What is different has been the performance of BYU receiver Cody Hoffman. Last year, the junior from Crescent City, Calif., went off against his once-beloved team, catching nine balls for 162 yards and a score.
The performance was the turning point in Hoffman's season. After struggling at the start, as he finished with 943 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
So far, despite another round of revolving quarterbacks, Hoffman has continued to build on 2011, ahead of his pace for receptions and yards.
"Cody is so much further along as a player and a young man in our program," BYU offensive coordinator Brandon Doman said prior to Saturday's 1:30 p.m. kickoff at LaVell Edwards Stadium. "Last year, he was just finding his way. We knew he was a good player, but hadn't gone out and made all the plays he's making now."
While not blessed with blazing speed, at 6-foot-4, the slender pass-catcher runs precise routes and is tall and physical enough to outfight defensive backs for the ball.
Hoffman is also trying to downplay his role in Saturday's game against the No. 10-ranked Beavers. Hoffman grew up about four hours from Corvallis, and a large contingent of friends and family watched him shred OSU's defense.
"I try not to think about it, but I know it's there, what with high school and recruiting and everything," Hoffman said. "So it's hard to keep my mind off of it."
Last season at this time, Hoffman had caught only 258 yards worth of passes with one score. So far in 2012, he's closing in on 500 yards, including 114 in the 6-3 victory against Utah State.
"I feel like this has been a continuation [of 2011]," Hoffman said. "I just want to maintain it to finish the season strong."
Although BYU lost freshman quarterback Taysom Hill during the waning moments of the USU victory, Hoffman is confident with Riley Nelson back under center.
Hoffman and Nelson have a bond as well as chemistry. They roomed together during Hoffman's freshman season and their chat sessions off the field were invaluable.
Even with Nelson on the sidelines, Hoffman has been one of BYU's go-to guys.
"He's a sure-handed guy that makes great plays," Nelson said. "He is gaining a lot of momentum after playing well against Utah State, so yeah, I hope he can make plays. But I hope we can spread the ball around, because our offense is most successful when we can spread the ball around.
"Cody is one of the best receivers in the country, obviously. He's having a great year already."
In return, Hoffman likes the way Nelson throws the football.
"Riley kind of throws it out in front of me and lets me go get it," Hoffman said.
Hoffman may be in line for another big game. So far, Oregon State has not given much help to the corner who covers the opposition's best receiver.
As for the Cougars' inconsistent offense, Hoffman continues to remind himself to be patient.
"It's difficult, but at the same time it's good knowing other players are making plays," he said.
Cody Hoffman file
• During BYU's 38-28 victory last season, he burned Oregon State with nine catches for 162 yards.
• Has nearly 200 more receiving yards this season than at the same time in 2011, when he finished with 943.