PROVO — Just three hours before kickoff Friday night, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall announced that senior wide receiver Cody Hoffman had been suspended for the game against Middle Tennessee for a violation of team rules.
The suspension is for one game, according to BYU officials.
Going into Friday’s contest, Hoffman had recorded a team-high 10 receptions for 171 yards in two games. He was sidelined for the season-opening loss at Virginia due to a hamstring injury.
News of the suspension came after nearly 24 hours of speculation about Hoffman’s status on the Internet. BYU officials did not respond to inquiries about Hoffman until releasing a statement late Friday afternoon.
“That decision (to suspend Hoffman) was made (Thursday) evening,” Mendenhall told KSL radio before the game. “As soon as I received the information, the decision was made.”
Sophomore Mitch Mathews started in place of Hoffman, who stood behind the BYU bench, wearing a hoodie and a towel around his neck.
No doubt, the Cougars are looking forward to Hoffman’s return to the lineup.
Earlier in the week, quarterback Taysom Hill said he enjoys having a target like Hoffman.
“It’s great. You saw him play. He’s a great receiver,” Hill said. “Even if you’re not throwing him the ball, the defense needs to be aware of him. He’s a great guy to have out there. He’s one of those guys that, you throw him the ball and he’s going to find a way to come down with it. I have a lot of trust in that guy.”
INJURY UPDATE: BYU sophomore running back Jamaal Williams sat out of Friday’s game with a concussion he suffered against Utah last Saturday.
He remains day-to-day and his status will continue to be evaluated going into next Friday’s game against Utah State.
Paul Lasike started in place of Williams against Middle Tennessee.
In the first quarter, running back Adam Hine, who returned a kickoff 90 yards early in the game, suffered a concussion on a block during another kickoff.
Offensive linemen Ryker Mathews (hip) and Brock Stringham (shoulder) did not start Friday due to injuries. De’Ondre Wesley and Kyle Johnson started for Mathews and Stringham.
NOTES: Friday marked the first-ever meeting between BYU and Middle Tennessee. During Friday’s game, BYU’s coaches wore Coach to Cure MD shoulder patches on the sidelines to help raise awareness of the program. Prior to the game, former offensive lineman Terrance Brown carried out the alumni flag, defensive lineman Remington Peck carried the team flag and wide receiver JD Falslev carried the special teams flag.