Midseason report: BYU

Brigham Young Cougars

Record: 2-4 (1-1, MWC)

There was no question BYU had a lot to replace when the season started. Getting new talent in for veteran performers like Max Hall, Dennis Pitta and Harvey Unga is no easy task, but the Cougars have always found a way to reload. Not this season. Coach Bronco Mendenhall waffled when it came to his starting quarterbacks, alternating between Riley Nelson and true freshman Jake Heaps. Though they won the season opener against Washington, they dropped their next four, and looked totally discombobulated on offense and defense. Heaps is now the full-time starter with Nelson out for the season because of a shoulder injury. BYU ranks an uncharacteristic 91st in the country in total offense, and 86th in passing offense. The Cougars are only averaging 4.98 yards a pass attempt, third-worst in the country behind Akron and UCLA. The defense was equally as disappointing, and Mendenhall fired coordinator Jamie Hill last week and took over his duties. The team played better in a win over San Diego State last week, but the Cougars are in a fight to make it to a bowl game.

Offensive MVP, RB JJ Di Luigi: The most consistent player on offense, Di Luigi leads the team in both rushing and receiving. He has 508 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, and 285 yards and one touchdown receiving. The fact that the leading receiver on the team has just 285 yards through six games should tell you about the few offensive highlights so far.

Defensive MVP, FS Andrew Rich: There haven’t been many standout performance. Two other nominees – DT Romney Fuga (knee) and LB Jordan Pendleton (knee) are out. Rich has provided veteran leadership and leads the team with 59 tackles and two forced fumbles. He also has three tackles for loss, and played last week despite being hurt.