BYU Football: Grading All 22 Starters from the Idaho Game
Despite below-freezing temperatures in Provo, BYU's starters were on fire on Saturday.
Well, at least for the first half.
The starting 22 for the Cougars did not play for much longer than a half, some not even for a full two quarters. But when they did play, they dominated, and so here are grades for BYU's starters against Idaho.
Riley Nelson, QB
Two hundred and thirty-six passing yards and three touchdowns in just over a half of play isn't bad, especially when you add 49 rushing yards. Riley Nelson failed to throw an interception for the first time since the season opener against Washington State, and acquired his highest single-game quarterback rating of 157.2.
Cody Hoffman, WR
Cody Hoffman caught three touchdowns against Idaho, the same amount he had in all other games this year combined. He finished with nine catches for 108 yards, an average of 12 yards per catch.
Ross Apo, WR
Ross Apo was definitely not a target that was given the ball many times on Saturday. In fact, he finished with only four catches. But he piled on 70 yards, which averages out as 17.5 yards per reception.
JD Falslev, WR
JD Falslev had one of the worse games of his career on Saturday, as he only caught one pass for minus-one yard. He also had three rushing yards off of two carries.
Kaneakua Friel, TE
Kaneakua Friel caught zero passes for no yards against Idaho. It was only the second game this season that he didn't make a catch.
Jamaal Williams, RB
It's not every day a freshman running back picks up 49 yards on fourth down. That is exactly what Jamaal Willams managed to do against Idaho, en route to scoring two touchdowns. On ten attempts, Williams ran for 104 yards, all in the first half.
Line (Blair Tushaus, Solomone Kafu, Braden Brown, Ryker Mathews, Manaaki Vaitai)
BYU's offensive line gave up no sacks in the first half, with only one false start penalty. They were opening up holes for running backs consistently, while protecting the quarterback.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE
Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah swatted away two passes and had three solo tackles in the first half itself, and made his presence felt. He was consistently putting pressure on Idaho's quarterback, and even popped Vandal running back Ryan Bass' helmet off with a hard tackle.
Romney Fuga, DT
Romney Fuga may have finished with only two tackles, but he was consistently causing havoc for Idaho's rushing game. He clogged up the middle, and made it tough for the Vandals to run the ball.
Russell Tialavea, DE
Russell Tialavea helped to stop Idaho's rushing game, finishing with three tackles (two solo and one assisted). He put pressure on the quarterback consistently and opened up opportunities for linebackers.
Spencer Hadley, LB
Spencer Hadley also finished with three tackles, two of which were unassisted. He also found himself in the end zone when he recovered a fumble for a touchdown early on in the game.
Kyle Van Noy, LB
Kyle Van Noy had a quite day last week, finishing with only one tackle. He appeared to also have a fumble recovery, but it was called an incomplete pass.
Uona Kaveinga, LB
Kaveinga was another who didn't have a huge day, but played well. With three tackles, he had an impact on the Cougars' day.
Brandon Ogletree, LB
Brandon Ogletree lit up the Idaho offense with a whopping six tackles in about two quarters of play. He definitely made his presence felt, and made several big plays.
Preston Hadley, CB
Preston Hadley finished with five tackles, and led BYU's corners all night. He had three solo tackles, and played great defense.
Robbie Buckner, CB
Starting over Jordan Johnson, Buckner did not disappoint. Although he finished with only one tackle, he deflected one pass and intercepted another.
Daniel Sorensen, SS
Daniel Sorensen finished with three tackles, two of which were assisted. He also deflected a pass.
Craig Bills, FS
Another player making their first start, Craig Bills started over Joe Sampson, who was dismissed from the team earlier this week. He finished with six tackles and one pass deflection.