Assuming the mantle: BYU linebacker Manoa Pikula embracing role as defensive leader

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  • Taysom4Heisman Heber City, UT
    July 2, 2014 11:39 p.m.


    You just took away the small amount of credibility that you had left with that comment. Craig Bills is good, but Bronson, Alani, Rob, and Jordan are all on his level, if not better.

    For you to say that 8-4 is the most BYU can do this season is ridiculous, considering we had an 8-4 regular season record last year against a much tougher schedule with a much younger team.

    Remember the things you said in that comment and then look back on it at the end of the year. I guarantee you it will turn out to be wrong.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    July 2, 2014 8:00 p.m.

    While I appreciate your concern for BYUs defense it's obvious you don't know anything about it's players who are very talented with a decent amount of depth (mostly 4 & 3 star guys, heavily recruited...but ya, Utah didn't want Warner or Hinds, right? Lol). That's ok, none of us looked upon you as a BYU expert anyway, even if you do read and make multiple comments on every BYU article like your cousin Chris.

    Btw Chris, Utah has plenty of Wyoming-type talent which is why they will never win a conference championship and will be lucky to ever sniff the upper half of their league. A MWC team with MWC talent will never compete with the big boys...being in their conference means precious little when they do nothing but slap you around.

  • Old But Not Stupid Moorpark, CA
    July 2, 2014 4:30 p.m.

    Ahhh U-Pac and Chris B.

    The sages of the Crimson Crew spewing their venom and left handed compliments.

    For example, "Michael, I disagree. byu has D1 caliber players filling the vacant spots.
    They just aren't power 5 conference calibers. But still D1. Like Wyoming."

    So the Utes have power 5 caliber players? In reality they have lower tier power 5 caliber players as evidenced by their repeatedly dwelling in or near the PAC-12 cellar.

    Are you folks ever gonna acknowledge that each of the power 5 conferences have 1/3 to 1/2 of their programs who play at a mid-major quality level, if that?

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    July 2, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    @ 8-4 or most likely 7-5 is all that BYU can do this season

    You serious, Clark? BYU should win 10 games this year without even trying.

  • R.A.W St George, Utah
    July 2, 2014 3:45 p.m.


    I'm not sure how you arrived at those conclusions... BYU has a very experienced secondary and Pikula, Fua, and Stout have all seen a lot of playing time at LB. Plus we have two 4 star LB's waiting in the wings in Warner and Hinds. The only weakness I see on the defense is the D-Line with Kaufusi moving to LB. But with some returned missionaries and incoming Freshman we should have good depth at every position on defense. Last season both projected starters at CB were out for the season and we still managed to go 8-5 with a much stronger schedule.

    The offense returns 8 starters including 4/5 O-lineman. With an improved line, 1 year of experience, and a great supporting cast, I think Hill has a great season and BYU's offense ends up in the top 25. If Hill goes down than obviously there will be a big drop off in production.

    Outside of Texas and maybe UCF I think BYU will be favored in every game. As Utah fans love to point out, the 2014 schedule is pretty weak and I think BYU goes 9-3 or better and finishes the season ranked.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    July 2, 2014 3:40 p.m.


    Michael, I disagree. byu has D1 caliber players filling the vacant spots.

    They just aren't power 5 conference calibers. But still D1. Like Wyoming.

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    July 2, 2014 1:10 a.m.

    Last year coach Mendenhall didn't spend as much time with the defense and it showed. This year coach Mendenhall is spending more time with the offensive line and even less time with the defense. Last year their defense slipped from the high ranking they had in 2012, and I fear that they will slip even more now that several star defenders have graduated. I really wish Mendenhall would show some confidence in his offensive coaches and give them the space needed to get their jobs done without his micromanaging their positions, but I suppose that he feels that he is better qualified to coach every position on the team, on both sides of the ball. I also wonder if the special teams shouldn't also be coached by Mendenhall, because they were miserable last year, and he is the best qualified coach on the bench!!!

  • Taysom4Heisman Heber City, UT
    July 1, 2014 11:29 p.m.

    The outside linebackers often get so much attention and credit for making big plays. And they absolutely deserve it.

    But we have also been cranking out inside linebackers.

    Cameron Jensen
    Kelly Poppinga
    Brandon Ogletree
    Uona Kaveinga
    Uani Unga
    Spencer Hadley (sometimes outside)

    I know there are a few other decent ones in the last few years like Staffieri, Bowman, and Doman, but I don't consider them to be great. But the 6 I mentioned in the other list are guys who flat out dominated opponents.

    I see the linebackers and secondary being very good, but I have questions on the D-line.

    -Rowley was decent but not great before his mission, and now he has to get back to football.
    -Peck is also solid but really not much of a game-changer.
    -Tuiloma is fresh off a mission and very inexperienced.
    -Johnson is experienced but not a great athlete.

    We've had some pretty great D-lines over the last few years, and have had some awesome individual athletes.

    I'm not trying to look at it negatively, but I just don't see a great line this season.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    July 1, 2014 10:25 p.m.

    I am hoping the squad wears down opposing offenses without wearing down themselves. It should be a special and memorable year if BYU can pull off its best season since...just go out there and pile up amazing stats and win each game!!

    Can't wait for the season to start.

  • J Poll Gilford, NH
    July 1, 2014 7:59 p.m.

    I hope he's right about this defense and that he really elevates his game to a very high level. Especially since he's a Junior. On paper they are the best crew in a while if not ever.

  • R.A.W St George, Utah
    July 1, 2014 7:58 p.m.

    Looking forward to seeing what Pikula and the rest of the defense can do this season. With possibly the strongest secondary in BYU's history and a solid LB corp and Defensive line, the defense should shut down opponents. Now we just need the offense to find it's legs and we could end up with an 11 win season or better, and finish ranked in the top 15. With most starters returning we would be in great position to make a run for the playoffs in 2015.