Kickoff for the Poinsettia Bowl between the Brigham Young Cougars and the San Diego State Aztecs is just hours away. By the end of the night there will be a winner and a loser. A Most Valuable Player will also be named. Should BYU be victorious, wide receiver Cody Hoffman is the popular choice for MVP.
In a survey of site visitors over the last 10 days, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL learned that 42 percent of those who cast votes feel that Hoffman will be BYU's MVP. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy, the biggest playmaker on defense, was second with 17 percent of the votes, followed by true freshman running back Jamaal Williams with 14 percent. The rest of the survey results were as follows: 12% voted for an offensive player not listed, 8% voted for defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah, 4% voted for quarterback Riley Nelson, 1% voted for linebacker Brandon Ogletree, punter Riley Stephenson, and an unlisted defensive player.
Hoffman was the popular pick for obvious reasons.
In two previous bowls, he has made eight receptions in each game, gone over 100 yards both games, and caught three touchdowns in each game. He was the Armed Forces Bowl MVP one year ago.
Besides his great bowl history, Hoffman is playing some of the best football of his career. He has 25 receptions for 337 yards and 5 touchdowns in the last two games. He also has some added incentive to play well against San Diego State.
The only time in his career that Hoffman has faced the Aztecs was as a freshman in 2010. That was the day BYU unveiled a new power rushing attack on offense that dramatically changed the season for BYU. Going into that game, Hoffman had 10 receptions for 120 yards combined in the previous two games. He was limited to just 1 reception for 3 yards that day. Besides the TCU game the next week when Hoffman had zero receptions, that was the lowest output of his career.
San Diego State's pass defense has not been great this season. Hoffman should be able to get open and have many opportunities to make big plays. Whether Nelson or James Lark is playing quarterback, he will be the primary target. I have a lot of confidence that Hoffman will have a big night, but I don't think he will be the MVP.
My gut tells me if BYU wins, Lark will have another good outing at quarterback and be the MVP for BYU. With a full game under his belt, he will distribute the ball a little more. While Hoffman will still have over 100 yards receiving and at least 2 touchdowns, it won't be like New Mexico State where Hoffman was the clear cut "go to" guy.
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