By Jacob Kendall
Idaho (now 1-9) brought a bottom 5 or 10 team into Provo to face a BYU team that sports a top 10 defense in just about every category. My biggest question coming into the BYU Idaho game was how many fans would brave the conditions and come to the game, considering the almost 8:30 pm kickoff in below freezing and snowy conditions. The announced 61,000 was very impressive. That may have been the number of tickets sold rather than actual attendance, as there appeared to be fewer bodies in the stands than that. Either way that was an impressive showing considering the lack of drama surrounding the matchup.
Idaho was added to the 2011 and 2012 schedules as part of BYU’s deal with the WAC. BYU won the 2011 game 42-7. Riley Nelson was injured on a 32 yard touchdown pass to Cody Hoffman in the first quarter. In 2012 Riley picked up where he left off in that game connecting with Cody Hoffman three first half touchdown passes. Nelson finished the day 19-31 for 236 yards 3 touchdowns and no interceptions while adding 7 carries for 49 yards and zero fumbles. Riley wins my player of the game award and my stat of the game is his zero turnovers for the first time since week one vs Washington State.
Cody Hoffman and Jamaal Williams also had huge days. Hoffman caught three first-half touchdowns as part of his 9 catches for 108 yards. Jamaal Williams gained 104 yards and scored 2 touchdowns on just 10 carries. Spencer Hadley was in the right place at the right time as a mishandled snap bounced into his hands as he walked into the end zone for a 1st quarter defensive touchdown.
BYU pulled Riley Nelson and most of the other starters in the 2nd series of the 3rd quarter. Senior backup quarterback James Lark threw a 2 yard touchdown pass to Cody Raymond in the 4th quarter. Lark finished his senior day 6-11 for 49 yards and a touchdown.
On defense BYU forced 5 turnovers and held Idaho to 273 yards and 13 points. Overall, I feel the outcome was what I expected it to be. BYU’s dominant defense shut down Idaho’s offense and BYU’s offense moved the ball and scored on Idaho’s bad defense. This game is what BYU and their fans get to enjoy two or three times a season. Playing an under-matched foe and vanquishing them with little trouble.