BYU Athletics Blog | 2011

Football Team Salutes Servicemen, Servicewomen and Veterans

Nov 12, 2011 - Posted by at 8:55 pm | Updated: November 14, 2011 11:50 am | Permalink

The BYU football team honored Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, with a patriotic program called "Salute to Servicemen, Servicewomen and Veterans." 

The program took place in the Smith Fieldhouse and featured patriotic songs as well as addresses by BYU players Matt Reynolds and Romney Fuga, head coach Bronco Mendenhall, and former Cougar and NFL All-Pro tight end Chad Lewis. Several members of the football team also sang a musical number. Assistant coach Joe DuPaix, who previously worked at the U.S. Naval Academy, conducted the special fireside.

Reynolds, a preseason All-America offensive tackle, stressed the importance of doing our best, while Fuga, BYU’s starting defensive tackle, told how he came to BYU and talked about service and coming unto Christ. Coach Mendenhall praised our nation’s military and talked about standing for right.

Lewis, now an Assistant Athletics Director at BYU, spoke about his Wounded Warriors experience climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with four wounded war veterans along other NFL representatives Tedy Bruschi and Jeff Fisher. A 10-minute video featuring the trip experience was shown as part of his comments. 

During the event the veterans and servicemen and servicewomen in attendance were recognized while hymns of the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy were played.

The event was broadcast nationally on BYUtv.

Maverik to give away Lamborghini at Idaho game

Nov 11, 2011 - Posted by Jordan Christiansen at 5:05 pm | Updated: November 14, 2011 11:50 am | Permalink

Maverik, Inc., in conjunction with teamgive (www.teamgive.org), will give away a Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster LP640 during halftime of Saturday’s BYU vs. Idaho game. The giveaway is part of the ‘Joe Schmo to Lambo’ contest that raised money and awareness for the treatment and cure of rare neurological diseases. One of the contest’s ten finalists will be randomly selected to win the car, valued near $348,000, as well as driving lessons from Miller Motorsports Park (MMP). The other nine finalists will also win race-inspired packages from MMP.

BYU vs. Utah State on KSL

Nov 11, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 12:00 am | Updated: November 23, 2011 11:02 pm | Permalink

Use the links below to listen to Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant call the Utah State game on KSL.

Pregame Show

1st Half

Halftime Show

2nd Half

Postgame

Brandon Davies Meets with Media

Nov 09, 2011 - Posted by Taylor Wilson at 8:24 pm | Permalink

For the first time since playing his final game of the 2010-11 season, a February 26 win at San Diego State, Brandon Davies met with the media on Tuesday to discuss last season, this season and his decision to continue his career at Brigham Young University. 

On his trials at the end of the 2010-11 season: "It's definitely been hard. It's been hard on a lot of people, not just myself. I'm just lucky to be surrounded with people that love me, a great team, great family members and friends." 

On missing the end of the 2010-11 season: "It hurt. Not just me, but everyone around me. Its definitely something I'll never forget about and something that I never want to do again, so I just use that to drive me in all that I do today." 

On his treatment by BYU: "I was definitely treated more than fair. Just to be able to make it back here and be able to be a part of this team again is a blessing to me." 

On if he has changed since last season: "Honestly, I think I'm a totally different person, but that's up to other people to decide. I can't really tell someone that I've changed; it's up to me to show that. Hopefully I'm headed in the right direction and am doing the best I can." 

On how last season affected his relationship with the team: "It's definitely strengthened us; it's a bad thing, a terrible thing that we all had to go through, and they were all willing to go through it with me and pull through together. I think that says a lot about their character and the way we are as a team." 

On the 2011-12 opener at Utah State: "They have a great program. They came in, they fought hard all game here and it's going to be even more of a battle at their place where they're more comfortable. It's up to us to go in there and break them the best we can and play our best game." 

Getting to Know Jessica Jardine

Nov 07, 2011 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 12:01 pm | Permalink

Position: Outside hitter

Year: Sophomore

Height: 6-1

Academic major: Public health


Favorite color: Green


Favorite movie: The Count of Monte Cristo


Favorite place to eat: Zupa’s


Favorite musical: Grease


Someone you look up to: My parents


Favorite actor: Morgan Freeman and Johnny Depp


Favorite place to travel: Anywhere


Something few people know about you: I have the same birthday as Jimmer.


Top three things you did this summer: Played volleyball, went boating and ate shave ice.


Favorite quote/motto: “Dance as if no one was watching, sing as if no one was listening, live every day like it was your last.”


Why did you decide to come to BYU? To have a good college experience and be a part of BYU volleyball.

Getting to Know Katie Vaughn

Nov 07, 2011 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 11:55 am | Permalink

Position: Outside hitter

Year: Freshman

Height: 6-2

Academic major: Graphic design


Favorite color: Purple


Athlete crush: Bolt. He is the fastest runner in the world.


Favorite movie: John Tucker Must Die


Favorite place to eat: Ettore’s Bakery or any bakery.


Someone you look up to: My sisters, Allie and Sarah


Favorite actor: Ryan Gosling. I love him.


Favorite place to travel: Lake Tahoe or Santa Cruz


If you were queen for a day, you would: Buy the nicest car ever


Favorite quote: “Do or do not, there is no try.” - Yoda


Why did you decide to come to BYU? I love the atmosphere on the BYU campus, a great education and an awesome team!

Mr. October

Nov 04, 2011 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 2:09 pm | Updated: November 4, 2011 2:15 pm | Permalink

Quarterback Riley Nelson has been a spark and a star for BYU throughout the last month. Between his play on the field, his viral videos on YouTube.com featuring his hair or high-fiving antics, Nelson has been at the forefront of the BYU football team and provided a boost in the last month or so.

Nelson has led the Cougars to a 3-1 record since starting the last four games. The Logan, Utah native has helped an offense once ranked 103rd in total offense per game (323.2) after five games to 21st in the last four games (467.0) and 66th overall now (387.1). With the help of Nelson's legs, BYU's running game has drastically turned around as well. In the first five games the Cougars averaged just 94.4 yards per game and was 102nd in the country. In the last four games, BYU has averaged 233.75 yards per game, the 14th-ranked rushing offense over that span. The rushing attack has jumped nearly 40 spots to No. 63 with an average of 156.33 yards per game overall.

In his four starts during the month of October, the junior has put up some staggering numbers. Here is a breakdown of what Nelson accomplished last month, including his national ranking compared to others in the same month, playing the same amount of games.

Statistic National Ranking Actual Notable Players (ranked same or lower) Actual
QB Rating 18 157.47 Matt Barkley, USC              153.86
      Geno Smith, WV                 153.60
      Brandon Weeden, Ok St.    152.92
TD Passes 16 10 Robert Griffin III, Baylor       10
      Nick Foles, Ariz.                   10
      Russell Wilson, Wisc.          9
Yds/Att 14 8.9 yds Landry Jones, Okla.            8.9 yds
      AJ McCarron, Ala.                8.4 yds
      Kellen Moore, Boise St.       8.3 yds
QB Rush-Tot. yds 6 298 yds David Sims, Ga. Tech          288 yds
      Denard Robinson, Mich.      273 yds
QB Rush-Avg/Att 6 5.84 yds Jeff Godfrey, UCF                        5.70 yds
      Ryan Tannehill, Tex. A&M   5.59 yds

Di Luigi Does It All

Nov 02, 2011 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 3:26 pm | Updated: November 2, 2011 3:41 pm | Permalink

Senior running back JJ Di Luigi has been an incredibly versatile player for BYU throughout his career. At 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, Di Luigi has just the right size, speed and shiftiness to make him a weapon with the ball in his hands. For the 2011 season, the Canyon Country, Calif. product leads the Cougars in rushing with 81 carries for 415 yards and three touchdowns. He is also fourth on the team in receiving with 18 catches for 204 yards, including a team-best 57 yard reception.

In 2010, Di Luigi's 1,422 all-purpose yards were the 16th-best in BYU history. For his career, Di Luigi has 1,628 rushing yards, 920 receiving yards and 326 kickoff return yards, good for a total of 2,874 all-purpose yards.

Di Luigi is 19th all-time at BYU in all-purpose yards and is 12th in career rushing yards. He is in 64th in career-receiving yards. If Di Luigi can roll up 80 more receiving yards in his final year, he will be just the 10th player in BYU history with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards for a career.

Not only does Di Luigi impress on the field, but CLICK HERE and check out his reporting skills in this clip from media day earlier in the year.

Here is how Di Luigi looks on the all-time lists and who he might pass in the coming weeks:

BYU Career All-Purpose Yards
1.   Brown, Curtis (2002-06)      4,996 yards
17. Hooks, Margin (1997-00)    2,929 yards
18. Pitta, Dennis (2004-09)       2,908 yards
19. Di Luigi, JJ (2008-)            2,874 yards

BYU Career Rushing Yards
1.   Unga, Harvey (2006-09)        3,455 yards
10. McKenzie, Brian (1996-97)    1,954 yards
11. Fortie, Eldon (1962-64)          1,666 yards
12. Di Luigi, JJ (2008-)               1,628 yards

BYU Career Receiving Yards
1. Collie, Austin (2004,07-08)      3,255 yards
61. Coats, Daniel (2003-06)        966 yards
62. Tuipulotu, Peter (1987-91)    965 yards
63. Davis, Bill (1978-80)             938 yards
64. Di Luigi, JJ (2008-)              920 yards

Fireside - TCU

Oct 27, 2011 - Posted by Jordan Christiansen at 10:20 pm | Permalink

The team held its usual pregame fireside at the Colleyville Stake Center in Texas on Friday evening.

Seniors McKay Jacobson and Moose Thorson spoke along with usual speakers Bronco and Holly Mendenhall.

Jacobson based his thoughts around a favorite scripture he often recited on his mission to Japan. In D&C 4:2, Jacobson was inspired to do all he was asked to do with his "heart, might, mind and strength." Whether it was learning Japanese, teaching those interested in his message or football upon his return, Jacobson expressed his testimony that following that verse of scripture has improved his life.

According to the senior receiver, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, recently came to a team meeting. Among other things, Jacobson said that President Uchtdorf told the team that God does not necessarily care whether they win or lose - but he does care how hard they try. The same principle holds true in all we do, from sports to all other aspects of life.

After a musical number by kicker Brian Smith, Thorson, an offensive lineman on the team, spoke of his journey from being a walk-on to a scholarship player who recently earned the first start of his career this season.

Thorson bore testimony that through the gospel, a person can do anything, giving himself as an example of a player with less skill who has been blessed by God to do things above his abilities.

After Coach Mendenhall's wife, Holly, reminded the congregation that they were all examples to people both known and unknown, Coach Mendenhall closed the meeting with his remarks. He told the story of being given the assignment by his father to break in new colts. Coach tied each colt to a mule; as the mules would being walking forward, the colts would dig in their heels, fall on the ground and resist being taken anywhere.

But with the mules plodding along despite the chaos behind them, the colts would learn to go along, eventually becoming more docile. Mendenhall compared the mules to himself, his family and all others who attempt to do good while the world around them fights and resists the standards of the gospel.

Getting to Know Kathryn LeCheminant

Oct 27, 2011 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 10:27 am | Permalink

Position: Middle blocker

Height: 6-2

Hometown: Layton, Utah

Year: Sophomore

Academic major: Theraputic Recreation


Favorite color: Purple


Favorite musical: Singing in the Rain


Favorite movie: The Proposal


Favorite place to travel: Alaska


Favorite actress: Sandra Bullock


Someone you look up to: Emma Smith


Something few people know about you: I want to go to Australia and go camping in the outback.


If you were queen for a day, you would: Feed all the hungry children.


Favorite quote: Carpe diem- Sieze the day


Top three things you did this summer: Went to Alaska, played/coached volleyball, went to the Grand Canyon.


Why did you decide to come to BYU? Because it’s where I’ve always wanted to come here.