Men's Football Blog | 2013

Game day information vs. Virginia

Aug 30, 2013 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 12:06 pm | Updated: August 30, 2013 12:07 pm | Permalink

The 2013 BYU football season launches Saturday at Virginia at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

Fans can begin their game day experience with Countdown to Kickoff with Alema Harrington, Brian Logan, David Nixon and Andy Boyce on BYUtv at 12:30 p.m. MDT. Dave McCann and Blaine Fowler will report live from Charlottesville, Va., during the show.

The game will be aired on ESPNU and streamed on WatchESPN, after which fans can tune in for the BYUtv Sports Post Game presented by Larry H. Miller.

For those traveling to Virginia for the game, Virginia has provided heat management information on its website. 

Covering the secondary

Aug 29, 2013 - Posted by Jared Houghton at 3:45 pm | Updated: August 29, 2013 3:54 pm | Permalink

The defensive back position features both new and old faces this season. At the two safety positions, two returning starters will bring familiarity to the defense but injuries at the corner positions have pushed new names and faces into those spots. Here's a look at the four defensive back positions and who might see significant time for the Cougars.

KAT safety 

Daniel Sorensen, a three-year starter, has started 26 straight games at the safety position. In 2012, he led the team with three interceptions and was second on the team with 68 tackles, earning Phil Steele All-Independent First Team honors. As one of the leaders on the No. 3 ranked defense last season, Sorensen was recently voted as a team captain by his fellow teammates. The 6-foot-1, 208 pounder has a knack for locating the ball and should provide stabilization in a secondary that has seen many changes during fall camp.

Free Safety

Craig Bills joins Sorensen in the deep secondary, starting at the free safety position. Last season, he played in all 13 games while starting the final five. Bills finished fifth on the team in tackles with 47, had five pass breakups and forced one fumble. At 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, he and Sorensen will bring a physicality to the defense on the backline.

Field Corner

Robertson Daniel came to BYU after playing at De Anza Junior College in California. As a freshman, Daniel recorded 90 tackles and six interceptions at both the corner and safety positions. After sitting out his sophomore year to concentrate on academics, the 6-foot-1 junior has been pushed into the starting role after injuries at the position. He has a great feel for the defense and brings experience into his first start as a Cougar.

Boundary Corner

Skye PoVey and Mike Hague are two players who will share the role of boundary corner for the Cougars this season. The two seniors are both coming off injuries last season that limited them to a combined seven games. The 5-foot-11 PoVey injured his foot during the third game last season and is the brother-in-law of current defensive coordinator Nick Howell. Hague returns for a sixth year of eligibility after starting his career at BYU as a running back and recorded six tackles last season before being injured in the fourth game.

 

With the big and seasoned defensive front putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, the defensive backs will use their experience to confuse and disrupt the passing game all season.

Backfield by committee

Aug 27, 2013 - Posted by Jared Houghton at 1:23 pm | Updated: August 27, 2013 1:52 pm | Permalink

In Bronco Mendenhall's weekly press briefing for the upcoming Virginia game, he commented on how deep the Cougars are at running back. Here is a look at the four backs who will see significant playing time in BYU's backfield this year.

Jamaal Williams, So., Fontana, Calif.

All Jamaal Williams did last season was set the true freshman rushing records at BYU with 775 yards, 12 touchdowns and 166 carries. The 6-foot-0 speedster played in every game and started the last eight after the injury to Michael Alisa. Williams is the starting running back and has already garnered preseason attention by being named to the Doak Walker watch list, which is awarded to the top running back in the nation, and the preseason All-Independent Third Team. He should continue to be a threat out of the backfield, last season he had 27 receptions, good for 315 yards and one touchdown. 

Paul Lasike, Jr., Auckland, New Zealand

The rugby All-American tried out for the football team last season and has improved leaps and bounds since then. Last season, he tallied 33 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns, while also catching a pass for 25 yards. The 6-foot-0, 227-pound bruiser has shown an increased knowledge of the game at the running back position from last season and should see significant playing time this fall as the backup to Williams. 

Adam Hine, So., Santa Clara, UT

The former three-time state champion in the high jump and long jump looks to make an immediate impact in the backfield this season. After a redshirt year in 2011 and hampered by injuries in 2012, Hine is poised to have a breakout season. His injury kept him out of all but four games last season, when he saw action on special teams. The 6-foot-1, 202 pounder is one of the most athletic players on the team, evident by the fact that he will be joined by Lasike returning kickoffs for the Cougars this season. 

Michael Alisa, Sr., Laie, Hawai'i

Another 2013 Doak Walker Award candidate, the senior played linebacker and on special teams his freshman year before making the switch to running back as a sophomore. As evidenced by his numbers, the position change has proved to be a good one. As a sophomore, Alisa was the second leading rusher on the team with 85 carries for 455 yards and three touchdowns. He was set for a big year in 2012 before he broke his arm against Hawai'i in the fifth game that sidelined him for the season. As the veteran in the backfield, he will provide leadership and another option for the Cougars at running back.

As of right now, Williams and Alisa are penciled in as the starters but all will see a lot of playing time with the up-tempo offense that coordinator Robert Anae has brought to the team. The four backs will combine to put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses this season. 

Kyle Van Noy picks up another preseason honor

Aug 26, 2013 - Posted by Jared Houghton at 4:01 pm | Updated: August 26, 2013 4:16 pm | Permalink

Kyle Van Noy was named to USA TODAY Sports Preseason All-America team by Paul Myerberg, his fourth preseason All-America nomination to date.

The 6-foot-3 senior has been named a Preseason All-American by Phil Steele, SI.com, USA TODAY and Sporting News. Coming off an All-America season in 2012, Van Noy is the only player to register a stat in every major defensive category the past two seasons. Last season the 245-pound linebacker finished the season ranked No. 2 in the nation in sacks (13) and forced fumbles (six) and No. 4 in tackles for loss (22). Van Noy is the current active FBS leader in sacks with 22 for his career and has been named to the following watch lists for 2013:

  • Lott Trophy  
  • Bednarik Award 
  • Walter Camp 
  • Bronko Nagurski Trophy  
  • Rotary Lombardi  
  • Butkus Award 

Four different conferences featured multiple players named to the USA TODAY All-America list with the Pac-12 having the most nominations with seven players chosen. The SEC had six players and the Big-12 and Big Ten each had four players named to the list. The ACC, the MAC and Conference USA had one player nominated. Alabama, USC, Stanford, Ohio State and Kansas State each had two players nominated.

Ross Apo named to The Earl Campbell Watch List

Aug 23, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 2:13 pm | Updated: August 23, 2013 2:16 pm | Permalink

The first annual Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List was announced and BYU wide receiver Ross Apo was included among the 35 honorees.

Apo, a junior from Arlington, Texas, was on the 2012 Phil Steele All-Independent Second Team. He started all 12 games he played in 2012 and caught 31 passes for 311 yards and one touchdown. Standing at 6-foot-3, Apo recorded two of the three longest receptions on the team in 2012 (43, 53 yards).

The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, announced in 2012 by the Tyler Chamber and SPORTyler, recognizes the top offensive player in Division 1 football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community and tenacity; specifically tenacity to persist and determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals. In addition, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four year college. 

The Watch List will be narrowed to 16 semi-finalists in November and then to four finalists in December. They will be selected by broadcasters, commentators, journalists, fans and (in the future) former winners. The finalists will be brought to Tyler for The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Awards Banquet scheduled for January 10, 2014.

“We are fortunate to have a celebrity who exhibits the impeccable virtues that define this award. In addition to being a well known sports figure, Earl also earned a college degree, married his high school sweetheart, raised two successful sons and still supports the community where he grew up,” said Cindy Smoak, Vice President, SPORTyler.

Earl Campbell graduated from John Tyler High School in Tyler before joining the Texas Longhorns under legendary Coach Darrell K. Royal. In his senior year, he led the nation with 1,744 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns, going on to win the Longhorns’ first Heisman Trophy. He was subsequently drafted by the Houston Oilers where he won Rookie of the Year honors in 1978 and went on to lead the NFL in rushing 3 times. Campbell earned NFL MVP in 1979 and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991. He now resides in Austin, Texas.

“All my life, all I wanted to do was be an athlete. I kept God in my life and surrounded myself with good people. I am humbled by this award named in my honor,” said Campbell.

For more information about The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award go to www.earlcampbellaward.com.

2013 football fireside schedule

Aug 20, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 2:50 pm | Updated: October 1, 2013 9:49 am | Permalink

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall and members of the BYU football team will participate in an hour-long devotional prior to each out-of-state road game as well as some home games during the 2013 season. 

Referred to as "firesides," the devotionals will be conducted the evening prior to road games as well as the home game against Georgia Tech. The team will also conduct a special fireside at the State Prison prior to the Utah game.

With both players and coaches involved, speakers at the firesides talk about the meaning of discipleship. Special musical numbers are performed by players as well. Messages will focus on how we should seek to follow the Savior's example in all aspects of our life, and as we do so, we can come to a clear understanding of our purpose here on earth.

"The firesides have been a way for us to make a very clear statement of what our priorities are, or should be," Mendenhall says. "Football is simply the vehicle we use to help others come to a knowledge of what really brings joy and happiness to our lives. These firesides are a way for all of us to help consider our priorities through understanding the purpose of life."

The BYU football team has been holding regular firesides throughout the football season since the Cougars' trip to New Mexico during the 2005 season.

Following is a list of fireside dates and the locations for each fireside during the 2013 season. All firesides are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. local time. 

2013 Fireside Schedule

Friday, Aug. 30 (Virginia)
Charlottesville Ward Meetinghouse (Airport Building)
1275 Timberwood Boulevard
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Friday, Oct. 11 (Georgia Tech)
Provo Utah Wasatch (Tongan) Stake Center
1625 South Slate Canyon Drive
Provo, UT 84601

Friday, Oct. 18 (Houston)
Houston Texas Stake Center
1101 Bering Drive
Houston, TX 77057

Friday, Nov. 8 (Wisconsin)
Madison Wisconsin Stake Center
701 Bear Claw Way
Madison, WI 53717

Friday, Nov. 22 (Notre Dame)
South Bend Indiana Stake Center
930 Park Place
Mishawaka, IN 46545

Friday, Nov. 29 (Nevada)
Reno Nevada Stake Center
1095 Golconda Drive
Reno, NV 89509

BYU football celebrates at Thursday's Hero reunion

Aug 19, 2013 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 3:19 pm | Updated: August 19, 2013 4:07 pm | Permalink

BYU football welcomed Thursday’s Heroes to campus for food and entertainment at the Smith Fieldhouse Saturday. Athletes and coaches spent time talking, taking pictures and signing autographs with the families.

Among the Thursday’s Heroes who attended was Drae Endicott, who was first named a Thursday’s Hero in 2009.

“This has just been a really fun thing for him,” said his mother, Beverly Endicott. “We love BYU and we love that he can be a part of this. He loves talking to players and having access to them. It makes his day.”

Every week during the football season, an individual or a family with special needs is identified and invited to attend a team practice. At the conclusion of the practice, “Thursday’s Hero” is introduced to Bronco Mendenhall and recognized by the team members in an informal ceremony.

“I think it’s such a great program,” senior linebacker Tyler Beck said. “It helps keep us grounded, and it is able to help give other people hope as well as give us hope that we can overcome anything.”

2013 Hero Ride benefits Thursday's Heroes program

Aug 19, 2013 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 3:10 pm | Updated: August 19, 2013 3:13 pm | Permalink

The 2013 Hero Ride, organized by The Holly & Bronco Mendenhall Foundation, to benefit the BYU Football Team’s Thursday’s Heroes Program will begin at LaVell Edwards Stadium at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013.

Last year’s inaugural Hero Ride took cyclists on a journey from Provo, Utah to Boise, Idaho; a distance of over 450 miles.  With increased interest from the community, The Holly & Bronco Mendenhall Foundation decided to organize an event to take place on a single day in which everyone could participate. 

As was the case last year, this year’s ride will start with a “Victory Lap” where cyclists will get to ride alongside those children and families the Thursday’s Heroes Program benefits.  It is truly a unique experience.  Once the Victory Lap is completed, registered riders will head out onto the course for up to 104 miles of cycling.

To cap off the day, registered riders will be able to attend the Ruby River Celebration Dinner held in the Cougar Club Room at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.  At the dinner, The Holly & Bronco Mendenhall Foundation will be awarding a grant to a Thursday’s Heroes family. 

Proceeds from the event will benefit Thursday’s Heroes and their families by providing them with the funds to make necessary adaptations to their homes and/or vehicles which will allow for improved daily living.  In addition families are able to apply for grants to assist in the costs of medical and therapy treatments. 

The Holly & Bronco Mendenhall Foundation began in 2006 with a focus on providing assistance to children and families facing significant life challenges.  By supporting the BYU Football’s Thursday’s Heroes program, the Foundation has affected the lives of over 100 individual families across the intermountain-west. 

For more information on the 2013 Hero Ride, visit the Hero Ride website

Football continues second week of camp

Aug 14, 2013 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 2:09 pm | Permalink

The Cougars continued fall camp today with a morning practice focused on position drills. 

"We're facing injuries, fatigue and I thought we started to lose some momentum in camp, so working on individual assignements was the main focus for today," head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Today we wanted to recover physically and focus on treatment then we will look to gear it up again with a slight break today."

As previously reported, defensive back Jordan Johnson will miss the 2013 season with an ACL tear while defensive lineman Tuni Kanuch also suffered a season-ending injury with a pectoral tear. Both injuries will require surgery.

"Kanuch, two or three days ago in a drill, we saw him hold his shoulder, then we found out his pec was torn from the bone," Mendenhall said. "So his pain threshold is high but the strength never came back."

Freshman defensive back Dallin Leavitt is listed as day-to-day after suffering a hip flexor strain on Tuesday. Sophomore Eric Thornton, who was playing wide receiver, has moved to defensive back. 

 

More national honors for Kyle Van Noy

Aug 09, 2013 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 4:58 pm | Permalink

BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy recently picked up two additional national accolades as the 6-foot-3 senior earned SI.com and Sporting News preseason All-America First Team honors.

Coming off an All-America season in 2012, the 245-pound outside linebacker finished tied for second nationally with 13 sacks and six forced fumbles and ranked No. 4 in the nation with 22 tackles for loss. From Reno, Nev., he is the only FBS player in each of the past two seasons to record a stat in every major defensive category and has helped BYU achieve bowl wins each of his three seasons in Provo.

Earlier this year, Van Noy was named to the Phil Steele preseason All-America team and six award watch lists, including the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. On Thursday, USA Today's Paul Myerberg called Van Noy not just one of the best linebackers in the country but one of the best all-around players in the FBS. In his article, Myerberg previewed the 2013 season for BYU and ranked them as the No. 32 program in the nation, identifying the Cougars' defense as one of the top units in college football.