BYU notebook: Riley Nelson's back holds up, but Cougars' defense doesn't
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Nelson, who has been dealing with a back injury, completed 28-of-51 passes (both career highs) for 305 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions in BYU's 42-24 loss to the Beavers.
"I felt good. Physically, I didn't notice my back at any point," Nelson said. "Probably at times, I tried to do too much."
Despite the loss, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall was encouraged by what he saw from the offense.
"I thought there was a lot of progress made," he said. "Through three and a half quarters, I saw our offense as clean as I've seen it this year in terms of running and passing and scoring points. We made some poor decisions in the end as more and more pressure shifted to the offense as defensively we weren't defending very well. I thought that's where it unraveled a little bit. But the majority of the game, I thought (Nelson) played well."
BYU's defense, which was ranked among the nation's leaders in almost every statistical category, gave up five touchdowns. Going into the game, the Cougar defense had surrendered just four TDs through its first six contests.
"The offense played a great game. We were able to score 24 points," said BYU linebacker Spencer Hadley. "That was big. I'm proud of the offense and what they were able to accomplish. It's frustrating as a defensive player having our offense score 24 points, and I felt like we didn't hold up our end."
STREAK OVER: Going into Saturday's game, BYU had held its last 12 opponents to less than 300 yards of total offense.
The last team to accomplish that feat? Oregon State, which gained 365 yards last season against the Cougars in Corvallis, Ore.
On Saturday, the Beavers rolled up 450 yards of total offense.
PAYING TRIBUTE TO MOM: Twin brothers Uani 'Unga of BYU and Feti 'Unga of Oregon State honored their mom by wearing her maiden name, Taumoepeau, on the back of their jerseys.
Uani had four tackles, while Feti recorded seven tackles.
He also kept his receptions streak alive. Hoffman has caught at least one pass in 26 consecutive games and in 32 of 33 career games.
The junior wideout now has 2,004 career receiving yards and is the 15th player in school history to log at least 2,000 yards receiving.
DETMER HONORED: Former BYU quarterback Ty Detmer, the 1990 Heisman Trophy winner, was honored at halftime Saturday by the National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame.
Detmer will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December. The announcement came last May.
At BYU, Detmer not only won the Heisman Trophy, but he also received the Maxwell Award, two Davey O'Brien Awards, and set 59 NCAA records.
FLAG BEARERS: Senior quarterback James Lark carried out the team flag Saturday. Freshman receiver/quarterback Alex Kuresa carried out the special teams flag. And former Cougar linebacker Stan Raass (1994-95) carried out the alumni flag.
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