“We’re ready,” said senior leader Cameron Jensen regarding the defense that he leads. “I’ve been real happy with our progression throughout camp so far and just having that continue and improve every day is what Saturday will be. I like where we’re at.”
Since the last scrimmage, the BYU offense added more wrinkles to their attack, and the defense has had to adjust. Jensen and the rest of the defense is aware that opponents starting with Arizona are likely to throw new stuff at them with every week. Jensen also knows that the offense he faces in practice will be one of the top offensive units in the country this year.
“We’re going against the best every day,” said Jensen, “but we’re doing better matching up against them every day. We have confidence. We have a great defense.”
In the last week, linebacker Kelly Poppinga has emerged as a defensive playmaker. He continued to shine today by causing quarterback hurries while also recording a sack and pass deflection.
“Kelly’s great,” said Jensen. “He’s one of eight guys we have at linebacker who are as good as anyone and could be starters. We have eight guys who can bring it and dominate, and I’m confident in all of them.”
Fronting Jensen and his linebackers will be a group of defensive linemen who seemingly get better every day. Most of the media attention has been directed toward the surprising play of the newcomers, but they are not the only ones who are doing well. The returning players, such as Jan Jorgensen, are stepping it up, too.
“I’m a lot better than I was in the spring,” said Jorgensen. “I’ve added weight, I’m bigger, and I’m faster. I feel much more comfortable, and I feel that I’ll raise my level of play. We’re deep and we’re doing well.”
On the other side of the ball, John Beck’s goals for tomorrow are simple: ”Just move the ball and score touchdowns. That’s what we’re going to be aiming for tomorrow and for the rest of the season. It’s time to open the play-book and move the ball the best we know how.”
Several members of the defense expressed disappointment that Beck and the offense did not air it out much, but chose instead to throw underneath to check-off receivers for most of the scrimmage. Beck knows about the discontent, but believes that the defense better be careful what they ask for.
“The defense has been great; they’ve definitely been better,” said Beck. “They can pick their poison though. If they want us to go bombs, then we’ll go bombs. They’ll see it if they want it tomorrow. Just pick your poison.”
Get one year of Sports Illustrated magazine when you subscribe or
upgrade to a TotalBlueSports.com annual
Total Access Pass.
For a limited time any
non-subscriber who signs up for a new annual Total Access Pass subscription, OR
any monthly subscriber who upgrades to an annual Total Access Pass will also
receive a one-year subscription (56 issues) to Sports Illustrated (a $39.95
value) and a $15 gift certificate to WhatIfSports.com. This is an incredible offer!!