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PROVO -- Riley Nelson and Cody Hoffman are turning heads and grabbing headlines with their play over the past three weeks.
Nelson is now 2-0 as a starter after last week's win at Oregon State and has led the BYU offense to 10 touchdowns in 10 quarters since taking over in the Utah State game, and Hoffman has caught two touchdown receptions since Nelson began taking snaps under center.
Nelson has shown that he is worthy of the starting position and has sparked the Cougars in all facets of the game. Brett Richins at DeepShadesofBlue.com recalled one specific play from last Saturday's game and notes it as the reason Nelson has rallied this team around him.
"At the end of the play, rather than sliding down, Nelson put his head down to pick up an extra couple of yards. He was hit hard enough by Oregon State defensive backs Ryan Murphy and Anthony Watkins to knock the helmet off his head. But Riley jumped up and immediately got right in the face of a smack-talking Watkins."
Oregon State head coach Mike Riley noted an obvious difference in the BYU offense since Nelson has been at the helm.
"He has changed their team since he has taken over. He is tough to deal with," Riley said in a Corvallis Gazett-Times article by Steve Gress, "He did a terrific job today."
Nelson has converted at least one skeptical fan with his recent play. Big Bro of The Sports Bros sees glimpses of greatness in Nelson
"Nelson has turned out to be a mix of Max Hall and Steve Young, with Hall's guts and fire and Young's running ability and left-handedness. It seems that the only thing that has been able to stop the offense is themselves via fumbles and interceptions."
At least part of Nelson's success can be credited to Hoffman who recorded career highs nine receptions for 162 yards against Oregon State.
The sophomore wide receiver played just five hours from his hometown Crescent City, Calif. and at one point longed to be a Beaver. Saturday he showed Oregon State the kind of talent they missed out on. He had been in contact with OSU coaches but never received a scholarship offer.
The Blue Cougar Football blog asks how much potential Hoffman really has comparing him to BYU great Austin Collie and NFL great Lynn Swann from years past.
"The door to the NFL should be open to Hoffman as well, thus giving him the opportunity to fully develop his potential on the same stage as Collie does now. Once a pro, you never know how things might shake out, but that remote possibility is there that Hoffman could, one day, find himself with Swann in the Pro Football Hall of Fame."