Heaps again struggled to find his receivers on a consistent basis, and that led to a lack of offensive momentum throughout the game. With the Cougars trailing, the decision to spark life back into the offense was made with the introduction of Riley Nelson at the quarterback position. It wasn't pretty, but he got the job done.
Running backs: B-
BYU's run game was much improved against a feisty Utah State defense. The Cougars gained 200 rushing yards against the Aggies in what was a solid run performance.
Wide receivers: B
There were some dropped passes, but overall the receivers turned in a solid performance. Ross Apo had a rather quiet night on the outside, but Cody Hoffman came through again. The h-position was somewhat quiet, but gave the Aggie linebackers fits all night.
Tight ends: B+
The tight ends continue to show why they're the most improved position on the offense. Austin Holt got it done, again, in both the blocking game and in catching the ball downfield. Marcus Mathews has shown that he is a solid and reliable go-to player who made the heroic catch in the end zone to send his team on to victory.
Offensive line: C+
The offensive line didn't blow the Aggies off the line of scrimmage, but they did open up holes for the backs more consistently this game. Against a smaller Aggie front, the offensive line should have controlled the trenches more physically.
Offensive MVP goes to: Riley Nelson
Although Cody Hoffman turned in another solid performance, the game ball has to go to Riley Nelson, who came off the bench and led the team to victory. Nelson turned in a tough, gritty performance, slicing and dicing his way through the Aggie defense on the ground while making play after play through the air to help snatch the Cougars from the jaws of Aggie defeat.
Defensive line: C
The defensive line didn't have the type of performance one would expect, but then again, they were facing one of the best running backs they'll face all year in Robert Turbin. The defensive line played aggressive, as expected, but lost gap control often, causing a lot of long runs by the Aggie backs.
The linebackers had a difficult time wrapping up Aggie ball carriers from time to time. The aggressive nature of the Cougar linebackers was exploited at the point of attack, allowing the Aggies to run for 284 yards on 37 carries.
The safeties didn't beat deep like they did against UCF. They turned in a solid performance against the pass and were heavily involved in the run game. Daniel Sorenson showed more discipline for being a young player with a lot of responsibility.
The Aggies only completed 13 passes the entire game. Joe Sampson locked down his side of the field when he was in, and the Aggies totaled a mere 122 yards through the air.
Defensive MVP goes to: Brandon Ogletree
Ogletree turned in a solid game on a night where the defensive front received a heavy overdose of run. In a game where the defense was torched for a total of 406 yards by the Aggies, it was tough to find any one standout performer. The constant and steady play of Ogletree earned him the defensive MVP.
Special teams: B-
The special teams were solid, but a missed field goal and J.D. Falslev not electing to catch the ball on the 20-yard line before the final drive could have proven disastrous for the Cougars. Cody Hoffman had another great performance returning kicks, raising the overall grade.