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Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
BYU linebacker Morgan Unga blocks a punt from UMass Minutemen place kicker Logan Laurent during game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016.

PROVO — Having to fill in for injured players has been an unfortunate theme for the BYU football team this year, with the latest player stepping in being outside linebacker Morgan Unga. What has been fortunate is when players, such as Unga, step in and peform admirably.

Unga replaced injured outside linebacker Fred Warner during BYU's 41-20 win over San Jose State last week, and he earned praise from both coaches and players.

"You're seeing them step up," said BYU junior linebacker Butch Pau'u. "Morgan came in when Fred was out, and he led the team in tackles. So you've got to be proud of the guy. He played well, and he was one of the top defensive performers for the team this past week."

Pau'u mentioned freshman Isaiah Kaufusi as another option to fill in if Warner can't play this Saturday when BYU travels to take on Fresno State.

"The only thing we expect is for them to fill their role," Pau'u said. "Yeah, (they) may not be able to fill their role as well as Fred Warner, but you can do the job, and that's all we want to win the game."

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney