BYU Athletics Blog

Football Notes and News

Oct 06, 2011 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 1:19 pm | Updated: October 6, 2011 1:23 pm | Permalink

A few notes from the team:

- This Saturday's game against San Jose State will be BYU's annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game. Players will wear pink athletic tape, sweatbands, towels and other athletic gear featuring pink to show their support.

- Walter Kahaiali'i has switched from the offensive line to the defensive line. Kahaiali'i, a 6-foot-3, 325-pound junior, played in four games this year and will now help out on a talented defensive front.

- Senior defensive end Matt Putnam has been cleared to play for the 2011 season. Putnam, who has played in 38 career games while starting nine in 2010, was ruled academically ineligible by BYU at the beginning of preseason camp, has finally been cleared to return to the field by the NCAA. Putnam has been working with the scout team since BYU cleared him last week as he awaited word from the NCAA.The Brigham City product could see some limited playing time as early as this week against San Jose State to get him up to speed.

- Marcus Mathews touchdown catch against Utah State was the first touchdown reception by a tight end since Dennis Pitta caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Max Hall in the 2009 Maaco Bowl Las Vegas. That is a 17-game streak the tight ends were glad to see come to an end.

Getting to Know Kendalyn Hartsock

Oct 06, 2011 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 10:50 am | Permalink

Kendalyn Hartsock

Position: Libero

Hometown: Kalispell, Montana

Height: 5-6

Academic major: RMYL- Commercial

Favorite color: Purple

Favorite musical: The Sound of Music

Favorite place to eat: Mama’s Kitchen/Frugals

Athlete crush: Noah Hartsock- He’s a hottie!

Favorite place to travel: Anywhere tropical

Someone you look up to: My dad

Favorite actor/actress: Sandra Bullock

Something few people know about you: I’m part Canadian, eh. I like feet.

If you were queen for a day, you would: Create a new holiday.

Top three things you did this summer: Oklahoma to see Noah’s family, anniversary in St. George, Montana to see my family.

Why did you decide to come to BYU? To get a good education and find my husband...Which I did!

Up Close: Marco Thorson

Oct 05, 2011 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 1:06 pm | Updated: October 6, 2011 10:15 am | Permalink

Take a closer look at senior offensive lineman Marco Thorson, as published in BYU-Utah State game program:

Nickname: Moose
Favorite cold cereal: Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Favorite Bronco Mendenhall Quote: “It’s a choice.”
Why did I choose to play football over other sports: too slow for anything else; no checkers scholarship.
Before a football game, I: nap.
How did I spend my off-season: I was Omer’s beach.
Who is the best player I’ve ever faced: Mania Brown.
What would I like to do sometime in my life is: catch a one-pound fish.
If I could play another position, what would it be:  Kicker.
One place I would like to visit:  Antarctica.
Who has had the greatest influence on my football career and why:  My parents, without them I couldn’t walk-on.
How did I select my jersey number: take what you can get.
What is my favorite hobby or activity away from football: desert riding.
If I had to give up all my possessions except one, what would be the one thing I kept and why: My motorcycle, it keeps me sane.
If I were on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” the person I’d call for my lifeline is:  My wife, she’d tell me to take the money and run.
People say I look like: a moose.
My favorite professor or most interesting class I’ve taken at BYU:  History of creativity.
My favorite scripture: Alma 29:1-2
My favorite website:
My advice to youngsters: have fun.
If I were hosting you on a recruiting visit to Provo, the most impressive thing I’d have to show you is: the stadium.
One rule I’d change in college football is: overtime.
If I could invite any people to dinner, who would they be: Anthony Bourdain, Steven Colbert, Brian Regan.

Hanau White Wings Update

Oct 04, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 1:13 pm | Permalink

About a week ago we provided an update on Logan Magnusson and Chris Miles playing for the Hanau White Wings. After starting the season with a win, the White Wings fell to the BSW Sixers 70-63 before bouncing back with a 76-66 win over Licher Baeren today. Miles had an impressive line today with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go with nine boards and three blocks. Magnusson made the most of his time, posting three points and two boards. The White Wings are back in action on Oct. 8 against Langen.

History of 4th Quarter Comebacks

Oct 04, 2011 - Posted by Jordan Christiansen at 1:11 pm | Updated: October 6, 2011 9:10 am | Permalink

When Riley Nelson's pass fell into the arms of Marcus Mathews for BYU's game-winning score against Utah State last Friday, this year's BYU football team accomplished a feat no other Cougar team has done since 1978.

The win was the second on the season for BYU after trailing by 10 points or more in the fourth quarter. Down 24-13, the Cougars claimed the 27-24 win four weeks after turning a 13-0 fourth quarter deficit to Ole Miss into a 14-13 victory. Not since BYU stunned New Mexico and Oregon 33 years ago has a team had two such comebacks in the same year.

In 1978 against the Lobos, a Marc Wilson-led team rallied after falling behind 16-6 and 23-20 in the final frame, pulling out a 27-23 win in Albuquerque. Cougar running back Scott Phillips capped off an 89-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run with 4:39 left in the game and the BYU defense forced a turnover on downs on the ensuing UNM possession for the final margin.

Similarities with BYU's win over Utah State abound in the 1978 squad's second comeback two weeks later, this time at Oregon. Like Utah State, Oregon had also seemed snakebit that season, with the loss to BYU its fourth in a row after leading in the fourth quarter. Also, BYU's comeback over the Ducks was orchestrated by the Cougars' backup quarterback at the time - Jim McMahon. McMahon, a sophomore, came on in the third quarter for Wilson with BYU down 16-3. Losing by the same score going into the fourth, McMahon threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Tod Thompson. After the defense forced a punt, BYU went 63 yards for the score on a 1-yard run by Doug Williams, earning the win after the Ducks' field goal attempt on the final play of the game fell short.

Other players of note on that 1978 team include future All-American Clay Brown; current head coach Bronco Mendenhall's brother, Mat; current linebacker Jameson Frazier's father, Danny and current Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid. The freshman roster included Tom Holmoe and Kyle Whittingham.

Before this season, BYU has come back from a deficit of 10 or more points in the fourth quarter just 11 times since 1977. Prior to the Ole Miss game, the last time BYU accomplished the feat was in 2006 against Utah. Down 24-14, the Cougars defeated the Utes 33-31 after John Beck's last-second throw to Jonny Harline. Other classic games among the 11 comebacks include 2001 vs. Utah, 1996 vs. Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl and 1980 vs. SMU in the Holiday Bowl (BYU's largest-ever fourth quarter comeback after trailing by 20 points).

In all, BYU has won 43 games after trailing in the fourth quarter since 1977. Seven have come under current head coach Bronco Mendenhall's tenure, including four 10+-point comebacks (New Mexico in 2005, Utah in 2006, Utah in 2007, Colorado State in 2008, Oklahoma in 2009, Ole Miss in 2011, Utah State in 2011).

Interestingly, one of two times BYU has had a program-record four fourth-quarter comebacks in a season came in the national championship year of 1984 when BYU had four, including the season opener against Pittsburgh and the season finale against Michigan in the Holiday Bowl. The other came in BYU's 12-2 season in 2001 when current offensive coordinator Brandon Doman was the Cougar quarterback.

Utah State has suffered the most fourth quarter defeats to the Cougars over the years - five in total (1981, 1983, 1997, 2002, 2011). BYU has also come back on Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming four times apiece with all four comebacks over Utah coming since 2001.

BYU's win over UCF was tied going into the fourth while the Cougars' loss at Texas was the opposite - a loss after taking a 16-10 lead into the final quarter. Will the Cougars keep going down to the wire?

UCF Supporters Thank Cougar Fans

Sep 29, 2011 - Posted by Jordan Christiansen at 1:18 pm | Permalink

BYU athletics, along with media covering BYU, received compliments on Cougar fans' hospitality following last Friday's 24-17 win over UCF in Provo.

UCFVideos tweeted twice about his visit to Provo, saying "#BYU has the classiest fanbase I have ever witnessed. Fans were friendly before and after the game. Folks in #Provo are pure class," along with "My wife enjoyed the trip. Said she would love to bring our kids out here. I told her UCF had only signed a 1 and 1 with BYU."

The BYU athletics video coordinator also passed along another word of thanks from UCF video services after conducting him through a tour of the BYU Broadcasting facility.

Today, Daily Herald sports editor Jared Lloyd included a letter in his article today that he received from a UCF fan following the game (read his article here). The Knights fan's comments read in part:

"My wife Robin and I both traveled from Orlando to Provo to watch the UCF-BYU football game....we wanted to let you know what a GREAT time we had during our trip. From the moment we arrived in Provo, everyone we met was friendly and expressed their appreciation that we had chosen to come visit their beautiful city. En route to the game, we were stopped numerous times by BYU attired fans welcoming us and wishing the Knights good luck in the game."

While we cheer on our Cougars and support them to the fullest, thanks also to all of you Cougar fans who also go out of your way to welcome those who visit BYU. As we welcome Utah State this weekend and those members of other programs later this season who have never experienced a game day at LaVell Edwards Stadium, lets continue to show the country why we have the best fans and are the best place to play in the country.

More on senior running back Bryan Kariya

Sep 29, 2011 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 10:56 am | Permalink

Senior running back Bryan Kariya has been named a candidate for the 2011 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards.

For more on the NFF and the Scholar-Athlete Awards CLICK HERE.

Kariya, from Salt Lake, has a 3.9 GPA and is a Chinese major with a minor in business management. He is second on the Cougars in rushing and in last week's 24-17 victory over UCF  led the team with 14 carries, 52 yards and one touchdown to go along with a pair of receptions for 11 yards. He is one of 47 FBS athletes selected as a candidate.

As a captain of the BYU football team, Kariya has been able to set an example of hard work on the field, accompanied with hard work in both the classroom and in the community. He has been a leader on BYU’s team for years. He is often the first voice heard at practice, on the field or from the sideline encouraging his teammates.

Other academic achievements include being named to the 2010 ESPN Academic All-America Second Team as the only FBS Division I running back on the All-America team. He was also named to the 2010 ESPN Academic All-District VIII First Team and is a two-time MWC Scholar-Athlete and three-time Academic All-Mountain West Conference honoree.

He has been involved with several projects in the community, including volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club and speaking to youth at church functions and schools. Kariya has been involved with “Koins For Kenya,” a program to help bring educational opportunities to those that have none. He and his wife traveled to Africa in 2005 to help with the program.

On the field, Kariya played a huge role in 2009’s game against No. 3 Oklahoma, playing for an injured Harvey Unga, and rushing for 42 yards while catching four passes for 76 yards, including a 49-yard reception. He had at least one carry in every game of 2010 and 11 games of 2009. He is currently second on the team in rushing for 2011.

Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.

3.60 Average GPA
27 Nominees with a 3.9 GPA or better
6 Nominees with a perfect 4.0 GPA
86 Team Captains
56 All-Conference Picks
17 Academic All-America Selections
10 All-America Selections
27 Players (among all divisions) represented in this week's national top 25 polls
1 Player Formerly Named an NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete
47 Nominees from the Football Bowl Subdivision
33 Nominees from the Football Championship Subdivision
11 Nominees from the Division II
30 Nominees from the Division III
6 Nominees from the NAIA
61 Offensive Players
50 Defensive Players
16 Special Teams Players

Getting to Know Heather Hannemann

Sep 28, 2011 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 11:05 am | Updated: April 24, 2013 1:44 pm | Permalink

Heather Hannemann

Year: Junior

Position: Setter

Height: 5-8

Academic major: Exercise and wellness

Favorite color: Purple

Favorite musical: Wicked

Favorite place to eat: Cafe Rio/Rumbi

Athlete crush: Dwayne Wade

Favorite place to travel: Hawaii

Someone you look up to: My mom

Favorite actor/actress: Robert Downey Jr.

Something few people know about you: I’m part Samoan

If you were queen for a day, you would: Eat frozen yogurt all day, get a new wardrobe and go to Bora Bora.

Top three things you did this summer: Went to Hawaii, spent time with family, swam.

Why did you decide to come to BYU? I love the atmosphere and it’s close to home.

Getting to Know Nicole Warner

Sep 28, 2011 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 11:00 am | Permalink

Nicole Warner

Year: Junior

Position: Middle blocker

Height: 6-2

Academic major: Exercise science

Favorite color: Aqua blue

Favorite musical: Phantom of the Opera

Favorite movie: The Proposal

Favorite place to eat: In-N-Out or Cafe Rio

Athlete crush: Jourdain Scoubes- he’s my boyfriend and an amazing basketball player.

Favorite place to travel: Hanalei, Hawaii

Someone you look up to: My mom, Kris Warner

Motto/favorite quote: “Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or the faster man. But sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.”

Something few people know about you: People always ask if I like being tall. I LOVE IT! I love it so much that I proudly wear heels every chance I can!

If you were queen for a day, you would: Solve world hunger.

Why did you decide to come to BYU? I have Cougar-blue blood.

Getting to Know Jennifer Hamson

Sep 28, 2011 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 10:54 am | Updated: September 28, 2011 10:56 am | Permalink

Jennifer Hamson

Year: Sophomore

Position: Opposite hitter

Height: 6-6

Academic major: Exercise Science

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite musical: Les Miserables

Favorite movie: The Princess Bride

Favorite place to eat: Zupa’s

Favorite actor/ or actress: Morgan Freeman

Favorite place to travel: California

Someone you look up to: My mom

Motto/favorite quote: Work hard so you can play harder.

Something few people know about you: I did gymnastics when I was younger.

If you were queen for a day, you would: Try to meet a lot of great and famous athletes.

Top three things you did this summer: Played pickup, went swimming and family vacations

Why did you decide to come to BYU? BYU is somewhere I could get an education, play sports and it has a great environment.