We're through the third week of the 2015 NFL season and 12 former Cougars are currently on NFL rosters or practice squads. Ziggy Ansah and Uani 'Unga have been the standouts among the Cougar alumni in the league. Ansah has had a strong start to the year even though he has battled some minor injuries and he continues to be one of the top defensive ends in the league.
'Unga's emergence with the Giants has been a little more unexpected given the fact that he was an undrafted free agent and had to wait a year to even get a shot at the NFL due to an ACL injury. 'Unga had to split snaps for the first time this season with the Giant's veteran LB Jon Beason returning from injury. 'Unga still got a majority of the defensive snaps (63 percent to be exact) and made the most of his time on the field recording a team high nine tackles, forcing a fumble, batting down two passes, and making this diving interception.
That interception gives 'Unga two on the season and ties him for the NFL lead. It's unclear how much playing time he will see as Beason continues to get up to full strength. Even Giants' coach Tom Coughlin admitted he wasn't quite sure how he'd use both players going forward. All 'Unga can do now is just continue to make that decision as difficult as possible with his play on the field.
Coughlin on the Beason/Unga rotation going forward: "I don't know. They're both outstanding players and we need them both."— Ebenezer Samuel (@ebenezersamuel) September 25, 2015
Off the field Ziggy Ansah and Kyle Van Noy stopped into the Big House to support the Cougars as they took on Michigan. Unfortunately, their presence didn't bring any luck for the Cougars in the disappointing loss.
Here's how all the BYU alumni in the NFL performed for their respective teams in Week 3:
Dennis Pitta (Ravens): Pitta remains on Baltimore's physically unable to perform (PUP) list while he continues to recover from his second serious hip injury and major surgery to repair the injury. His status on the PUP list makes him ineligible to play until Week 7.
Ziggy Ansah (Lions): Ansah played 38 total snaps recording three tackles and two QB hits before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a groin injury in Detroit's 12-24 loss to Denver. Ansah is listed as probable for the Lions' week 4 matchup with Seattle.
Kyle Van Noy (Lions): Van Noy played 18 total snaps mostly on special teams and recorded one tackle in Detroit's 12-24 loss to Denver.
John Denney (Dolphins): Denney handled his typically long snapping duties playing five total snaps in Miami's 14-41 loss to Buffalo.
Uani 'Unga (Giants): Unga played 52 total snaps recording nine tackles, two pass deflections, a forced fumble, and an interception in New York's 32-21 victory over Washington.
Dallas Reynolds (Giants): Reynolds played 12 total snaps mostly on special teams in New York's 32-21 win over Washington, but did not record any stats.
Daniel Sorensen (Chiefs): Sorensen continues to see a lot of time on special teams playing on 29 (94 percent) of the Chiefs' special teams plays. Sorensen ended up with 31 total snaps on the day in Kansas City's 28-38 loss to Green Bay and did not record any additional stats.
Alani Fua (Cardinals): Fua played 30 total snaps mostly on special teams and recorded a single tackle in the Cardinals' 47-7 drubbing of San Francisco.