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BYU football: Safeties have had quietly solid seasons for Cougars

Published November 26, 2013 9:57 pm

Y.'s Sorensen, Bills have "done exactly what they've been asked to do."
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Provo • When you think of BYU's defense, Kyle Van Noy is without question the first Cougar that comes to mind. Spencer Hadley comes next, and people like Alani Fua aren't far behind.

Daniel Sorensen and Craig Bills can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of attention. They are BYU's safeties, quiet in nature, but guys who have let their performances do the talking.

As the Cougars prepare for their regular-season finale against Nevada on Saturday, those two will have to be big in run support against a Wolf Pack team that's traditionally been strong on the ground.

"Our safeties have both played really well," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said on Tuesday night. "They've both done exactly what they've been asked to do defensively. Daniel's been a zero-maintenance player. You sort of wish you can build an entire program with people like Daniel Sorensen."

The tandem offers up differing strengths. With two interceptions, Sorensen is arguably the best ballhawk the Cougars have. Bills has 62 tackles on the season, good for second on the team.

With Van Noy and Uani Unga leading a powerful front seven, the play of Bills and Sorensen's been a bright spot for the Cougars.

Teams have tried to exploit them, but they've answered the challenge of making plays when it matters.

"Craig's played really well, he's done a really nice job," Mendenhall said. "Daniel's more experienced and he's been more featured, but Craig's been solid and consistent. I'm really happy with how he's played."

Injury report

Hadley has been labeled a game-time decision for Saturday's matchup with Nevada. He's missed significant time with a torn MCL. Return specialist JD Falslev returned early from his fractured hand against Notre Dame. He will play on Saturday.

"It's hard for me to sit back and watch because I feel helpless," Falslev said. "At the same time, I had a nice group of support around me, so I was thankful for that. I'm looking forward to playing on Saturday."

tjones@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tjonessltrib —

BYU at Nevada

O Saturday, 1 p.m.

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