When UCLA defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and first-year BYU offensive coordinator Ty Detmer attempt to match wits on Saturday night, it won't be the first time they've faced each other.
Detmer won the Heisman Trophy in 1990, playing quarterback at BYU under the tutelage of legendary head coach LaVell Edwards. The season before his Heisman campaign, he led the Cougars to a 10-2 regular season and into the Holiday Bowl to play Penn State, where Tom Bradley was coaching linebackers at the time.
"I think it was '89 the last time I saw Ty in the Holiday Bowl, and he had quite a night," Bradley remembered.
Detmer completed 42 of 59 passes for 576 yards that night, setting the NCAA record for most passing yards and most total yards of offense (594) in a bowl game. The Nittany Lions intercepted a 2-point conversion late in the 4th quarter to keep the Cougars from tying the game at 41. Later, with seconds left and BYU driving, Detmer was sacked by a blitzing Penn State DB, who forced a fumble and housed it, and the Nittany Lions held on to win 50-39.
"We were lucky to beat him that night," Bradley said.
Upon being named the new BYU head coach in late 2015, Kalani Sitake hired the greatest Cougar player of all time to be the offensive coordinator. Detmer had been the head football coach at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, TX since 2009, where he landed after bouncing around for over a dozen years as a player in the NFL.
Detmer's offense hasn't lit up the scoreboard the way he did for LaVell Edwards just yet, scoring only 18 in their first outing against Arizona, then 19 against Utah.
"They're organizing what they want to do, but he's a pretty good coach," Bradley said.
Fabian Moreau is a Lockdown Corner
In the first half for UNLV last week, wide receiver Devonte Boyd caught 5 passes for 84 yards against the Bruins. In the second half? Nothing.
"All Fabian. All Fabian. All Fabian," Bradley responded when asked how the defense limited the Rebels' top receiver to a second-half donut.
Bradley made a little change in coverage in the locker room. Instead of Fabian Moreau and Nate Meadors sticking to their sides of the field as cornerbacks, Moreau would track Boyd wherever he went.
"Coach just asked me to follow him," Moreau said. "I just played man-to-man defense on him, and that's something I love to do."
I know how we can stop the run: Just put ten guys in the box, and let Fabian take care of the rest.
Jacob Tuioti-Mariner Is the "Putty Guy"
With all the injuries that the Bruins have sustained on the defensive line, the coaching staff has leaned hard on junior defensive lineman Jacob Tuioti-Mariner.
"He's everywhere. I gotta give him credit, he plays three of the four down positions," Bradley said.
Tuioti-Mariner, who survived a bout with appendicitis during fall camp, started at end against UNLV, before sliding into the interior after Eddie Vanderdoes was taken out of the game.
"You just gotta do what you gotta do, man," he said about playing so many different roles. "Whatever they need you to play, you just gotta accept the responsibility. That's what being a football player is all about."
Tuioti-Mariner has seven tackles on the year, and a quarterback hurry.
"He's like our putty guy," Bradley said. "You kind of gotta put him all over the place and something happens."
Though there were no official updates during the media availability, Thuc Nhi Nguyen reported that freshman defensive lineman Boss Tagaloa left practice in a golf cart on Tuesday, with an apparent right ankle sprain.
Speaking of Thuc, thanks to Thuc of the LA Daily News for the videos below!
Check out more from Tom Bradley, Marques Tiuasosopo, Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, Fabian Moreau, and Josh Woods.
DC Tom Bradley:
LB Josh Woods:
CB Fabian Moreau:
QB Coach/Passing Game Coordinator Marques Tuiasosopo:
DL Jacob Tuioti-Mariner: