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BYU football media day: Cougars officially switching to a 4-3 defensive scheme

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at Brigham Young Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Media day is a crazy day for everyone involved. Running back Algae Brown described it as a “love, hate relationship” in reference to media days. Fans love the content they receive, but probably hate the dodging of questions and practiced talking points in answers. Players enjoy the attention and fame, but no doubt grow weary of the plethora of interviews and repeated questions.

The first big news was the schedule times and TV spots, you can read about that here.

Another interesting news was coach Ilaisa Tuiaki officially acknowledging that BYU will play a 4-3 defense.

This should come as no surprise. Given Kalani Sitake and Ilaisa Tuiaki’s history, many assumed that this would be a change. But now it’s official, the Cougars will switch from their previous defensive scheme of three down lineman to four.

As mentioned in Jay Drew’s tweet, this traditional formation creates more opportunities for getting to the quarterback, forcing turnovers, and helps in stopping the run. The downside is in the passing, losing a linebacker in the middle of the field gives the secondary that much more of a burden to stop the pass.

In years past, a big reason for Bronco settling in a 3-4 defense has been because of the limited capability of the secondary, but also because you can move more players around to try and confuse the quarterback. Sitake’s approach has always been to just line up and say “we are going to beat you man for man.”

It will be interesting to see how Tuiaki goes about this change given the players on BYU’s roster. Look for guys like Sione Takitaki and Harvey Langi to play a more hybrid role of a down lineman, but also a linebacker. Also, expect to see more man to man coverage on the outside.

Cornerbacks coach, Jernaro Gilford expressed his trust in his corners, specifically citing his excitement for newcomers like Troy Warner. He also said that Michael Davis is the only shoe in starter at corner and the second spot is up for grabs. According to Jay Drew, Gilford went on to say that Troy Warner, Akile Davis and Michael Shelton are competing for that second spot.

Safeties coach, Ed Lamb noted that Kai Nacua will be back despite having two shoulder surgeries and has optimism for his group of safeties this fall.

We will find out just how good this group is and whether or not the change to the 4-3 works out well for BYU.

Stay tuned to Vanquish the Foe as we update you throughout BYU Media Day.