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BYU Cougars proving their toughness

BYU Cougars proving their toughness

By Andrew Devey, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Sep. 6, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.



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PROVO -- Toughness usually isn't the first word to come to your mind when thinking about BYU football. The Cougars are known to rack up passing yards, light up the scoreboard, and break offensive records in the process. Toughness on the field is a brand that this year's team is quickly becoming labeled with.

"They are known for throwing the ball, but they've become a run-over-you, physical, downhill, get in two backs, pound you into submission team, and when they're done with that, they'll throw the football," Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz told the told the Austin Statesman.

Two of those submission-pounding offensive linemen, Matt Reynolds and Braden Hansen, were recently claimed a spot on Kirk Herbstreit's All-Uni Team: What a College Team Should Look Like, as part of his [11th annual Herbie Awards on ESPN.](<http://espn.go.com/college-football/preview11/story/_/id/6891742/top-players-coaches-teams-honored-herbie-awards >)

Much has been made about the size of BYU's offensive line that averages 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds according to the Statesman report, but the core of BYU's toughness can be found with its defense. A defense that reflects coach Bronco Mendenhall's unique persona.

"I think they mirror their head coach a little bit," Diaz told the Statesman, "and I think they've tried to instill some toughness."

Middle linebacker, Uona Kaveinga, and the Cougar defense demonstrated their toughness Saturday as they held Ole Miss to six points and kept the Rebels out of the end zone.

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal running back JJ Di Luigi talked about Kaveinga's style of play.

"He flies right through people," Di Luigi said. "He doesn't slow up. He doesn't blink. He is like a bull that sees red."

Kaveinga saw plenty of red last Saturday in Oxford, Miss. where he recorded five tackles and forced a fumble.

At [Tuesday's press conference](<http://byucougars.com/m-football/coach-mendenhall-press-conference-texas >) linebacker Jordan Pendleton said the team is anxious to again prove the nation of their toughness when they take on Texas.

"It will definitely be physical. I wouldn't have it any other way, that's why we play this game."

Email: onlinesports@ksl.com

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