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LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- OVERALL: A
Yeah, New Mexico State is a bad football team. It's hard, though, to knock the wire-to-wire effort when the final score is 50-14. BYU came out of the gate sluggish, but quickly picked up the pace, and then turned on the afterburners in the second half. James Lark with 6 touchdown passes and no INTs probably had the best game of any BYU career backup EVER. Cody Hoffman set a new standard for BYU receivers, hauling in 5 touchdown passes.
BYU put up 520 yards and converted 9 of 16 first downs. The overall grade struggles a little bit because the offensive line did not have a good game run blocking. The Cougars' production should have been much better on the ground against the 1-10 Aggies.
The senior Lark completed 34 of 50 passes for 384 yards, 6 TDs and 0 INTs. Riley Nelson - out with a rib injury -- could only watch and wish. Jason Munns handed the ball off well in mop-up duty.
RUNNING BACKS: A
The Cougar ground attack only averaged 3.9 yards per carry as a unit and totaled 136 yards for the game. Jamaal Williams was the leading rusher with 62 yards on 19 carries (3.3 ypr). David Foote had 4 carries for 52 yards. The struggles in production were not the fault of the running backs. The offensive line had a very difficult time generating a push against an inferior defense.
Cody Hoffman had a video game-type effort, finishing with 12 catches for 182 yards and 5 touchdowns. The 5 touchdowns, again, set a single game record for BYU WRs. JD Falslev hauled in 9 catches for 68 yards. Skyler Ridley had 5 grabs for 46 yards. The receivers caught the ball well, ran sharp routes and looked very strong all game. The highlight of the game may have been when Hoffman hurdled a NMSU defender and then paced down the sideline for his third touchdown of the game.
OFFENSIVE LINE: B-
The pass protection was adequate, but the run blocking was not against a team where it should have been. It's been more obvious as the season has developed that BYU needs an overhaul at OL. It remains to be seen whether that involves a change in coaching, personnel or both.
Other than a lapse where the defense gave up a 67 yard touchdown pass from Andrew Manley to Kemonte Bateman, the Cougars were very stout. The BYU defense held NMSU to 187 yards and only 29 yards rushing. The Aggies were 4 of 13 on third downs.
DEFENSIVE LINE: A
The Cougar defensive line was stifling and didn't allow many significant holes for Aggie running back Germi Morrison. Bronson Kaufusi notched a sack.
Once again, it was a standout effort for Kyle Van Noy. He racked up 3 sacks and now has 11.5 on the season. The linebackers were aggressive and were solid in run and pass coverage.
Andrew Manley finished 13 of 24 for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. He had no interceptions. The pass coverage was generally good for the game, other than the lapse in coverage that led to the 67 yard score. That takes the secondary's grade down a notch.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Riley Stephenson continues his stellar play in the punting game. He got one punt downed at the 2 yard line. His two punts went for 107 yards (53.5 avg). JD Falslev notched a pretty punt return, making a nice move and then zipping up the middle of the field for 42 yards. The NMSU punter had to stop him. The kicking game is another story for BYU. Justin Sorensen missed two PATs and was 1 of 2 on his field goal tries.