BYU Athletics Blog | 2014

Day 2: Prague and match vs. Brno

May 12, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 3:03 pm | Updated: May 12, 2014 3:11 pm | Permalink

On their second day in Europe, the Cougars did some sight seeing and played their first match against a foreign opponent.

The team took a walking tour of Prague, which including visiting a church, climbing a tower and seeing the changing of the guard at the president's house.

Monday evening the team competed against the Brno club team, winning 3-2 (21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 19-25, 23-21) after a tough fifth set. Volejbal Brno led 14-12 in the fifth set, but the Cougars bounced back for the 23-21 fifth-set victory.

Freshman Tim Dobbert led BYU with 19 kills, followed by Josue Rivera's 15 kills, Jake Langlois's 12 and Matt Underwood's 11.

"We started a little slow, but we had 10 days without practice coupled with almost 30 hours of travel, so it took us a set to start playing well," BYU head coach Chris McGown said. "We got the chance to play almost our entire bench, and had some great moments to keep the match alive in the fifth set. I loved that right off the bat we had a challenging match, and that our players experienced a tough road environment. Our hosts were amazingly gracious, and it was really an honor to compete with them."

BYU will play one more match in Prague Tuesday before heading to Maribor, Slovenia, by way of Vienna, Austria.

The craziest thing that's happened to the team so far (from junior outside hitter Phil Fuchs): "They overbooked our flight from Amsterdam to Prague, and Devin Young and his wife, Marie, had to stay there an extra night. Now that they are here, Devin's bag was lost, and he still doesn't have it!"

Reaction to KVN draft pick

May 12, 2014 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 12:11 pm | Updated: May 12, 2014 12:18 pm | Permalink

Day 1: Travel to Prague

May 11, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 10:53 pm | Permalink

The team reached Prague Sunday after a long couple days of travel. One of their layovers was in Amsterdam, where they were able to see a little of the city before their last flight to Prague.

From outside hitter Phil Fuchs:

"We are in Amsterdam waiting for our flight to Prague. We went out to the city to check out some of it, with some people going to the downtown, and others taking a bus to see the Anne Frank house. The weather is super rainy and windy, which made it very interesting to walk around. A lot of us were very cold. Some of us ended up taking naps in the Marriott lobby."

Check back for more updates from Europe!

Football team to include alternate home uniforms in 2014

May 08, 2014 - Posted by at 11:31 am | Updated: May 8, 2014 11:55 am | Permalink

The BYU football team will be sporting three alternate home uniforms during the upcoming season. In addition to its regular dark blue home jersey with white pants, the team will don white, royal and black uniforms in 2014.

Fans are encouraged to join the team in a white-out game when BYU hosts the University of Virginia on Saturday, Sept. 20 in LaVell Edwards Stadium. The team will take the field in all-white attire to face the visiting Cavaliers from the Atlantic Coast Conference. While the all-white look is sometimes used during road games, the white-out game with UVa will be the first time the team will wear white in LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The Cougars will wear royal blue when they host in-state rival Utah State on Friday, Oct. 3. Cougar fans are encouraged to sport their royal attire for the Friday night matchup against the Aggies of the Mountain West Conference. The game will mark the fourth time the Cougars have worn a royal blue alternate jersey. BYU also wore royal for home games against Utah in 2009 and 2013 and in its 2009 Las Vegas Bowl victory over No. 16 Oregon State.

The return of the black alternate jersey takes place against former conference foe UNLV when the Cougars host the Rebels on Saturday, Nov. 15 in Provo. The Cougars welcome UNLV of the MW back to Provo for a black-out game in LaVell Edwards Stadium. BYU previously wore all-back uniforms against No. 10 Oregon State in 2012. 

Check out the photos below to get a feel for the alternate uniforms.

 

 

 

2014 NFL Draft begins today

May 08, 2014 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 10:18 am | Updated: May 8, 2014 10:41 am | Permalink

Round 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft begins tonight in New York City at Radio City Music Hall. Live coverage begins at 8 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. MDT on ESPN, WatchESPN and on the NFL Network. The second and third rounds will take place Friday beginning at 7 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. MDT while the final four rounds are held Saturday beginning at noon EDT/10 a.m. MDT.

BYU had five players invited to the NFL Combine, four defensive and one offensive player. Only 13 programs had more than BYU’s five combine invitees and only three—Alabama, Florida State and Florida—had more defensive players invited to participate. Last year two BYU players participated in the combine, including defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah, who was later selected No. 5 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Ansah went on to record the most sacks by an NFL rookie last season. BYU's five combine participants this year is the most since 2002 when six Cougars were invited to the combine.

Upon the conclusion of the draft, undrafted players will be available to sign as free agents with one of the 32 NFL teams.

Here is a guide that features the 11 Cougars who participated in BYU's Pro Day in March. 

Three Cougars named to U.S. Men's National Team

May 07, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 1:26 pm | Permalink

Three former Cougars have been selected to the 22-player U.S. Men’s National Team preliminary roster for the 2014 FIVB World League.

Outside hitter Taylor Sander, who was named AVCA National Player of the Year April 30 for his senior season performance, is one of three college players named to the team. He is joined by middle blockers Futi Tavana, who played at BYU from 2009-12, and Russell Holmes, who played for the Cougars from 2004-2008. Holmes competed with the Olympic team in 2012.

Another former Cougar, Mike Wall, is an assistant coach for the team.

The national team will compete against Russia in Long Beach, California, June 6-7. The next week (June 13-14), the team will face Serbia in Chicago before facing Bulgaria in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, June 20-21.

The coaches will select 14 players of the 22 named to the team to compete each weekend.

For more information, visit the USA Volleyball website.

May Baseball Blog

May 01, 2014 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 10:09 pm | Updated: June 3, 2014 9:40 am | Permalink

GRADUATION: Chris Howard (exercise science), Chunner Nyberg and Desmond Poulson (both in sociology) and former Cougar pitcher Marc Oslund (humanities) all graduated last month from BYU. Oslund is now teaching LDS Seminary classes and has his eye on getting a doctorate in North Carolina where he served as a missionary. In June, Howard will join former Cougar athletes Cameron Jensen, Mike Hague and Chris Collingsworth working for Nuvi.

MORE ON OSLUND: Oslund takes a turn as color analyst for BYU radio broadcasts while play-by-play announcer Brent Norton is absent. Norton's fill-in for the first couple games in May will be Robbie Bullough, voice of BYU softball games on TheW.tv and baseball paly-by-play in previous Cougars seasons on BYUtv.

MORE ON TV: The Tuesday game vs. Utah in May will be televised on KBYU-TV because of BYUtv's commitment to the Granite Flats series. The talent for BYU’s Friday game at Portland is Steve Quis and Keith Ramsey. Ramsey is a former University of Florida pitcher who threw a perfect game in 2004 amidst an 11-year minor league career with the Cleveland Indians. Quis calls play-by-play for the Los Angeles Angels games.

MISSIONS: Mission calls announced last month were Mackay Jacobsen to Louisville, Kentucky and Hayden Parker to El Salvador/San Salvador/Belize. Both report to the Missionary Training Center in July.

ENGAGED: Outfielder Andy Isom got engaged last month to BYU soccer player Taylor Campbell and will be married this July.

DADDY IN NOVEMBER: Relief pitcher Brandon Kinser proudly announced he will become a father this November when his wife gives birth to their first child.

NELSON SURGERY: Junior pitcher Rhett Nelson had surgery the end of last month to remove a bone fragment.

MORE BASEBALL: After this season concludes, games will continue this summer for Brennon Lund who will play with Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox; Eric Urry will play with Arik Mack for the DC Grays; CJ Latham will play with Hayden Rogers for the Santa Barbara Forresters; and Trace Hansen will play for the Woodstock River Bandits.

DOUBLE EAGLE: Shortstop Hayden Nielsen is one of 10 players on the BYU roster who have earned the Eagle Scout award, but he has waited a couple years for the official presentation of that badge so that he could join his younger brother Jade as part of a double Eagle ceremony in Spanish Fork after this season concludes. Jade just finished the paperwork for the Eagle Scout Award, then will graduate from high school and turn in his mission papers.

Chicago: Day 2

Apr 30, 2014 - Posted by Royce Hinton at 8:53 pm | Updated: April 30, 2014 8:58 pm | Permalink

BYU men's volleyball headed to the Joseph J. Gentile Arena in the morning for early practice and a prematch press conference. Coach Chris McGown and players Taylor Sander and Devin Young addressed the media before watching film on their opponent, Stanford. Read the press conference transcript.

The Cougars then had the afternoon off before heading to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Awards Banquet where senior Sander was presented with the top honor, Player of the Year, in his role as a first-team All-American. 

No. 2 seed BYU faces No. 3 seed Stanford in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament tomorrow at 7 p.m. EDT.

Chicago: Day 1

Apr 29, 2014 - Posted by Royce Hinton at 9:34 pm | Updated: April 29, 2014 9:37 pm | Permalink

After a day filled with travel to Chicago, the BYU men's volleyball team arrived at its hotel near the campus of Loyola University Chicago. Players streamed the NCAA tournament play-in matches from their phones during the travel period. The Cougars will begin tomorrow with practice and a press conference at the Joseph J. Gentile Arena in preparation for their NCAA tournament semifinal match on Thursday at 7 p.m. EDT.

2014 Spring Prospectus

Apr 18, 2014 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 1:19 pm | Updated: April 21, 2014 5:32 pm | Permalink

BYU football released its spring prospectus which recaps spring and previews the 2014 season. The Cougars wrapped up their spring practices April 4.

"Spring was really good, we learned quite a bit," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Our completion percentage and third down percentage were very high through the entire spring. The ability to protect the quarterback is improving. Obedient, hard-working and hungry are the three words I would use (to describe the personality of the team)."

Last year, Robert Anae and the BYU staff morphed the offense to a fast-paced system that produced the No. 14 total offense in the nation and the 10th-best rushing offense, including two 1,000-yard rushers in QB Taysom Hill and RB Jamaal Williams. One of the nation's top talents, Hill is poised to have a strong junior season leading the Cougars' up-tempo attack.

The fast-paced system took time to develop but could be firing on all cylinders come August with a year's worth of experience for the returning offensive corps. Hill and Williams are among eight returning starters, including the entire backfield and offensive line. The offense needs to replace starters at receiver and tight end.

The Cougars have to replace their all-time leading receiver Cody Hoffman but boast a talented corps of candidates. In addition to those returning, transfers Nick Kurtz, Jordan Leslie, Devon Blackmon and Keanu Nelson will make for strong competition.

Four BYU players from 2013 participated at the NFL combine this February -— only three college programs had more defensive players invited. Among those players are the BYU current-era single-season leading tackler in Uani 'Unga and one of the most versatile defensive players in Cougar history in Kyle Van Noy

Although the Cougars need to replace those high-caliber players, head coach Bronco Mendenhall has a proven record of keeping up a nationally ranked defense, no matter who suits up on Saturdays. His teams especially excel at keeping opponents out of the end zone, averaging a No. 20 scoring-defense ranking over the past eight seasons. Seniors Craig Bills (safety) and Alani Fua (linebacker) lead a group of six returning starters from last year and a seventh, corner back Jordan Johnson, who missed last season due to injury. With the 12th-ranked yards-per-play defense in 2013, Mendenhall should keep the Cougars in the national conversation as a dominant defense.

Click here to see the full prospectus.