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The BYU Cougars dropped a tough one at home to Oregon State, 42-24. Here are some initial thoughts on today's game...
-Riley Nelson looked very determined this afternoon. After missing the past two games with a back injury Nelson did not play tentatively at all. Even with the interceptions, I thought Nelson played well. He finished the day with 305 yards passing with a touchdown and three INTs. Riley also rushed for 29 yards on 13 carries.
-The BYU defense struggled to get consistent pressure on Beaver QB Cody Vaz. When BYU was able to get pressure, Vaz wasn't the same player. The bottom line is: Oregon State carved up the Cougars through the air. The BYU defense gave up 332 yards passing.
-Oregon State was more of a legitimate Top 10 team than I gave them credit for. It doesn't appear the Beavers will skip a beat without Sean Mannion at quarterback. I was impressed with Cody Vaz.
-The kicking game is still an issue. The coaches were clearly doing whatever it took to avoid using the kickers for anything other than punting, kicking-off and extra points. BYU was pretty much forced to kick a field goal with 8:55 in the 4th; Sorensen was true for 35 yards. It will be interesting to see if that "make" is a mental breakthrough.
-The BYU offensive line play still needs some work. There were too many times where Oregon State was able to get pressure on Riley with just a 3-man rush.
BYU plays at Notre Dame next week. Kick-off will be at 1:30pm MT on KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM). Pregame coverage will begin at 11:30am MT.