San Diego State’s premiere senior linebacker Kirk Morrison is the gap “smacker.” Give him a lane to make a backfield tackle and he is there.
BYU’s designated lead “bammer” is fullback Moa Peaua, who seeks to inflict pain on opposing linebackers and defensive linemen as he opens gaps for his running back. As evidenced by his sterling play-blocking, Peaua is like a freight train leading the way.
Both Morrison and Peaua are unyielding forces destined to literally butt heads Saturday on the field of battle; the $64,000 question is who’s gonna be making pancakes and who’s gonna eat them?
It’s 6-0, 280 pounds of “Tongan Power” brawn versus 6-4, 240 pounds of tough tenacity. It’s pain vs. hurt. It’s power vs. strength. Its hard assets vs. durable dominance. It’s will vs. might. It’s smack vs. Bamm.
One of my favorite hobbies is using my Apple G5 to create clips of BYU highlights to music and commentary audio clips. My latest effort was to find every highlight of Moa Peaua pounding through holes and assemble them all on one highlight reel.
It turned out to be one of my best efforts. Upon finishing it, I called together my primary audience, my youngest sons, Ty and Brandon. At 8 and 10 years old, I wasn’t sure they could appreciate a highlight real of a great lead blocker. But it became readily apparent in just a few short minutes that they could value and understand the efforts of a trained and motivated bruiser.
My eight-year-old has now decided his SECOND favorite player is No. 1 (Todd Watkins), and his favorite is now No. 44 (Moa Peaua). They watched the tape over and over again, laughing out loud and reacting to every bone-crushing block.
Morrison comes into Saturday’s matchup with a six-game streak of double figure tackling, including 10 against Utah last week. He also comes in as a Top 12 finalist for the Butkus Award (country’s top linebacker).
He is part of a three-man linebacking wrecking crew that has played nearly 100 games together. Between them, they have combined for nearly 900 tackles. It’s conceivable the threesome could close the year with a career 1,000 tackles. They also have over 100 tackles for a loss, including almost 40 sacks, 22 forced fumbles, 30 pass break-ups and six interceptions.
Morrison surprised many by coming back to San Diego State for his senior year. Many thought he would leave for the draft after his junior year. Now, one of his main goals for the year is upon him: defeating Brigham Young University.
Most would agree that Peaua’s gridiron highlights over the last few weeks have been a key part of BYU’s running success of late. After spending hours editing him into my highlight video, I consider myself an “expert” and here’s my self-proclaimed expert assessment.
It’s hard to find one episode of spar between Peaua and an opponent where Moa doesn’t get the best of his man. I would estimate he dominated more than 90 percent of his encounters with his adversaries of all sizes, shapes, creed and color.
I’m not talking push-around dominance; I’m talking pancake dominant.
There’s no guarantee that Morrison and Peaua will engage each other in Saturday’s game, but it’s highly likely. When it happens, it will be fun to watch.
Something or someone will have to give on Saturday and my bet is on blue.
© copyright by TotalBlueSports.com