It was the tale of three quarterbacks Saturday with Riley Nelson, James Lark and Taysom Hill. Nelson alone should have had more than 300 yards of passing against the Wildcat defense. However, it would take a collective effort for that to happen. Nelson threw an interception with a pass that shouldn't have been thrown. The combined passing efficiency rating for the three Cougar quarterbacks passing was 134.26, which was down from the season opener against Washington State.
Running backs: B-
Much like the quarterback position, this was a game in which the running backs should have broken out early for a dominating performance. Instead, the Cougar backs sputtered along and had to fight for ground throughout the entire game. BYU's two primary backs in Michael Alisa and David Foote only managed 75 yards between them, despite the overall ground game producing 243 total yards with the help of the quarterbacks and receivers.
Wide receivers: A-
Most of this grade goes to Cody Hoffman, who torched the Wildcat secondary for 115 yards on seven catches. The offense was watered down quite a bit with lots of players getting into the action, but despite that fact, the receivers turned in a solid performance on the day.
Tight ends: A-
Four different tight ends caught passes during the game: Kaneakua Friel, Richard Wilson, Devin Mahina and Austin Holt. The tight ends caught a total of seven passes for 93 yards. Friel had a touchdown, and Mahina just barely missed out on getting another touchdown by about a foot. Most of the receptions by the tight ends were downfield, making the group performance a solid one on the day.
Offensive line: C
This was supposed to be a game in which the offensive line could correct the issues it had against Washington State. However, the offensive line performance against the inferior Wildcat defensive line leaves more question marks than answers. The line wasn't able to establish a clean run game between the tackles. The pocket was dented in passing situations and the tackles struggled at times with the outside rush. Once again, not a good day for the offensive line.
Defensive line: B+
The defensive line played a solid game, as expected, and held the Wildcat run game in check between the tackles for the most part. True freshman Bronson Kaufusi recorded his first sack and provided great blitzing lanes for the linebackers to pressure, make tackles for a loss and record six sacks on the day.
Saturday was the Spencer Hadley show from the linebacker position. Hadley recorded two sacks while racking up seven tackles. Kyle Van Noy also had a sack and middle linebacker Uona Kaveinga was in on one as well. The linebackers were dominant, holding the Wildcats to only 115 total yards on the ground with an average of only 2.7 yards per carry.
Defensive backs: A
Jordan Johnson and Preston Hadley held Wildcat receivers Jordan Clemente and Xavian Johnson in check for most of the game. Clemente only managed 25 receiving yards and Johnson only 14 yards. It was another good performance by the Cougar defensive backs, against an offense that only managed 139 total yards through the air. The Wildcats ran more than they threw the ball downfield, giving BYU's secondary less of a chance to make an interception. The Cougar secondary was solid once again in coverage and in run support.