BYU Athletics Blog | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

BYU Athletics Blog

Getting to Know: Tuni Kanuch and Colby Pearson

Oct 23, 2015 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 3:50 pm | Updated: October 23, 2015 4:32 pm | Permalink

Prior to the start of the 2015 season, we had a chance to talk with Tuni Kanuch and Colby Pearson. Learn a little bit about them below.

Tuni Kanuch

Sophomore offensive lineman

Major: Exercise and wellness

Stadiums most excited to play in: All of them, but especially at home because we have a lot of fans.

One thing people don’t know about you: Manoa Pikula is my cousin. I played on little league teams with Algernon Brown.

Name: It’s Tongan. Tuni means 'Junior', so I’m named after my dad.

Other sports: I only played football in high school. I started playing baseball, but was too big. I played basketball, but got sick of being fouled out. I didn’t start football until I was 13 or 14.

Favorite actor: Brad Pitt, Tom Hardy, Will Smith

Favorite food: Meat, burgers, fish, chicken any of that stuff. I love the Cheesecake Factory and cheesecake.

Three things you did during the offseason: Train, watch film and hangout with my wife.

Role model: Mom and wife: She’s getting her PhD here in counseling psychology. I think that’s really cool because I’m not that great at school, so to see my wife trying to be the best that she can be helps me want to be the best that I can be in football and everything else. Also, Coach Wintrich. He’s a good all-around coach. He’s always there for you. He’s not too authoritative or too high to come sit in the locker room and chill with us.

Nicknames from the team: First year me and a few others were called Team Swoll. We also have different superheroes and I was known as Juggernaut, but it has phased out. Mitch Mathews calls me Tune Squad from 'Space Jam'.

Pregame rituals: Pray

Favorite football memory: Before the Texas game, six minutes before we went in, we turned up the music full blast and everyone turned up super hard and everyone was pumped and ready to play.

Colby Pearson

Junior wide receiver

Major: Exercise Science. I’m planning on going to dental school.

Stadiums excited to play at: The Big House. I’m excited to go to Michigan. But a lot of our away games are at top-notch places, so they are going to be exciting.

One thing people don’t know about you: I can play the song “A Thousand Miles” on the piano. I took piano lessons for about five years.

Other sports: In high school, I played baseball and basketball as well as football.

Favorite athlete: LeBron James. He’s the greatest.

Favorite movie: "Remember the Titans" is a classic. So is "Dumb and Dumber."

Favorite actor: Adam Sandler and Will Smith.

Walk-up song: Definitely the Darth Vader march.

Food: I like Italian food, but I’m an Idaho boy. So I always love a good steak and potatoes.

Who do you look up to: My dad. He played college football in Idaho, and he taught me everything I know. He supports me every step of the way.

Nicknames: Honey Colbs, like Honey Combs, is one of my favorites. I have a lot, like Colberto, Coolbie, Colbs, and the coaches call me Idaho.

Pregame rituals: I like to isolate and listen to music. I say a prayer as well.

Favorite football memory: My senior year in high school was when we won the state championship. It was amazing playing my last high school game with all my friends and coming out on top.

Samoa, third posting

Oct 23, 2015 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 10:45 am | Updated: October 23, 2015 7:05 pm | Permalink

Third report from Brent Haring, head coach for the American Samoa National Team:

This morning we got up and went to Pesega High School, which is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We had a great reception from Principal Leauanae and his students. We were all blown away by the beautiful voices of the students as they harmonized the hymn We Thank Thee Oh God For A Prophet. It was truly amazing. We then boarded a flight back to Pago Pago American Samoa, once again we crossed the International Dateline so we returned on Thursday, so this is our second Thursday on this trip. When we returned we had a clinic that was put together by the Parks and Recreation department as well as the American Samoa Baseball Program. The boys and girls that attended were a blast to work with! What an incredible opportunity to pass along what we have to these young kids. Tomorrow we have another busy day, can't wait to see what it brings!!

Samoa, second posting

Oct 22, 2015 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 10:40 am | Permalink

Second report from Brent Haring, head coach for the American Samoa National Team:

This morning we skipped Wednesday by flying to the island of Apia Samoa which is 25 hours ahead of American Samoa. We went to the Apia market and then drove around the island to our hotel. What a beautiful island. When we got to the hotel we each took some time to get into the ocean and pool. We then had a traditional Samoan meal with a fiafia show with the traditional singing and dancing along with a fire knife dance. Tomorrow we look forward to doing a devotional at Pesega Church School and a chance to visit the temple grounds. Tofa soifua!

Samoa, first posting

Oct 21, 2015 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 11:28 am | Permalink

First report from Brent Haring, head coach for the American Samoa National Team:

Talofa lava from Pago Pago, American Samoa. After two long flights (six hours from Salt Lake City to Honolulu and five hours from Honolulu to Pago Pago) our group (Brian Santiago and his wife Kimberly and son Colson, Coach Mike Littlewood and his wife Dani, and Coach Brent Haring his wife Mary and son Tomasi as well as father in law Panana Falatea) arrived to a most welcoming party from American Samoa. They escorted us to the Tradewinds Hotel, although it was only 10:00 p.m. here it was 3:00 a.m. back in Provo and we were spent. Knowing that we had an early morning we all hit the pillow for much needed rest.

First thing Tuesday morning Brian, Coach Littlewood, and I all went to the radio station for an interview where Senior Associate AD Brian Santiago got fired up about his Yankees being eliminated from postseason. Following the radio we met up with the rest of the party for a sit down with the Lieutenant Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga. What a treat! From there we had a welcoming lunch hosted by the American Samoa Parks and Recreation department along with the Director of Women's Athletics and the President of the Baseball Association and Olympic Committee on a beach front resort. The food was fantastic and the views were even better. We then went to a baseball/softball clinic put on by the Parks and Recreation department where there was close to 100 boys and girls here on the island. It was great to be around these kids that want to learn and get better. After the clinic and dinner it is off to bed as we prepare to journey to the island of Upolu in Samoa first thing tomorrow morning. Until tomorrow manuia le po.

BYU wins 38-24

Oct 16, 2015 - Posted by Alexa Anderson at 9:30 pm | Updated: October 16, 2015 9:34 pm | Permalink

The Cougars opened up the fourth quarter with a Sione Takitaki sack on Bearcat quarterback Hayden Moore, which forced a Cincinnati punt.  BYU marched back to the Cincinnati red zone with a Francis Bernard 40-yard run and an 11-yard Devon Blackmon catch.  Algernon Brown scored on a 2-yard rush with 10:24 to go, making it a 24-24 game.

On the next Bearcat drive, Bronson Kaufusi recorded his third sack of the game, pushing the Cincinnati offense back to their 23-yard line. The Cougar defense then forced a four and out.

On the first play from scrimmage after the punt, Mangum threw a 53-yard pass to Kurtz for the touchdown. The Cougars took their first lead of the game 31-24.

With 7:26 to go, Sae Tautu sacked Moore for a loss of 2-yards on third down, forcing a Bearcat punt. Garrent Jurgens then returned Sam Geraci’s punt for 39 yards to the Cincinnati 32. Frances Bernard ran 11 yards for the touchdown after three Algernon Brown rushes. With 4:35 to go, the Cougars were in the lead 38-24.

Cougars behind Bearcats 24-17 after third quarter

Oct 16, 2015 - Posted by Alexa Anderson at 8:42 pm | Updated: October 16, 2015 8:44 pm | Permalink

On the opening drive of the half, Tanner Mangum threw a pass to Devon Blackmon for a 12-yard gain.  Later on the drive, Mangum completed a pass to Colby Pearson inside the Cincinnati 20. BYU continued driving down the field and scored on a 19-yard completion from Mangum to Nick Kurtz. With the touchdown, the Cougars tied the game 17-17. Mangum completed seven passes on the drive.

After a BYU punt, the Bearcats got the ball on their 36-yard line and drove down the field 64 yards for the score to go up 24-17. On the drive Fred Warner had a 7-yard sack in the backfield. 

BYU down 17-10 going into second half

Oct 16, 2015 - Posted by Alexa Anderson at 7:39 pm | Updated: October 16, 2015 7:43 pm | Permalink

To open the second quarter, BYU’s Bronson Kaufusi blocked Cincinnati kicker Andrew Gantz’s 58-yard field goal. Michael Wadsworth recovered the tipped ball on the 50-yard line. Tanner Mangum opened the drive with a 38-yard completion to Mitch Matthews spotted at the Cincinnati 12. BYU ended the drive with a field goal completed by Trevor Samson.

Travis Tuiloma and Harvey Langi sacked Moore for a loss of 7 yards, forcing a fourth-and-long Cincinnati punt. On the drive after the punt, Bearcat linebacker Kevin Brown intercepted a pass by Mangum on BYU’s 20-yard line. Bearcat running back Mike Boone rushed for a 5-yard touchdown, putting Cincinnati up 17-3 with 6:50 left in the second quarter.

Mangum threw a 16-yard completion to Nick Kurtz for a first down near the 20-yard line. Pass interference was called on the Cincinnati defense on a pass to Devon Blackmon, which placed BYU on the 5-yard line. On the next play, Algernon Brown rushed for a 5-yard touchdown making it a 17-10 game.

BYU stopped the Bearcats on the Cincinnati 42-yard line, forcing a fourth down punt. With 2:20 left in the half, BYU running back Riley Burt ran for 41-yards, putting the Cougars on the 50-yard yard line. BYU ended the drive with a 40-yard punt by Jonny Linehan pinned inside the 10-yard line. Halftime score 17-10.

BYU behind Cincinnati 10-0 after first quarter

Oct 16, 2015 - Posted by Alexa Anderson at 6:46 pm | Updated: October 16, 2015 7:12 pm | Permalink

On its first drive, Cincinnati rushed for 24 yards and quarterback Hayden Moore threw three completions. BYU stopped the Bearcat drive on the 13-yard line forcing a 29-yard Cincinnati field goal. With the score, the Bearcats went up 3-0.

Midway through the first quarter, Cincinnati quarterback Hayden Moore completed a 46-yard pass to Shaq Washington for a first down inside the 20. BYU’s red zone defense held the Bearcats to fourth down and goal. The Bearcats chose to go for it on fourth down and scored on a jump pass from running back Tion Green to receiver DJ Dowdy to go up 10-0.

Bronson Kaufusi sacked Moore for a two-yard loss on the Cincinnati 14-yard line. Later in the drive, Sae Tautu again sacked Moore on the BYU 27. The next play Bronson Kaufusi forced a fumble by Bearcat quarterback Moore, which Moore recovered. Cincinnati lined up for a 58-yard field goal, but didn't get the snap off before the quarter ended.

Getting to Know: Kai Nacua and Algernon Brown

Oct 16, 2015 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 1:17 pm | Updated: October 16, 2015 4:34 pm | Permalink

Prior to the start of the 2015 season, we had the chance to talk with Kai Nacua and Algernon Brown. Learn a little bit about them below.

Kai Nacua

Junior defensive back

Major: Exercise and wellness.

Plans for after graduation: If the league doesn’t work, I would like to share my knowledge by coaching kids. When we did camp this summer, I had a lot of fun

Story behind your name: I was named after my uncle. In Hawaiian it means diamond. Kaimana is my full name.

Favorite pro athlete: King James. I love him.

Favorite movie/actor: Jim Carrey is my favorite actor for sure. The Lion King is my favorite movie.

Offseason activities: Besides training, I played a lot of volleyball. Really, I just did anything outside, like golf. I love both sand volleyball and grass. I prefer sand though.

Role model: My father for sure. He passed away my senior year of high school, so it has been three years. The legacy that he left has always stuck in my mind.

Nicknames: I guess Kai would be a nickname, but a lot of the guys call me the DJ because I’m always playing the music for everyone. I guess I’m DJ Nacua.

Pregame rituals: In high school it was Jack in the Box, but they don’t have that here, so I can’t do that anymore. I have a certain playlist I play every time. Aside from that, I just throw on my gear and I’m ready to go.

Favorite football memory so far: The Cal game for sure. The feeling after we won was just amazing. The team was going crazy. That was a fun game.

Algernon Brown

Junior running back

Major: Exercise and wellness.

Dream job: I want to get into physical therapy.

Where did your name come from: My dad said he found it in the dictionary and in the Doctrine and Covenants in the preface of one of the sections.

Other sports you like: I love watching basketball and soccer.

Favorite athletes: Neymar. In my very first area on my mission, I served in the town where Neymar plays. That’s where I first heard about him.

Offseason activities: I worked on my speed a lot this summer. Aside from football, I was just hanging out with my wife. She is working. We are busy, so whenever we get the time it is nice. We’ve been married for a year. She is a dental assistant and hopes to be a dentist one day.

Role models: Probably my brothers. I have two older brothers that played college football. One is a nurse and one is an engineer. They played at Southern Utah. One lives in Salt Lake and the other lives in Cedar City.

Pregame rituals: I usually just listen to music. Sometimes I take a nap.

Favorite football memory: My first game here at BYU. It was against Georgia Tech. It was fun.

Favorite food: Any oriental food, like Chinese or Japanese.

Following the game: Cincinnati vs. BYU

Oct 16, 2015 - Posted by McKay Perry at 12:58 pm | Updated: October 16, 2015 1:06 pm | Permalink

BYU football hosts Cincinnati with kickoff at 6 p.m. MDT at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN along with online access through Watch ESPN.

Live television coverage begins at 5 p.m. MDT with BYUtv’s pregame show Countdown to Kickoff. Live postgame coverage on BYUtv will follow after the game.

Radio coverage of the game can be heard on the Cougar IMG Sports Network with the Voice of the Cougars Greg Wrubell. The broadcast begins with the pregame show at 4 p.m. MDT on KSL 1160 AM and 102.7 FM out of Salt Lake City and online at The game will also be available on BYU Radio through Sirius XM 143 and online.

Visit the gameday page for more information on the matchup.