By DARREN WILCOX
When it comes to the defensive end position, simply having one great end does not cut it. Luckily, BYU has two.
Junior Daren Yancey, who started at defensive end last season, has moved over to tackle making room for 6-5, 265 pound sophomore Byron Frisch. Combined with 6-5, 280 pound junior Ed Kehl, who broke into the starting ranks in 1995, the duo will be in charge of terrorizing opposing quarterbacks this season.
One of the main jobs of a defensive end is to put pressure on the quarterback. They are instrumental in closing off the quarterback’s pocket and forcing him to scramble or throw a hurried pass.
The defensive end is the master of the highlight reel. He is the player who, if he gets past his man quick enough, has a clear shot at the quarterback. The end also has the responsibility to force any running play back towards the middle where the linebackers and other lineman can converge to stop the play. It is his job to make sure nothing gets outside of him.
However, one good defensive end will not be effective by himself. Frisch explained the reason a team needs two good ends, not just one.
“If you only have one guy pushing the quarterback he can flush out to the opposite side,” Frisch said. “It’s important to have pressure from both sides.”
Frisch said the most effective trait for a defensive end to have is quickness and determination. He said he is using those traits to work on improving his pass rush.
“You have to go hard on every play,” Frisch said. “You will never be bigger than the offensive tackle, so it’s good to be faster and quicker.”
In BYU’s 4-3 defense, the four down lineman play an intricate role in putting pressure on the quarterback and stopping the running game of the opposing team. An effective pass rush takes pressure off the linebackers and defensive backs, because there is less time for the play to develop. Often the receivers will still be starting their routes when the quarterback is forced from the pocket by a good pass rush.
Kehl, from Sandy, Utah, redshirted in 1994 after returning from an LDS mission to Fresno, Calif. He has the most experience of the two starters and recorded four and a half sacks last season. Kehl had two sacks in a recent scrimmage to lead BYU’s defense.
Frisch hails from Bonita, Calif. and redshirted the 1995 season. He said a personal highlight from last season was a sack he recorded against the University of Utah. The sack came at a critical time in the game and Frisch finished the game with five tackles overall.
Frisch said though he felt good about last year, it is important to improve on their performance. They will get the chance against Washington Saturday.
“The first game is critical to set the tone for the season,” Frisch said.
As the season progresses, both players will look to dominate opposing quarterbacks and solidify a defense that should be the best in the WAC.