 308 Sr.) to provide a solid rotation at the all-important nose tackle position.
In the 3-4 defense that Mendenhall employs, a two-gap nose that can hold his position and gobble up blockers is a necessity.
If the nose tackle gets pushed around, it not only opens up the running game for the opponent, but also has the effect of collapsing the entire defense as it looks for ways to shut down the run in …

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[30 Jul 2014 | | ]
Key BYU RMs to Watch: Graham Rowley

No. 1–DE Graham Rowley
The return of Graham Rowley (6-4, 280 Jr.) from the mission field to Chicago allows BYU coaches to move Bronson Kausfusi (6-7, 263 Jr.) to outside linebacker for 2014.
Rowley played two seasons for the Cougars in 2010 and 2011 before choosing to serve a mission.
He was forced to burn his redshirt season when Romney Fuga was knocked out for the year against Nevada in 2010 and Manumaleuna was moved from defensive end to nose tackle. He ended up playing eight games that season as a back up.
As …

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[28 Jul 2014 | | ]
Preseason Preview: BYU vs. Utah State

BYU should be well rested when it faces in-state rival Utah State on a Friday night in week six of the 2014 college football season.
The Cougar have a bye week leading up to the game, while Utah State will be operating on a short week following a road contest at Arkansas State.
BYU has won 13 of the last 14 games in this long-time series, including last season’s 31-14 victory in Logan. Since 1975, the Cougars have dominated the rivalry, going 29-4 against the Aggies.
Last season’s game was highlighted by Kyle …

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[25 Jul 2014 | | ]
Preseason Preview: BYU vs. Virginia

BYU’s home game against Virgina in week four of the 2014 season is an opportunity for the Cougars to redeem themselves following last season’s disappointing loss to the Cavaliers.
Despite outgaining UVA by 140 yards, the Cougars left a rain-soaked Scott Stadium on the wrong end of a 19-16 decisions.
The Cavaliers would not win another game against an FBS Division-1 opponent the rest of the season, finishing with a 2-10 record.
The Cougars stumbled out of the gate in their first game implementing Robert Anae’s new fast-tempo, read-option offense.
A deluge of rain, …

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[21 Jul 2014 | | ]
Preseason Preview: BYU vs. Houston

BYU and Houston put on a show at Reliant Stadium in this game last season, rolling up a combined 1,164 yards of total offense.
In the end, the Cougars in blue prevailed 47-46 in one of the more entertaining games of the 2013 season when Taysom Hill found Skyler Ridley in the endzone for an 11-yard touchdown strike with 1:08 remaining.
BYU linebacker Alani Fua then sealed the deal by picking off Houston quarterback John O’Korn with 42 second to go.
Hill had his best passing day of the year, throwing for 417 …

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[20 Jul 2014 | | ]
Preseason Preview: BYU vs. Texas

This contest is a rematch from last season’s game in Provo that was dominated by BYU 40-21.
The Cougars set a school record, trampling the Longhorns for 550 yards on the ground, including 259 by quarterback Taysom Hill. It was also the most yards given up on the ground in the proud history of Texas football.
BYU leads the all-time series between the two schools 3-1 and has outscored the Longhorns by an average score of 31-15 in those four games. The lone Texas victory in the series came in Austin three …

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[14 Jul 2014 | | ]
Preseason Preview: BYU vs. UConn

BYU opens the 2014 football season on Aug. 29 in East Hartford, Conn. against the UConn Huskies.
Both programs will be looking to get off to a better start than last year. The new Cougar offense sputtered in a 19-16 loss at Virgina to start the 2013 season, while the Huskies were completely embarrassed in a 33-18 home loss to FCS member Towson.
BYU is in its second year of implementing its go-fast, go hard offense and expects to make significant strides in execution and red zone scoring. The Cougars return most …

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[10 Jul 2014 | | ]
BYU Football: Casting Defensive Shadows

During media day last month, BYU defensive coordinator Nick Howell discussed one of my favorite subjects–defensive length.
While speed and quickness has long been recognized as integral to a great defensive team, the subject of overall height or length is sometimes over looked.
BYUtv host Dave McCann noted that BYU will field the tallest pair of starting outside linebackers in the country, and perhaps one of the tallest and largest overall rotations at those key positions on the defense.
A lack of length is something that cannot be simply made up for with …