PROVO What happened to that UCLA defense staged in the Las Vegas Bowl? The one with loads of pressure blitzes and heat applied to BYU quarterback Max Hall? The one that bottled up Harvey Unga?
"They tried," said BYU quarterback coach Brandon Doman. "They tried it and it didn't work, so they didn't stay with it."
How early was this abandonment?
"Early, very early," said the Cougars' coach.
Why? Hall had time to throw and all his offensive weapons were in sync in the 59-0 Cougar blowout of the Bruins.
"The pressure they (UCLA) did bring was matched in big plays and first downs," said Bronco Mendenhall.
After BYU junior tight end Dennis Pitta thrashed Northern Iowa and Washington with NCAA-leading receptions in the first two games of the season, Hall turned the cylinder a few more clicks and unleashed a different bullet at UCLA on Saturday: his buddy, receiver Austin Collie.
Earlier in the week, Collie came up to Hall and told him he was back. After sitting out most of fall practice and not being himself for the first two weeks of the season, he felt he was back and was ready to go full bore against the Bruins.
Collie caught 10 passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 59-0 beat-down of the Bruins.
Collie's 37-yard post bomb reception on Bruin corner Alterraun Verner put the Cougars up 21-0 and cemented the theory that a first-class rout was in the hopper at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
That play came after Cougar defensive end Jan Jorgensen hit UCLA quarterback Kevin Craft, forcing a fumble that was recovered by BYU's Ian Dulan.
Hall said BYU's offensive coaches recognized that was the time to take a big shot at the UCLA defense.
"We'd been working on that play all week. It was a great post to Austin and I knew he'd get to it," said Hall. "I had all the trust and faith in the world in him.
"I think Austin plays best when he's on point. No. 9 is back and he had a phenomenal day today."
The UCLA game certainly did mark a Collie comeback.
"It was hard not being out there with my teammates all fall," said Collie of the month of August. "It was a tough two weeks for me, coming off the injury and getting back into the swing of things to get back into the groove."
"You have to hand it to the guy, nothing fazes him. He's an awesome player and a great athlete," said BYU cornerback Scott Johnson, who faces Collie every day in practice.
What happened on Saturday was a matter of preparation, said Collie.
"What happens is you are licking your chops during the week because you know your coaches did a great job scheming things to get the ball in the right player's hands," he said.
Collie said Dennis Pitta proved the past two weeks he is perhaps the best tight end in the country and a great athlete.
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