Provo • Senior quarterback James Lark was the story of the day in BYU's 50-14 win over New Mexico State on Saturday, throwing six touchdown passes in his first career start.
But Cody Hoffman's performance wasn't shabby, either.
BYU's junior wide receiver caught five of those TD passes, bettering the previous school record of four held by a couple of players.
"He's a special player," Lark said of Hoffman. "They don't come around very often. … I wanted to take advantage of that. You put it anywhere near his hands, he will catch it."
Hoffman caught 12 passes for a career-high 182 yards, several times snagging balls with a defender draped on his back. He said it was the first time in his football career that he's scored five touchdowns in one game.
"So to think that I had five touchdowns is kind of surreal," said the Crescent City, Calif., product.
Hoffman's first TD catch of the day came when coach Bronco Mendenhall decided to go for the touchdown instead of a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the NMSU 5-yard line. Mendenhall said he took the risk because kicker Justin Sorensen had missed a 39-yard field-goal attempt on BYU's first possession.
"It just didn't seem like this was going to be his day," Mendenhall said of Sorensen.
Hoffman's prettiest catch was a 64-yarder from Lark when NMSU's cornerback bit, thinking the play was going to be another quick screen.
"We knew that eventually they would fall for it," Hoffman said.
Hoffman has had great chemistry with starting quarterback Riley Nelson, and that carried over with Lark at the controls.
"He put the ball where he needed to, and I was able to come down with them. It just shows the confidence he has in me and that I have in him," Hoffman said.
But the receiver was wary of being drawn into the Nelson-or-Lark debate, saying it wasn't like Lark was out to make a statement that he should have been the Cougars' starting quarterback long before now.
"He showed that if Riley were to go down, like he did, that he is ready to come out and play for us, and get us a win," Hoffman said.
Mendenhall said Hoffman is becoming one of the premier receivers in school history.
"Man, it seems like every time you throw it to him, it is in a critical situation, and something good happens," Mendenhall said. "Rarely does he drop one. He just keeps bringing them down. Man, he's made so many plays for our program. We are really lucky he's here."
Twitter: @drewjay BYU Receiver Cody Hoffman's Career Day
* Set BYU single-game school record with five touchdown catches
* Had career-high 182 receiving yards
* Has now caught a pass in 31 straight games
* Moved up to No. 3 on BYU's touchdown catches list with 28
* Moved up to No. 6 in career receiving yards with 2,604
* Had the 7th 100-yard game of the season and 13th of his career