|BYU linebacker Butch Pau'u makes one of his 19 tackles against UCLA in 2016 (Isaac Hale, Daily Herald)|
Official record keeping of defensive statistics by the NCAA started in 2001. Since that time, a BYU Cougars defender has made 16 tackles or more in a game eight times. When looking at the names of the defenders who turned in these top tackling performances, most of them have something in common.
Did you know that seven of the eight 16+ tackle games were achieved by players of Polynesian descent?Here is the complete list:
1. Uani Unga, 19 tackles (Notre Dame, 2013)
2. Butch Pau'u, 19 tackles (UCLA, 2016)
3. Uani Unga, 17 tackles (Boise State, 2013)
4. Uani Unga, 17 tackles (Utah State, 2013)
5. Kelly Poppinga, 17 tackles (TCU, 2007)
6. Francis Bernard, 16 tackles (Mississippi State, 2016)
7. Aaron Francisco, 16 tackles (USC, 2004)
8. Aaron Francisco, 16 tackles (Boise State, 2004)
Four different Polynesian players account for the seven games, which happened in three different seasons. Two years ago is the only time two different players (Bernard and Pau'u) achieved this feat in the same season.
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