Men's Football Blog | 2009

More Videos

Dec 22, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 4:36 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Yesterday All-American Dennis Pitta and Academic All-American Matt Bauman accompanied head coach Bronco Mendenhall in representing BYU at the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas press conference. Oregon State's head coach Mike Riley was present, along with quarterback Sean Canfield and linebacker Keaton Kristick.

Following the press conference both teams participated in the Kickoff Luncheon. ESPN's Rece Davis was the guest speaker.

Here are a couple videos from the press conference and luncheon.

Photos From Saturday

Dec 21, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 3:14 pm | Permalink

Here are some photos taken from Saturday's activities, including, practice, ESPN Zone and the Terry Fator Show.

Vegas: Day 2

Dec 20, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 11:49 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

This morning the team attended the sacrament meeting conducted by the Las Vegas 8th ward. The ward put on a great Christmas program.

After a few hours of free time, the team loaded up the busses and headed to Fremont Street for the Outback Buffet Bowl. While enjoying steak and grilled chicken from Outback, BYU and Oregon State watched highlight reels of the 2009 season.

Hopefully I'll be posting some pictures of the past couple days pretty soon. Keep an eye out for those! But while you wait for the pictures, check out this video of the dance-off competition yesterday. Watch the dance skills of our very own Lee Aguirre, O'Neill Chambers and Tui Crichton.

It's Bowl Week!

Dec 20, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 12:48 am | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Well, bowl week is officially upon us! Check back throughout the week as I'll be posting videos and photos of the weekly events. Thank you in advance to Mark Philbrick for all the photos.

The team arrived here in Las Vegas yesterday afternoon and enjoyed dinner at the Spice Market Buffet downstairs in the Planet Hollywood. It was a great meal with food from all over the world. I think the crab and shrimp at the seafood counter was definitely the most popular.

Today was busy from the start. The team practiced at Clark High School which is just a few minutes from our hotel.

Following practice the players had a few hours to themselves before loading back onto the busses and heading to the ESPN Zone located in the New York New York hotel. Once there, both BYU and Oregon State were welcomed by MAACO Bowl Las Vegas executive director Tina Kunzer-Murphy out on the bridge. BYU won the annual dance-off which featured Cougars Tui Crichton, Lee Aguirre and O'Neill Chambers. Then Corby Eason and Terence Brown notched another win for BYU as they defeated OSU in the "How Well Do You Know Your Teammate" contest.

Both teams headed indoors for food and unlimited games for about an hour and a half. BYU coaches and players gathered around TVs to watch fellow Mountain West Conference team Wyoming record a 38-28 double-overtime win over Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl.

From ESPN Zone the teams headed straight to The Mirage to catch "A Very Terry Christmas" performed by Terry Fator. The show was really entertaining and included a guest appearance by BYU's own defensive lineman David Tuitupou. Check out the video for a glimpse of what happened. You won't want to miss it!

After the show players from both teams hung back to meet Terry and take a few photos. Riley Nelson, Harvey Unga, Matt Marshall, JJ Di Luigi, Russell Tialavea and Simote Vea were there representing BYU.

Utah Pregame Fireside

Nov 28, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 1:15 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Last night's fireside was more of a musical fireside, with numbers by both players and coaches on the team.

The first number was "I Heard Him Come," performed by McCall Clark, a friend of the team. Academic All-American and team captain Matt Bauman, along with defensive lineman Brett Denney were next. They played "Nearer My God to Thee" on their violins, with linebacker Grant Nelson accompanying them on the piano.

Manase Tonga, Spencer Hafoka, Travis Uale, Anthony Heimuli and Tevita Hola stood up next to sing a Tongan hymn. Offensive coordinator Robert Anae, his brother Alan and Mark Atuaia added two Hawaiian songs.

The final musical number featured the entire team as it stood to sing, "We'll Bring the World His Truth."

Air Force Pregame Fireside

Nov 21, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 6:46 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Well another win is in the books! Congrats to the team on a great win against the Air Force Academy.

Here's a recap of the fireside last night:

The first speaker of the night was true freshman Jared Richardson. Using an example of when he was younger, he reiterated the importance of having a positive outlook rather than a negative one.

"This Gospel teaches all the wonderful things we can do, not the things we can't do," he said.

Quoting Matt. 14 he referred to the story of Peter walking on the water.

"What was it that motivated Peter to walk on water," asked Jared. "It was his focus on the Lord. He only started to sink when he shifted his focus on fear and worries."

Next Jared spoke about the importance of service to others.

Alma 36:24-25

24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

25 Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors

He told of a story from when his younger sister, McKay, was about four years old. While on a family road trip his father stopped to help a young mother on the side of the road with car troubles. As she saw all her brothers helping, McKay asked what she could do. Everyone ignored her until the distressed mother was almost back on her way. McKay came up and gave the woman a flower and handwritten note. The mother started crying and expressing her deep appreciation for the act of kindness.

"That day McKay affected that lady's life a lot more than we could have," shared Jared.

Following Jared's talk, Cort Trejo, football operations intern, and his brother performed a duet to the musical number, "Be Still My Soul". Cort played the harmonica while his brother played the piano.

Redshirt freshman Brandon Ogletree was the next to speak. He opened by reading Helaman 3:35.

35 Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.

"When I think of someone who yields themselves to Christ, I think of a disciple," said Brandon.

Having served his mission in Chile, Brandon shared a conversation he had with an LDS woman in one of his areas. After seeing her constantly go out of her way to help others, even when she didn't have much of her own, he asked her why she did it.

"She told me, 'Well isn't that what we're supposed to do,'" he recalled. "I was always taken aback by her generosity. I hope I can become like her."

Brandon went on to share a quote by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: "You and I won't ever find ourselves on that cross, but we repeatedly find ourselves at the foot of it. And how we act there will speak volumes about what we think of Christ's character and his call for us to be his disciples."

New Mexico Pregame Fireside

Nov 14, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 11:09 am | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Last night's fireside featured talks from senior linebacker Coleby Clawson and senior running back Manase Tonga.

Coleby centered his talk around one of his ancestors, Moses Clawson. After discovering Moses' handwritten autobiography in the Special Collections area of the BYU Harold B. Lee Library, Coleby has learned valuable lessons on discipleship. Moses was baptized into the Church in 1835 after getting an original copy of the Book of Mormon.

After joining the Church he wrote, "Persecution raged immediatley with unrefuted anger."

"Being a disciple has never been easy," said Coleby. "There are always things to throw us off the path."

He went on to relate how Moses crossed the plains and eventually settled parts of southern Utah. While experiencing many trials, he never lost his faith or dedication to the Gospel.

"We all have weakness and trials," said Coleby. "But if you ask yourself, 'Do you believe these things,' you'll be able to overcome some of those weaknesses."

He ended his talk expressing gratitude for his father's great example of discipleship.

"I'll always remember those acts of love and service," he said. "I've learned a lot through the examples of others."

The musical number that followed featured four wide receivers, McKay Jacobson, BJ Peterson, Brett Thompson and Spencer Hafoka. They sang the hymn "Ye Elders of Israel".

Following the musical number Manase opened his talk by expressing his appreciation for the team firesides. He was present in 2005 when Bronco Mendenhall held the team's first fireside in Albuquerque. BYU has held a fireside before every game since then.

After being removed from the football program for 16 months following the 2007 season due to academic reasons, Manase returned this past August. He told of an experience he had with Mendenhall upon his return.

"I went to see him in his office and the first question he asked me was, 'What got you in that situation in the first place,'" recalled Manase. "I couldn't pinpoint an exact moment, but I did know that it started with one bad decision."

He said that while he was gone from BYU he kept in close contact with his position coach, Lance Reynolds.

"He would always tell me something that LaVell Edwards always said, 'The most important things in life are options,'" recalled Manase. "Options come by way of making good decisions. If you chose to make bad decisions, like quicksand, you'll slowly begin to sink."

Manase closed by sharing a poem entitled "I'd Rather See a Sermon" by Edgar Guest.

I'd rather see a sermon

than hear one any day;

I'd rather one should walk with me

than merely tell the way.

The eye's a better pupil

and more willing than the ear,

Fine counsel is confusing,

but example's always clear;

And the best of all preachers

are the men who live their creeds,

For to see good put in action

is what everybody needs.

I soon can learn to do it

if you'll let me see it done;

I can watch your hands in action,

but your tongue too fast may run.

And the lecture you deliver

may be very wise and true,

But I'd rather get my lessons

by observing what you do;

For I might misunderstand you

and the high advice you give,

But there's no misunderstanding

how you act and how you live.

San Diego State Pregame Fireside

Oct 16, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 9:53 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Offensive lineman Marco Thorson was the first speaker at tonight's fireside in San Diego. He opened by sharing an experience he had while on his mission to Rancagua, Chile. After accepting a call from his mission president to serve as a local branch president, Thorson was put in a difficult situation, asking members to stretch their faith.

"It was really hard, but when you're a disciple of Christ, you start looking out for the welfare of others," he said. "You want them to experience the blessings of following Gospel principles."

Thorson went on to compare that situation to one he experienced just a few months ago. Before this season he hadn't played a single down in a collegiate game--ever. He was worried about how steep the difference would be between performing in practice versus a real game.

"What I realized as soon as I got in to play in my first game was that even though circumstances may be difficult, the choices are easy," he said. "When you prepare in practice and are then put into a challenging situation, things just click."

Following Thorson's talk a group of 10 defensive backs stood to sing "Come, Come Ye Saints." The group included Robbie Buckner, Landon Jaussi, Brian Logan, Scott Johnson, Travis Uale, Carter Mees, Andrew Rich, Craig Bills, Corby Eason and Zeke Mendenhall.

The second speaker was senior quarterback and tight end Brenden Gaskins. He opened by sharing his testimony.

"I feel very strongly about this Gospel because of the blessings it has given to me and my family," he said. "I love the opportunity we have to change and always become better."

Since marrying his wife, Lindsey, back in November of last year, Gaskins has gotten very close with his in-laws and extended family. He said that he's spent some time with his wife's grandfather, who is not a member of the Church, including golfing.

"Even though he is not a member of our faith by baptism, he is a member by action," shared Gaskins. "He is a great example to me on being a disciple of Christ."

Gaskins shared two things that will help us become more like our Savior in our quest for perfection: baptism and a knowledge of our divine potential.

"We must know that we are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father who gave his only begotten son in the flesh, giving us the opportunity to return to live with Him."

Brett Thompson: This Is the Place For Me

Oct 15, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 12:08 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

What are you looking forward to most about playing at BYU?

I am looking forward to becoming a better football player as well as receiving a great education. BYU will give me the opportunities to give service and represent this University.

What made you decide to sign with the Cougars?

I've always wanted to go on a mission and BYU gives me the best opportunity to do so. Most schools do not understand how important missions are and do not have a program like BYU for missionaries. When I first was on the BYU campus I had such a good feeling that came over me and it made me realize that this is the place for me.

What was it like playing in your first game as a Cougar?

The feeling of running out of the tunnel was overwhelming and took my breath away. Running out onto the field with my teammates side by side was amazing.

What have you enjoyed most so far about playing football at BYU?

What I have enjoyed most about playing football for BYU is the opportunities it gives me to meet new people. I love the Thursday's Hero program and how our team takes the time to recognize true heroes.

What are your goals this season?

My goals include contributing to the team as much as I have to offer. I want to get better everyday and work for a national championship.

Visit Brett's bio page here.

UNLV Pregame Fireside

Oct 09, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 11:21 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Tonight's pregame fireside was held at the Green Valley Stake Center.

Redshirt freshman defensive back Robbie Buckner opened the fireside with his talk on discipleship. He shared one his favorite scriptures, John 14:15.

"If ye love me, keep my commandments."

"The way we show our love is through charity--the strongest form of love," said Buckner.

He went on to share a point in time on his mission to Mozambique when he was feeling particularly frustrated. During companionship study he and his companion were reading from Preach My Gospel. They came across the section that taught specifically about charity. From that point on Buckner made an effort to become more charitable to those he met.

Elder Gene R. Cook said, "As we increasingly think and act like Him, the attributes of the natural man will slip away to be replaced by the heart and the mind of Christ. We will become like Him and then truly receive Him."

Buckner shared another mission experience he had during a Christmas visit to a local orphanage. He spent time playing with a young boy who seemed sad. It was only later that Buckner learned that the boy had been dropped off at the orphanage the day before.

"I'm grateful I could show love to him," he said. "It taught me a lot. I know that if we show love to others we will truly become disciples of Christ."

Following Buckner's talk Jeff Bell, Travis Uale and Zeke Mendenhall sang "I Am a Child of God" in both English and Spanish. Linebacker Matt Bauman accompanied them on the piano.

Freshman defensive back Craig Bills was the next speaker. His talk focused on inviting others to come unto Christ.

"The most important invitation we can extend is for someone to come unto Christ," he said. "It is also the most important invitation we can accept."

Bills shared a personal experience involving his grandfather, who recently joined the Church about five years ago. After years of family members talking to his grandpa about joining the Church and setting good examples, he finally decided to be baptized.

"My grandma was truly a witness of Jesus Christ during that time," said Bills. "She was very diligent--going to the temple regularly, fulfilling her callings and many other things. I am grateful for that example."

He closed his talk by sharing a quote by President Henry B. Eyring.

"When you give your heart to inviting people to come unto Christ, your heart will be changed. You will be doing His work for Him. You will find that He keeps His promise to be one with you in your service. You will come to know Him. And in time you will come to be like Him and “be perfected in him.” By helping others come unto Him, you will find that you have come unto Him yourself. If you want to be near Him, to feel His peace, you can do it best in His service."