Men's Football Blog

BYU football travels on Halloween, gears up for Middle Tennessee

Oct 31, 2014 - Posted by McKay Perry at 10:52 pm | Updated: November 1, 2014 12:12 am | Permalink

Following team and positions meetings and a team walk-through in Provo Halloween morning, the BYU football team boarded a charter for the flight east and across the Mississippi River, eventually arriving in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 

After check-in at the team hotel, coaches and players met with the CBS Sports broadcast crew to provide insights into Cougar football. After dinner the team hopped onto busses and went to Central Magnet School for the traditional fireside the night before the game. 

The audience was highlighted by people who drove hours to see the team. To preface his question in the Q&A session, one gentleman mentioned he drove his family five and a half hours to Murfreesboro. Another said the time traveled from North Carolina was seven and half hours.

Kicking off the fireside was defensive lineman Logan Taele. He related a personal experience and spoke about how he learned what it takes to be happy as he learned from the example of his grandparents and read the Book of Mormon. Senior receiver Jordan Leslie, celebrating his birthday, spoke about the meaining of a scripture from Psalms as he spoke at a fireside for the first time. Director of Operations Zach Nyborg then bore his testimony about the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Nyborg served his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the neighboring Knoxville mission.

A special musical number followed; the Primary song "When I Am Baptized" was performed by a collection of players including Kurt Henderson, Solomone Kafu, Michael Alisa, Graham Rowley, Andrew Mikkelsen and Harvey Langi.

The question and answer portion of the meeting featured topics including what it's like to be part of BYU football, what firesides do for the team, how to prepare for missions and the importance of trusting parents.

Coach Bronco Mendenhall concluded the meeting with his remarks as he expressed sincere appreciation for fans willing to travel great distances to seek spiritual upliftment and to support BYU football.

Fans then enjoyed mingling with the players for a few minutes, asking for autographs and taking advantage of photo opportunities.

The busses then shuttled the team over to nearby Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium. The team walked around on the field and took pictures before heading back to the hotel for the night.

BYU will take on Middle Tennessee Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS Sports Network.  Select the following link for TV viewing information.

How to watch BYU vs. Middle Tennessee

Oct 31, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 10:07 am | Permalink

Saturday's matchup between BYU and Middle Tennessee will be broadcast live on the CBS Sports Network. CBS Sports Network is available on DirecTV Channel 221 (with Choice Extra package), Dish Channel 158 (Classic Silver 200 package) and Comcast Channel 753 in Utah and Salt Lake Counties (Digital Prefered package). For cable channels outside Utah, check with your local provider

Radio broadcast coverage is available through the Cougar IMG Sports Network via BYUcougars.com, Sirius XM 143, KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM and the BYU Cougars app. Radio coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. CDT

BYUtv begins its coverage with Countdown to Kickoff starting at 1:30 p.m. CDT and concluding with the postgame show following the game. Both shows are available on BYUtv, byutvsports.com and BYU Radio.

Live stats will be available on Middle Tennessee's schedule page.

Following options for BYU vs. Boise State

Oct 24, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 8:46 am | Permalink

The BYU at Boise State game will be broadcast live on ESPN Friday, with kickoff at 7:01 p.m. MDT. Friday's matchup will be BYU's sixth appearance on ESPN and seventh appearance on one of the ESPN family of networks. Fans can also tune in on WatchESPN.

Radio coverage is provided by the Cougar IMG Sports Network, available on Sirius XM 143, KSL 1160 AM or 102.7 FM, BYUcougars.com and the BYU Cougars app. Coverage begins at 5 p.m. MDT.

BYUtv will broadcast its Countdown to Kickoff show starting at 6 p.m. MDT. The postgame show is broadcast after the conclusion of the game. The shows can be streamed live at byutvsports.com.

Follow @BYUCougars on Twitter and the BYU Football Facebook page for updates and photos during the game. Join the conversation using #USUvsBYU. Live stats are also available through Stat Broadcast.

Football travels and preps for Boise State

Oct 23, 2014 - Posted by McKay Perry at 11:39 pm | Updated: October 24, 2014 12:51 am | Permalink

BYU football departed Provo Thursday and continued preparations ahead of Friday night's matchup with Boise State.

After some meetings and practice in the morning, the team took off early in the afternoon on a flight up north to Boise. Following the arrival at the team hotel, ESPN meetings and dinner, busses took the Cougars to the Meridian Idaho East Stake Center for the customary BYU football fireside.

The fireside was broadcast to 15 separate locations in 11 different stakes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ranging from Mountain Home, Idaho, on the east to La Grande, Oregon, on the west. Recognized for her presence at the fireside was Marjorie Reeve, 96, a former member of the General Relief Society Board. Her late husband Wayne Reeve played for the Cougars from 1939-41. He was co-captain and named to the All-America for colleges with less than 2,500 enrollment, and in 1940 that was Brigham Young University’s situation.

Senior deep snapper Kevin O'Mary led off the fireside as he told his conversion story within the context of a commonly asked question about the choice between faith and football. Junior wide reciever Terenn Houk talked about his personal experiences and testimony. Junior defensive end Remington Peck concluded player remarks, challenging the audience to "do a little more than you think you can."

A musical medley of "Brightly Beams" and "I Need Thee Every Hour" was performed. 

The floor was then opened up for Q & A from audience members. Coach Bronco Mendenhall and players answered questions covering topics such as favorite scriptures, spiritual preparation and serving a mission.

Coach Mendenhall wrapped up the meeting with his remarks, quoting Ether 12:4 and teaching about faith and hope. 

Following the fireside, the team hopped on the busses for the regular stadium walk-through. Players and coaches passed the time on the blue turf, talking with each other and taking photos.

BYU falls to Nevada 42-35

Oct 19, 2014 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson at 12:10 am | Permalink

Nevada capitalized on the BYU turnover at the beginning of the fourth quarter, going 48 yards in 11 plays and scoring a touchdown to bring the Wolfpack within two points. Fajardo connected with Richy Turner in the corner of the endzone for the 18-yard score. Nevada converted a two-point conversion to knot the score up at 28-28 after Fajardo found Hasaan Henderson in the endzone on a roll-out pass. 

Fajardo gave the Wolfpack a 35-28 lead with a 26-yard touchdown run with 7:34 left in the fourth quarter. The score was Fajardo's second rushing touchdown of the game. 

The Cougars gave the ball right back to the Wolfpack on the first play of its drive after Nevada took the 35-28 lead. Quarterback Christian Stewart fumbled as he was getting sacked on BYU’s own 20-yard line. Nevada scored three plays later on a 6-yard run by James Butler to take a 42-28 lead. 

Keanu Nelson caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Stewart with 2:34 left to bring BYU with seven, at 42-35. Stewart completed 12 out of 12 passes on the 15-play drive that only took 3:20 off the clock.

After a three and out by Nevada, BYU took over on its own 20-yard line with 1:31 left in the fourth quarter. Stewart completed four straight passes and rushed for 12 yards to bring the Cougars to the Nevada 39 before another fumble was recovered by the Wolfpack to end the threat.

BYU holds 28-20 lead after third quarter

Oct 18, 2014 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson at 11:08 pm | Permalink

After a missed field goal by BYU on its opening drive of the second half, Nevada went on a 13-play, 74-yard scoring drive that concluded with a 1-yard touchdown run from Wolfpack quarterback Cody Fajardo. The score left Nevada down only eight, at 28-20.

The Cougars took the ball down to the Wolfpack 29, but the Wolfpack's Randy Uzoma recovered a fumble after a reception by Terenn Houk to end the drive. 

BYU went into the fourth quarter up by eight points.

 

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.