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Game Day Grades: BYU vs. Idaho

Game Day Grades: BYU vs. Idaho

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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BYU dominated this game from the start, leading 28-7 after the first quarter. The grade suffers a bit because of some sluggish play in the second half. Still, it was a good overall effort for the team. Jamaal Williams looked sensational in limited work, and Riley Nelson had one of his more efficient performances of the season.


The Cougars racked up 367 yards of offense and 35 of the team's 42 points at halftime, then cruised to 539 total yards. BYU totaled 252 yards rushing. The Cougars held the ball for 11:34 more.


This was one of Riley Nelson's best performances of the season. The oft-criticized Nelson was 19 of 31 for 236 yards, 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Nelson was accurate on his intermediate throws, and showed some range with a 53 yard completion to Ross Apo. He also added 49 yards rushing on 7 carries. James Lark saw extended time in relief of Nelson. He completed 6 of 11 passes for 51 yards and a touchdown.


Jamaal Williams alone deserved an A grade. He had 104 yards on 10 carries and 2 touchdowns. His backups were slightly underwhelming and lowered the unit grade. Both Paul Lasike (12 carries, 44 yards, 3.7 ypc) and David Foote (10 carries, 38 yards, 3.8 ypc) averaged under 4.0 yards per carry against an inferior defense.


Cody Hoffman totaled 9 receptions for 108 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was his usual consistent-if-not-spectacular self. Ross Apo had one of his strongest statistical games of the season, fielding 4 catches for 70 yards. Skyler Ridley made some nice catches and finished with 4 catches for 53 yards. The receivers got open regularly and were solid in making yards after the catch.


The offensive line could not be knocked against the Vandals. The Cougars tallied 252 yards rushing on 44 carries, good for a 5.7 yard-per-carry average. Nelson frequently had ample time to complete throws. Even the backups performed decently at times with Lark under center.


Idaho only managed 273 yards, and really didn't fare any better in garbage time. The Vandals were just 2 of 12 on third down conversions. BYU racked up 5 turnovers, and put steady pressure on Idaho's quarterback.


The defensive line helped contain the run and didn't give Idaho's passing attack much time to develop. The Vandals generated just 61 yards rushing on 23 carries (2.7 ypc). Simote Vea recorded a fumble recovery.


Uani' Unga notched an interception and a fumble recovery and Kyle Van Noy also had a fumble recovery. This active group continues to impress in almost every outing. It is one of the best linebacking units in the nation, and it showed it again against the Vandals.


In one of the most interesting plays of the night, a bad snap went over the head of Idaho's quarterback and Spencer Hadley recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. BYU's defensive backs gave up a few too many long throws, including a 33 yarder in the first quarter that went for a touchdown. It was still a solid effort. The Vandals managed a modest 212 yards passing on 38 attempts (5.6 yards per pass attempt). Senior Robbie Buckner recorded an interception.


The 27 yard field goal miss by Justin Sorensen was truly atrocious. He did connect on a 21-yarder late in the game. Riley Stephenson averaged 42.5 yards per punt, and both landed inside the 20. The kick return numbers were modest. David Foote registered a 16 yard punt return.

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Andrew Adams


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