Last Saturday was a tough loss for Cougar fans across the nation. Down in Jacksonville, Florida the Wolford family watched as the Cougar defense nearly shut down a talented Texas team for an entire half of play.
“I love how disciplined and how tough Coach Mendenhall has that defense playing up there at BYU,” said Wolford. “We play a similar defense here and it’s similar to the Steeler defense. I thought they played well, especially during the first half when they basically posed their will over Texas.
“Then the second half Texas started getting the ball rolling a little bit and BYU lost the game barely, but overall I thought BYU played a really good game and did an excellent job. I thought the defense did a fantastic job, and once we can really pick up the offense I think this team will be unstoppable. It’s just unfortunate they couldn’t pick up the win like they did against Ole Miss.”
Wolford was impressed with BYU’s hard-hitting and aggressive approach to stopping the Longhorns’ run game.
“I love the fact that they are aggressive and that team hits hard,” Wolford said. “They are very well coached and so technically sound. I thought the defense was put into a few bad situations, but they really held their ground most of the time and I really like BYU’s style of play.”
Wolford has been watching and taking notes on BYU middle linebacker Uona Kaveinga.
“It was a tough situation, but I was watching Kaveinga play in the middle and he’s doing a great job making a lot of tackles,” Wolford said. “I'm really excited for the chance to play in the middle of a defense like that and have been really focusing on the middle linebackers. Kaveinga has played great the past two games and had that forced fumble against Ole Miss and that was key. Then [Brandon] Ogletree was playing great before he had his injury, but then Spencer Hadley stepped in and has been playing great and had a very good game against Texas.
“I'm really impressed with the linebackers and how they’ve played. I think Hadley was one of the leading tacklers on the defense against Texas.
“I can’t wait to be a part of it and BYU has a great tradition with their linebackers. Coach Tidwell and Coach Mendenhall do such a great job of teaching and molding great players at the linebacker position. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Wolford and his younger quarterback brother John, who is a rising star in the state of Florida, have watched Jake Heaps and the Cougar offense. Although the offense has yet to find its groove, Wolford sees a lot of potential in it.
“I think Jake Heaps is doing a great job actually,” Wolford said. “I just think they need to find some consistency in their run game. I think Jake’s thrown in rhythm and when he’s on he’s very difficult to stop. They have some good receivers like Ross Apo, who is only a freshman.
“I think once that offense gets going the defense will continue to perform even better than they are, but right now they’re doing a phenomenal job. It’s just once that offense gets rolling, they’re going to be really, really difficult to stop.
“My brother has been following BYU quite a bit. It’s a little bit different than the style of offense we run here. We run a spread offense and there are some spread elements within BYU’s offense with some pro-style in there, and he’s used to both systems. He’s watched Heaps and said how great his throwing motion is, and how well his decision making is when he throws the ball. My brother is impressed and intrigued by BYU offense.”
Next week, BYU will face rival Utah. It appears Wolford understands the rivalry between the two schools, and he made a bold prediction for the game.
Upon being asked who would win, he said, “Oh, the Cougars, and you know they’re going to win. Utah doesn’t even have a chance against BYU, not at all. They don’t have a chance against BYU. I bet BYU’s offense picks it up this week and gets rolling. I would say BYU wins 31-7, is my pick. Utah doesn’t have a chance against BYU and I just have a feeling their offense is going to come alive. When it does, and I believe it will, I don’t think Utah will have much of a chance.”