He’s a big body. He caught three passes in the first quarter and it contributed to our ability to open up the passing game. He helped set up the first touchdowns. It’s good to have him back. —BYU wide receivers coach Ben Cahoon
FRESNO, Calif. — BYU’s wide receivers turned in their best overall performance of the season in last week’s 41-20 win over San Jose State.
Micah Simon hauled in three receptions for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Talon Shumway, playing in his first game since suffering an injury against Boise State on Oct. 6, caught three passes for 28 yards, all in the first quarter.
“It was nice to get involved early,” Shumway said. “It’s better early than later. It was a psychological boost.”
For the season, Shumway has 18 catches for 190 yards.
“It’s really comforting for me (having Shumway return) because he’s a dependable playmaker,” said wide receivers coach Ben Cahoon. “He’s a big body. He caught three passes in the first quarter and it contributed to our ability to open up the passing game. He helped set up the first touchdowns. It’s good to have him back.”
What was it like for Shumway to miss a couple of games?
“It was terrible. It was the first time in a while I had to sit out,” he said. “It was hard having to watch the games at home. I wanted to be there, playing. But that’s over and it’s behind me. It’s not going to happen again.”
For the quarterbacks, it’s a good sign to see the receivers making plays.
“They’re clicking. Guys are stepping up. Talon’s healthy again,” said backup QB Beau Hoge. “Micah Simon’s the big dog in the room right now. Aleva Hifo has been playing really well lately. Everyone’s doing their job and it shows.”
LONG FIELD GOALS: BYU placekicker Rhett Almond has hit 2 of 3 field goals from 20-29 yards and 7 of 9 from 30-39 yards this season. But he is 0-for-1 from 40 yards or longer.
“We’d like to increase Rhett’s confidence outside of the 40-yard range. He’s been very accurate deep in the red zone,” said special teams coach Ed Lamb. “He’s got 50-something PAT streak. He does a good job in what we’re currently asking him to do. We’d like to ask him to do more. He needs to improve on his accuracy outside the red zone. We’d like to extend our field position for a 75 percent chance to make a field goal from the 25-yard line to the 30-yard line and even beyond. We’re not there yet.”
LAST TIME VS. TEDFORD: The last time BYU faced Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford was in 2005 when he was the coach at California.
The Cougars fell to the Bears in the Las Vegas Bowl, 35-28. Cal had two future NFL Pro Bowlers on their team, Marshawn Lynch, who ran for 194 yards and three touchdowns, and DeSean Jackson, who had 130 receiving yards and two TDs.
BYU’s current strength and conditioning coach, Nu’u Tafisi, played for Tedford as a defensive lineman at Cal. He had one tackle for loss in that Las Vegas Bowl game against the Cougars.