Boise State coaches said this week that “BYU always has big guys on the line.”
This year is no different, from the five interior defensive linemen listed on the depth chart weighing at least 299 pounds to sophomore defensive ends Moses Kaumatule (6-foot-2, 280 pounds) and Corbin Kaufusi (6-9, 270).
“They’re tough to move. We do have a tough challenge in front of us,” Boise State co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Scott Huff said.
The Broncos have withstood most of their difficult tasks on the offensive line, allowing six sacks through six games. Last season, in 13 games, they allowed 31 sacks. Junior running back Jeremy McNichols is on pace for a 1,500-yard regular season.
“They are a good line, and they are coached very well,” BYU defensive end Sae Tautu said. “I think their technique is a little different than some of the other lines we’ve seen. I’m glad I was able to see that on film early in the week. They are good players, and we have to respect them.”
Tautu has 4.5 of the Cougars’ 14 sacks. They are 29th nationally against the run, allowing 131.1 yards per game, or 3.5 per carry.
In preparation for BYU, which had four sacks and seven tackles for loss in last year’s game, the Broncos will have their usual starting five on the line.
Junior center Mason Hampton missed two games before returning Saturday against Colorado State. His absence forced guard Steven Baggett to move to center, tackle Mario Yakoo to guard and gave redshirt freshman John Molchon his first career starts at tackle.
“Losing Mason for those two games ... he was playing really good football. To have to move those guys, I was really proud of how they handle that. To get Mason back last week and get things settled back down was nice,” Huff said.