Provo • That BYU offense that sputtered against Virginia in the opener suddenly is one of the better offenses in the country, at least according to the latest NCAA statistics.
The Cougars are No. 14 in the country in total offense, averaging 503.0 yards per game, and No. 14 in rushing offense at 263 ypg. They are 61st in passing offense at 240 ypg.
Quarterback Taysom Hill is No. 8 in the country in total offense — 350.3 yards per game.
“The players and Taysom know what is happening,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said Monday in his weekly media briefing. “They are getting better and better and better. That doesn’t mean we are perfect. But man, when you are scoring as many points as we did [against Houston] and moving the ball, they are optimistic and hopeful.”
Hague’s big play
Houston missed a 45-yard field goal two plays later so it really didn’t matter as much as it seemed to at the time, but BYU defensive back Mike Hague swears that the red-clad Cougars should not have even gotten the opportunity to score on their first possession of the second half.
On second-and-10 from the BYU 25, John O’Korn’s lateral hit the ground and bounced into Hague’s hands. But officials ruled Hague was out of bounds when he gained possession, and the call on the field stood after a lengthy review of the replay.
“I watched it on film and then I watched it on ESPN when I got home,” Hague said. “There’s not a doubt in my mind that I had possession inbounds. And they zoomed in on it, and I didn’t bobble the ball. The ESPN guys were saying that it was a huge momentum-changer, and BYU is going to take over on possession. And it was backwards. I was inbounds, didn’t bobble it. Should have been our ball. 100 percent.”
Another new QB
BYU held Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick to just 145 yards passing on 25 attempts last year. But Southwick broke his ankle last week, and Grant Hedrick came in to lead the Broncos to a win over Nevada. Mendenhall said Hedrick presents challenges that Southwick did not, mainly due to the redshirt junior’s ability to run with the football.
“We saw their other quarterback come in,” Mendenhall said. “Man, every team has good players. So the other quarterback came in and ended up having a really successful game, not only running it, but throwing it. Something like 18 out of 21 for a lot of yards. So Boise has a good team,” Mendenhall said.
Wants to play Wake
In discussing his friendship with Boise State coach Chris Petersen on Monday, Mendenhall said Petersen is one of a handful of coaches that “I have kind of become close with” during annual functions sponsored by Nike. He said the group also includes Oregon State coach Mike Riley and Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe.
Has BYU ever tried to schedule Wake Forest?
“Yeah, we actually have,” Mendenhall said. “Can’t give you an update on it, but that would be good.”
Receiver Cody Hoffman owns the BYU career receptions record with 228 and is tied with Austin Collie for most TD catches with 30. He needs 71 yards to pass Collie for most receiving yards in school history, and one more 100-yard receiving game to catch Collie in that category.
Boise State at BYU, 6 p.m. MT
TV • ESPN