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Here’s What Arizona Coaches Are Saying About BYU Football

Sep 1, 2021, 11:25 PM | Updated: 11:26 pm
Jedd Fisch - Arizona...
TUCSON, ARIZONA - APRIL 24: Head coach Jedd Fisch of the Arizona Wildcats reacts on the sidelines during the Arizona Spring game at Arizona Stadium on April 24, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football kicks off the 2021 season with an intriguing matchup against the Arizona Wildcats from the Pac-12 Conference. The Wildcats are on a 12-game skid right now that dates back to 2019. But there’s no shortage of excitement and energy from Arizona.

The energy comes from their new coaching staff led by head coach Jedd Fisch.

Fisch was most recently the quarterback coach with the New England Patriots. He’s a well-traveled NFL coach with college stops at UCLA, Michigan, and Minnesota sprinkled in. But he’s taken an unconventional approach among today’s college coaches and has opened his program to anyone and everyone.

He’s a positive, high-energy guy. And he shared his thoughts on BYU football earlier this week.

Arizona HC Jedd Fisch on BYU Football

“They’re coming off an 11-1 season; they’re tough, they’re physical. They got some guys they’ve replaced, but they replace them with veteran players. They’re always going to play good, sound, fundamental football and they’re always gonna be hard to block and hard to tackle. We know that. They’ve got some ability to be super explosive.

“They got some guys in there that can certainly stretch the field. We know we’ve got our work cut out for us with that team. We’re excited about the opportunity. It’s a good defensive team; it’s a good offensive team. They certainly know how to not beat themselves on special teams. So that’s all three phases working together, and that’s how you go 11-1.”

DC Don Brown on QB Jaren Hall and BYU’s offense

Fisch brought with him “Dr. Blitz” Don Brown as his defensive coordinator. Brown was the defensive coordinator at Michigan under Jim Harbaugh from 2016-2020.

“You know, when watching Hall’s snaps –there’s over 100 of them– if you look back over the last few years, he’s an athletic guy. He can throw the ball down the field; he can get out of trouble.

“2 and 18 are the two receives that are back. I kind of like 83, the tight end; he’s a good player. They have three offensive linemen back, they lost three, but one of them wasn’t really a starter. …And 25 and 4 are two good tailbacks with good mobility. They had big years last year in terms of numbers in the air and on the ground.”

Brown on the BYU offensive line

“They’re a unit. They play together. There are very few snaps where one guy’s going this way, and the other guy’s going that way. They’re all in sync. They are a big zone unit, meaning all zone steps to the right or all zone steps to the left. They are a huge slash team which is like an off tackle, off-zone play. They run that really well. I anticipate seeing a little bit more perimeter run with the quarterback. Anxious to see how they’re gonna adjust and come out this year as well.”

OC Brennan Carroll on the matchup

Brennan Carroll is the son of Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. Carroll was with the Seahawks staff the previous six years.

“It’s a huge game. We’re excited to show what we’ve got and what we’ve been able to put together. I think it’s a really cool matchup. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. …It’ll be a blast. I heard we got good attendance already, so this is gonna be pretty fun.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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