Junior Joe Sampson returned a fumble recovery 26 yards for a touchdown against Hawai'i. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
TAKING IT THE OTHER WAY
Joe Sampson’s 26-yard fumble return for a touchdown was the junior’s first touchdown of his career and BYU’s third defensive touchdown of the season. Kyle Van Noy returned a fumble three yards for a TD at Ole Miss while Daniel Sorensen scored on a 30-yard pick six against Idaho State.
Junior linebacker Uona Kaveinga was credited with the forced fumble, his fourth of the season. His four season forced fumbles are a BYU record and his four career forced fumbles tie him with Scott Johnson (2007-09) for second-most in a career at BYU since 2000 when defensive statistics were officially kept by the NCAA.
BACK WITH A BANG
Junior quarterback Riley Nelson started for the first time since November 12 against Idaho, throwing 25 of 37 for 363 yards to crush his previous career highs of 17 completions, 29 attempts and 219 yards. Nelson also tied a career high with three touchdown throws.
OTHER CAREER HIGHS
Other Cougars with career highs in the game included JD Falslev (80 receiving yards), Marcus Mathews (80 receiving yards) and sophomore linebacker Tyler Beck, who led the Cougars with six tackles on the day.
NOT SINCE BECK AND BECK
It is the first time since 2006 when John Beck and Jason Beck accomplished the feat that BYU has had 300-yard games from two different quarterbacks in the same season after Jake Heaps threw for 305 earlier this year against Utah.
TD x 4
The Cougars scored 28 points in the third quarter to mark the first time since 2008 that the team has scored four touchdowns or more in a quarter since a 35-point quarter against UCLA. Ross Apo and Cody Hoffman each scored on a reception, Bryan Kariya scored on a rush attempt and Joe Sampson returned a fumble.
BYU has held its opponents to 14 points or fewer in the first half in 11 of 12 games this season. Hawai’i had 13 points in the first half.
With 60 yards on two kickoff returns, sophomore Cody Hoffman passed O’Neill Chambers for second on the BYU season kickoff return yards list with 838 yards – 28 yards from moving into first place. Hoffman’s two returns tie him for second with Mike Rigell on the single season return list with 33, three from taking over Chambers’ record.
Cody Hoffman finished the game with seven receptions, 123 yards and a touchdown. It’s the receiver’s fourth 100-yard game this season and the fifth of his career.
Hoffman totaled 183 all-purpose yards for the game, moving him from 12th to 8th on the BYU single season all-purpose yards list with 1,662 yards. Hoffman passed tonight’s alumni flag bearer, Homer Jones, who was previously in the eighth spot on the list with 1,624 yards in 1979.
ROSS THE BOSS
BYU freshman receiver Ross Apo caught his team-high eighth and ninth touchdowns of the season on receptions of 22 and 12 yards, respectively. Apo is tied for 17th on the BYU season receiving touchdown list. Only Austin Collie (15 in 2008), Jonny Harline (12 in 2006), Todd Watkins (9 in 2005) and Reno Mahe (9 in 2001) have as many in one season since 1993.
For the tenth game this season, BYU did not allow a touchdown pass in the blue zone. The Cougars lead the nation in that category with only two allowed this year.
RUNNING OUT THE FLAG
BYU was led out of the tunnel today by senior Spencer Hafoka carrying the team flag and junior Carter Mees with the special teams flag. The special teams flag, highlighted by an old school BYU logo adopted by the special teams, is a new addition this season. Former Cougar tailback/kick returner Homer Jones (1979-80), an All-WAC First Team and honorable mention All-American in 1979, carried out the alumni flag.
ALSO WORTH NOTING
• BYU defeated UH for the 20th time in 28 all-time meetings, including 12 wins in 20 games in Honolulu.
• The teams are scheduled to meet again Sept. 29, 2012 in Provo, Utah.
• The 41 points was the most UH has given up at home this season.
• David Graves 79-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Davis in the second quarter was the team’s longest play from scrimmage this year. Davis finished with a career-high 111 receiving yards on six catches. He scored three touchdowns in the last two games.
• Graves scored a rushing touchdown for the third straight game with a 1-yard run in the first quarter.Graves notched five rushing touchdowns in six games played this year.
• In his final game as a Warrior, senior quarterback Shane Austin entered late in the third quarter and finished with 96 yards passing, including a 23-yard touchdown to Jeremiah Ostrowski in the fourth quarter.
• Joe Sampson’s 26-yard fumble recovery marked the third time this season a UH opponent has returned a fumble for a touchdown (also at San Jose State and at Idaho)
• The game marked the final game for 27 Hawaii seniors, who participated in the traditional “Senior Walk” following the game.
Post Game Quotes
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall
“I was really impressed with how our team traveled and how they handled the bye and how they handled practice. We moved the ball in the first half. We didn’t put points on the board in the first half because of a couple of missed kicks. We had to tighten up a few things, which happened in the second half. We played with a little more emotion and more execution-sound. I think we improved again and are still gaining momentum.”
On quarterback Riley Nelson’s performance. Nelson missed the last game with injury:
“I really liked it. It took him a series or two or three to get his rhythm, timing, just the feel back. And as you saw in the second half, there was quite a difference. He just became who he has been.”
On Nelson’s TD pass to Cody Hoffman in the third quarter, when Nelson broke a tackle and completed the pass to Hoffman, who made a one-handed grab:
“The play he made to Cody Hoffman. That’s one of the greatest plays I’ve ever seen. I was impressed and really think he’s really physically a tough young man.”
On BYU’s defense:
“We played much more conservatively (in the second half). The first half I wasn’t disappointed with how we played. I made a very poor call as a play caller on the screen that went the distance. Once we got an idea of what they were doing, where they were sliding protection, where the ball was going … the second half we felt like we were right on their game.”
Hawaii coach Greg McMackin
“We aren’t going to a bowl game. I feel bad for the players, the coaches and the fans, everybody with the program.”
On Hawaii senior class:
“They’re all going to get their degrees. I’m very proud of that. They’re all going to be successful guys. Some are going to play in the NFL.”
CLICK HERE to view slideshow