Tom Smart, Deseret News
PROVO — BYU may just find itself in a track meet come Saturday against a very potent San Jose State offense. For that reason, an emphasis has been placed on getting off to a fast start offensively this week.
Fast starts haven’t come easy for the offense this season, but after consecutive fast starts against Georgia Tech and then Idaho, the offense is confident it can come out strong.
“The design has changed a bit and the way we’ve set our game-planning up and the way we practice has helped us start faster,” said offensive coordinator Brandon Doman. “Riley (Nelson) has done a great job the last few games in the way that he’s been (consistent and efficient) in the early parts of the game and our run game has been good.”
Doman has also made strides mixing up his personnel and formations and giving defenses different looks during the early stages. “If we can go out and just be who we are then we should have an advantage,” Doman said.
A productive running attack has greatly benefited Doman in his play calling and what the offense is able to do, not only in the early stages, but throughout the game.
“When the run game is working it opens up the play book and I (get) excited and I look over at coach Doman and (wonder) what he’s going to call,” Nelson said. “Is he going to call (a long pass), are we going to gash them again with the run, are we going to (run) play-action? It’s fun to watch how we mount drives because of our first and second-down success (running the football).”
Most of the talk this week is about San Jose State’s 9th-ranked passing offense, but defensively the Spartans have been prolific in sacking the quarterback. The Spartan defense ranks in the top ten nationally in sacks and will give the Cougar passing game all it can handle on that front.
“Hopefully I can get the ball out of my hand quickly to our guys in space and they can make plays,” said Nelson on how to best counteract the San Jose State pass rush.
Hoffman and Sorensen receiver honors
Receiver Cody Hoffman and kicker Justin Sorensen received the FBS Independent offensive player of the week and special teams player of the week awards respectively for their performances against Idaho. Hoffman caught nine passes for 108 yards and three touchdowns while Sorensen connected on all seven of his PAT attempts to run his streak to 68 consecutive PATs made, a school record.
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