BYU notebook: Cody Hoffman is an equal-opportunity pass receiver
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
PROVO — For BYU's Cody Hoffman, it doesn't matter who's playing quarterback. He simply makes big catches.
The sophomore wide receiver turned in another show-stopping performance Saturday night in the Cougars' 42-7 blowout of Idaho at LaVell Edwards Stadium..
Hoffman hauled in six passes for 114 yards, all in the first half, and two touchdowns — a 32-yarder from Riley Nelson in the first quarter and a 21-yarder from Jake Heaps at the end of the second quarter.
"It's very comforting to know that you have a big body that's going to make plays for you and help you out," said Heaps. "He's really emerged the last few weeks. He's really turned it on. It's fun to see him develop into a great player."
Late in the first quarter, Hoffman caught a screen pass from Heaps and weaved his way through the Idaho secondary for a pickup of 29 yards, setting up a 17-yard touchdown run by Bryan Kariya.
"It feels good to have a productive day," Hoffman said.
It marked Hoffman's third game with at least 100 yards. Previously, he caught eight passes for 138 yards against Utah and he had a career-high nine receptions for a career-high 162 yards against Oregon State.
On the season, Hoffman has caught 43 passes for 672 yards and six TDs.
PLAYING FOR PENDLETON: BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy recorded 10 tackles, including a sack and two tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble against the Vandals. Van Noy had extra motivation on Saturday — the season-ending injury suffered by senior linebacker Jordan Pendleton during the TCU game.
"I wanted to lay it all on the line for him. I respect that kid more than anyone can imagine," Van Noy said. "It's a tough loss. I was kind of depressed when he gave me a call at 12:30 at night about the whole situation. My heart sank. All I wanted to do was play for someone like that because I know he would die to be here. I want to play for my teammates, because you never know when your last play is."
INJURY UPDATE: Starting quarterback Riley Nelson absorbed a hard hit in the ribs on his touchdown pass to Hoffman in the first quarter. He was escorted to the locker room and later taken to the hospital for X-rays. Doctors diagnosed Nelson with a broken rib and he was kept at the hospital overnight.
In the second quarter, guard Houston Reynolds suffered an injury on a one-yard touchdown run by Kariya. He has been playing with a shoulder injury this season, coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
STEPHENSON KEEPS JOB: After watching BYU's dismal punting effort against TCU, Mendenhall opened up competition for the punting job between the incumbent Riley Stephenson and backup Brian Smith.
Going into the game, Mendenhall said he wouldn't decide until game day on who would handle the punts.
The Cougars didn't have to punt until the third quarter, and when they did, Stephenson ran on to the field and booted a 39-yarder. The snap from Reed Hornung was right on target.
ON A LARK: Junior quarterback James Lark replaced Jake Heaps late in the third quarter for his first game action this season.
In his first action of the season, Lark completed 2-of-6 passes for 21 yards.
FLAG BEARERS: Former BYU tight end Itula Mili (1991, 1994-1996) carried the alumni flag prior to Saturday's game. Defensive lineman Simote Vea carried out the team flag and wide receiver J.D. Falslev, who had a 67-punt return for a touchdown against TCU, carried out the special teams flag.
THE SERIES: Saturday marked the fourth meeting between BYU and Idaho. It was the first time the two teams have played since 1955, when the Vandals won in Provo, 49-6. The series is now tied, 2-2.
BYU AND BYES: BYU is now 7-1 under Mendenhall after bye weeks. The past four years, the Cougars have outscored their opponents after a bye, 183-28.
EXTRA POINTS: Announced attendance was 57,770. ... Temperature at kickoff was 37 degrees. ... Redshirt freshman Jordan Johnson recorded his second interception of the season in the third quarter. ... Spencer Hadley had his first pick of the season late in the fourth quarter.
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