PROVO — Two BYU players were honored Monday for their roles in last Saturday's 25-20 win over Wyoming.
Sophomore linebacker Brandon Ogletree and freshman return specialist Cody Hoffman earned Mountain West Conference defensive and special teams players of the week recognition, respectively.
It marked the first time any BYU player has been recognized by the league since punter Riley Stephenson was awarded MWC special teams player of the week honors after the Cougars defeated Washington in the season-opener.
Ogletree recorded a career-high five solo tackles and a career-high three tackles-for-loss against the Cowboys. He also had a quarterback hurry and a pass breakup.
Four of Ogletree's tackles occurred on Wyoming's final drive of the game. With 27 seconds remaining, and the Cowboys facing fourth-and-10 from the BYU 25-yard line, Ogletree stopped Wyoming's Nick Carlson for a six-yard loss, helping preserve the Cougars' victory.
Hoffman amassed 104 yards on four kick returns (an average of 26 yards per return), including returning the opening kickoff 34 yards to BYU's 42-yard line, setting up the Cougars' first touchdown of the game. He also had one catch for seven yards.
Hoffman also returned a kickoff to the Wyoming 14-yard line in the fourth quarter, but it was nullified by a holding penalty by BYU. That penalty, according to the official, was against No. 4, which was O'Neill Chambers' number before he was suspended for the season earlier in the week.
BYE WEEK: BYU's bye week should give players and coaches an opportunity for evaluation and introspection. But clearly the Cougars, who have posted a 3-5 record to this point, have already done some of that this season.
"The adversity has humbled us and brought us closer together as a team," said linebacker Shane Hunter, who added that the four-game losing streak that BYU endured earlier this year has "made everyone look inside and say, 'What can I do to make the team get better?' I'd say the personal growth that came for everyone was big, but also as a team, we grew together."
"We dropped the first part of the season. We put that in the past, like it's last year," said running back JJ Di Luigi. "We're going back to having fun. It's football and it should be fun, but really, it's only fun if you're winning. That's kind of our mindset."
"I think it's made us grow," said wide receiver Luke Ashworth, who caught six passes for 57 yards and a touchdown last Saturday. "The adversity that we've had this season is making us grow with character and get down to the basics and work hard. That's helping us right now."
FIRST-HALF DOMINANCE: BYU's defense hadn't surrendered a single point to Wyoming in its previous two meetings. And for a while last Saturday, it looked like the Cougars would get a third consecutive shutout.
Wyoming didn't advance past its own line of scrimmage until there were four minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Cowboys opened the game with two plays for negative yardage, including a bad snap into the end zone that resulted in a BYU safety.
The Cougars held Wyoming to minus-27 yards rushing in the first half. For the game, BYU recorded a season-high 12 tackles for loss, including a career-high of three by defensive lineman Vic So'oto.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company