PROVO — A rash of injuries on the defensive side yielded mixed results for BYU throughout Friday's loss to Boise State.
As expected, junior middle linebacker Butch Pau'u was again sidelined with his apparent hand injury, but the Cougars also had to make do without the services of starting outside linebacker Matt Hadley. Filling in again for Pau'u was sophomore Johnny Tapusoa and junior Adam Pulsipher, while senior Grant Jones was called upon to replace Hadley at outside linebacker.
Jones made his presence felt immediately, dropping in coverage to pick off a pass on Boise State's first offensive possession, the first of his career. The 6-foot-6, 205-pound former walk-on then returned the interception just past midfield to set up the offense in prime position to score.
The remainder of the game was a mixed bag for a defense missing a number of regular contributors, which included defensive tackle Tevita Mo'Unga, who was out with a shoulder injury. After holding the Broncos to just 25 yards of offense in the first quarter, the Cougar defense gave up 150 total yards in the second, along with 17 points.
The nature of Hadley's injury wasn't disclosed by BYU. His status, along with Pau'u's, is up in the air for next week's game at Mississippi State.
RECRUITS IN ATTENDANCE: Although the game was played on Friday night, a day that is usually reserved for high school football, several notable recruits made it out to LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Tysen Lewis made the trip from Ogden. Lewis is a 6-foot-5, 260-pound offensive lineman who plays for Weber High School. He committed to BYU last summer as part of the 2018 class.
Also in attendance was quarterback Zadock Dinkelmann, a 6--foot-5 quarterback recruit from Somerset, Texas, who is also the nephew of BYU offensive coordinator Ty Detmer. Dinkelmann is committed to sign with BYU next February and was seen talking with Lewis throughout Friday's game.
FLAG BEARERS: The alumni running out the flag prior to the game was a foursome of former lineman Hala Paongo, safety Travis Uale and twins Mitchell and Garrett Juergens.
Paongo played for the Cougars from 2003-06 with Uale logging playing time from the 2008 to 2011 seasons.
Mitchell Juergens graduated after last season and is fondly remembered by Cougar fans for hauling in a touchdown pass late to defeat Boise State 35-24 in 2015. Garrett Juergens is Mitchell's twin and battled injuries throughout his career before contributing on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
BLUE WRIST BANS: BYU President Kevin Worthen and his wife Peggy helped pass out rubber wristbands to fans prior to the game which read, "ROC the Broncos."