Key to Stopping Khalil Tate: Don't Get 'Twitterpated'

Khalil Tate ran for 1,411 yards -- 9.3 yards per carry -- last season.Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

BYU talks about the skills of the Arizona QB

It's not easy to stop Arizona Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate.

BYU's defense is about to find out just how hard when the teams open their season Saturday night at Arizona Stadium, and Cougars senior defensive end Corbin Kaufusi took a deep dive into the dictionary to explain the difficulty.

"He's an incredible quarterback. He's a great runner," Kaufusi said in a video posted by the Deseret News.

"So I think one of the big things for us is, in containing him, is doing our assignment and not getting too ... I don't know, it's easy to get a little twitterpated when you're going in for a sack."

Yes, twitterpated.

"He's one of those guys you gotta break down and remember, don't leave your feet, don't stand straight up. You've got to be down in a stance the whole time."

I'm pretty sure I've never heard a football player use that word, which defines as " excited or overcome by romantic feelings; smitten." Yeah, we get Kaufusi's point. Close enough. We like it.

Tate's running ability is why he begins the 2018 season as a Heisman candidate (he's tied as the sixth-best betting favorite by Bovada).

"I think he can definitely make the pass if he wants to. I just think because of his ability to run, he looks to that more," Kaufusi said. "He can make the pass, but if the option to run is there and the pass isn't as open as he'd like it, I'm sure he'll take off."

Kaufusi is 6-foot-9, 275 pounds, so he's something of a danger, too. He made 67 tackles last season, including 7.5 for loss and six sacks. Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin talked this week about BYU's size up front, which includes 340-pound nose guard Khyiris Tonga.

Now, the Cougars just have to avoid twitterpation (not sure that's a word).

"Last year he just used his legs a lot more but he can throw the ball," BYU coach Kalani Sitake, whose team is coming off a disappointing 4-9 season, said of Tate. "He's got a strong arm. I'm more impressed with what he does as an athlete. He'll do whatever it takes to makes plays and win games. We've seen a lot of great players; he just fits in as another one."