Quick Summary: Harvey Unga ran for 113 yards, three touchdowns, and ate three cups of mint flavored Dippin' Dots. Also, his teammates created two interceptions and a blocked punt while beating Colorado State 42 to 23 in Provo. For more information please click here for a network recap and/or here for a boxscore. MWC Connection has also provided a brief recap, here.
My desire for Unga to take it easy with that hamstring injury is well documented:
"Unga has played in each of the last two contests and then exited early because of aggravating his hamstring injury ... If it were me ... I would sit Harvey out completely against Colorado State this week and against Utah State the week following. I wouldn't let him play until the Cougars travel to UNLV on October 10th..."
Of course, Harvey and Bronco don't care about my opinion, and rightfully so. I haven't rushed for 2,586 career yards and 29 rushing TD's. (I have however enjoyed some Dippin' Dots while watching Unga produce some of those statistics at LES.) Still, Zac had a much more fun approach recently:
"Harvey Unga is fine. He's better than anything BYU has, and he'll probably leave school the all-time leading rusher. Not only that, but he has the ability to play through pain. In his first game of the year last week, he was able to tear up an ACC defense. I suspect he'll have over a hundred yards rushing and a couple touchdowns against CSU."
That wasn't so much prophetic as it was logical. I don't care how much CSU's defense has apparently improved from last season - they still can't stop the junior running back from Timpview. And thank goodness too, because despite the tremendous early lead, the Cougars could have made this game much easier on the Rams had Unga not suited up. So thank you Harvey or more specifically, thank you Harvey's hamstring.
Other than Unga, the best part of the game for me was the defense's ability to put some pressure on the quarterback. The Cougars finished with three sacks (Clawson, So'oto, Fuga) for a total loss of 35 yards. They also held the Rams to just 66 yards rushing on 28 carries. This was all most welcome after the performance against Florida State.
A few other bright spots included:
- Spencer Hafoka's 24 yard touchdown reception
- Scott Johnson's return with a team leading 10 tackles
- Andrew Rich's 6 tackles and interception
- Some productivity without fumbles from O'Neill Chambers
- Dennis Pitta's continued dominance
- The most consistent kicking/punting game of the season from Riley Stephenson
The most glaring disappointment of the game was Max Hall's two interceptions. Hall's inaccuracy seemingly had less to do with his protection and more to do with simple errors on his part. He should be able to get away with that again next week against Utah State, but it will cost him if he duplicates this performance against UNLV and certainly TCU next month.
Overall, this game was what most of us expected.