Position: Nose tackle
Numbers: Sami has started 10 of 11 games and recorded 20 tackles, one tackle for loss and two quarterback pressures.
Potential impact vs. Utah: Sami’s impact goes well beyond his numbers, as the nose tackle often doesn’t make the play, but creates plays for others. Last week against Washington, he played 48 snaps and recorded a season-high five tackles. Going against a Utah rushing attack that is the best in the Pac-12, Sami and his line mates might need their best game. Defensive end Mustafa Johnson missed last week with an ankle injury; whether Johnson plays this week or not, Sami knows he has to play well against the Utes.
Sami said: “I had to step up and I had to take the role of Mustafa (against Washington) and make sure that I did everything right. I didn’t play my best game, but it’s just a matter of effort and just keep playing the next play. You mess up here, don’t worry; make it up for the next play. That’s one thing that the coaching staff is trying to instill to us is culture change – be physical, no matter what. Just keep going and finishing. It’s all about finishing.”