Cougar Curve: BYU 59, UNLV 21

Not much of anything went wrong for the Cougars Saturday as they rolled over the Rebels. BYU put it to UNLV on both sides of the football, and with the Rebels making some very untimely mistakes during key early stretches, the game quickly became a laugher. Grades are in for every position group, and as one could imagine, those grades are quite high.

Quarterback: A

Max Hall didn't have to do much, but what he did he did very effectively. Hall finished the game going 21-of-27 for 320 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. It was a bit of a walk in the park for Hall, as anything and everything they threw at the hapless Rebels seemed to work.

Riley Nelson got into the game for a snap early on and finished out the route running the ball four times for 17 yards and a touchdown.

Running Backs: A

Harvey Unga had the type of game most expected of him, rushing for 7.5 yards per carry, 149 total yards and three touchdowns. Manase Tonga continued to improve, while J.J. Di Luigi put forth his best effort as a Cougar, rushing the ball six times for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Special recognition goes out to Jo Jo Pili, who got his first reps of his career after walking on to the program from Orem High School. Pili carried the ball just twice for six yards, but did score a touchdown.

Wide Receivers: B+

All of the receivers got involved, although their collective contributions tailed off somewhat as the game began to become a laugher. None of the wideouts stood out, but all of them quietly went about their business providing key receptions when called upon.

True freshman Brett Thompson was the notable contributor, filling into the rotation well at the ZR position. He finished the game catching two passes for 52 yards.

Tight Ends: A-

Andrew George got most of the looks early on, with Dennis Pitta taking over late. Together they combined for five catches for 121 yards and a touchdown.

Offensive Line: A-

The pass protection was great and the line got a good push up field on most running plays. The only criticism would be the handfull of times UNLV was able to collapse the point of attack for minimal gains early on during the ball game.

The second-stringers got plenty of work late and picked up right where the first-teamers left off, treating the Rebel defensive front as if they were bowling pins. The offensive line has been the most consistently good position unit on the team so far this season.

Defensive Line: A

This group may have had its best game Saturday. The defensive line allowed absolutely nothing up the middle, as Romney Fuga is really starting to emerge as someone that can't be moved by most offensive fronts. Both Jan Jorgensen and Brett Denney were dominating, while the pass rush looked its best since the Tulane game.

Linebackers: B+

Matt Bauman showed very well, as he looked as healthy as he's been since his knee injury. Jordan Pendleton was the standout, accounting for a very nice interception early on the ball game. Pendleton was flying all over the field making plays and looked the best he has since the opening game against Oklahoma.

Coleby Clawson showed very well in pass rushing and in containment on the edges, while both Terrance Hooks and Shawn Doman made their share of good plays.

Cornerbacks: A-

The Rebels were unable to exploit Brian Logan, who was solid in his coverage throughout the night. Logan had his best game, as almost no passes were completed against him throughout the game.

Lee Aguirre got his first series of reps at boundary corner, but didn't show as aggressive as he has in practice. Look for Aguirre to improve on his play now that he has his feet wet. Corby Eason got some good work late in the game, while Brandon Bradley showed well during most plays.

Safeties: B+

The safeties were solid for the most part. Andrew Rich was matched up on Rebel star receiver Ryan Wolfe a lot of the time and did very well, although he did give up some passes. Scott Johnson went down with another injury, while Craig Bills filled in very well for him.

The Rebels were able to beat the Cougars deep a few times, which is a concern. A couple of times Bauman was found covering a receiver deep, which isn't a matchup one would want as it's something within the current coverage system that better teams may work at to exploit.

Special Teams: B

It was a bit of a mixed bag for the special teams, as they gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown but also accounted for a kickoff return that came up just short of the end zone. Riley Stephenson continued to show improvement in his kickoffs, as about half of them reached the end zone for touchbacks.


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