“I came back actually more tired than if I would’ve stayed up here,” Bruton said with a laugh. “He just wore me down, but yeah I enjoyed it. It was good to be around him and spend all that time with him.
“It was a long time, and then I seen him for the B.C. game,” Bruton later said. “Just knowing I won’t see him again until Christmas, and his birthday is just next Friday, it was a chance to be around him and give him a little gift.”
This Saturday against Navy, the 6-foot-2, 207-pound Bruton has a chance to have a big day against the Midshipmen’s option offense. Against Air Force and a similar offense last season, graduated free safety Chinedum Ndukwe recorded 22 tackles. A backup then, Bruton remembers trying to read what the current Cincinnati Bengal did on every play, so when his time came, he’d be ready.
That time is here, against the nation’s top rushing offense. Navy is averaging 342.88 yards per game.
Bruton has often thought about Ndukwe’s standout performance against the Falcons, and sees himself making the same type of plays this weekend against Navy.
“I’ve think about it a lot,” Bruton said. His 53 tackles ranks him third on the team, 14 behind team-leader Trevor Laws. “It will help the tackle race. Help it over in my favor. It looks like there is going to be a lot of opportunities to make big numbers tackle wise.
“You have one responsibility and you have to play it soundly. You have to make sure you take the pitch, and make sure you get there, you have to make sure you look at the blockers so you don’t get cut and put on your face and everything like that.”
***Nose tackle Pat Kuntz went back home to Indianapolis over fall break and was told by his mother to lose the Mohawk he’d been sporting since the start of the season.
“Yes maam,” Kuntz said.
“She wants me looking good. She always liked the hair but she said it was time to let it go, so I let it go.
“There was a lot of hair going to the ground when they were cutting it. It brought back some memories but it was all good.”
The 6-foot-3, 285-pound Kuntz said the look could be back for next season.
Weis was thinking along the same lines as Kuntz’s mother.
“I don’t know why he had it to start out with,” he said. “With Kuntz, I’ve stopped thinking about what Kuntz’s hairdo is quite a long time ago. I think he looks significantly better personally.”
***Fifth-year senior safety Tom Zbikowski is the school’s all-time leader among defensive backs with 271 tackles. His 51 stops this season ranks him tied for fourth on the team with Maurice Crum Jr.
“A lot of it has to do with playing one of your safeties closer to the line of scrimmage a whole bunch,” Weis said. “Obviously he’s been playing here it seems like forever, so that does come into play, but he did miss some significant time last year too, when he got banged up. So some of it has to do with longevity, but some of it has to do with being able to come near the line of scrimmage and make some plays.”
***Trevor Laws never pays attention to stats. So he didn’t know his 67 tackles ranks first in the nation among defensive linemen, until just right before he walked into the Guglielmino Athletics Complex auditorium for post-practice interviews.
“Yeah, I mean it’s, I never really thought that would be the case but it is, so it’s pretty cool for me,” Laws said. He later stated he’d rather lead in sacks or tackles for loss, where he has six and two respectively.
“But I’ll take tackles.”