Hoffman sets records, but Cougars' effort falls short

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

MADISON, Wis. – Wide receiver Cody Hoffman set BYU football’s career receiving record, but the Cougars were unable to stop No. 21/22 Wisconsin’s ground game on the way to a 27-17 loss at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday.

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BYU (6-3) was led by Hoffman’s seven receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Hoffman also tied Austin Collie's record of 17 100-yard receiving games. Quarterback Taysom Hill was 19-41 for 207 yards and two touchdowns.

Running back Jamaal Williams added 76 yards on 14 carries for the Cougars. Linebacker Uani ‘Unga went over 100 tackles on the season with 15 tackles vs. the Badgers (7-2, 4-1), and Kyle Van Noy had eight tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception, the seventh of his career.

BYU looked to gain momentum after Hill hit Hoffman on a 34-yard touchdown reception to put the score at 20-10 with 9:04 left in the third quarter. With the reception, Hoffman became BYU’s career leader in receiving yards. The defense forced Wisconsin off the field on its next series, but BYU was unable to capitalize to bring the score any closer.

Wisconsin never relinquished the lead after scoring on its first drive of the day behind its strong running game, going 76 yards in 11 plays.

After a BYU interception, sophomore linebacker Jherremya Leuta-Douyere, who came in for an injured Spencer Hadley, made his presence felt by forcing a fumble that was recovered by safety Craig Bills. The Cougar offense took advantage, using a good mix of passes and runs to get on the board on a 31-yard field goal from kicker Justin Sorensen to put the score at 7-3.

After a BYU punt on its next possession, Van Noy had an interception fall into his lap after a big hit from safety Daniel Sorensen separated the ball from the Wisconsin tight end. BYU was unable to capitalize on the turnover, and Wisconsin drove down and hit a 38-yard field goal to go back up by seven in the second quarter.

After another BYU three-and-out, Wisconsin ended the half with a short touchdown throw to James White to go up 17-3.

A big punt return by Wisconsin at the start of the second half set up a 26-yard field goal to give the Badgers a 20-3 lead.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Wisconsin crossed into the end zone to go up 27-10. BYU scored the final touchdown of the game on a five-yard slant in the back of the end zone to Hoffman with 3:12 remaining in the fourth. Any comeback hopes were ended when Wisconsin recovered the ensuing onside kick.

BYU returns to action Nov. 16 for its final home game against Idaho State at 1 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv.

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