COMMENTARY — BYU is now bowl bound (Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego) and looking for a couple more wins to build off of the positives from this 2012 season.
After last week’s absolute demolition of Idaho (52-13), the Cougars are now officially bowl eligible while improving to 6-4 on the season. This is going to be the eighth straight bowl appearance for BYU.
Riley Nelson had a good game, throwing for 236 yards and three touchdowns in just one half of play. Nelson did not throw a pick and this is the most impressive half of football he has played statistically. He was removed very early in the third quarter and replaced by former Pine View QB James Lark. It was nice to see some of the BYU back-ups get in and compete very well against Idaho.
Cody Hoffman led the receiving corps with three touchdowns and 108 yards. Jamaal Williams had his second consecutive game with over 100 yards rushing. He is now closer to a 1,000 rushing season with 827 yards. This feat for a true freshman is unreal, especially when you take into consideration that he is only 17-years old. Also, he did not see that much playing time through the first few games with Michael Alisa healthy. BYU’s defense was again as solid as ever. They created 5 turnovers and held Idaho to 13 points.
This game was a special game to the seniors of BYU, for it was their last home game and that meant 23 seniors were recognized before the game. This is a big class of seniors and they have played through a lot of wining seasons at the “Y”. This was a bittersweet moment for me in my football career. It was emotional to play your last game in front of the great fans at the LaVell Edwards stadium. To have your family honored out there with you on the field to enjoy this accomplishment with you was so gratifying. All of the years of preparation from Little League to college and this was it, it was almost over. For most seniors, it meant the end of their playing days. It definitely was a great moment as well because you knew that you had made it through all of the endless amounts of training, practices and games and that you were there, a senior paying in your last home game. It is probably an experience that rates very high in my life.
BYU (6-4) vs. San Jose State (8-2) will be tonight at 8:30 p.m. This game is a sleeper game as far as the opponents BYU has faced this season. San Jose State would like nothing more than to beat a nationally-followed team like BYU on national television (ESPN 2).
The Spartans have been silently winning a lot of games this season. In fact, they went down to the wire with highly-ranked Stanford and lost 20-17. San Jose State head coach Mike MacIntyre called this the biggest modern day game in the school’s history. That tells you that they are really going to be prepared and putting extra focus on BYU. It’s been said that they have been preparing for this game the entire season.
San Jose State runs a pro-style offense and is very good. I just don’t think this team has run into a defense like BYU’s. The Cougars have shut down the No. 3- ranked rushing offense (Georgia Tech) and teams like Notre Dame, Boise State and several other high-powered offenses. The Spartans offense better be prepared because I know the Cougars defense will be.
On the other side of the ball, San Jose State’s defense has been impressive and might be under the radar. They have an extremely good D-tackle in Travis Johnson that is the current career sacks leader amongst active NCAA players. They look solid all the way through their secondary. BYU must limit any offensive penalties and turnovers on the road and if they do, they will win big this Saturday.
On a side note, BYU and UNLV have agreed to a home-and-home series in 2014 and 2015. Obviously, these two teams are very familiar with each other after years of playing in the Mountain West Conference together. In total, BYU has beaten UNLV 15 out of the 18 total games between the two teams.
Scott Young is a sports commentator. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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