Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Brigham Young Cougars defensive lineman Russell Tialavea (52) pressures Oregon State Beavers quarterback Cody Vaz (14) in Provo Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012.

Through the first six games of the season, BYU's defense was nothing short of superb. But it didn't look that way against the Beavers of Oregon State on Saturday.

The Cougars have the No. 5 overall defense in the country, as BYU ranks well statistically in many categories. Opposing offenses have only managed to get an average of 260.86 yards of total offense against BYU this season. But Oregon State didn't have that problem, racking up 450 yards of total offense.


But that's not all. The Beavers were able to do a lot of things on offense that BYU's first six opponents couldn't, and they did it all with backup quarterback Cody Vaz leading the charge. The game against BYU was Vaz's first FBS start.

BYU's defense has held opponents to an average of about 13.6 points per game this season, No. 7 in the nation. But BYU let Oregon State score 42 points after holding Utah State to just 3 points a week earlier. The Beavers also threw for 332 yards while the Cougars only allow an average of 193 per game. The Beavers also ran for 118 yards on the ground and averaged 4.2 yards per carry. On the season, BYU has the No. 3 rush defense in the country, allowing just 2.2 yards per carry and 67.9 rushing yards per game. Oregon State was able to surpass both of those marks.

On third down, the Cougars held strong this season, holding Oregon State to 2-11 throughout the game. Teams have only converted on 26-101 on third down this season against the Cougars, a ranking of No. 3 in the nation and a conversion rate of 25.74 percent. But Oregon State was 2-2 on fourth down against the Cougars, a team that had stopped opponents 10-12 previous times. The Cougar defense also gave up 23 first downs to the Beavers, eight more than the 15 it averages throughout the season.


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