Cameron Jensen’s Takeaways From BYU’s Win Over Navy

Following the 55-3 drubbing of Navy, former BYU linebacker Cameron Jensen broke down the game with Ben Criddle on Tuesday, giving his insight into what led to BYU’s dominance.

“The first thing you’ve got to bring up is the boys up front,” Jensen said. “We’ve heard about this offensive line. We knew they were big; we knew they were strong. We knew on paper they should dominate the Navy defensive linemen and linebackers. It was great that that happened. I know if I was looking at them on film as a linebacker, I’d hate to go against them.”

When playing a triple-option team like Navy, Jensen said the most important thing for a defense to do is to stop the dive. Junior linebacker, Pepe Tanuvasa — who led the team in total tackles with eight — is a transfer from the Naval Academy. Jensen said having a player on defense who is familiar with the triple-option scheme is a huge advantage when facing the uncommon style of play.

“If you make a mistake against an academy team, that could go for six,” he said. “That’s a tough task and to shut them down from start to finish is impressive. It was such a well-rounded effort as a team — which has been hard. Usually, one unit hits and the other doesn’t. It was good to see a full team effort.”

“It was hard for me to pick an MVP defensively because it was such a good, well-rounded game,” he added. “The defense was so assignment sound, especially the linebackers. There were some missed plays, but I was really impressed with the discipline I saw from both levels.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Jensen said junior quarterback Zach Wilson dispelled any questions whether or not he could lead the team. Wilson finished the game completing 13 of 18 passes, for 232 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

“I thought [Zach Wilson] looked really good from the first play,” said Jensen. “Every ball he threw was a good decision based on where the defense was. That’s the Zach I wanted to see. To give him a grade, I would give him an ‘A’. The improvement, arm strength and confidence, I really liked what I saw. Twelve yards per attempt, you can’t go wrong with that.”

“Even the interception was a good decision by Zach. He had Neil Pau’u coming against the linebackers across the field. He needs to come up with that ball, that’s on Neil Pau’u, he’s got to get past that. The linebacker is always going to be right there trying to disrupt that route.”

There has been a lot of discussion about the decision by Navy head coach, Ken Niumatalolo, to forego any live scrimmage prior to Monday night’s game in order to protect his players from contracting COVID-19. Jensen said that while the lack of preparation played a factor in BYU’s victory, it doesn’t take away from the strengths of this BYU team, and said that “70 percent” of the credit belongs to the Cougars.

“Obviously, that Navy team is not what we are used to seeing,” he said. “Navy should be the toughest team we face all year. The one component that has been lacking at times, sometimes coming off of a big win, there is a little bit of a lull going into the next week. I want this team to be consistent and dominant. In a number of conferences, players are sitting on the sidelines having to watch. That would have been extremely painful for me. I was just happy to see these kids get a moment on ESPN, to have Kirk [Herbstreit] and Rece [Davis] announcing it. I’m just glad they got a chance to play.”

Written by Bridger Beal

Bridger is a student at Utah Valley University where he studies journalism and mass communication. He is the sports editor of the on-campus newspaper, The Review. Bridger is a life-long Cougar fan and college football enthusiast.

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