Texas A&M seems to be overlooking a couple of Cougars, and that suits the players in question just fine.
In all the hype over quarterback Ty Detmer and All-American tight end Chris Smith, Cougar contributors like receiver Andy Boyce and fullbacks Peter Tuipulotu and Mike Salido are getting neglected."Teams look at BYU and they say we don't have good athletes, that it's just the system that makes them look good," Boyce said.
Aggie defensive back Kevin Smith, for one, said, "When I've watched BYU, the only standout I've noticed is Chris Smith."
Boyce wouldn't have it any other way.
"I don't mind that at all, especially if it means they don't get prepared to play me," he said. "Maybe nobody has prepared for me; maybe that's why I had such a good year."
Boyce ended up tops on the team in catches , receiving yards (1,241 - a BYU season record) and receiving yards per game (103.4), ahead of Smith in each category. He was also Detmer's favorite go-to guy near the end zone, scoring 13 times.
But at least Boyce is part of the Cougar passing attack, and the Aggies are well-aware of that aspect of the BYU game. What nobody is mentioning, however, is the Cougs' running game - which really boils down to Tuipulotu and Salido.
Much has been written about Aggie running backs Darren Lewis and Robert Wilson, and their hefty rushing averages of 5.8 and 5.4, respectively.
No one, though, has seemed to notice that Tuipulotu averaged 6.5 yards per carry; Salido 6.0 yards.
And like Boyce, the Cougar backs are happy in relative anonymity.
"When a team isn't expecting us to be able to run, it makes it easier for us to run," Salido said.
"We think they're going to blitz," Tuipulotu said. "I hope that's the case, so we can throw some draw traps in there and open it up."
In fact, said Tuipulotu, BYU must run to be successful against A&M.
"It would be dumb for us not to think pass," he said, "but in the games we lost, like the Oregon game, we weren't able to establish the running game."