Puka Nacua’s record-setting NFL debut
Former Cougar Puka Nacua stunned the country with his debut effort in the NFL, helping the Los Angeles Rams defeat the Seattle Seahawks 30-13 Sunday. Nacua had 15 targets, 10 catches and 119 receiving yards.
His 15 targets was the most targets in an NFL debut since 1992. Nacua is the first rookie to go over 100 receiving yards in his debut since Ja’marr Chase in 2021 and made Rams history by recording the most receiving yards in a rookie debut for the franchise.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford had plenty of praise for Nacua following the contest.
“I thought (Nacua) did a great job,” Stafford said. “For the most part, he was at the right spot at the right time and his ability to catch and run afterward was on display today that we knew was gonna be there just because he is a big physical kid that understands the game.”
The Los Angeles Rams drafted Nacua in the fifth-round with pick number 177 after playing at BYU for two seasons. Nacua began his college career at Washington and played high school ball in Orem.
Cooper Kupp — the Rams’ previous star receiver — is currently on injured reserve due to a lingering hamstring injury. Nacua, playing in Kupp’s place, maintains that Kupp is a second coach to him as he is able to ask him a never-ending list of questions.
Nacua is the second BYU receiver to have a 100+ yard outing in the NFL. The first was Austin Collie, who had two games of more than 100 yards in September 2010.
BYU Sports Nation analyst Spencer Linton commented: “I know (Nacua) is special. BYU fans already know he is special. The thing that surprised me was how much he was targeted. 15 targets!”
So what’s next for Nacua? Maybe his first NFL touchdown! The Rams are set to play former BYU Linebacker Fred Warner and the 49ers next Sunday.