Game day report: UCF vs. BYU

It wasn't pretty, but the Cougars will take it. Against a pesky Central Florida team, the Cougars came back from a halftime deficit to pull out a win thanks to the Cougar special teams.

Quarterbacks: C

Consistency is still an issue at the quarterback position, as Jake Heaps will make some throws but then miss wide open receivers or running backs on easy pass plays. Heaps has yet to put together a dominating performance and has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns on the season.

Running Backs: B

The run game did have some success with the return of fullback Zed Mendenhall leading the way for Bryan Kariya in the I-back formation. Both touchdowns came off of runs in what was the most productive day from the Cougar backfield in the season so far. BYU rushed for 127 yards on a very good defense.

Wide Receivers: C

The receivers were just average against the UCF secondary in man and zone coverage. There were far too many dropped balls, certainly more than one would like to see from a BYU receiving corps in a short passing game.

Tight Ends: B

Marcus Mathews turned in a very productive performance catching the ball, and Richard Wilson also got into the act. Austin Holt played well at the attached tight end position. The tight ends didn't drop a single pass and exposed the zone of the Knight defense for a good night.

Offensive Line: C+

Against a defensive line comprised in large part of 245-pound players, this was the game where the offensive line could have made a statement. However, despite playing against a smaller opponent, the offensive line again didn't live up to its potential. The line did have some success in the power game, but with a single back the offensive line never asserted its dominance in a consistent manner.

Offensive MVP Goes To: Cody Hoffman

Hoffman had a decent game receiving against a very tough secondary ranked third in the nation in passing efficiency, behind only Kansas State and Alabama. However, it was Hoffman's special teams play that solidified his MVP status for the game. Hoffman had 153 all-purpose yards on the night.

Defensive line: B

The defensive line played a solid and disciplined game against an option ride offense with a mobile quarterback. The defensive line made a few key stops when it was needed and kept the UCF run game in check throughout the game. The front three were very active up front and very disruptive in the UCF passing game, even recording a sack.

Linebackers: B

The linebackers played a solid game all across the board, especially in the run game. Jameson Frazier played well in Pendleton's absence and Kyle Van Noy had another big game from the weak side position, making tackles from the backside and even recording a sack. Missed tackles from the middle linebacker position kept the grade from being higher.

Safeties: C

There were good things and bad things from the safety position. Big hits by Travis Uale and Daniel Sorensen in both the run and passing game gave the Cougar offense the ball. However, far too many times the safeties get beat deep for big gains. The youth at the safety position was exposed on several occasions that could have cost the Cougars the game.

Cornerbacks: C+

The field side cornerback position played fairly well, but the field side struggled in man coverage. UCF was able to gash the Cougar secondary on key downs that consistently kept them in the game. Poor passing by the UCF quarterback bailed out the Cougar secondary on several occasions.

Defensive MVP Goes To: Kyle Van Noy

Van Noy just makes play after play from his outside linebacker position. He was strong and disruptive in the run game all night long, shedding tackles and racking up assists, tipped balls and a sack to end the game. Joe Sampson also had an MVP performance in limited play Friday night and recorded an interception when UCF had all the momentum.

Special Teams: A+

Special teams won the game for the Cougars Friday night. Riley Stephenson came up big with booming punts when they were needed. Special teams coverage was very good and even recovered a turnover. The kick return unit opened a gaping hole, allowing Hoffman to run 98 yards for a critical score. Sorensen was perfect with extra points and even kicked a 37-yard field goal.


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