The Last Shall be First

Although senior quarterback James Lark was playing in his last regular season game, it was his very first start; but you wouldn’t have guessed as much just watching the game. Lark threw for 384 yards on 34 of 50  passing (68% completion rate), with 6 TDs in the Cougars 50-14 rout of the New Mexico State Aggies.

Five of the 6 TD passes went to Cody Hoffman, who was also having a career day with 12 catches for 182 yards. Among those touchdowns was a 64 yard bomb, the longest TD pass this season for BYU, and the longest of Hoffman's career at BYU.  

The BYU offense actually got off to a slow start, coming away with no points in the 1st quarter after missing a field goal at the end of their first drive of the game. The Aggies also failed to strike in the first quarter, but put the first points on the board in the 2nd quarter. BYU would answer back, but missed the extra point, leaving the Aggies up 7-6. But BYU would finish every drive of the quarter in the end zone to take a 20-7 lead into halftime. The offense continued to move the ball and score points in the second half, including a 31 TD pass and the already mentioned 64 yarder, both by Hoffman.

The defense also came up with some big plays. The Cougar D sacked New Mexico State quarterback Andrew Manley 5 times, including three back-to-back-to-back. Two of the back-to-back sacks were by Kyle Van Noy, who penetrated the backfield for a total of 3 sacks.  

With the season finale all wrapped up, BYU awaits the news on who their bowl opponent will be. An overall great finish to the regular season, this win should help BYU go into their bowl game with confidence.

PLAY OF THE GAME: James Lark to Cody Hoffman for a 64 yard touchdown on the first play of the drive with 9:09 to play in the 4th quarter.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Cody Hoffman – 12 receptions, 182 yards, 5 TDs.

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  1. No, this was not an overall great finish to the regular season. Not with a horrible loss to SJSU in game number 11. And as great a game as Cody Hoffman had, he was not the Player of the Game. That had to be James Lark. I have no doubt that Bronco Mendenhall was greatly pained by Lark's performance. Surely Bronco isn't so stupid that he doesn't realize Lark's performance makes him look like a bungling fool for not starting Lark all along. It is time to get a real head coach. It took BYU far too long to recognize that Gary Crowton had to go. Don't make the same mistake with Bronco.

    1. This comment would make sense if I was talking about, or at least including the SJSU game in my analysis. But I wasn't. The "great finish" referred to has nothing to do with any other game but the final regular season game in Mexico.

      And do you even remember what it was like under Gary Crowton? Apparently not if you think things are even remotely similar with Bronco at the helm. How many straight winning seasons is in now under Mendenhall? 7? 8? We may be going through a rough patch, but I'll take a coach who wins and fits BYU culture (as Anon points out) any day of the week. And as of yet, I haven't seen any serious suggestions about who that would be other than Bronco Mendenhall.

  2. I honestly don't understand why people want to replace Bronco Mendenhall. He has the same winning percentage over his career as Lavell and is a perfect match as far as the values he is trying to instill in his players and what BYU stands for. He has not made perfect decisions. But what coach doesnt make mistakes occasionally? Hindsight is always 20/20. Bronco was a hero when he started Nelson over Heaps following the Utah St. game in 2011. Now he looks like a goat for sticking with him. Starting Riley Nelson was an overcorrection from the Jake Heaps era. Heaps had an entitlement issue, and Nelson was the opposite of that. I actually remember at the start of the 2011 season that during Fall Camp, James Lark was #2 on the depth chart behind Heaps and ahead of Nelson. But I think Bronco wanted to send a message that he valued hard work over anything else.

    Honestly, who would you want to replace Bronco with? He has a top 20 defense almost every year, and the team was literally 10 or so plays away from another 10 win season. The weak-armed, but gritty Nelson will be gone next year. Billy Green, Taysom Hill, Tanner Mangum are all strong armed quarterbacks. In my opinion, if BYU can develop a nasty/smack-you-in-the-face offensive line then the upcoming Quarterbacks and Alisa/Williams can develop the balance they are looking for. Stop having this crazy knee jerk reaction.


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