Max Hall and the offense got off to a slow start, but he settled in very nicely in adjusting to some adverse weather conditions. Hall didn't put up gaudy numbers, but he was as efficient as ever showing very well on third-down along with other critical situations.
Offensive Coordinator Robert Anae called a great game going away from over-the-top attempts on wide receiver patterns and wheel routes from the running backs due to the extreme wind conditions. The offense was efficient in putting together ball-control drives that ate up a lot of clock and that subsequently never allowed Oregon State to get back into the game.
Fans are going to miss Hall and his consistency to be sure. He capped off his career tonight in very impressive and typical fashion showing well on third-down as he has throughout his career at BYU.
Running Backs: A-
Harvey Unga, like the rest of the offense, got off to a horrendous start before showing like most would expect. Unga ran strong compiling 71 yards on 24 carries doing most of his work as the game winded down.
Manase Tonga perhaps had his best game of the year rushing the ball five times for 42 yards and a touchdown. He also accounted for a touchdown reception and was solid in every area as has become the norm.
Wide Receivers: B-
McKay Jacobson was quietly effective along with Luke Ashworth who accounted for a reception, but this wasn't a game that featured the Cougar wideouts. O'Neil Chambers didn't have his best game in dropping and easy pass and accounting for a drive-killing late-hit, but those plays didn't bear much impact on the final score.
Tight Ends: A
It was Dennis Pitta and Andrew George that got the offense in gear at the start of the game. Oregon State wasn't able to bottle them up as both made key play after key play to put the Cougar ahead enough to the point where the Beavers never seriously contended throughout the game.
There might not be two seniors on the team that will be harder to replace than the two starting Cougar tight ends. In every game they've shown up and executed during critical situations that no Cougar fan should soon forget.
Offensive Line: B+
They got off to a very rocky start before they started to assert themselves. Hall did take too many hits than you'd like to see, but overall it was a very solid outing for the big uglies. Nick Alletto returned to the starting lineup and contributed a lot to the overall success of the Cougar offensive front.
Defensive Line: A
There was no better unit on the field of play than the Cougar defensive front. Both Jan Jorgensen and Brett Denney played as good as ever, but it was nose tackle Russell Tialavea who really stepped up his play in putting forth his best effort of the year.
The defensive front handled the Oregon State offensive line with relative ease as they were able to mount good pressure and bottle up the effectiveness of Jacquizz Rodgers. It was the last game for both Jorgensen and for Denney while Tialavea will be leaving for a mission in the next few weeks, so it was great to see all three leave with such a great collective effort.
The improvement of the linebacker's overall play during the last half of the season has contributed more to the overall defensive success than anything else. The play at outside linebacker was impeccable as Jordan Pendleton and Coleby Clawson allowed nothing to be broken outside while covering the flats effectively. It would be hard to imagine a better effort from the Cougar OLBs.
On the inside the play was just about as solid as Matt Bauman helped put the Cougars ahead early with a fumble returned for a touchdown. His contributions didn't stop there as he and Shawn Doman put forth solid efforts. A few tackles were missed leaving them short of a perfect grade, but overall it may have been their best effort of the season.
Brandon Bradley is starting to realize his potential as he's improved as much as any defensive player this season. He was nails once again tonight allowing almost nothing to go against him. Brian Logan was his normal dominant self in coverage and with Bradley, they're making a strong case for themselves as the best cornerback duo BYU has fielded since Bronco Mendenhall became head coach.
Lee Aguirre got some good time and did show well although he was beat for a late touchdown. Overall the cornerback situation at BYU has never been better in regards to experience, depth and talent.
Andrew Rich was simply outstanding in providing run support and in his coverage in the open field. Scott Johnson shined well in his final game as a Cougar accounting for his share of big plays including a game-sealing interception late in the game.
Special Teams: B
Riley Stephenson fared much better than his counterpart on Oregon State in kicking against and with the wind. The conditions didn't make for a pretty outing, but Stephenson did about as well as could be hoped considering. Mitch Payne converted on all his attempts while the kick coverage was solid.