Men's Football Blog

Great moments on YouTube

Aug 03, 2012 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 10:34 am | Permalink

BYU athletics video started posting great football moments on the BYU Cougars YouTube channel earlier this week. See below for the videos that have been posted this week and check the YouTube channel every day for more great moments.

New Football Lobby Unveiled

Aug 01, 2012 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 3:18 pm | Updated: August 3, 2012 8:07 pm | Permalink

BYU Athletics unveiled the new football lobby in a ceremony honoring donors Wednesday at the Student Athlete Building.

Head coach Bronco Mendenall addressed the donors, expressing appreciation for their contributions and what the new lobby represents.

“I hope you look and see progress here,” Mendenhall said. “What we work hard to do is bring to life what you’re supporting so when others come in they know exactly who we are, what we represent, and why, and then ask how they can become a part of it. It inspires you to be someone who is stronger and a better version of yourself. Because of your support, you’ve made that come to life. This is a tangible way to show the direction we’re going.”

“I was awe-struck and inspired looking at this,” donor Jim Evans said. “You feel the spirit of what this is all about. It portrays the spirit of what coach Mendenhall wants BYU football to be about.”

Along with the 1984 National Championship trophy, the lobby features a Band of Brothers, Tradition, Spirit and Honor section. The walls display quotes from LDS general authorities as well as inspiring figures, past players and LaVell Edwards. Video screens show memorable moments in the history of BYU football. Down the hall from the lobby also features an updated missionary wall, featuring a map of where players have served missions and are currently serving.

A quote from Mendenhall also graces the wall, “The mission of BYU football has been, and always will be, to change lives through football excellence.”

“The lobby represents what the core of BYU football is – Tradition, Spirit, Honor,” athletic director Tom Holmoe said.

Check out some photos of the new lobby and other shots inside the football office.

BYU Football Couple's Clinic/Date Night

Jul 31, 2012 - Posted by Whitney Craft Jordan at 10:50 pm | Updated: July 31, 2012 11:41 pm | Permalink

The lights in LaVell Edwards Stadium were shining late into the night, Tuesday, for the football team's Date Night/Couple's Clinic. Laughs and cheers could be heard as coaches, players and fans gathered for drills, dinner, a short talent show, a comedic performance and a fun atmosphere to celebrate the start of a new BYU football season.

When the couples first arrived they received a t-shirt and nametage, and were treated to a Ruby River dinner with BYU's players and coaches. After dinner and lots of autographs, the couples laughed with Utah comedian Keith Stubbs before being entertained by junior Justin Sorenson's unicycling and juggling.

Basic football knowledge from offensive coordinator Brandon Doman and coach Nick Howell was next on the schedule as the couples gathered to hear about BYU's offense and defense this upcoming season.

To wrap up the eventful night, the couples split up into eight groups and were able to have some one-on-one time with the players. Couples learned a few techniques from players in all different positions and even had a chance to put their knowledge to the test on the field.

Chad Lewis featured by mormon.org

Jul 30, 2012 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 4:06 pm | Permalink

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has created a video featuring former Cougar and NFL tight end Chad Lewis. The video (see below) can be found on mormon.org and features Lewis' football career and his hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro that helped bring attention to the Wounded Warriors Project. Lewis currently works as BYU's associate athletic director for development.

Tuesday Encore - Hoffman, Alisa and more ESPN

Jul 17, 2012 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 3:11 pm | Updated: July 17, 2012 7:39 pm | Permalink

Biletnikoff Watch List and Inspiring Actor?

On Tuesday BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman was named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List, an award given to the nation's top receiver.

The junior from Cresent City, Calif., led BYU with 943 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He recorded five games with 100 or more receiving yards, including a 162-yard performance in a victory against Oregon State. You can read more here.

In case you missed it, BYUtv released a commercial Monday featuring Hoffman as he "loyally guards the dark halls and studios of BYUtv." You can see the video here

Good Works Team

Junior running back Michael Alisa also received recognition on Tuesday for his off-the-field good works as a member of the BYU football team. Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) announced 117 nominees for the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, including Alisa. As one of college football’s most prestigious off-the-field honors, the award recognizes a select group of college football players committed to making a difference in their communities.  

A junior from Laie, Hawai’i, Alisa enters the 2012 season as BYU’s top returning rusher after totaling 455 yards on 85 carries last year. In his first game as the primary ball carrier last season Alisa rushed for 91 yards on 16 attempts. He averages 5.4 yards per carry and 11.0 yards per reception coming out of the backfield.  Off the field, Alisa is always willing to help others and regularly seeks opportunities to serve in the community. He also spent two years as a missionary in Puerto Rico for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Alisa’s teammate Riley Nelson previously earned selection as a member of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. The BYU quarterback was one of 11 nominees chosen to the 2010 team. 

You can read more about the Good Works Team here.

More Mendenhall on ESPN

As mentioned in this blog yesterday, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall has been busy doing some ESPN interviews. Monday afternoon he appeared on ESPN SportsCenter as well as College Football Live. Today, ESPNU College Football released a podcast which headlined ESPN senior writer Ivan Maisel talking with Coach Mendenhall. They discussed, among other things, BYU's position as a football independent, the BYU-Utah rivalry and the emergence of Hoffman and quarterback Riley Nelson.

When asked by Maisel about some tough road games on the schedule, Mendenhall said, "We're not anxious to stay the same, we're anxious to grow, improve and measure ourselves and compete and win against some of the best (teams) in the country in some of the most unique settings. We're not taking a passive approach, we're taking an aggressive approach." 

Maisel and Mendenhall had a good-natured and candid conversation over the first 14 minutes of the podcast. You can listen to the podcast here.

Not a Mundane Monday

Jul 16, 2012 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 6:38 pm | Updated: July 16, 2012 7:06 pm | Permalink

Three Cougars named to preseason award watch lists

BYU seniors Braden Hansen and Uona Kaveinga along with junior Kyle Van Noy were each named to award watch lists on Monday recognizing the nation's best linemen and linebackers.

Hansen, a senior offensive guard, and Van Noy, a junior outside linebacker, were both named to the 43rd Annual Rotary Lombardi Award Official Watch List. The Rotary Lombardi Award is given to the nation’s top college lineman or linebacker each year.

Kaveinga was named to the 28th annual Butkus Award® Watch List recognizing the nation's top linebackers. 

Hansen has started all 39 games of his career for the Cougars, on pace to tie the BYU record of 52 consecutive starts. A product of Sandy, Utah, Hansen has helped BYU to 28 wins over the last three years and three straight bowl victories. Hansen was previously named to the Outland Trophy Watch List, recognizing the best interior linemen, for the second-consecutive season.

Van Noy led the Cougars in sacks (7.0) and tackles for loss (15.0) in 2011 to go along with his 68 total tackles. A 6-foot-3, 235-pounder from Reno, Nev., Van Noy was the only Division I player to record a statistic in each of the major defensive categories including tackle, tackle for loss, sack, quarterback hurry, pass breakup, interception, forced fumble, fumble recovery and blocked kick. Van Noy was also recently named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List for the nation’s best defensive player.

Kaveinga started all 13 games for BYU as a junior in 2011 after beginning his career at USC. The 5-foot-11, 236-pound native of Hawthorne, Calif., earned Phil Steele All-Independent Second Team honors last season while helping BYU achieve a 10-3 record and No. 25 final national ranking in the team’s first season as a football independent. 

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ESPN talks with Coach Mendenhall

In addition to the watch lists announcements, BYU football was also recognized Monday through some national interviews on ESPN. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall appeared live on SportsCenter talking with Michael Kim. He also was interviewed by Joe Tessitore on College Football Live. 

In addition to being on the flagship program for the Worldwide Leader in Sports and its daily program dedicated to college football, Mendenhall also did other interviews on Monday for upcoming ESPN shows, podcasts and stories. Mendenhall did most of his interviews via satellite from the state-of-the-art facilities at BYUtv. 

College Football Performance Awards Watch List - Offense and Defense

Jul 09, 2012 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 12:26 pm | Updated: July 9, 2012 12:37 pm | Permalink

Four BYU players were named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Offensive and Defensive Watch Lists released recently.

Wide receiver Cody Hoffman was named to the CFPA Wide Receiver Trophy Watch List while tight ends junior Austin Holt and Richard Wilson were both named to the Tight End Trophy Watch List. BYU was one of three schools with two tight ends named to the list.

Linebacker Kyle Van Noy was BYU's lone defensive player on a list, making the CFPA Linebacker Trophy Watch List.

Hoffman led BYU in all-purpose yards with 1,825 yards, the sixth-best mark in BYU history. He led BYU in all receiving categories, pulling down 61 receptions for 943 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was named to the 2011 Phil Steele All-Independent First Team and both the Yahoo! Sports and FBS All-Independent Teams. He was recently included on the Phil Steele Preseason All-Independent First Team for 2012.

Both Holt and Wilson were off to good starts in 2011 but each suffered knee injuries preventing them from finishing out the year. Holt was named the Phil Steele All-Independent Second Team after recording 11 receptions for 180 yards and Wilson caught 11 balls for 130 yards and one touchdown. The duo should be healthy for the start of 2012 season.

Van Noy was one of the leaders on a 2011 BYU defense ranked No. 13 in total defense and was named to the CFPA Linebacker Trophy Watch List. The Reno, Nev. product led BYU in tackles for loss and sacks with 15 and 7.5, respectively. He was second on the team with 68 total tackles and tied for the team lead with 3 interceptions. He also forced and recovered a fumble for a touchdown to win the game at Ole Miss in the season opener. He was the only Division I player to record a statistic in every major defensive category.

According to its website, the goal of College Football Performance Awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.

The Bronco Mendenhall Era broadcast photos

Jun 27, 2012 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 4:23 pm | Updated: June 27, 2012 4:26 pm | Permalink

Check out these photos from The Bronco Mendenhall Era broadcast.

BYU Media Day--Brandon Doman

Jun 27, 2012 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 4:22 pm | Updated: June 27, 2012 4:30 pm | Permalink

Continuing on with our BYU coaches and players interviews, we were able to talk to offensive coordinator and former BYU quarterback Brandon Doman. Doman said he is constantly trying to learn and improve as a young coach.

"My former offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, Greg Knapp, he's now the ofensive coordinator for the Raiders. I loved him as a player and coach, he's been very successful and he's got a wealth of knowledge. I lean on him a lot ... I want to be mentored by the best. Sometimes you have to be a pest to get in with those guys and for them to eventually mentor you but I want to be around the very best of the best and learn from them and how they do it. I'm still a young guy, I've got a lot to learn."

He said the decision has already been made to have him calling plays from the press box as opposed to on the sidelines.

"I'm going to be in the press box, calling the game. We [the offensive coaching staff] are going to continue to improve the way we comunicate a little bit better. We have some things we need to change, develop and improve that way."

When asked how he would handle quarterback Riley Nelson or another player who may be frustrated or angry, Doman said he trusts his coaching staf to help out.

"Between Coach [Joe] DuPaix, who's played quarterback and Coach [Lance] Reynolds who has seen all the greats around here, if I need somebody to sit a guy down or calm someone down, those guys can do it."

Q&A with Michael Alisa and Eathyn Manumaleuna

Jun 27, 2012 - Posted by Mason Porter at 3:58 pm | Updated: June 27, 2012 4:09 pm | Permalink

Q: How has this offseason treated you?

Michael Alisa: I think this is the best offseason I've had in my life in terms of working out. It's been different, not just for me, but for the team as a whole. I think that's fueled me through workouts. Other than that I've been working at sports camps as a counselor. You get to stay at the dorms every night and eat at the Cannon Center for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'm just eating like a runaway train trying to put on some weight for the season. Besides that I've just been dating around here and there. 

Q: What's the chemistry like on the team, do you have any best friends?

MA: Eathyn used to be one of my good buddies but then he got married and went MIA.

Eathyn Manumaleuna: I've got a new best friend now (laughs).

MA: But really, I don't feel like there are cliques. I feel like last year there were cliques on the team, but not this year.

EM: I feel like it's because we have more leadership on the team this year. Riley Nelson has helped a lot, he's brought a lot of leadership.

MA: Last year we had colonies, this year we have a strong central government (laughs).

Q: How does that leadership affect the team?

EM: We all love Riley Nelson. He brings a great atmosphere into the locker room. He's got great leadership qualities and we all love him. It even helps make us want to practice harder.

MA: We all come to practice excited to be with our guys and we work hard together. When you do that, it brings you closer together. So it's just a cycle.

Q: What are the biggest games on the schedule this season?

MA: Washington State is a big game. I've got my eyes on a few teams, though. Notre Dame, for one. Going into South Bend will be fun because of the atmosphere over there and it's a historic place to play. I've got some friends on that team too, so it'll be a friendly rivalry game.

Q: Do you enjoy playing on the road?

EM: I love playing on the road. When we went to Ole Miss last year, I felt like that was our home field.

MA: Texas was fun, too.

EM: I like to go to away games and try and make it our home field. It gives me a little chip on my shoulder and a little more motivation. I think it's really exciting to play on the road.

Q: What's it like to quiet a crowd on the road?

EM: It's the best. Last year, in Texas it was quiet most of the game.

MA: And you hear your own little fan section in one corner making noise, so it's fun.

Q: You lost some players from last year, how do you feel about that?

MA: We lost some guys in the O-line. Matt Reynolds and Terence Brown were really good players, but having Brock Stringham and Ryker Mathews step in ... those guys are legit. I'm just as excited about our O-line this year as I was last year. The main thing is keeping them healthy.

EM: On defense I think we only lost a few guys.

MA: Yeah, the D-line especially is going to be solid. You've got four guys who have started for three years. That's unheard of.