Game day report: BYU 38, OSU 28

Led by quarterback Riley Nelson, the Cougar offense racked up nearly 500 yards of total offense in what was a balanced attack through the air and on the ground. In what ended up being a slugfest, the Cougars went into Pac-12 country and come away with a crucial win on the road.

Quarterbacks: B+

Riley Nelson raised his grade performance from last week, and his grade would have been higher if it weren't for an interception that allowed Oregon State to stay in the game the first half. In the end, Nelson proved too much for the Oregon State defense, and if it weren't for the turnover, his gutsy performance would have earned him an A on the road.

Running backs: A

The biggest surprise of the offense has been sophomore running back Michael Alisa, who rushed for 84 yards against a tough run defense. The key to BYU winning this game establishing a running game against a tough Pac-12 run defense in order to utilize the passing game. Alisa gashed the Beaver defense, keeping it honest and allowing Nelson to open it up with the pass. Both Joshua Quezada and J.J. Di Luigi provided a good change of pace. On the ground the Cougars gained 282 yards in a great running game performance.

Wide receivers: A-

The receivers made great plays all game long downfield. Most of that came by way of Cody Hoffman, who really immerged as an offensive weapon against the Beaver defense. The Cougar receivers hauled in two touchdowns and 184 yards through the air.

Tight ends: B

It was a solid performance by the tight ends Saturday in what was a limited passing game. Austin Holt turned in a very good performance, one again, primarily blocking for Alisa and catching during critical downs. Once again, a touchdown was scored by a Cougar tight end, but this time it was from Kaneakua Friel.

Offensive line: A-

The offensive line dominated in the trenches against a tough Beaver front seven. The offensive line blew open holes for Alisa, Quezada, Di Luigi and Nelson all night long with aggressive play.

Offensive MVP goes to: Cody Hoffman

It would be easy to give the game ball to Michael Alisa, but Cody Hoffman deserves the MVP award for this game. Throughout the game, and in critical downs, Hoffman made play after play after play in what was easily his best performance of the year. If Hoffman continues this type of performance, he will emerge as BYU's top go-to receiver as one who can go up and get the ball. Hoffman ended the game with nine catches for 162 yards and one touchdown.

Defensive line: B

Oregon State rushed the ball 23 times and only averaged 2.6 yards per carry despite facing some quality talent in the young up-and-comer Malcolm Agnew. The front three had a difficult time getting pressure at times in a three-man rush, but held strong despite losing two starters early.

Linebackers: B

The linebackers continue to make plays in the middle and on the outside in both the run and passing game. Kyle Van Noy recorded his third interception of the season, while Uona Kaveinga and Brandon Ogletree stuffed the run up the middle. Pendleton showed why his physical tools are such an asset to the team at the field side position, whether in coverage, blitzing or stopping the run. It was a solid performance by the Cougar linebackers.

Safeties: C+

While the Cougar safeties performed well in run coverage, they struggled a bit in coverage. Again BYU fans saw an opponent get behind the defense in what is supposed to be the last line of defense for big plays. The Cougar secondary limited the Beaver tight ends, but struggled to cover over the top against the OSU offense.

Cornerbacks: C

It wasn't pretty, but when one has to cover Oregon State's all-time leading receiver – the quick and shifty James Rodgers – it isn't an easy task. Markus Wheaton caught eight passes for 104 yards, as it wasn't the best performance by the BYU corners, but it was enough as the Cougar defense bent but didn't break.

Defensive MVP goes to: Kyle Van Noy

While Preston Hadley and Jordan Pendleton could make a case for themselves, the MVP award goes to Kyle Van Noy. As the Beaver offense was driving and the momentum was shifting in the first half, Van Noy picked off a pass in the blue zone and ran it back 43 yards, keeping the momentum in the Cougars' corner. Van Noy had four solo tackles and turned in another solid performance on the road.

Special teams: C

There was a lapse in the the kickoff coverage for a third straight game as Cougar opponents continue to return kicks for big yards. Justin Sorensen missed a long 53-yard field goal and had another one blocked.


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