BYU Football Countdown: Recap 89-100

Andy Lyons/Allsport
Andy Lyons/Allsport /
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(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /

No. 98 Kai Nacua – Defensive back – 2013-2016

September 10th, 2016 to this day it makes me sick when I think of it. For those who don’t recognize this date, shame on you. Actually if you don’t know this date you have a better ability to get past things than I do. To jog your memory, here is one word that may help.


It was 2nd down and 20 late in the third quarter when Utah quarterback Troy Williams hit receiver Demari Simpkins over the middle. Immediately after the catch BYU safety Kai Nacua delivered what everyone including Utah fans saw as a clean hard hit to separate the ball from the receiver. The play was called as targeting and Nacua was ejected from the game. To this day, I believe BYU would have not gone for two to win the game if they had Nacua and McChesney (who got kicked on the next play) still in the game. Having him gone made overtime seem to favor the Utes even more which may have led to decision of going for two.

Ugh… that game…. Alright let’s get to the grades.


Impact: B

Nacua was a impact player. As just mentioned, I will go to my grave believing that BYU would have gone to overtime against Utah if Nacua was not kicked out of that game. Nacua wasn’t just big in that game though, he was an impact player, similar to Kyle Van Noy. When the Cougars needed a big play, Nacua came through. Just some examples include three interceptions against Boise State, one that set up the game winning TD, and one that sealed the game. Against Wyoming, Nacua also sealed the game after it appeared that Josh Allen was going to lead the Cowboys to a big bowl game comeback. It appeared that every time BYU was falling apart and needed help on defense, Nacua made the impact that was needed.

Statistics: D

Thirteen career interceptions is impressive but it doesn’t even make the top ten for BYU all time. His 48 tackles his senior year also is good but nothing Top 100 impressive. From a statistics standpoint, the only stat that does stick out is the three INT’s against Boise State, which is tied for first all time for BYU.

Memorable Moments: A-

This goes in line close with the impact that he had, but if you are a defensive fan, you will remember that Nacua was in many ways the nail in the coffin to win games against Arizona, Toledo, Boise State, Mississippi State and Wyoming. The Boise State play though is what really sticks out. After the last interception the atmosphere in Lavell Edwards Stadium was louder than I ever remember it. Nacua only averaged 3.8 tackles per game and 0.3 interceptions per game, but those moments came at the right time and they were memorable.

Also, that Miami Beach Bowl punch on live television was pretty memorable as well, but not in the right way… actually let’s just forget about that one.