BYU, USU football: Breaking down the Cougar offense vs. Aggie defense

Published: Thursday, Oct. 3 2013 2:00 p.m. MDT

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By Williams

When Gary Andersen left Utah State for Wisconsin, many thought that the Aggie defense would take a hit. New defensive coordinator Todd Orlando kept a lot of the same principles that made USU a great defense in 2012 and has kept the Aggies in the upper echelon of defenses.

Week to week the defense has gotten better against the run. In week one against Utah, the Aggies allowed just 3.36 yards, a mark that has decreased every week. Last week San Jose State mustered just 101 yards of rushing offense on 35 attempts (2.89 yards per carry) in a 40-12 blowout.

The linebackers are the star in USU’s base 3-4 defense. Middle linebackers Jake Doughty and Zach Vigil lead the team with 50 and 46 tackles respectively. Outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell will move around the formation and spend a lot of time on the line of scrimmage and can make big plays, leading the team with six tackles for loss and two fumbles forced.

Safety Maurice Alexander is a converted linebacker and might see some more time near the line of scrimmage if the Aggies decide to load the box. The Aggies will rotate a lot of defensive linemen, but rarely do they show up in the box score. B.J. Larsen, Paul Piukala and the rest of the D-line focus on taking up blockers to let the talented linebackers make the majority of the plays.
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Gorum The Old
Madison, AL

This is the first time that we'll be able to see Hoffman at 100% this season. I think that is going to make A (though maybe not THE) differense.

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