Jake Heaps another phenomenal outing in riddling the UTEP coverage with accurate throws throughout the game. He set a New Mexico Bowl record with 4 touchdown passes and again showed an amazing ability to put the right touch on several deep pass attempts.
He wasn't perfect, however and did throw a pick late in the first half along with some overthrown deep attempts, but we're nit-picking at this point. The future for Heaps and the quarterback position at BYU couldn't be much brighter going forward.
Running Backs: B+
Joshua Quezada and JJ Di Luigi were the primary running options today with Bryan Kariya not seeing his usual load. Both players ran the ball very well throughout the game although Di Luigi did account for a couple of dropped passes.
Wide Receivers: A-
Cody Hoffman had a great game with his 3 touchdown passes while establishing himself as BYU's best deep threat. McKay Jacobson and Luke Ashworth both contributed some nice grabs of their own in what was a very solid performance from the Cougar wideouts.
Tight Ends: B
The tight ends were a bit quiet although it was very nice to see Richard Wilson get into the action with a couple of catches. The blocking from the tight ends was brilliant with Austin Holt again leading the group in that category.
Offensive Line: A
The Cougar offensive front was the best position group on the field today. They dominated the play from start to finish with punishing run-blocks and not allowing any real pressure on Heaps.
Defensive Line: A-
The defensive front did an outstanding job in making the UTEP rushing attack virtually non-existent. The Miners were never able to get a consistent ground game going due to some outstanding play once again by Eathyn Manumaleuna in getting almost every rep at nose tackle.
It was a solid game from the Cougar linebackers as has become the norm. Jameson Frazier and Kyle Van Noy in particular showed well from their outside linebacker positions accounting for some great plays in the Miner backfield.
Andrew Rich went out strong with two well-deserved interceptions while Travis Uale showed well and consistent once again. Uale should widely be considered as the most-improved defensive player on the team over the course of the season.
It wasn't the best game for the Cougar corners with UTEP's scores coming by virtue of beating the coverages downfield. Overall, this has been an outstanding unit, but they did show some weakness against some very athletic Miner wideouts during today's game.
Special Teams: B
Kick coverage suffered as they allowed some big-gainers on kickoffs, but Riley Stephenson had a great game with JD Falslev providing the best punt return of the season. Overall it was pretty much a wash in which team had the bigger advantage on special teams.