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PROVO -- Hard to find much fault in the winning team of a 56-3 blowout and that's evident in the game day grades for BYU after its convincing win against Idaho State.
Riley Nelson had another good week. Hard to be as efficient than what he was a QB rating above 200 is amazing and even with a bad opponent; the offense looked to be much more comfortable with him under center. A balanced lead of the offense both on the ground and in the air, he needed to be great today and he was. The question is going to be can it translate into next week against a much better opponent in TCU. Jake Heaps didn't play enough quality snaps for me to feel comfortable giving him a grade but he came out his first and second series in the second half a little inaccurate, threw a terrible interception but did end up 8 for10 passing.
Running backs/Fullbacks: A-
Everybody gets in on the 290 rushing day, 6 running backs after all is said and done. Averaging almost 7 yards a rush on 44 rushes is dominant but its another week, however insignificant it was late in the game, with another fumble for the guys in the backfield.
Wide receivers/Tight ends: A-
Great hands today and much like the running backs, the love was spread around quite a bit with Idaho State unable to put together coverage packages that could contain the wide receivers. Eight different Cougars had catches on the day.
Offensive line: A
When the point total and yard totals are what they are, especially another big day on the ground, the O-line always will get a lot of love. Sure, they outweighed their opponent's d-line by at least 30lbs. each, but they played like it limiting holding and false start penalties this week.
Overall Offense: A
Almost 600 yards of offense gets the Cougars their best offensive output all year long so its tough not to give them their best grade of the season as well.
Defensive line: B+
The defensive line - sans Hebron Fangupo and Romney Fuga - - was solid all game, pushing Idaho State's offensive line backwards. BYU used much of its depth. Travis Tuiloma's presence was notable. Even Simote Vea played.
Kyle Van Noy dominated, registering two sacks and generally harassing Bengal quarterback Kevin Yost. Jordan Pendleton also recorded two sacks. Brandon Ogletree, Uona Kaveinga and Spencer Hadley made several nice plays.
Idaho State was able to pick up over 100 yards passing in the first quarter, and it was fair at that point to question BYU's coverage against this FCS opponent. BYU started locking up receivers better from there. For the game, BYU gave up 231 yards passing. Considering the Bengals attempted 60 passes, that's not bad. The Cougars picked up three interceptions. Daniel Sorensen intercepted a Kevin Yost pass in the third quarter and returned it for a touchdown. Travis Uale and Jordan Johnson intercepted backup Justin Arias.
Overall Defense: B+
BYU held Idaho State to 251 yards and 3 points. Those are solid numbers against anybody. The Cougars held the Bengals to 20 yards rushing - 2 yards below their average. 1.1 ypc was slightly above the ISU average. BYU limited to Idaho State to 231 yards passing on 60 attempts. The Cougars also registered 6 sacks and 3 interceptions. It was a solid day for the BYU D.
Special Teams: B+
BYU fumbled a punt return, which drives the grade down a notch. In a competitive game, that would have cost the Cougars. BYU was lucky to give up no points on Idaho State's subsequent drive. Kyle Van Noy registered a punt block in the first quarter. BYU's punting was solid. Justin Sorensen connected on all extra points. Kick and punt return coverages were solid, and even pinned the Bengals back a couple times. A long punt return from J.D. Falslev was called back in the fourth quarter because of a holding penalty.