BYU Offense Preview

BYU's offense has been good and the Utah State run defense is ranked 4th in the country.

OFFENSE

WIDE RECEIVER

(INSIDE/SLOT)

6-5 223 junior Terenn Houk (Scout NR) fills one starting spot in the cougar spread attack. In 2013 Houk appeared in 9 games including 2 as a starter and he managed 2 receptions for 8 yards. In 2014 in 4 games Houk has already tripled his 2013 production by adding 7 catches for 87 yards and 1 TD. Houks' back up is 6-0 191 sophomore walk-on Colby Pearson (Scout NR). Pearson saw action during 6 games as a true freshman in 2013 primarily making his contribution on special teams. However in 2014 Pearson has gotten in on the act offensively as well seeing action in 3 games thus far and recording 3 receptions for 47 yards.

(H-BACK)

In an unorthodox schematic use of the H-Back position sophomore Mitch Juergens (Scout NR) plays a big part for the cougars offensively. At 5-10 182 Juergens did not appear in any games for byu during the 2013 season as a redshirt freshman. Juergens is making the most of his first ever collegiate playing time in 2014 by starting in 3 of the four games that he has appeared in. On the 2014 season Juergens has pulled in 5 receptions for 110 yards and 1 TD. The backup at this spot is 5-9 175 true freshman speedster Trey Dye (Scout 2*). Dye was a Texas Class 5A All-State Honorable Mention following his high school senior season in 2013. In his first year of collegiate competition in 2014 Dye has played sparingly in 3 games and added 2 catches for 4 yards.

(WR)

6-6 215 junior Mitch Mathews (Scout 3*) is the starter at one of the outside WR spots. As many Aggie fans may recall from the 2013 game Mathews had the look of a First Team All-American torching the USU secondary for 5 catches for 112 yards and 3 TDs during the night. Those totals accounted for nearly 1/3 of his output for the entire season as Mathews ended the 2013 year with 23 receptions for 397 yards and 4 TDs. Mathews has started all four games in 2014 and is second on the teams in grabs with 16 for 134 yards and a team leading 2 TDs. 6-1 180 junior Kurt Henderson (Scout NR) is the backup to Mathews. Henderson saw action in 11 games in 2013 mostly as a special teams player but he did manage 4 receptions for 84 yards. In 2014 Henderson is off to a slow start providing only 1 grab for 11 yards in three games.

UTEP transfer Jordan Leslie (Scout 2*) is the second starter at WR opposite Mathews. The 6-3 215 senior joined the cougars in the offseason for his final year of collegiate eligibility. Leslie led the Miners in 2013 with 44 receptions for 612 yards and 7 TDs on a team that finished the season at 2-10. Leslie is off to a strong start in 2014 starting all four games thus far and leading the team in receptions and receiving yardage with 19 grabs for 227 yards and also 1 TD. Former Oregon signee and Riverside CC transfer Devon Blackmon (Scout 3*) provides a solid backup option for Leslie. In 2014 following a full game suspension for the Connecticut game, Blackmon has appeared in the remaining three games and has contributed 3 receptions for 56 yards.

TIGHT END

6-6 251 senior Devin Mahina (Scout 3*) has finally come to the end of his collegiate eligibility. Having signed back in 2007, Mahina is one of the oldest players in collegiate football. Mahina played in 10 games during the 2013 season adding 7 catches for 64 yards. Mahinas best season to date came as a sophomore in 2012 when he pulled in 8 grabs for 128 yards and 2 TDs. Now as a starter in 3 of 4 games in 2014, Mahina has collected 4 receptions for 34 yards. Backing up Mahina is 6-4 221 sophomore Bryan Sampson (Scout 3*). Until 2014 Sampsons lone collegiate experience came in 2013 as a redshirt freshman at the expense of overmatched Idaho State. Sampson has appeared in 2 games in 2014 although he has yet to record any statistics.

FULLBACK

Former rugby player Paul Lasike (Scout NR) checks in as the byu fullback. The 5-11 232 senior was a steady contributor in 2013 as a junior when he carried the ball 59 times for 350 yards and 1 TD, while also adding 5 receptions for 30 yards. In 2014 Lasike has started in 3 of the 4 games the cougars have played in, coming in third on the team in both rushing attempts and rushing yards with 15 carries for 77 yards. Originally recruited as a tailback Algernon Brown (Scout 3*) provides a nice breather for Lasike. The 6-1 229 junior saw action in 13 games in 2013 as a sophomore carrying the ball 48 times for 234 yards and 2 TDs. Brown has seen his work load increase quite a bit in 2014 giving the cougars a boost in both the rushing and receiving categories by snaring 8 passes for 84 yards out of the backfield while also getting 12 carries for 64 yards in just 2 games.

OFFENSIVE LINE

(LEFT TACKLE)

6-3 333 true freshman Ului Lapuaho (Scout 3*) came home from his LDS church mission and promptly moved into the starting lineup during spring ball. Lapuaho, who is the "little" brother of former Aggie Al Lapuaho, has started in all four games thus far in 2014. The backup here is former starter Ryker Mathews (Scout 3*). The 6-6 320 junior and former US Army High School All-American has steadily seen his playing dwindle due to injury, as he appeared in 13 games as a redshirt freshman in 2012, 10 games in 2013 as a sophomore, and now in 2014 Mathews has only seen action in 1 game.

(RIGHT TACKLE)

Senior De'ondre Wesley (Scout 2*) is poised to finish up his career as a two year starter for byu. The 6-7 330 Wesley joined the cougars in 2013 out of Diablo Valley CC and immediately stepped into the starting lineup starting all 12 of the games that he appeared in during 2013. Wesley has started all four games thus far for the 2014 season. 6-4 300 sophomore Brayden Kearsley (Scout 4*) is providing backup at the RT spot. Kearsley was rated as the 16th best guard coming out of high school as a senior in 2013. Kearsley appeared in 10 games in 2013 as a true freshman and he has played in 2 of 4 games thus far in 2014.

(LEFT GUARD)

6-4 303 sophomore Kyle Johnson (Scout NR) has stepped in and starts at LG. Johnson played in all 13 games as a redshirt freshman in 2013 and Johnson has started all 4 games up to this point in 2014. Junior Terrance Alletto (Scout 3*) was orginally recruited as a center, in fact Alletto was ranked as the 7th best high school center in the country his senior season by Scout.com. The 6-3 305 Alletto has played in 14 games over the course of his career including playing in 10 as a sophomore in 2013. In 2014 Alletto has made an appearance in 2 games.

(RIGHT GUARD)

Ustateaggies.com has learned that starting RG 6-6 310 senior Brock Stringham (Scout 2*) has decided to give up football effective immediately due to recurring injuries. Stringham had started in all four games in the 2014 season. The replacement for Stringham is likely to be 6-0 322 senior Edward Fusi (Scout 2*). Fusi who also serves at the backup center, played in 10 games in 2013 as a JC transfer from Mt. San Antonio CC. Fusi has played in 3 of 4 games thus far in 2014. 6-3 325 redshirt freshman Tuni Kanuch (Scout 3*) will also be in the mix to replace Stringham. Originally recruited as a defensive tackle, Kanuch was named the Deseret News Utah Mr. Football in 2009 as a high school senior. Kanuch was also named a first team all-state performer as a sophomore, junior, and senior in high school. Kanuch has appeared in all four games in 2014.

(CENTER)

True freshman Tejan Koroma (Scout 2*) has secured the starting spot at center. At 6-0 280 Koroma was named a 5A first team all-state selection by the Texas Sports Writer's Association following his senior season of high school in 2013. In 2014, now at byu Koroma has started in all four of the cougars games up to this point. While also being added to the mix of possibly replacing injured RG Brock Stringham, 6-0 322 senior Edward Fusi (Scout 2*) also provides backup at the center spot. Fusi played in 10 games in 2013 as a JC transfer from Mt. San Antonio CC. Fusi has played in 3 of 4 games thus far in 2014.

RUNNING BACK

Returning for his third season as the starter is 6-0 206 Jamaal Williams (Scout 3*). The junior has had a very productive career up to this point and enjoyed his finest season to date in 2013 when he ran for 1,233 yards on 217 carries and 7 TDs. Williams also snagged 18 receptions for 125 yards in 2013. After having been suspended for the win at Connecticut, Williams hit the groung running and in the 3 games that he has played since the suspension in week 1, Williams is second on the team in rushing yardage with 296 yards and 3 TDs on 60 attempts, while chipping in 2 catches for 21 yards. Providing a solid second option at RB is 6-1 208 junior Adam Hine (Scout 4*). Hine hadn't played much until the 2013 season, where as a sophomore Hine ran for 224 yards and 1 TD on 38 carries. In 2014 Hine has contributed 14 carries for 50 yards and 2 TDs, while also snagging 4 passes for 30 yards and 1 TD.

QUARTERBACK

All-everything QB and Heisman Trophy candidate Taysom Hill (Scout 3*) returns for his second season as the cougars starting QB. Originally signing with Stanford out of high school, the 6-2 232 junior had a breakout sophomore season in 2013 when he completed 236 passes in 438 attempts for 2,938 yards and 19 TDs to go along with a not so impressive 14 interceptions. Hill also carried the ball a team high 246 times for 1,344 yards and another 10 TDs also a team high. In 2014 Hill is enjoying a great start to what could be a legitimate run at the Heisman Trophy at the conclusion of the season. Hill has thrown for 876 yards on 80 completions in 121 attempts for 6 TDs with 3 interceptions. Hill again leads the team in carries and rushing yardage by carrying the ball 79 times for 428 yards and 7 TDs. Playing a backup role to Hill is seldom used 6-2 208 senior Christian Stewart (Scout NR). Stewart only saw action in 1 game in 2013 going 0 for 2 passing and getting sacked 1 time for -5 yards. So far in 2014 Stewart has managed to get into 2 games but he has yet to record any stats.

PUNT RETURN

Returning punts for the first time in his career in 2014, WR Mitch Juergens leads the team with 6 returns for 52 yards culminating with a 8.7 yard per return average. Splitting time with Juergens is backup WR Devon Blackmon. Blackmon leads the team with a 9.2 yard per return average while returning 4 punts for 37 yards.

KICK RETURN

Back up RB Adam Hine is getting a crack at returning kicks for the first time in 2014 and is doing a great job so far. Hine has returned 5 kicks for 202 yards for a 40.4 yard per return average. Having a 99 yard return for a touchdown earlier in the season does give a nice boost to Hine's average. A trio of players have taken turns returning kicks as well. Starting fullback Paul Lasike is officially listed as the second kick returner in 2014, although Lasike has only returned 1 kick for 18 yards on the season. CB Michael Davis is second on the team in yards per return average, and return yardage with 1 kick return for 28 yards. Rounding out the trifecta is WR Mitch Juergens who also has 1 kick return for 26 yards.

Brian Phillips - Football Insider for UstateAggies.com


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