It was a big day for the ground game, which produced 421 yards and five touchdowns. As expected, the Cougars only needed one half of play to wrap this game up for the seniors. After a loss to Wisconsin, the Cougars rebounded well against an FCS opponent by amassing 578 yards of offense in preparation to face Notre Dame next week.
Quite a few players got a chance to see the field and get some work in, although it isn't clear why some freshmen would see the field this late in the season. Overall it was a very good day for the Cougars despite some struggles early from the quarterback position.
There wasn't a whole lot of throwing going on against the Bengal defense. Taysom Hill only threw the ball 19 times for 153 yards, but threw three interceptions in the process to really hurt his overall performance. Some passes were overthrown, while others weren't thrown well but were still caught by receivers. Against a defense that didn't match up well talent-wise, Hill had an off day but did manage to connect 11 times for a pass efficiency rating of 128.89 in limited play. He also added 62 yards on the ground with six carries. We'll chalk this one up to an off day for Hill and will look for him to have a better overall performance against Notre Dame.
Running backs: A+
One week after facing Wisconsin's talented running back tandem, BYU found a two-headed monster of its own, and believe it or not, Jamaal Wiliams wasn't the leading rusher. Adam Hine led the team in rushing yardage for the first time in his career with 10 carries for 141 yards. He averaged 14.1 yards per carry while adding one touchdown to his resume. However, it was Williams that got the offense going early. Williams rushed for 133 yards and three scores on only 13 carries. It was a great night for BYU's running backs and a great performance in tribute to the seniors. The two-pronged rushing attack of Hine and Williams combined for a total of 272 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
The receivers didn't get into the action as much as expected, and that was due to a limited passing game. Senior Skyler Ridley led all players with four catches for 86 yards and one touchdown. Fellow senior Cody Hoffman was the only other Cougar receiver to get in on the action, tallying two catches for 27 yards in limited play.
Tight ends: A-
There wasn't a lot of action from the tight end position, but senior Richard Wilson scored his first touchdown of the season, which was good to see. There were only four passes thrown to the tight ends, three of which were caught.
Offensive line: A-
On the whole, the offensive line overpowered the Idaho State defensive front – as it should – to allow the ground game to find its groove. The offensive line did give up a sack to Idaho State's James Bergren for a 5-yard loss, but overall had a very good day opening up holes through the ISU front for a rushing average of 9.2 yards per carry.
Much like on the offensive side of the ball, quite a few Cougar defenders saw the field, and even a few freshmen got a chance to play.
Defensive line: A
The Cougar defensive line did a good job of keeping the Bengal rushing game grounded for the most part while applying pressure in the passing game. There were four sacks recorded and one interception by Bronson Kaufusi that he took back for a touchdown. It was an overall solid day for the Cougar defensive front, which only allowed 159 rushing yards on 41 carries while BYU's backup players received the bulk of the playing time.
Seniors Uani Unga and Kyle Van Noy received limited playing time but still made an impact. Unga led all linebackers, once again, with five total tackles, including one for a loss. Van Noy recorded two tackles, both of which were for a loss. Manoa Pikula and Alani Fua combined for eight tackles and three pass breakups. Jherrremya Leuta-Douyere got some quality time and did very well rushing off the edge, while recording four tackles. Overall it was a solid day for the Cougar linebackers.
Senior Mike Hague turned in a solid performance, leading the defense in total tackles with seven. He also turned in two pass breakups. Craig Bills and senior Daniel Sorensen played well in the ground game from their safety positions. Mike Davis got a lot of playing time and recorded five tackles with one pass breakup. Chris Badger also got a chance to shine, as did freshman Kai Nacua, who was tied for second on the team in total tackles with five. Nacua had a very good game, recording two tackles for a combined loss of 13 yards and two pass breakups. In a game in which many received an opportunity to play, the secondary did well.
Special teams: A
Senior Justin Sorensen got a lot of work in and was perfect in all his kicking attempts. Overall it was a good night for Sorensen, who went 8 of 8 in extra points and added one field goal, adding 11 points to the scoreboard. It was a solid last home game for the senior.