“Last week was kind of hard and we didn’t do enough to get the win, but last week is just like any other week,” said Mahina. “We just have to go out and prepare ourselves to win and keep moving forward.”
Despite the many injuries that plagued BYU during the UCF game, something was learned. The team learned that although many of the starters were out the team could move forward with some of the younger players coming up.
“We took away that we can still play even though we have so many injuries,” said Mahina. “We’ve still got guys that will go in there and battle, and that we just need to practice, practice, and practice to go up and above our own preparation.”
While the Cougars might have suffered a defeat what did seem to progress, or at least be rediscovered, was the use of the tight end position. It’s been awhile since a tight end had the kind of performance (four catches for 46 yards and two touchdowns) Devin Mahina had last week against UCF.
“I was pretty happy,” he said. “I would rather have come out with a win, but, you know, I was still given an opportunity and I just tried to make the most out of it.
“You know, I felt like I could have done this earlier in the season. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to show what I could do.”
Why the tight end success now? Why did Mahina enjoy the kind of success he did against UCF? To be quite honest, he isn’t quite sure himself.
“You know, honestly I don’t know,” said Mahina. “We’re running the same plays and I think Stewart just thought that I was open and threw me the ball. I just tried to make the most out of it.”
The secret to Mahina’s success could have come from none other than Christian Stewart’s father Nick Stewart. Long ago, Nick gave his young quarterback son Christian some advice that may have helped Mahina’s game performance years later.
“You know, it’s funny because after the game Christian’s dad came up to me after the game and said to me, ‘You know, I’ve been telling Christian ever since he was little the tight ends are your best friend,’” said Mahina with a chuckle in his voice. “I was just laughing at that. Since he was told that by his dad maybe he applied that to his game, I don’t know. I thought that was pretty funny.”
Mahina hopes the UCF game isn’t a one trick pony, but that from here on out he can establish the trust between tight end and quarterback to be more of a threat within the offense.
“I sure hope so,” Mahina said. “Hopefully we can go more in the middle because we’ve been doing a lot with Mitch and Jordan and have been keying in on them. It’s good to have another guy in there, especially with Paul [Lasike] and Algie [Brown] stepping up too. It’s going to be good.”
When it comes to being a go-to player within the Cougar offense, Mahina relishes the thought of being used more. He’s taken up the challenge that was given to the team, following Taysom Hill’s injury, to step up play at every offensive position.
“I mean Bronco challenged us earlier in that week, you know?” said Mahina. “We lost basically our best player, and for this team to continue to do well all of us are going to have to step up. I personally take that upon my shoulders to basically say, “I need to step up and do more, not only in blocking but in the passing game too.’ I’m just grateful Christian gave me the opportunity to do that, so.”
Cougar Cam: Devin Mahina
Tight end Mahina talks about the state of the team and gives a rundown of his two touchdowns against UCF. The big 6-6, 250-pound tight end talks about his role within the offense and how he hopes to continue contributing. He also gives a scouting report on Nevada's defense.
Cougar Cam: Devin Mahina