PROVO — When it comes to protecting the quarterback, BYU sophomore left tackle Matt Reynolds has Max Hall's back.
And Reynolds, who has started in every game of his two-year Cougar career, will need to be at his best Saturday against Utah, which boasts one of the Mountain West Conference's top defensive linemen, senior Koa Misi.
Because the 6-foot-3, 263-pound Misi spends most of his time at right end, he should see plenty of action against the 6-foot-6, 320-pound Reynolds this weekend.
Misi, a senior and NFL prospect, is second on the Ute defense with 3.5 sacks and seven tackles-for-loss. He leads the conference in forced fumbles with three.
Also, Misi has 61 tackles this season, fourth-highest on the Ute defense, and averages 6.1 stops per game. He has tallied the most tackles of any defensive lineman in the MWC despite being sidelined for one game due to a back injury.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham compared the Misi-Reynolds matchup to the one between U. left tackle Zane Beadles and Y. defensive end Jan Jorgensen.
"That should be interesting," Whittingham said.
This season, BYU has allowed 17 sacks while the Utah defense has recorded 22 sacks.
Hall is impressed with Misi and the Utes' talented D-line.
"They're good. They move around. They like to jump up and knock balls down, so we have to be aware of that," he said. "They do a lot of things well. So, it comes down to preparation, knowing that they're going to try to bat balls down. They might get a couple, but we have to be aware of it."
At the same time, Hall is confident that the offensive line, which has dealt with numerous injuries this season, will take care of business against the Utes.
"I like my offensive line. I think they're physical. I think they've done a great job," Hall said. "We've had guys get hurt and other guys had to step in. You've seen (freshman) Braden Brown do a great job at right tackle. I'm proud of them and I think they're going to play well."
Contributing: Dirk Facer