Friday, October 19, 2012
Who will transform tomorrow?
By Matt Fortuna
The big man lay motionless on the grass for a few seconds, but he made it back on the field just in time for the game-winning stuff and ensuing celebration.
Getting the wind knocked out by a fullback couldn't hold Louis Nix from the excitement of a goal-line stand and a 6-0 start for Notre Dame. Nix's four tackles and one quarterback hurry don't tell the whole story of just how big he was against Stanford's powerful front.
This weekend, he might have the numbers to show for his efforts.
BYU doesn't have a Stepfan Taylor -- a big, relentless runner who can pound it up the middle 25 times a game. The Cougars don't have the kind of offensive line that the Cardinal did, as the Cougars have struggled in the middle after losing guards Houston Reynolds and Famika Anae to season-ending injuries this season. They have mixed and matched seven different players across their interior this season, and have surrendered 18 sacks on the season.
And they haven't faced a defensive line like the Irish's.
Nix has bounced back from a spring rut that saw him temporarily lose his starting job and has become an absolute force in the middle, forcing one fumble, recording 1.5 sacks and having the second-most tackles for loss on the team in three.
His big play has matched his hilariously big personality, and that will spell trouble for a struggling BYU offense tomorrow.