BYU vs. UCF Postgame Notes & Quotes

JJ Di Luigi scored on a 16-yard run in BYU's 24-17 win on Friday night. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

FOR THE LONGEST TIME
Cody Hoffman’s 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter was the first for Cougar in more than 13 years or 158 games. Mike Rigell was the last to do it on a 96-yard return in 1998 against Hawaii.

Hoffman’s kickoff return was the first touchdown by a BYU special teams unit since McKay Jacobson’s punt return as a freshman in 2006.

HOFFMAN HYPE
Hoffman had 153 all-purpose yards, including 24 receiving and 129 on kickoff returns, following up on last week’s 277 all-purpose yards.

STREAK CONTINUES
Junior linebacker Uona Kaveinga forced his third fumble in the last four games. His three forced are tied for second-most in a season by a BYU player since 2000. As a team, BYU has forced nine turnovers in four games this season.

ABOVE AVERAGE
Coming into the game, UCF was holding opponents to 72.3 ypg rushing, 93.7 ypg passing and 166.0 ypg total defense. Tonight, BYU totaled 127 yards rushing, 133 yards passing and 260 yards of total offense, all season highs against the Knights.

GET ON THE BOARD
Justin Sorensen’s 37-yard field goal capped off BYU’s first drive of the game, the second time this season BYU has scored on its opening drive after doing so at Texas. Sorensen leads the team with 23 points on the year.

KEEP RUNNING
BYU scored its first rushing touchdown of the season on a 16-yard run by JJ Di Luigi in the third quarter.  Di Luigi had BYU’s longest rush of the season on his first touch in the first quarter, going for 18 yards. The senior finished with 38 yards on seven rushes.

AY, KARIYA
Senior running back Bryan Kariya rushed all three plays of BYU’s third offensive scoring drive culminating in a 6-yard TD run. It was Kariya’s first TD since a 4-yard run last year vs. UTEP.

RUNNING OUT THE FLAG
BYU was led out of the tunnel today by sophomore receiver Cody Hoffman carrying the team flag and sophomore Justin Sorensen 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. Two-time All-American Jay Miller, the NCAA reception leader in 1973 who still holds the BYU single-game records for most receiving yards (263) and receptions (22), carried out the alumni flag.


BYU HEAD COACH BRONCO MENDENHALL
“It was a gratifying win, a hard-fought win, especially after coming off a very difficult loss last week in such a short amount of time.”

“I just saw progress overall as a team. I was very happy with the victory. It was hard fought against a good team and a positive game overall.”

“Any time that you play below your potential or you coach below your potential you are anxious to show that you are capable of more for yourself.”

“It wasn’t easy but we found a way and that’s what’s important at this point in the season.”

“We simplified the number of runs with fewer looks and easier assignments. We sacrificed a lot of the deception or possible disguise.”

“Ross [Apo] is still so new to the program and he is having a strong start, but I don’t think the team yet looks to him as he is the playmaker, he is just one of our players. They were certainly sad that he was out but they didn’t take that as now we can’t score any points.”

“I didn’t see anything specific; kickoff returns are hard to do for a touchdown, Coach DuPaix is the one responsible for that unit and he works tirelessly to make that happen.”

“I’ve been really proud and impressed with the defense for three-and-a-half games.  I think they try and I love them.”

“Preston [Hadley] on a day to day basis is very eager. Joe [Sampson] is a football student; he loves watching games and he loves studying and so we have a pretty nice combination there and they are playing very well out on the corner.

“It was just absolutely awesome.  Their punter was doing a great job and in closely contested games.  Special teams play was the name of the game today.
 

UCF HEAD COACH GEORGE O’LEARY
“We get out there and turn the ball over. We had our opportunities and we just didn't take advantage of it.”

“It’s just sloppy coverage, bad kick as far as what took place. We’ve just got to make a play. We just didn’t make a play. Second half when we needed to make a play, we didn’t make a play. Some bad decisions out there. But you’ve just got to move on. It’s a long season for a reason.”

“We can’t keep shooting ourselves in the foot on punt return. It’s ridiculous. That’s 14 points in two weeks we’ve given up. It’s the difference in the game, seven point. You know just guys trying to make plays instead of trying to do what they’re coached to do, really.”

“I think we’re playing some kids that really need to be evaluated and why we have them out there because I’ve seen enough now to know if they’re not disciplined, if they’re not responsible, we can’t use them out there. They can’t think at the right time, make right decisions and eventually they hurt you on the field. So we’ve got to look carefully at what we’re doing with some of the players out there.”

“I thought Bortles did really a good job, you know as far as completing some passes and getting some things done. I was pleased with him and probably, hindsight, should have left him in.”

“No, we didn’t play well. You turn the ball over on both sides and the kicking game. You can’t do that in any game, especially when you’re playing  away.”

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