As he has done in the other three games when BYU was playing an opposing school for the first time, Van Noy came up big. He official stats for the game were 7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass break up, and 1 QB hurry. That tackle for loss is what made Van Noy's play special. It came early in the second quarter and resulted in a safety, which pulled BYU within one, 10-9.
2. Stress test for the Cougars.
It wasn't easy, but BYU passed this stress test with flying colors. Besides the pressure of losing to arch rival Utah, again, and falling to 1-2 on the season, the Cougar offense and special teams turned the ball over a lot (two fumbles inside the Middle Tennessee State five-yard line, and a muffed punt). Thanks to Van Noy's safety and resilient play on all sides of the ball, BYU weathered the storm and cruised to victory.
3. Will the offense be without running back Jamaal Williams?
Yes, the Cougars were without the services of their top running back. He was cleared to play, but held out for precautionary measures. Filling the void was Michael Alisa and Algernon Brown. Alisa had 55 yards on 16 carries and scored two touchdowns. Brown was impressive with 68 yards on 11 carries. Their contributions helped BYU pile up 309 yards on the ground.
4. Will Hine finally get a big kickoff return that isn't called back by a penalty?
Yes, he did--in a big way. The first chance he got, Hine broke loose for 90 yards. There was a penalty on the return, but it was against the Blue Raiders, which moved the ball half the distance to the goal. BYU was sitting pretty just five-yards away from the end zone.
Hine paid the price, you could say, for his big return. Middle Tennessee State made sure to kick the ball away from Hine the next time. Unselfishly, Hine made a block for Paul Lasike, which helped him return the ball to the BYU 46-yard line. However, that block gave Hine a concussion.
5. Will Cody Hoffman score a touchdown?
Just hours before the game, BYU announced that Hoffman would not play. He had been suspended one game for violating team rules. While that is terrible news, BYU survived without him, and the passing attack made strides forward.
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