BYU POSTGAME NOTES
BYU extends BYU’s streak of six-straight seasons with a win over a Pac-12 team dating back to 2006 and defeated Oregon State in Corvallis for the first time since 1978 – the last time BYU played the Beavers on the road.
CHEWING UP YARDAGE
The Cougars’ 499 yards of total offense are the highest of the season and the highest total since gaining 514 at UTEP last season.
COUGH IT UP
BYU’s four turnovers caused against OSU are the most forced by the Cougars since last season’s four against New Mexico.
Cody Hoffman’s 162 yards and nine receptions both set new career highs for the sophomore and is his second 100+ yard game this season. His reception on his back for 46 yards is a season-long pass play for BYU this season. Hoffman totaled 205 all-purpose yards, his second game with 200 yards or more and fourth of 100 yards or more.
STUFFING THE RUN
BYU has held opposing defenses below 50 yards rushing in 8 of 14 halves of play this season, including both halves against Oregon State when the Cougars’ allowed just 33 and 26 yards, respectively.
Sophomore linebacker Kyle Van Noy recorded his third interception and fourth forced turnover of the season in the second quarter, returning the ball 43 yards from the OSU 7-yard line to the 50-yard line. The ensuing offensive drive led to a 3-yard TD run by JJ Di Luigi, his second score on the year.
START OFF RIGHT
BYU marched down the field on its opening drive, as Riley Nelson went 4 for 4 for 35 yards while the Cougars added 57 yards on eight rushing attempts, capped by Alisa’s 10-yard run. BYU had just one third down the entire 82-yard drive.
Sophomore running back Michael Alisa scored the first touchdown of his career with five minutes remaining in the first quarter on a 10-yard run around the left end. Sophomore receiver JD Falslev also scored his first TD in the third quarter on a 2-yard reception and sophomore tight end Kaneakua Friel score his first career touchdown on his first-ever reception late in the fourth quarter.
RUNNING OUT THE FLAG
BYU was led out of the tunnel today by senior tight end Matthew Edwards carrying the team flag and junior safety Mike Hague 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. Keith Rivera (1971-74), a two-time All-WAC first team defensive lineman, carried out the alumni flag.
BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall
“Mike Riley has a ton of class and is an amazing person. He is running a good program here. There are very few coaches in Division one football that I respect as much as him. It was good to be back at Oregon State, it has been a long time. It was fun to see the facility and stadium upgrades; it took me awhile to even get my bearings. I am proud of our football team, going out on the road and getting a win. We certainly had our share of miscues and mistakes that kept the game competitive and Oregon State surely caused some of those. I like the way our team responded in the second half. The offense moved the ball and the defense forced turnovers. It was just a solid win.”
On the offensive balance…
“This is the most balanced we have been this season. 300 yards on the ground and 300 yards throwing is what we were looking for. Riley (Nelson) gives us a unique element because he can scramble for yards, even if the play isn’t designed for him. From a defensive perspective that can be difficult to defend. I was also very impressed with Cody Hoffman. He made some critical plays and catches in the passing game. The run game was strong with whoever was in, but in the passing game it seemed that Cody stood out.”
On finding offensive identity…
“I think that we have found our identity in the past two and a half games.”
BYU Junior QB Riley Nelson
On the one-on-one matchups...
"Cody (Hoffman) had a lot of one on one matchups and also a little bit of a size advantage. Cody plays on the short side and a lot of times you get safeties over top but the type of defense they (Oregon State) plays, he was one on one with his corner a lot of times. With a big bodied dude like that, as a quarterback you like it, because you don't have to be perfect, you can kind of just put it in his area and let him go up and get it and he did a great job with that today."
On responding to a close game after an Oregon State comeback...
"Well one thing is we knew we could win our offensive line. Matt (Reynolds) kind of downplayed how well they played today it really was impressive being able to run. We came in knowing that the run game was going to be a battle. And it was on every play. We stuck with it. We were lucky enough to get some creases here and there. I'm just really proud of the way our guys battled. When you know you can run the ball like that, it just takes pressure off of everything else. Not only does it take the pressure off but it also opens up the playbook with play actions and down the field throws. So we were very focused and concentrated that we wanted a touchdown we felt like we couldn't settle for a field goal. So we just went out there and did what we did."
On running to take pressure off other running backs...
"Our running backs are great hard runners and I just run the way I do because I don't know how to do otherwise."
BYU Senior OL Matt Reynolds
On today’s offensive performance…
“We’re starting to develop a personality with the offensive line and the running backs. We’re really starting to show what kind of offense we can be and that is really exciting. I thought our running backs did a great job. When you look at the yards we got, being able to be balanced and keep the defense on their toes really helps us out. It really was a total offensive win.”
On the running game…
“For us I think we look at it as that it’s not entirely our job to call plays. If we see something that is open, our coaches do a great job of being open to our advice and what we are seeing on the field. We have to trust what the coaches call and if it’s the right play. I think that the whole offense, including the staff, is learning and making progress as to
what type of team we are going to be. There’s going to be mistakes all over. Our job is to make sure that they come as seldom as possible for us on the field.”
On what Riley Nelson has brought to their offense…
“I think it is the things that you guys have been talking about, the attitude and the grit. It does change the way you play. It changes everybody; it changes our attitude, focus, and mindset. When I set paths, I can’t block for the normal four seconds, it’s got to be the whole time until I hear the whistle because I never know where Riley is. As soon as it’s gone or if it’s down field, we’re going down field with them because you never know where it’s going to be or end up. It’s taken our offense from a three or four second offense to a five, six, or seven second offense and really changed the attitude and the finish of everybody I think on the team.”
OSU Head Coach Mike Riley
“We really wanted to run better than them, and obviously we lost that battle. That was probably, if you’re summarizing this game, that’s the biggest difference in the world. They rushed for almost 330 yards, controlled not only the yardage but they controlled time, so that was a major factor.”
On BYU quarterback Riley Nelson’s performance…
“He has changed their team since he has taken over. He is tough to deal with…we knew they were going to be physical inside, we wanted to be good against their running game, which we were not, and the other thing we had to do was control the quarterback, not only from designated running plays like the quarterback draw, but taking the ball down and scrambling and buying more time like he did. He did a terrific job today.”
On today’s defensive performance…
“As the game went on we lost Castro Masaniai, Feti ‘Unga, we lost Cameron Collins, and Lance Mitchell only played in nickel situations because of his injury, so there was a constant change of players playing in the game. You have to go in and do a good job, but that was a major factor as we lost those guys and other guys went in and played.
The way that game went, especially when we come back with a big play by [Brandin] Cooks…it was kind of ugly, but we were only down one score. That’s where we did not capitalize. That’s when they did a great job of just controlling for another touchdown drive. That’s the kind of game it was. If we could have had a stop in there and made more plays, we could have gone right into the fourth quarter.”
On Jordan Poyer’s performance…
“He is really a great athlete, football player, competitor. Besides his ability, he is one of the most instinctive players. He gets it. He understands what people are trying to do, he understands what people are doing running a pass route against him or a certain pass pattern that’s coming at him. He’s got great vision, a great feel for playing sports in general, and besides his ability, those attributes really take him to another level. He’s really fun to watch, and a big-time playmaker for this team.”
OSU Junior WR Markus Wheaton
On the offensive turnovers…
“We shot ourselves in the foot and the fumbles killed us. We had a pick in the red zone that really hurt us.”
On BYU’s offense…
“They were making plays. Obviously, they are a good team and they made more plays than we did.”
On the offensive ball movement…
“I think we were moving the ball well. Obviously, the turnovers did end our drives, but when we did got on the field I thought we were doing pretty well.”
OSU Junior CB Anthony Watkins
On the defensive injuries throughout the game …
“It was tough but you just got to keep playing. I had to do my job and hopefully the guy that goes in for the guy that came out does his job. That’s what we preached throughout the week. Make sure you are ready even if you are not getting all the reps at practice, just make sure you are ready to go in when somebody goes down.”
On stopping BYU quarterback Riley Nelson …
“Any time you have a running quarterback it’s tough but the scheme was right and we just had to execute defensively.”
On his blocked field goal return before half and coming up just short of a touchdown …
“I got pretty tired but if I could have scored that, that would have helped the team. I’m pretty mad at myself about it.”
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