Last Saturday’s game was a tough loss for Cougar fans hoping BYU would be able to come away with a victory in Doak Campbell Stadium. It was there that first-time starter Cody Hoffman caught his first college touchdown.
"I was so excited," said a usually reserved Hoffman with a smile. "I didn't keep the football though, but I was so excited. I was really pumped up after I caught that first touchdown pass."
With the Seminoles leading 13-3, true freshman quarterback Jake Heaps led the Cougar offense down the field 71 yards on 11 plays. The drive resulted in both Jake Heaps’ and Cody Hoffman's first touchdown of their young college career.
"We were coming back," said Hoffman. "We were driving down the field and it was an important time in the game, and so we ended up scoring on that long drive. We were all juiced up and pumped after that."
"It was a special opportunity for the both of us," Heaps said. "Hopefully there's more to come."
Following the hook-up between the two freshman for the touchdown, Heaps went over to Hoffman and congratulated him.
"Yeah, he said, ‘Good job,’" Hoffman said. "He just said, ‘Good job,’ and didn't say much. After that it was all business-like."
With Heaps now in sole command of BYU's offense, it's going to have to be all business when it comes to outscoring Nevada's offense. Currently, Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick is ranked second in nation – behind only Denard Robinson of Michigan – in total offensive yards with 1,097 (365.67 per game). As a team, Nevada ranks third in the nation – behind Oklahoma State and Oregon – in yards per game with 560.33. Is this young BYU team up for the challenge?
"Yeah, I think we're always up for the challenge," said Hoffman. "We had a really good week of practice throwing the ball, and now since Riley [Nelson] is out, we've just focused on one quarterback. Hopefully the offense will now start clicking more together."
With Heaps getting more time against Florida State, the offense has slowly been moving towards more of a traditional BYU offense. Now with Heaps fully in command of the offense, the focus will be turned back to what allowed BYU to become one of the top five programs in the country over the past four years in terms of wins.
"I think we're slowly moving into the type of offense we want to have," Hoffman said. "We're working towards it and we just keep working hard. We need to build that chemistry up because we have a lot of talent on our offense and now we're just figuring out how to use it all."
These young guns within BYU's offense will have to grow up quickly, as they will be facing four All-WAC defensive players. One of those is 6-foot-1-inch, 245-pound defensive end Dontay Moch, who is Nevada's all-time leader in sacks and tackles-for-a-loss. Moch is on the watch list for the Bronko Naguski Trophy, given to the nation's top defender.
"They fly around to the ball a lot and are pretty fast," Hoffman said. "They have a really good defensive end and they have pretty good-size defensive backs. But we're up for the challenge. They run a lot of cover-two where the corners are bumped up and they have two safeties deep downfield. It's pretty similar to what we run here and what a lot of colleges run."
With the Wolf Pack bringing their high-powered offensive show to town, the Cougars will look to outscore them with an air show of their own. Heaps threw his first touchdown against Florida State, and hopefully will increase his total against Nevada.
"Hopefully, you know," Heaps said with a smile. "That's the plan and, I mean, we have to put points on the board because Nevada has a really good offense. We gotta do a better job as an offense and really find what we need to do."
So will there be more touchdowns to come? Absolutely. Will it be enough to outgun Nevada's offense? Well, fans will just have to wait and see.
"I hope there's more to come," Hoffman said with a smile. "That's what I'm hoping for - there's more come.”
And so do BYU fans this weekend.