#17 BYU Hosts Virginia in Cougar Stadium

Saturday's game will mark the first meeting between BYU and Virginia since the 1987 All-American Bowl in Birmingham, Ala. In the only game between the two teams, Virginia defeated the Cougars, 22-16, on a chilly 40-degree day in Birmingham, Ala. In the Cougars' 10th straight bowl appearance, Sean Covey connected on 37-of-61 attempts for 394 yards, while current BYU ticket manager David Miles tallied 188 yards in pass receptions, but the Cougars fell short. Covey's attempts and completion numbers are the second-most ever against the Cavaliers. The Cougars had opportunities to score on a dropped touchdown pass in the first quarter , missed field goals of 51 and 47 yards and a blown pass play on fourth and goal in the third quarter. Ironically, nine years earlier on the same date (Dec. 22) Virginia head coach George Welsh led Navy to a 23-16 win over BYU in the inaugural Holiday Bowl.

Scouting Virginia

Throughout the entire football history at the University of Virginia (1,074 games), the Cavaliers have only played 11 games west of the Mississippi River. UVA is just 3-7 in games played in the west. The last time the Cavaliers went past the Mississippi occurred in 1995 when UVA dropped a 17-16 contest to Texas. Saturday's game will mark the team's first-ever game in the state of Utah.

Virginia head coach George Welsh is in his 18th season at Virginia, having compiled a 123-76-3 record at UVA. Prior to Virginia, Welsh coached for nine seasons at Navy, earning a 55-46-1 record. In 26 years of coaching at the Division-I level, Welsh has tallied an all-time record of 178-123-4 and has made 13 bowl appearances, including 10 bowl games at Virginia. After posting a 9-3 record last season, Welsh was named the National Coach of the Year by the Pigskin Club or Washington, D.C. and was the Joseph Sheehan Division I-A Coach of the Year by the Metropolitan New York Football Writers Association.

The Cavaliers are off to a 2-1 start, following an impressive, 35-7, win over Wake Forest on Saturday. In the season-opener, UVA field-goal man Todd Braverman hit a game-winning field goal to give the Cavs a, 20-17, win over ACC rival North Carolina. In week two, Virginia ran into a pass-happy Clemson offense and suffered a 33-14 loss at the hands of the Tigers. Virginia is 0-2 on the road this season. Last season, the Cavaliers won four of their seven road games.

In three games this season, Virginia has scored 69 points, averaging 23.0 points per game, while giving up just 19.0 points per contest. The Cavalier offense, led by the tag-team duo of quarterbacks Dan Ellis and David Rivers, has produced an average 209.7 yards passing per game, while All-American running back Thomas Jones has produced over 136.7 yards rushing per game. Jones leads the team in scoring with 30 points, averaging 10 points per game. The UVA offense has scored nine touchdowns on the season, including six rushing and three via the pass. The UVA offensive line has allowed nine sacks on the season, allowing an average 5.8 yards per sack.

Pound for Pound

The BYU offensive line totals a whopping 1,490 pounds, averaging 298 pounds per man. The Cavaliers' defensive line averages 289.5 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars' front four averages nearly 274 pounds, while the Virginia offensive line weighs in at a hefty 302 pounds per man.

Cougars Climb National Polls

After breaking into the AP Top-25 last week at No. 25, the Cougars climbed to No. 17 in the AP poll with a 34-13 win over then-ranked No. 23 Colorado State on Thursday. BYU also broke into the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll at No. 17. Last week's ranking marked the first time since the Oct. 6, 1997 poll that BYU was ranked among the nation's top-25.

Cougars in First Conference Game - A Look Back

Last Thursday, the Cougars participated in the first Mountain West Conference game, marking the first conference game for BYU outside the WAC since the 1962 season. In 1962, BYU started play in a new conference with a 27-21 loss at Arizona. The Cougars first win in the new conference came on Nov. 3, 1962 against New Mexico, 27-0. The game also marked BYU's first conference game in Provo. BYU is 2-0 in first-ever Conference games.

The Streak Continues

BYU will look to extend its NCAA record 302 straight games without being shutout on Thursday. The Cougars were last blanked in 1977 when Arizona State defeated BYU, 20-0. That loss still marks BYU head coach LaVell Edwards' only shutout in 27 seasons (338 games). Since being shutout in the first quarter of the Washington game, BYU has scored in seven straight quarters. BYU has twice scored a season-high 14 points in a single quarter (3rd quarter vs. Washington; 2nd quarter vs. Colorado State.)

Cougars on National TV

Since its first national television appearance in 1974, BYU has posted a 39-22-2 record while playing in front of a national audience, including a 24-13-2 mark on ESPN. BYU has been a regular on ESPN's Thursday Night Game of the Week in recent history, compiling an 9-2 overall record and a current five-game winning streak. Current assistant coach, Robbie Bosco, led the Cougars to a 20-14 win over Pitt in the first live ESPN College Football broadcast in 1984. Over 11 years ago the Cougars recorded their largest margin of victory while playing on national television, defeating Texas, 72-6, on Sept. 8, 1988. Saturday's game will be broadcast live by ESPN2. BYU has posted a 2-2 record while playing on the Deuce. The Cougars last appearance on ESPN2 was during the 1998 season - a 26-6 win over Arizona State. BYU's first game on ESPN2 was on Oct. 19, 1996 in Tulsa, Okla., when the Cougars defeated Tulsa, 55-30. Following is a breakdown of the Cougars record on a few of the national/regional networks:

ABC -- 20-14

CBS -- 3-1

NBC -- 2-2

ESPN -- 24-13-2

ESPN2 -- 2-2

Fox Sports -- 1-0

TBS -- 1-0

USA -- 0-1

For Whom the Whistle Blows

During the summer, BYU athletic media relations' personnel distributed some 300 wooden train whistles to various media throughout the country, touting Rob "Freight Train" Morris for the prestigious Butkus Award - an honor given annually to college football's top linebacker. The whistles, which state, "It's Time to Toot His Horn", are a play off an interview between Morris and ABC's Dan Fouts. During the interview Morris told Fouts when he sacked a quarterback, it could be compared to "a freight train hitting a Yugo." The BYU season ticket campaign, "Get on Board", and several other promotions have centered around Morris' candidacy for the Butkus Award. During each home game, some 33,000 wooden train whistles will be blown every time BYU makes a good play or when Morris makes a tackle. The Butkus watch list will be trimmed to 10 candidates (down from 65) on Oct. 21. According to this week's ESPN "Butkus Watch", Morris ranks third in the nation. Despite a third-quarter injury, Morris lead the Cougars with five tackles against Colorado State, including three unassisted and two assisted takedowns. Morris tallied two quarterback hurries and a tackle for a six-yard loss.

Year UT AT TFL FR FC PI D BK HUR SCK

1993 3 8 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

1997 61 49 8.5 0 0 0 1 0 6 1

1998 114 33 16 1 1 1 4 1 11 6

1999 8 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

TOTALS 186 94 25.5 1 1 1 6 1 19 7

Feterik Takes Charge of Cougar Offense

Senior quarterback Kevin Feterik racked up 501 yards passing on Thursday, Sept. 9, marking the most single-game passing yards by a BYU quarterback since the beginning of the 1996 season. Through two games, Feterik's total, combined with his rushing numbers, rank him tops in the nation in total offense (392.5) Feterik completed 39-of-59 pass attempts, setting a new Cougar Stadium record for most pass attempts in a game against the Huskies and followed that with a 310-yard effort (28-of-37) against Colorado State. The 6-0 senior also led the Cougars to 37 first downs in the season-opener - also a Cougar Stadium record. Averaging 12.10 yards per reception, Feterik used 12 different BYU receivers against Washington and 10 different receivers against Colorado State. For his accomplishments against Washington, Feterik was named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week and earned USA Today.com Player-of-the-Week honors. Since firing an interception in the Washington game, Feterik has fired off 47 pass attempts without an interception.

Year Cmp Att Int Pct Lng Yds TD YPG

1996 5 8 1 .625 15 26 1 4.3

1997 125 208 5 .601 70 1767 11 220.9

1998 202 336 6 .601 83 2718 16 209.1

1999 67 96 1 .698 38 811 5 405.5

TOTALS 399 648 13 .616 83 5322 33 --

Last Week

Telegraphed plays gave advance warning Thursday to BYU defenders who led the Cougars to a 34-13 victory over Colorado State in the inaugural game of the Mountain West Conference.

That defense enabled BYU freshman running back Luke Staley to score three touchdowns as the Cougars built up a 31-0 lead before a crowd of 63,054 and a national ESPN audience. The victory put BYU's record at 2-0, while CSU fell to 2-1.

Linebacker Jeff Holtry's 46-yard pass interception at the end of the first quarter was negated by a blocked Owen Pochman field goal, but it was one of three picks for Cougar defenders. Pochman later booted field goals of 38 yards in the third and 43 yards in the fourth.

When BYU defensive lineman Chris Hoke recovered a Matt Newton fumble at the end of the third quarter, it led to Staley's third TD of the night and put the score at 31-0.

Staley rushed for 65 yards and scored on a one-yard run in the first quarter, a seven-yard pass in the second and the five-yard run in the third.

The Rams were without the services of injured running back Kevin McDougal, but got on the scoreboard with a pair of fourth quarter TD passes from Newton.

Kevin Feterik threw to 10 different BYU receivers in his 28 completions from 37 attempts for 310 yards and had no interceptions for an impressive 163.89 pass efficiency. Once again Margin Hooks led all Cougar receivers with five catches for 72 yards.

Home Sweet Home

BYU has won eight straight home games in Cougar Stadium, dating back to the 1998 season. Last year, the Cougars went 6-0 within the friendly confines of Cougar Stadium. In 1999, BYU has posted two straight home wins, including last week's 34-13 win over Colorado State. During the Cougars' current streak, team such as Arizona State, Washington, San Diego State and Colorado State have all fallen victim to the taunting home-field advantage at Cougar Stadium, which is beautifully situated amid the Wasatch Mountains and only 4,553 feet above sea-level.

Injury Update

Running back Mike Nielsen will miss the next 3-5 weeks with a broken bone in the top of his right foot. Nielsen suffered the injury on a kickoff, when a Washington player ran across the top of his foot. Linebacker Rob Morris suffered a lower abdominal strain against Colorado State. He is expected to play against Virginia. Cornerback Brian Gray suffered a groin straing against the Rams. Like Morris, he is also expected to play against the Cavaliers.

Did you Know

Only three coaches on the Virginia coaching staff were around during the first meeting between BYU and Virginia. Head coach George Welsh, defensive backs coach Art Markos and tight ends coach Danny Wilmer are the only remaining members of the UVA staff that defeated the Cougars in 1987. Seven members of the BYU coaching staff were on the sidelines in the 1987 loss to Virginia, including LaVell Edwards (head coach), Norm Chow (offensive coordinator), Roger French (offensive line), Chris Pella (tight ends/special teams), Lance Reynolds (running backs), Tom Ramage (defensive line) and Ken Schmidt (defensive coordinator).

Cougars Rank Among National Leaders

Senior quarterback Kevin Feterik leads the nation for a second straight week in total offense after producing 491 yards in the season-opener and another 294 yards against Colorado State. Feterik leads the nation, averaging 392.50 yards per game - some 22 yards ahead of the second-ranked producer, Oklahoma's Josh Heupel. Feterik also ranks 13th in passing offense with a 155.90 efficiency rating. Freshman Luke "Superman" Staley ranks fifth in the nation in scoring, averaging 15.0 points per game. After a pair of touchdowns against Washington, Staley led the Cougars with three TDs against Colorado State. Receiver Margin Hooks ranks 27th, averaging 6.5 receptions per game, while Ben "Hollywood" Horton ranks 43rd, averaging 5.5 receptions per game. Averaging 106 receiving yards per game, Hooks ranks 21st nationally. In the team rankings. BYU leads the nation in passing offense, averaging 405.5 yards passing per game. The Cougs rank 8th nationally in total offense, posting 494.5 yards per contest. Averaging 34.5 points per game, BYU ranks 28th in scoring. The BYU defense ranks 7th , allowing just 55.0 yards per game, while the Cougar "D" ranks 66th against the pass (123.4 y/pg).

Cougar Stadium Records Fall

Three Cougar Stadium records fell by the wayside on Thursday, Sept. 9 (vs. Washington). Senior QB Kevin Feterik made 59 pass attempts, breaking both the individual and team records. The old individual record of 57 attempts was held by John Walsh (BYU, 1993), Anthony Calvillo (Utah State, 1992) and Sam King (UNLV, 1981). The team, stadium record was held by Utah State, which attempted 58 passes against the Cougars in 1976. Feterik also led BYU to 37 first downs, setting a new stadium record that had been established at 36 both in 1980 and 1990.

Some Things Never Change

According to a recent survey of each Division-I program, BYU has one of the most experienced and stable coaching staffs in the nation. 1999 is the fifth year without a staff change for BYU, making it the most cohesive unit in the nation. Entering its fourth year as a unit, Penn State ranks second to the Cougars. BYU coaches have an average tenure of 15.5 years at BYU, the third-highest average in the nation behind Penn State (19.9) and Florida State (15.7).

Hooks Taking Aim on Record Book

Junior receiver Margin Hooks leads the Cougars with 13 catches for 212 yards over two games. The 5-11 speedster from Waco, Texas needs just 1,030 yards to set the single-season yardage record - that's an average of 114.4 yards per game. Currently, Hooks is on pace to eclipse the 1,166 mark. Nevertheless, Hooks is having a career season. After two games, Hooks leads the Cougar roster with 106 yards receiving per game. Through two games last season, Hooks had four completions for 65 yards, averaging 32.5 yards per game. Hooks finished his sophomore season with a career-high 732 yards and three touchdowns.

Spreading the Wealth

In the Cougars 38-25 win over Washington, BYU quarterback Kevin Feterik used 12 different receivers to compile a career-high 501 yards passing, including three touchdown passes. Junior Margin Hooks was the Cougars' leading receiver, racking up 140 yards on eight receptions. The Cougars tallied 39 receptions, averaging 12.8 yards per catch. One week later, Feterik used 10 different receivers to upend Colorado State with 310 yards passing.

Cougar Scoring Threat

Over eight quarters of play this season, BYU has scored at least three points in all but one quarter. Since being held scoreless in the first quarter against Washington, BYU has outscored its opponents by an average 9.86 to 4.86. Besides two short drives of 32 and 54 yards, offered to the Cougar offense by way of defensive turnovers, the Cougars posted scoring drives of 81, 82 and 71 yards against Colorado State and 85, 88, 85, 80 and 89 yards against Washington.

BYU's Righteous Rookies

Three true-freshmen have played vital rolls in the Cougars' first two games of the season. Just three months removed from attending their high school proms, the dynamic duo of Fahu Tahi and Luke "Superman" Staley have combined for over 63 percent of the Cougars' total rushing offense (163 yards). Staley, the Oregon High School Player of the Year was credited with both rushing touchdowns against Washington and picked up three more against Colorado State. Staley ranks fifth in the nation in scoring, averaging 15.0 points per game. The third member of the terrific trio, Chris Hale, was elevated to hero status after grabbing a 38-yard touchdown reception to beat Washington in the season-opener, but also came up big by being in the right place at the right time against Colorado State. After picking up the first down, sure-handed receiver Ben Horton fumbled after picking up a 29-yard pass reception. Hale was there to pick up the goods and carry on for an additional two yards. Six plays later, BYU scored to take a 21-0 lead into the half.

Feterik Named to Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award "Watch List"

Sixteen senior quarterbacks have been selected as candidates for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented annually to the nation's top senior collegiate quarterback. The award is selected by the Frank Camp Chapter of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. Included among the elite list of candidates for the award are BYU's Kevin Feterik, who completed 39-of-59 passes for 501 yards in the first game of his senior season and added a 310-yard performance the following week against Colorado state. Other candidates include, NC State's Jamie Barnette, Michigan's Tom Brady, West Virginia's Marc Bulger, Michigan State's Bill Burke and Jarious Jackson of Notre Dame, Giovanni Carmazzi (Hofstra), Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech), Todd Husack (Stanford), Doug Johnson (Florida), Tee Martin (Tennessee), Chad Pennington (Marshall), Tim Rattay (Louisiana Tech), Chris Redman (Louisville), Clint Stoerner (Arkansas) and Billy Volek (Fresno State). The 1999 winner will be announced on Nov. 24 with the award presentation to be made in Louisville on December 10. UCLA's Cade McNown won the award last season.

Brian Gray Named to Jim Thorpe Award "Watch List"

BYU senior Brian Gray has been named by the Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City, Okla., as a candidate for the 1999 Jim Thorpe Award. The Jim Thorpe Award is presented annually to the best defensive back in college football. Gray, a 6-2, 215-pound defensive back, is one of 37 names to appear on the "watch list". Other key players that will appear on the BYU schedule this season include, Rico Curtis of San Diego State, Al Rich of Wyoming and Brian Urlacher of New Mexico.

Men in Blue

The August 16th announcement of a uniform change at BYU means the first major change in Cougar football attire for nearly 30 years. Perhaps the most notable change in the BYU uniform is the re-introduction of the blue helmet, marking the first time since 1968 the Cougars have worn a blue helmet. Following is a year-by-year breakdown of the evolution of the BYU helmet:

1950-1954 -- Solid white helmet with a single blue stripe running down the center.

1955-1960 -- White helmet replaced with a plain, silver helmet.

1961-1963 -- Blue player numbers are added to the silver helmet.

1964-1965 - Silver helmet is replaced with solid blue helmet.

1966-1968 -- A blue "Y", surrounded by a white oval is placed on the helmet

1969 -- Traditional white helmet with blue and white decals is used for the next 30 years.

1970 -- "Cage loops", a Floyd Johnson invention, are added to the helmet.

1978 -- The oval was dropped and a solid blue "Y" was used on the helmet.

1978 -- Little blue stickers (Cougar heads) are used by players to designated top plays.

1979 -- After losing four games in 1978, blue oval with white "Y" returned to the helmet.

1993 -- Black is added as a third color on the helmet.

1994 -- Players vote to discontinue the use of the cougar-head stickers.

1998 -- Two black stripes, separated by a blue stripe is added to the crown of the helmet.

1999 -- (August 16) BYU unveils its new logo and colors, complete with new football uniforms and helmets. A darker shade of blue and white become the official colors of the University, with tan serving as the primary accent color. The re-birth of the blue helmet in 1999 is the first time BYU has worn a different color, other than white, for over 30 years. The new logo on the side of the helmet, similar to the traditional side decal, is the first new design used on a BYU helmet since 1978. The new uniforms represent a new and flashy look, never before used on the collegiate playing field. The new-look uniforms and helmets represent the first major uniform change under the LaVell Edwards era.

On This Day (September 25)

Since the Cougars' first season in 1922, BYU has played a total of seven times on this date, posting a 3-4 record on Sept. 25. The Cougars are 2-2 in games played on Sept. 25 in Provo. Following is a look at each Sept. 25th game in BYU football history:

Year Outcome Score Opponent

1993 W 30-3 Air Force

1982 L 39-38 Air Force

1976 W 23-16 at Arizona

1971 L 23-7 at Kansas State

1953 L 28-25 San Jose State

1937 W 7-0 Colorado State

1936 L 32-6 at Arizona

All in the Family

There are four sets of brothers listed on the 1999 BYU football roster. They include Brandon (QB) and Cliff (WR) Doman, Rob (DB) and Justin (DB) Warcup, Luke (RB) and Dustin (DB) Staley and Kalani (FB) and TJ (DL) Sitake. The family tradition continues with freshman receiver Chris Hale and his father, athletics director Val Hale. Defensive line coach Tom Ramage is joined by his son, offensive lineman Corey Ramage.

Out With the Old, In With the New

After some 36 years in the Western Athletic Conference, the Cougars joined seven other former members of the WAC and created the new Mountain West Conference, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Cougars, along with Air Force, Colorado State, San Diego State, Utah, UNLV, New Mexico and Wyoming became founding members of the Mountain West Conference, which began operation on July 1, 1999. Shortly after the league began operations, Commissioner Craig Thompson announced a multi-year television package with the nation's sports leader, ESPN. In addition, the Conference has announced two guaranteed bowl bids. The league champion will take on Conference USA champion at the AXA/Equitable Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. The MWC runner-up will travel to Las Vegas to take on a WAC opponent at the EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl.

Cougars to Host Media Teleconference

BYU head coach LaVell Edwards and selected players will participate in a media teleconference, beginning at 10:30 a.m. (MDT) on Wednesday, Sept. 22. Media wishing to participate in the call should contact Jeff Reynolds in the BYU Athletic Media Relations office for call-in information; (801) 378-4909.

Cougars Picked to Win First-Ever MWC Title

In a vote of selected media and Mountain West head coaches, BYU has been tapped the preseason favorite to claim the league's first football championship. BYU received five of the eight first-place votes in the coaches' poll, while the Cougars tallied 35 of 49 first-place votes in the media poll.

The New Millennium

Following is a look at some of BYU's future non-conference opponents, beginning next season and running through the 2009 campaign: Virginia -- Georgia Tech -- Mississippi State -- Stanford -- Syracuse -- USC -- California -- Notre Dame -- UCLA -- Nevada -- North Carolina -- Utah State -- Florida State -- Washington