Cougars Recap Arizona Win

The Wildcats of Arizona and their fans were confident coming into Provo this past Saturday, but after being soundly beaten by the Cougars, they left scratching their heads.

Was Arizona talented? Sure. Were they more-so than the Cougars of BYU? The final score and game stats answer that question. So what was it about last Saturday's contest that left a Wildcat team soundly defeated and an overconfident fan base wondering what happened?

"I think we have a better scheme," said safety Corby Hodgkiss. "We prepared well throughout the prior week and we were more prepared for the game. We knew exactly what they were going to do. We weren't quite sure at first, but after the first series, we pretty much knew. We've seen these things before, and what Arizona tried to do wasn't anything new to us."

The Wildcats brought over Sonny Dykes from Texas Tech to be their new offensive coordinator. Dykes learned the Texas Tech offense from Red Raider head coach Mike Leach.

The passing offense of Texas Tech is a variable of the old BYU west coast offense, which was first developed by LaVell Edwards and Doug Scovill. Leach witnessed that offense firsthand while he attended BYU during the 80's. The offensive look the Wildcats gave the Cougars on Saturday wasn't anything that the coaches at BYU haven't seen or helped developed in the past.

"It was just one of those things where it was easy," said Hodgkiss. "We've been playing against this offense every day in practice, and so when it came time to play on Saturday we knew exactly what to expect.

"Our coverages were very well and we were able to make some plays early on the back-end, which discouraged them early. They didn't show us anything that we couldn't handle."

The fact that BYU was familiar with Arizona's offense was not the only disadvantage that the Wildcats faced; it was also the first actual game in which that offense was being implemented.

"I feel like, as far as our back-end with our corners and safeties, that our coverages were very well," said Hodgkiss. "[Tuitama] was a little hesitant to go downfield until the end of the game when there wasn't much to lose. They were coming in with a new offense and a new offensive coordinator, so he was a little hesitant on his reads, which helped us out. He threw a lot of checkdown passes once we were able to take away things on the back-end. This kept things simple for them, but it also made things easy for us as well."

By making a simplistic checkdown system the focal point of their offense, Arizona played right into the strengths of the BYU defense.

"Our mentality is to fly to the ball," Hodgkiss said. "Those short passes aren't going to work very much with how our defense is designed. So that, and by them doing nothing new, allowed us to calm down, relax and just play the game. I loved it and it was a lot of fun."

BYU's offense made 22 first downs, while Arizona only had 11. The Cougars rushed the ball 32 times for 104 yards, whereas Arizona only rushed for 32 yards. Harvey Unga racked up a game-high 194 all-purpose yards and reached the end zone twice.

Unga averaged 4.5 yards per carry and averaged over 14 yards per reception, earning him MWC Offensive Player of the Week honors. Unga's offensive total against the Wildcats marked the top performance by a freshman running back in the country.

Now you can hear BYU freshman running back Harvey Unga give his view on the Arizona game.

In his first football game in four years, Max Hall threw for 288 yards against the best secondary in the Pac-10. The Cougar offense racked up 392 total yards on 71 plays. Now you can listen to Hall give his view of the Arizona game.

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