Weber State defensive dominance starts in the trenches

Ravell Call, Deseret News

Weber State defensive lineman Cardon Malan celebrates sacking Southern Utah quarterback Patrick Tyler during game in Cedar City on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017.

OGDEN — There are many truisms in football, from the classic Bear Bryant quote, “Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships” to the immortal words of the newly appointed Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards, “You play to win the game.”

Most platitudes induce their share of eye rolls, but one in particular has proven accurate time and again: The game is won or lost in the trenches.

More often than not, it is the work of the big guys up front, the offensive and defensive linemen, that decides which team will walk away from a contest victorious.

The Weber State Wildcats (11-2) are well acquainted with that fact, especially when it comes to their defensive line.

As evidenced by their most recent victory, the 30-13 blowout of rival Southern Utah, the Wildcat defensive line is a force to be reckoned with.

Weber State held the high-powered T-Bird attack to only 90 rushing yards on just 2.7 yards per carry last Saturday and perhaps more impressively, recorded six sacks, which, when coupled with additional tackles for loss, accounted for 56 yards lost by SUU.

Senior defensive end Cardon Malan led the way, racking up a season-high three sacks, while fellow linemen Adam Rodriguez and McKay Murphy each added an additional takedown of SUU quarterback Patrick Tyler (linebacker Justus Brown was credited with the final Wildcat sack).

“Cardon has done pretty good all season pressuring the quarterback but last game he stepped up when we needed him,” said Murphy. “(Cardon) was a huge difference maker in that game.”

“(My success) was all from game planning,” Malan added. “We knew going into the game that Tyler was going to read me a lot, so coach (Jay) Hill made it so I would just have the quarterback for my assignment. I just stepped up and was in the right position to make a play.”

Malan has made…

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