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BYU's uptempo offense taking its toll on Van Noy, defense
Another day, another honor for BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Monday, Van Noy was named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award. Tuesday, Van Noy was named one of 16 candidates for the Bednarik Award, which goes to the most outstanding defensive player in college football.
Van Noy is also a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT trophy.
This season, Van Noy has recorded four sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 11 quarterback hurries, six pass breakups, one interception for a touchdown, one safety, one fumble recovery and 47 tackles.
Here's my notebook in Tuesday's Tribune that summarizes coach Bronco Mendenhall's feelings regarding the bye week — it comes at the right time, he says — and lists more of Van Noy's accomplishments.<
Coach Bronco Mendenhall said Van Noy is having a phenomenal season despite drawing double-teams and more attention than ever before.
"I don't every underestimate what Kyle can do," Mendenhall said. "He's drawing a lot of attention by our opponents, I know that. There have been a lot of protection slides towards him and he's being chipped a lot. He's playing a lot of plays, but he's really good. Any accolades that he gets, he deserves."
Van Noy is making a lot of plays this year, but he is also missing more tackles than during any other time of his BYU career. He missed a couple shots for tackles for loss against Houston, and a few more in the 37-20 win over Boise State last Friday.
Outside linebackers coach Kelly Poppinga said Monday that Van Noy is beat up and tired.
"Yeah, I think there are a lot of things to go with [Van Noy's missed tackles]," Poppinga said. "I think he is a little tired. He has played a lot of snaps up to this point. I think he has played more snaps, up to this point this season, once we play the Wisconsin game, he will have played more snaps in nine games than he did all of last season.
That's just the nature of the beast with the [uptempo] offense and we are getting more plays that way. … I think he's a little tired. His pad level is up a little bit. When he is making plays in space, he's too high, and he needs to break down and have a little better base. But I think a lot of it just goes to him being tired, and I need to do a better job of rotating him out and getting him some rest."
I've actually asked coach Bronco Mendenhall about the sloppy tackling the last few games, but he doesn't seem to think it is a problem yet.
"I think Boise has a really good running back," Mendenhall said Monday. "I also think in terms of plays run, it was  defensively. So at some point a really good running back, and a lot of plays, leads to wear and tear. I wouldn't have characterized it [as poor tackling]. I think there were a few missed tackles, but I still don't see it maybe at the level that you do."