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BYU up 28-13 at halftime

Oct 18, 2014 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson at 10:07 pm | Permalink

On the first play of the second quarter Paul Lasike once again found the endzone on a 20-yard touchdown run. The score by Lasike capped a 14-play, 73-yard scoring drive for the Cougars. Stewart extended the drive two times with 12-yard and 10-yard scrambles on 3rd and 10. A key 4th down conversion in Nevada territory on a 6-yard pass from Stewart to Jordan Leslie set up the scoring run from Lasike to put the Cougars in front, 14-3

Nevada responded quickly with a three-play, 75 yard scoring drive. Cody Fajardo completed a 66-yard pass to Don Jackson along the sideline that placed the Wolfpack at the BYU 9. One play later Nevada running back James Butler went airborne over the pylon for a touchdown that cut the deficit to 14-10.

The Cougars answered with another touchdown of its own two minutes later, as Mitch Mathews hauled in a fade pass from Stewart in the corner of the endzone to extend its lead to 21-10. Stewart accounted for 27 passing yards and 19 rushing yards on the drive that began on BYU's own 35 after a short Nevada kickoff and an offsides penalty on the Wolfpack.

Behind a few rushes from Don Jackson, the Wolfpack entered Cougar territory after the Cougars score. The BYU defense held Nevada to a 4th and 2 at the Cougar 30, but Fajardo extended the drive with a five-yard pass to Richy Turner. A few plays later BYU forced another 4th down, and the Wolfpack settled for a 26-yard fieldgoal from Brent Zuzo that cut the lead to 21-13.

Stewart threw his third touchdown pass of the game and second to Mitch Mathews with one minute left in the first half to put BYU up 28-13. Mathews took the short pass and dove between two Nevada defenders to get across the goalline. The drive was 16 plays and 90 yards with several long rushes from Paul Lasike and Nate Carter.

BYU leads 7-3 after first quarter

Oct 18, 2014 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson at 9:16 pm | Permalink
The Nevada Wolfpack put three points on the scoreboard on its opening drive with a 44-yard field goal by sophomore Brent Zuzo. The drive began on Nevada's own 25-yard line. Senior quarterback Cody Fajardo completed 3-of-6 passes including a 19-yard screen pass to junior running back Don Jackson that put the Wolfpack on BYU's 29-yard line. The Cougar defense stiffened and held Nevada to the field goal.
BYU took the lead with four minutes left in the first quarter on a 1-yard run that capped a 12 play, 97-yard scoring drive. Senior quarterback Christian Stewart completed three straight passes to begin the drive and put the Cougars into Nevada territory. After the Wolfpack forced a 4th and 7 from the 35, BYU went for it and completed a 15-yard pass to junior receiver Mitch Mathews. Another completion a few plays later to Mathews placed the Cougars on the 1-yard line and Lasike hurdled the pile to put BYU in front, 7-3. 
Stewart completed 9 of 19 passes for 121 yards and also rushed four times for 25 yards in the quarter.

BYU voted most worthy of Power 5 inclusion by FBS head coaches

Oct 18, 2014 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 12:26 pm | Updated: October 18, 2014 7:30 pm | Permalink

BYU was voted as the non-Power 5 school most worthy to be in a Power 5 conference in ESPN's weekly college football poll of the FBS head coaches.

This week's poll, released Saturday, asked FBS head coaches which school currently not in a Power 5 conference deserves to be in a Power 5 conference. BYU topped the poll with 24 percent of the votes, followed by East Carolina at 21 percent and Boise State at 19 percent.  

BYU was an even stronger choice among coaches from existing Power 5 schools. The Cougars nearly doubled the next closest team in the voting by Power 5 schools, receiving 30 percent of the votes to Boise State's 16 percent. East Carolina was next at 11 percent.  

Lending support to results of this week's poll, BYU boasts a football resume unmatched by most FBS programs, including many teams from Power 5 conferences.

The Cougars rank No. 5 in total victories over the past 40 years with 357 wins since 1974, trailing only Nebraska (393), Oklahoma (373), Ohio State (365) and Florida State (359). BYU is the only non-Power 5 program in that timeframe to win a national championship. BYU is also one of six programs to boast winners of the Heisman Trophy, Outland Trophy, Davey O'Brien Award and Doak Walker Award, joining Ohio State, Texas, Penn State, Iowa and Boston College. 

Since Bronco Mendenhall became the head coach at BYU in 2005, the Cougars have achieved an 86-36 record, which ranks No. 12 nationally in victories. BYU is 6-3 in bowl games under Mendenhall as one of only 12 programs to earn a bowl bid each of the past nine seasons. Only Florida State (7) has won more bowl games than the Cougars since 2005.  

The Cougars have won a game against a Power 5 opponent each of the past nine seasons, the longest streak among non-Power 5 designated schools. Off the field, BYU is tied for fifth for the most Academic All-America citations in that nine-year span and tops all FBS programs for the most players selected (35) to the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society (starter/significant contributor finishing career with 3.2 GPA or better) since the program began in 2007.  

Click here to see results and read more about on this week's ESPN college football poll of FBS head coaches

Mahina selected as CFPA National Tight End of the Week

Oct 14, 2014 - Posted by McKay Perry at 1:09 pm | Updated: October 14, 2014 1:13 pm | Permalink

Based on his performance in Orlando against UCF, senior Devin Mahina was selected by the College Football Performance Awards as the National Tight End of the Week Monday. 

Mahina hauled in two touchdown receptions 25 seconds apart in the 31-24 overtime loss to UCF. 

The senior's two scores were the most for a BYU tight end since Kaneakua Friel's two touchdown catches in a 30-6 win over Washington State in 2012.

The second of the two Mahina catches capped the quickest scoring drive of the season for the Cougars, taking seven seconds following an interception by Skye PoVey.

Football team travels, preps for UCF

Oct 08, 2014 - Posted by McKay Perry at 10:54 pm | Updated: October 8, 2014 11:45 pm | Permalink

On Wednesday in Orlando, Florida, the BYU football team made its final preparations for the Thursday night game against UCF.

The day actually began with early morning meetings and a practice session in Provo before heading out to catch the team charter flight to Florida. After arriving in Orlando, some coaches spoke with the ESPN broadcast crew before the team departed for the traditional fireside, which was held at the Lake Nona/Hunters Creek Wards Meetinghouse in Orlando.

The team arrived to meet a packed audience for the fireside. The meeting began with senior wide receiver Keanu Nelson, who spoke for the first time at a fireside. Running back Toloa'i Ho Ching followed before wide receiver Mitch Mathews spoke. Ho Ching and Mathews both served missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Orlando area. They both served as Spanish-speaking missionaries and served together at times, going on exchanges.

The offensive line presented a special musical number, an arrangement of Secret Prayer and Abide 'Tis Eventide. Tuni Kanuch led the group singing a solo part. A player Q&A followed with players responding to questions such as what they do to feel the spirit, favorite scriptures and about attending BYU versus another school.

Coach Bronco Mendenhall wrapped up the meeting before the team stood and sang "We'll Bring the World His Truth," accompanied by running back Paul Lasike on the piano.

After the fireside, the team hopped on the buses and went down to Bright House Networks Stadium for a walk-through. 

Check out the photos to see more from the day's events.

Getting to know Christian Stewart

Oct 07, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 10:37 am | Permalink

What is one thing only a few people know about you?

I have no toenail on my pinky toe, my dad tied my baby shoes too tight and they fell off

Why BYU?

I came here for an accounting degree and ended up playing football. I got lucky.

Do you have any pregame rituals?

I listen to the same four songs. Nobody has ever heard of them, “Gotta understand” by Jurassic Five, “Definition” by Black Star, Blue Scholars and Common Market. Nobody knows any of them.

What do you enjoy outside of football?

Outside of football I’m excited about gold. Just got into it this summer and I love it. I’m also excited after the season I have job opportunities lined up, I’m thinking of going out to San Francisco, Tokyo or Switzerland doing investment banking.

What is your favorite football memory?

When we won our bowl game out in New York when I was at Snow College and I was named the MVP of that game.

BYU falls to Utah State, 35-20

Oct 04, 2014 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 12:01 am | Permalink

BYU lost its first game of the season, falling 35-20 to Utah State.


BYU junior running back Jamaal Williams ended the game with 99 rush yards on 17 attempts for the Cougars, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Junior receiver Mitch Mathews recorded eight catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. Senior receiver Jordan Leslie led BYU receivers 135 receiving yards. Before leaving the game in second quarter with an injury, junior quarterback Taysom Hill recorded a touchdown rush and a touchdown pass for the Cougars.


The score remained at 35-17 as Utah State kicker Thompson missed a 44-yard field goal attempt to begin the fourth quarter.


Cougar kicker Trevor Samson made it 35-20, nailing a 24-yard field goal with 8:39 left in the game. Samson improved to 6-6 on his BYU career with the make.


BYU was unable to score following Samson's field goal, and Utah State used its possessions to run time off the clock and preserve its 35-20 win.

BYU down 35-17 after three

Oct 03, 2014 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 11:03 pm | Permalink

Replacing injured quarterback Taysom Hill, senior Christian Stewart completed three passes and led BYU into the blue zone before being intercepted at the Utah State two yard line.


After the Cougars forced an Aggie three-and-out, Jamaal Williams rushed for a BYU first down. Three plays later, senior kicker Trevor Samson made a 41-yard field goal to make the score 28-17 in favor of Utah State with 4:28 left on the third quarter clock. Samson maintained his perfect career field goal record (5-5) on the kick.


Utah State used a 56-yard pass from quarterback Darell Garretson to receiver Hunter Sharp to cover most of the distance of its ensuing TD drive, punctuated by a one-yard TD run from running back Nick Vigil. With the PAT, the Aggies extended the lead, 35-17.

BYU trails USU 28-14 at halftime

Oct 03, 2014 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 10:12 pm | Updated: October 3, 2014 10:16 pm | Permalink

The Cougars capitalized early in the second quarter, punctuating a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Taysom Hill to junior receiver Mitch Mathews. The score marked Mathews' fourth career touchdown against the Aggies and gave BYU a 14-7 lead.


Utah State responded with an 88-yard touchdown drive that took 8:20 off the clock. Quarterback Darell Garretson ran the ball in five yards to tie the game at 14-14.


After a fumble recovery, the Aggies struck again, connecting on a 22-yard TD pass from Garretson to receiver Devon Robinson.


On BYU's ensuing drive, Hill left the game with an ankle injury. The Cougars punted, and Utah State scored another quick touchdown on a 72-yard TD pass from Garretson to receiver Hunter Sharp, giving the Aggies a 28-14 lead at the half.

BYU and Utah State tied 7-7 after one

Oct 03, 2014 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 9:11 pm | Permalink

Through one quarter of play, BYU (4-0) and Utah State (2-2) are tied at 7.

After receiving the first kickoff, BYU opened the game with a 53-yard pass from junior quarterback Taysom Hill to senior receiver Jordan Leslie. Four plays later, Hill ran the ball in from 11 yards out to give the Cougars their first touchdown and a 7-0 lead over the Aggies with 13:44 left in the first quarter. The score marked eight rushing touchdowns on the season for Hill.

On Utah State's first possession, BYU senior cornerback Jordan Johnson recovered a fumble on a snap Aggie quarterback Dare Garretson failed to secure.

BYU and Utah State traded scoreless possesssions until the Aggies tied the game with 50 seconds left in the quarter on a pass from Garretson to receiver Devon Robinson. The ensuing PAT knotted up the score at 7-7.