Throughout the season, the BYU defense has had to face all kinds of offenses.
But, for the first time this year, BYU will face an attack as explosive as its own when it goes up against UCF in the Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday.
In fact, the similarities between both offenses is slightly uncanny.
BYU has a quarterback who has thrown for more than 3,000 yards this season, a wide receiver who has caught for more than 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns, and a running back who is just shy of 1,000 rushing yards.
UCF also has a quarterback who’s thrown for more than 3,000 yards, a 1,000-yard receiver and solid running backs.
Cougar senior linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi believes Knights receiver Marlon Williams looks a lot like Dax Milne, and UCF rusher Greg McCrae resembles Tyler Allgeier.
“And then obviously the offense is great because of their quarterback,” Kaufusi said. “Dillon [Gabriel] does a good job. [I’m] really excited for this challenge and definitely looking forward to digging deeper into the game plan and kind of what they do on offense.”
BOCA RATON BOWL
NO. 14 BYU VS. UCF
When • Tuesday, 5 p.m.
TV • ESPN
Considering the BYU defense has been going up against its own offense in practices, it should be able to keep up with the Knights. The Cougars have also held almost every opponent to fewer points than their average with every other team.
In the loss at Coastal Carolina, BYU’s defense gave up 22 points. But against every other opponent this year, the Chanticleers averaged 39 points per game. Through their nine-game season, the Knights averaged 44.11 points.
Looking at UCF’s film, BYU coach Kalani Sitake sees an explosive team. The way to stay in the game will be to match the Knights’ scoring output, he said. To win, the Cougars will need to score more points.
“That’s going to be a tough task for us, but I think if we play our type of football, which we talk about is complimentary football in all three phases, I think we’ll have a good chance,” Sitake said. “This is going to be a good test for us, though. Looking forward to it and I think our guys are excited about the opponent, UCF, and the things they’ve done in the past.”
At the end of the day, the Cougars are looking forward to the challenge. And Kaufusi believes the BYU defense will be able to hold the UCF offense, which also reminds him of the Houston squad the Cougars played earlier this season, he said.
“That Florida talent is incredible,” Kaufusi said. “It’ll be a good matchup. It’ll be a good challenge for us defensively at least, and really excited to hone in on what we do best and kind of learning from the past, previous games.”