FRESNO, Calif. — When it comes to preparing to face Fresno State junior quarterback Marcus McMaryion, BYU coach Kalani Sitake and defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki know plenty about him.
Sitake and Tuiaki were coaching at Oregon State when McMaryion played for the Beavers before he transferred to Fresno State.
“I know his skills,” Sitake said. “He’s a great young man.”
This season, McMaryion has completed 99 of 154 passes for 1,294 yards with seven touchdowns and only one interception.
“He does a really good job. He gets the ball off on time, he reads coverages very well,” BYU safeties coach Ed Lamb said of McMaryion. “He has three receivers with excellent ball skills and some capable tight ends. It’s going to be a real challenge in the secondary.”
UNGA STEPS UP: BYU has been hit hard at the linebacker position this season. Last week, star Fred Warner went down with an injury and his status is unknown.
Junior Morgan Unga is trying to fill Warner’s big shoes and is expected to get the start if Warner can’t play Saturday. Unga had a team-high nine tackles last week against San Jose State.
“Morgan came in when Fred went out and he led the team in tackles,” said linebacker Butch Pau’u. “You’ve got to be proud of the guy. He played well. He was one of the top defensive performers last week.”
“He improved during the game. His tackling timing was a little off and he missed a couple of tackles,” said Lamb. “But he improved as the game went along. He does a tremendous job on special teams and on defense.”
A HOMECOMING OF SORTS: BYU linebacker Adam Pulsipher has been looking forward to this game at Fresno State.
His parents grew up in nearby Modesto and Merced, California.
“There’s a lot of family that will be in town,” Pulsipher said. “My grandparents still live in Modesto. It will be fun to see them and play in California.”