Men's Football Blog

BYU to wear helmet decals honoring Sandy Hook Elementary School during Poinsettia Bowl

Dec 20, 2012 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 5:12 pm | Permalink

The BYU football team will honor the 20 children and six staff members who lost their lives in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. with special helmet decals tonight in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

The blue balloons are for the boys, pink for girls and yellow for the staff.

Nick Howell, BYU's secondary coach and special teams coordinator is a friend of the Parker family that lost its little girl Emilie in the tragedy. Nick and his wife Brooke both went to high school (Ben Lomond HS in Ogden) with Emilie Parker's parents, Robbie and Alyssa.

Team luncheon on board the USS Midway

Dec 19, 2012 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 11:10 pm | Updated: December 19, 2012 11:12 pm | Permalink

With the festivities winding down at the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, the highlight of the day was both teams together at a luncheon on board the USS Midway in San Diego.

The USS Midway was an aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, the lead ship of her class. Commissioned a week after the end of World War II, the Midway was the largest ship in the world until 1955, and saw active duty for over 47 years, being decommissioned in 1992 and becoming a museum ship for the public to enjoy.

Both teams joined together in the hull of the ship for lunch and a short program. The teams were honored for their regular season accomplishments while guests from the Poinsettia Bowl, city officials and other special guests spoke. Children from the Make-A-Wish program in San Diego were also recognized.


BYU and SDSU will each have an honorary captain on game day, a young fan from Make-A-Wish San Diego. The kids were given team jerseys with their name on it and will participate in various activities at the game.

Each team honored a player with a most inspirational player award. The Cougars chose senior running back David Foote, a former walk-on, for his determination, example and heart. The Aztecs gave the award to senior running back Walter Kazee.

After the luncheon players were able to roam the decks of the ship, ride in flight simulators, look at the airplanes on board and learn about the various functions and history of the USS Midway.

The team gathered in the afternoon following the luncheon for the official team photo for the year and a walk-through for the game.

Earlier in the day, head coach Bronco Mendenhall and SDSU coach Rocky Long met with the media for a pregame press conference. Each coach spoke briefly at the podium before speaking in a more casual setting with reporters later on.

Mendenhall talked about how his players balance family and fun with bowl game preparations and Long discussed how despite being in a home game setting with his team they have enjoyed the bowl atmosphere.

As usual, BYU participated in a fireside in the evening. It was a special Christmas themed program, featuring lots of musical numbers. Players and coaches hung around after to meet fans and members of the community to visit and take pictures.

BYU will face off against the Aztecs tomorrow with kickoff from Qualcomm Stadium at 5 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN.

 

Photos by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo and Brett Pyne

Bowl fans encouraged to arrive early, consider riding trolley

Dec 19, 2012 - Posted by at 11:00 pm | Updated: December 20, 2012 1:02 pm | Permalink

More than 40,000 expected for San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

The eighth annual San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl kicks off at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 20 at Qualcomm Stadium and features the BYU Cougars and San Diego State Aztecs.  Considering the rush hour kick time, fans are encouraged to arrive early or take the Trolley. The Qualcomm Stadium parking lot opens at 11 a.m.

MTS Trolley’s Green Line provides direct, frequent service to Qualcomm Stadium from the downtown 12th & Imperial, Gaslamp, Convention Center, Seaport Village, and Santa Fe Depot stations through Old Town and Mission Valley and from stations east of the Stadium to Santee. The Green Line’s normal 15-minutes service will be enhanced (between downtown and Qualcomm Stadium as well as between 70th Street and the stadium) starting at 12:30 pm until kickoff, and then again after the game. Regular Green Line service will continue to operate during the game. Fans may connect to the Green Line from all other Trolley lines and the COASTER. Blue and Orange Line riders should transfer at the 12th & Imperial station. Orange Line riders can also transfer at the Grossmont Center Trolley Station. Fans boarding at any C Street or Park Boulevard station in downtown should catch an Orange Line trolley to the Santa Fe Depot and transfer there to a Green Line train. COASTER riders can transfer to the Green Line at the Old Town Transit Center.  

Trolley riders can purchase a Day Pass on Compass Card from any Trolley Ticket Machine using cash, credit and debit. Commemorative Poinsettia Bowl Day Passes are also available at select Green Line Stations ticket kiosks with cash.  COASTER riders should purchase the $12 RegionPlus Day Pass from any COASTER ticket vending machine which allows round-trip transfer to the Trolley.   COASTER riders who purchase an online round-trip COASTER ticket via Coo Coo using web or mobile phone must also purchase a Day Pass at Old Town to transfer to the Trolley.

Game tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling TicketMaster at 1-800-745-3000 or by visitingTicketMaster.com.  They can also be purchased at Qualcomm Stadium, Window F on game day beginning at 9 a.m.

Practice, Giraffes and Make-A-Wish on Tuesday

Dec 18, 2012 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 10:38 pm | Permalink

The BYU football team spent Tuesday at the Poinsettia Bowl wrapping up its last full practice of the 2012 season, attended the San Diego Zoo and visited with families from Make-A-Wish San Diego.

The Cougars practiced in a steady early afternoon rain before putting the finishing touches on the field for bowl preparation.



Most of the team visited the San Diego Zoo in the afternoon. Several players had a close encounter with a few giraffes, even getting to feed some of them. Defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah was especially concerned with how personal the giraffe was getting.




Some of the players skipped out on the visit to the zoo to visit some kids from Make-A-Wish in San Diego. Young children with various illnesses and trials visited with both BYU and SDSU players, taking photos, chatting and just hanging out. San Diego State head coach Rocky Long and Bronco Mendenhall, along with their families visited as well.




Marching bands and fans participated in the Gaslamp March in downtown San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter to close out the night's activities.

Both head coaches will participate in a press conference Wednesday morning before both teams attend a luncheon aboard the USS Midway.

 

Photos by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo

Cougars practice, visit SeaWorld during Poinsettia Bowl festivities

Dec 17, 2012 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 9:57 pm | Permalink

After arriving in San Diego yesterday afternoon, the BYU football team held its first practice midmorning on Monday and then went on to SeaWorld and other activities.

The Cougars held a spirited practice in preparation for the bowl at Helix High School, home of former BYU greats and NFL players Leon White (LB, 1981-85) and Todd Watkins (WR, 04-05).

Following practice the team spent most of the afternoon at SeaWorld. Players, coaches and their families enjoyed the Shamu Show, the Shark Encounter and more.  Defensive back Preston Hadley and wide receiver Ross Apo even got up close and personal with a beluga whale.

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall and inside linebackers coach Paul Tidwell took a cruise on the coast thanks to San Diego Harley-Davidson for part of the afternoon as well.

Tomorrow the team will follow a similar schedule in the morning with a practice and a trip the San Diego Zoo in the afternoon. Members of the team will also give gifts and visit with families at the Make-A-Wish reception later in the afternoon.

In the evening, fans in town can enjoy the BYU and SDSU marching bands and spirit squads in the Five Star Tours Poinsettia Bowl Gaslamp March, a parade in downtown San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter from each end of 5th Avenue and meet up at Market Street for a heart-pounding battle of the bands.

Uona Kaveinga to participate in 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Dec 17, 2012 - Posted by at 1:52 pm | Updated: December 17, 2012 1:56 pm | Permalink

College All-Star Game to be held at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. on January 19, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The NFL Players Association is proud to announce that Uona Kaveinga of Brigham Young University has committed to playing in the 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

The Hawthorne, Calif., star linebacker will be one of the talented draft-eligible seniors competing in the all-star game on January 19 at The Home Depot Center on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, Calif. Kaveinga was named to the Butkus Award Watch List and totaled 42 tackles, four tackles for loss, two pass breakups, one interception and one fumble recovery during the regular season for BYU. Kaveinga will play in his final game for the Cougars on Thursday when BYU faces San Diego State in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. 

For player confirmations and news surrounding the game, follow @NFLPABowl on Twitter and on Facebook at Facebook.com/NFLPACollegiateBowl.

For one week preceding the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, participants will receive an in-depth introduction to the union – the primary resource for information on the business of football and how to succeed in the NFL and in post-football careers.

Pro-football players and coaching legends will work with the game’s future stars, giving them first-hand insight on what it takes to win on and off of the field. Herm Edwards and Dick Vermeil will serve as the head coaches for the American and National Teams. Player Ambassadors for the game include former NFL players Terrell Davis, Hank Baskett, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Lorenzo Neal and Andre Reed.

Tickets are on sale now: http://collegiate.nflpa.com/

Team arrives in San Diego

Dec 16, 2012 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 8:37 pm | Updated: December 16, 2012 8:56 pm | Permalink

Traveling by air, bus and car, the players, coaches and staff from the BYU football team arrived in San Diego late Sunday afternoon.

The team was welcomed by a lineup of committee members from the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, a mariachi band, hotel staff and other family and friends.

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall spoke briefly with the media upon arrival as well as defensive lineman Russell Tialavea, an Oceanside, Calif. native, and wide receiver JD Falslev.

Aside from bowl game preparations, the Cougars will head to SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo and participate in several other activities throughout the bowl week.

Check the BYU football blog for pictures and updates on what the team is up to during the week leading up to kickoff of the Poinsettia Bowl on Thursday at 5 p.m.

The welcome party at the team hotel in San Diego.

JD Falslev speaks to the media after arriving in San Diego.

Braden Brown invited to East-West Shrine Game

Dec 15, 2012 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 3:02 pm | Updated: December 15, 2012 3:10 pm | Permalink

BYU senior offensive tackle Braden Brown has been invited to the 88th Annual East-West Shrine Game®, which will be played on January 19 in St. Petersberg, Fla. The annual all-star game played at Tropicana Field will kick off at 4 p.m. EST and be televised on the NFL Network.  

A selection to the FBS All-Independent Team, Brown has started 38 consecutive games at right tackle, protecting the blind side of left-handed quarterback Riley Nelson in many of those contests. A former tight end and a team leader in knockdown blocks this season, Brown follows former offensive line teammate Matt Reynolds as a participant in the longtime college all-star game. Reynolds, now with the Philadelphia Eagles, played in the 2012 Shrine Game. 

Since 1925, the East-West Shrine Game® has been more than just a football game. It’s been a showcase for the next generation of NFL greats and a priceless benefit event for Shriners Hospitals for Children®. The East-West Shrine Game is the longest-running all-star college football game, combining great football with a great cause and creating experiences for players that will last a lifetime.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the families’ ability to pay.

  • Players and coaches visit Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa before the game.
  • Games, crafts and other activities bring together college football players and children for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • Coaches and players gain a personal understanding of the meaning of the game.

Brown is currently in the midst of preparations for BYU's San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl matchup with San Diego State on Thursday in  San Diego. Good tickets to the game are still available. Poinsettia Bowl Central provides information on tickets, events taking place during the week and the game. 

Three former Cougars on NFL Pro Bowl Ballot

Dec 07, 2012 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 3:22 pm | Permalink

In case you hadn't heard yet, BYU has three former Cougars on the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl Ballot, tight end Dennis Pitta, center Dallas Reynolds and defensive end Brett Keisel.

Fans can vote for their favorite players at NFL.com. There is no limit to the number of times you vote. Voting closes on Dec. 17. The teams will be announced Wednesday, Dec. 26, at 7 p.m. ET on NFL Network's "Total Access." The annual contest of the AFC and NFC's best will take place at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawai'i and will be televised live on NBC.

Pitta, in his third year with the Baltimore Ravens, has 45 receptions for 442 yards and four touchdowns. Pitta has become one of the premier tight ends in the league and is one of quarterback Joe Flacco's favorite red zone targets with the second-most receiving touchdowns on the AFC North Division leaders.

Reynolds has started 10 of 12 games for the Philadelphia Eagles in his first season as a starter. The Eagles' offensive line has provided push for a ground game averaging 133.6 yards per game, good for No. 9 in the league.

Keisel, an 11-year veteran with the Pittsburgh Steelers, has totaled 38 combined tackles in 2012 and 3.0 sacks. The Steelers are currently in second place of the AFC North and have the NFL's top-rated defense, allowing just 259.8 yards per game.

ESPN3 to carry NFF Annual Awards Dinner and Press Conference on Tuesday

Dec 03, 2012 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 7:40 pm | Updated: December 3, 2012 7:44 pm | Permalink

Fans will be able to watch the induction of the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Class including BYU's Ty Detmer and the announcement of the 23rd winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy.

 

NEW YORK, Dec. 3 2012 - The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced today that ESPN3 will carry live the two main events associated with the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, which will take place December 4 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. 

Viewers will be able to watch the morning press conference, starting at 9:00 a.m. ET, and then at 8:00 p.m. ET, fans can view the entire ceremony, which includes the induction of the College Football Hall of Fame Class; the awarding of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments; the announcement of the winner of the 23rd William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth; and the bestowing of the NFF Major Awards. See below for a detailed timeline of events and the honorees.

Click for the direct link to watch the press conference from 9 a.m. to Noon ET. 

Click for the direct link to watch the evening ceremony from 8 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET

ESPN3 is ESPN's live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually, and it is accessible online via WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members. It is currently available to 79 million households at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks. A list of participating providers for ESPN3 can be found HERE. For questions, contact ESPN Customer Care at 1-888-549-3776 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. ET daily. 

Additionally, the events can be found live on the Official NFF mobile and tablet applications. The apps can be downloaded by searching "National Football Foundation" in the iTunes App Store or Android Market. 

 

55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Timeline

(All Times Eastern and Approximate)

  • 8:00 p.m. - Welcome by ESPN studio host and NFF Dinner Emcee Rece Davis
  • 8:02 p.m. - Presentation of the Legacy Awards to Eric Long, Burke Magnus and Craig Silver
  • 8:05 p.m. - Introduction of the college coaches in attendance
  • 8:10 p.m. - Chris Schenkel Award presented posthumously to the late Bob Barry, Sr.
  • 8:14 p.m. - John L. Toner Award presented to Mal Moore
  • 8:27 p.m. - The NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments
  • 8:58 p.m. - The 23rd William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth
  • 9:05 p.m. - The Distinguished American Award presented to George Bodenheimer
  • 9:09 p.m. - The NFF Gold Medal presented to Roscoe C. Brown, Jr.
  • 9:15 p.m. - The 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Class
  • 9:50 p.m. - Hall of Fame Ring Ceremony
  • 9:55 p.m. - Closing Remarks and God Bless America

 

NFF Annual Awards Press Conference Timeline

(All Times Eastern)

  • 9:00 a.m. - NFF Major Award Winners
  • 9:30 a.m. - Hall of Fame Class
  • 10: 20 a.m. - Break for one-on-one interviews
  • 10:40 a.m. - Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Finalists Announcement
  • 10:50 a.m. - NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments
  • 11:15 a.m. - Break for one-on-one interviews

 

Nationally acclaimed ESPN studio host Rece Davis will emcee the dinner ceremony while longtime Texas sports information director Bill Little will moderate the morning press conference. The honorees include: 

The 2012 College Football Hall of Famers: Charles Alexander of LSU, Otis Armstrong of Purdue, Steve Bartkowski of California, Hal Bedsole of Southern California, Dave Casper of Notre Dame, Ty Detmer of BYU, Tommy Kramer of Rice, Art Monk of Syracuse, Greg Myers of Colorado State, Jonathan Ogden of UCLA, Gabe Rivera of Texas Tech, Mark Simoneau of Kansas State, Scott Thomas of Air Force, John Wooten of Colorado and coaches Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee, Jimmy Johnson of Oklahoma State, Miami Fla., and R.C. Slocum of Texas A&M. 

The 2012 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class and Campbell Trophy Finalists: Matt Barkley of Southern California, Rex Burkhead of Nebraska, Cody Davis of Texas Tech, Nick Driskill of Mount Union (Ohio), Nick Florence of Baylor, Nabal Jefferson of Northern Illinois, Barrett Jones of Alabama, Aaron Mullane of West Texas A&M, Ryan Nassib of Syracuse, Nolan Nearhoff of Robert Morris, Ethan Peterson of MIT, Sean Renfree of Duke, Manti Te'o of Notre Dame, Patrick Ward of Northwestern and Shane Zackery of Saint Xavier (Ill.). 

2012 NFF Major Award Winners: Roscoe C. Brown, Jr., NFF Gold Medal winner, ESPN Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer, NFF Distinguished American Award winner, Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore, winner of the NFF John L. Toner Award for superior abilities in athletics administration, and Bob Barry, Sr., winner of the Chris Schenkel Award for excellence in broadcasting.