The 9-3, 7-1 Mountain West Champs SDSU Aztecs take on the 7-5 BYU Cougars in the eighth installment of the ever changing second bowl of San Diego. There have been at least five different agreements with conferences over the years and in 2008 the PAC10(12) couldn’t meet the required seven teams to send a team to the southern most city in California.
The Cougars of BYU have had an up and down season and just about gave the country what they wanted in upsetting Notre Lame. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who may have the coolest name for a head coach ever, has an issue at the QB position. His starter and heart of the team, Riley Nelson, has been injured and still isn’t sure he’ll be able to go on the 20th.
Playmakers: On offense, Cody Hoffman has been the consistency that the Cougars have needed amid their QB issues. Having Riley Nelson and James Lark in the backfield during the season hasn’t deterred Hoffman from having a stellar year. One of the top playmakers in the nation, but under the radar, he has 90 receptions for 1,134 yards for an average of 94 yards a game and 11 touchdowns. A long TD of 64 yards this season he is the playmaker they need to step up despite uncertainty at the QB position. I am honestly surprised he hasnt had more than just 3 KO returns all season.
Defensively, there is one person that really stands out and single handedly kept the Cougars in the ND game. LB Kyle Van Noy almost had Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o as a teammate as they are both Mormon and Te’o considered BYU. Van Noy is a junior but a hot NFL prospect so he may be suiting up for the last time. A stud pass rusher, he will have to step up his rushing D as the Aztec’s set a new team rushing record for a season. Read More