It stinks that he’s out, but they’re going to have guys that are ready to play and want to show themselves just as bad as he wanted to. —BYU tight end Matt Bushman on LSU's Arden Key
LSU star defensive end Arden Key has been ruled out of Saturdays game against BYU due to injury, which could serve as a blow to the Tigers' defense, given Key's prospects. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound junior set an LSU record with 12 sacks last season and is considered a top NFL draft prospect.
Arden's absence won't necessarily give BYU's offensive players much of a breather, though, at least according to freshman tight end Matt Bushman.
“I’m guessing they’re going to have a second-string (guy) that’s probably close to just as good as him,” Bushman said. “We can’t be like all, ‘OK, great, this guy’s out.’ It stinks that he’s out, but they’re going to have guys that are ready to play and want to show themselves just as bad as he wanted to.”
BUTCH BACK: BYU played without sophomore starting middle linebacker Butch Pau'u last week against Portland State, although his return against LSU is anticipated.
“We’re pretty confident that Butch will be ready to go, but the rest of the guys we’re still evaluating,” Sitake said. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I probably already said too much, even with Butch.”
One of those still being evaluated is tight end Moroni Laulu-Pututau, although Bushman indicated the junior tight end may miss some more time.
TALLYING TURNOVERS: The BYU defense was generally pleased with holding Portland State to just six points last week, but is focused on improving some aspects.
“Every series we were on the field talking about how we need a turnover,” said BYU senior linebacker Fred Warner. “It finally came at the very end of the game, when it kind of didn’t really — well, it mattered, but it could have been better early in the game. We always try and shoot for three, so we’re definitely going to need a lot of them (against LSU.)”
Fred Warner's younger brother, Troy, almost had an interception during the game and has received some grief for missing it.
“He’s heard it from everybody — obviously me, but that was more in the game,” Fred Warner said. “Our dad gave it to him, so he’s heard it from everybody.”
Troy Warner has played well for the Cougars since arriving as a freshman last season, although he's yet to tally his first turnover.
“He’s looking to get one against LSU. Maybe two,” Fred Warner said.