Many BYU fans attending the game against Idaho State knew the Cougars were heavy favorites. Two years ago, BYU beat Idaho State 56–3, and things weren’t much different this time around.
“We’re a little better than we were two years ago when we played down here,” Idaho State head coach Mike Kramer said. “This is a fun place to play. It’s the toughest place to have success, and it’s just such a stylish group of coaches, players and fans. I love coming here and would love to play here all the time.”
Weather at kickoff was snowy and cold, but fans still came in droves for one last chance to see BYU’s seniors play in Provo. The Cougar seniors were some of the most memorable players in BYU football history, and they have played a big role in the Cougars’ recent success.
“It’s been surreal with everything that I’ve overcome and accomplished in my career. It’s bittersweet,” senior BYU receiver Cody Hoffman said. “It hasn’t really set in yet, but I’m sure once the season is over and we finish the bowl game I think it’ll start to set in more. But it’s been great.”
While Hoffman and fellow senior Kyle Van Noy are perhaps the biggest players leaving the program following the season, many fans expected to see senior backup quarterback Jason Munns take some snaps in his final home game. After Munns didn’t play a single down against the Bengals, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall noted that Munns gave up his playing time so that younger players could develop.
“That’s just who he is,” Mendenhall said. “He’s a remarkable young man and leader, and those kinds of experiences teach me a lot. I was proud of him.”
Starting quarterback Taysom Hill finished the game with 153 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in the first half. With the starters sitting out the entire second half, Cougar fans got to see a lot of players who contribute in practice finally get some playing time on the field.
“I’m just excited that I got to enjoy today and got to enjoy watching young kids fly around and make some plays,” BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy said. “I got to see some veterans that are on scout team that got to participate today, and it is awesome that everyone contributed and made plays today.”
With a trip to Notre Dame looming next week, many are concerned playing in South Bend will intimidate BYU. The Fighting Irish narrowly defeated BYU last year on their way to playing in the national championship.
“I think that we’re going to go into a team. They’re going to be healed from a bye week. They’re going to be ready to go,” Van Noy said. “But I think also we’re hungry too, and we’re hungry for success, and I think that’s what’s going to show in South Bend. It’s going to be a good game. It’s going to be competitive.”