BYU football • About 200 California fans follow Cougars to see win over Oregon State.
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Corvallis, Ore. • Teammates kidded BYU receiver Cody Hoffman about having his own cheering section Saturday at Reser Stadium.
If anything, the Cougars should inquire whether the good folks of Crescent City, Calif., would be available for any upcoming games.
With about 200 fans making the five-hour drive from his hometown, Hoffman delivered a career performance in a 38-28 defeat of Oregon State.
The former roommate of BYU quarterback Riley Nelson caught nine passes for 162 yards and one touchdown, accounting for the bulk of Nelson's 217 passing yards. This, after he caught only one pass last weekend against San Jose State.
Hoffman entered the contest as BYU's leading receiver with 19 catches through six games, and he caught nearly half that many balls in one afternoon. A couple of his receptions were acrobatic, including one ball that fell into his arms when he was on his back, after a defender had poked the ball away from him.
The 6-foot-4 Hoffman "had a lot of one-on-one matchups and also a little bit of a size advantage," Nelson said.
Hoffman also had some big-time backing. Thanks to that group in the southwest corner of the stadium, the atmosphere seemed "a lot like high school, having all those people here to support me," Hoffman said.
A sophomore who starred in BYU's New Mexico Bowl win over Texas-El Paso last December, when Jake Heaps was throwing the passes, Hoffman said he benefited from Nelson's scrambling ability, giving him more time to get open. Hoffman caught five passes for 52 yards in the first half. On the first play of the second half, his 34-yard reception launched a drive that he ended with a 12-yard touchdown catch.
His spectacular, 46-yard catch on the next drive did not lead to any points, but Hoffman was not finished. He made one of the game's most critical plays, an 18-yard reception on a third-and-6 situation early in the fourth quarter, sustaining a touchdown drive that gave BYU a 31-21 lead.
Nelson "knows I can make big plays when he gives me the chances," Hoffman said.
Cody Hoffman by game
Opp Rec Yds TD
Ole Miss 1 9 0
Texas 2 11 0
Utah 8 138 0
UCF 3 24 0
Utah State 4 68 1
San Jose State 1 8 0
Oregon State 9 162 1