Balanced Attack Smothers Eastern Illinois

Receiver Todd Watkins hauled in an acrobatic six-yard touchdown reception in the first half against Eastern Illinois. Watkins finished the day with seven receptions for 93 yards in the Cougars' 45-10 victory. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

COUGAR TOWN -- After a 17-point loss last week against nationally ranked Boston College, BYU came rolling back on Saturday to post a 35-point victory over Eastern Illinois. The Cougars dashed to a 31-0 halftime lead before finishing off the Panthers, 45-10, to give BYU's Bronco Mendenhall his first victory as a head coach.

The 35-point win was the Cougars' most lopsided victory since posting a 59-21 win over San Diego State on Oct. 27, 2001.

"I'm proud of the team," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "I appreciate the way they worked this week. From the moment the game was over last week, I felt like they had a resolve and determination to play better.

"Even though the score was lopsided today, there's plenty of things we can improve on as a program. There are still things to fix and correct, but I like our football team and I like the way they're responding."

The Cougars wasted little time to show their resolve and determination, scoring on the first drive of the game. Running back Curtis Brown ran for a one-yard score, capping an eight-play, 67-yard drive.

After the Panthers fumbled a snap deep in their own territory, BYU scored another touchdown just two plays later. John Beck called his own number, picking up the one-yard touchdown to give the Cougars a 14-0 lead with 8:55 left in the first quarter.

"We lost to a superior football team," Eastern Illinois head coach Bob Spoo said. "There's no question about that. The thing that we couldn't afford to do, we did. We gave them 17 points off turnovers. Those are things you have to eliminate against a team that is superior to you."

After Dustin Gabriel picked off EIU quarterback, Mike Donato, the Cougars drove 52 yards on 10 plays, scoring again on a 20-yard Jared McLaughlin field goal with 2:47 left in the first quarter.

After the first-quarter clock expired, BYU held a commanding 17-0 lead, marking the largest first-quarter scoring output since racking up 21 points in the opening quarter against nationally ranked Colorado State in 1999.

Senior receiver Todd Watkins got into the act during the second quarter by scoring a pair of touchdowns, including a 31-yard reception from Beck and an acrobatic 6-yard reception.

Watkins finished the day with a season high seven receptions for 93 yards and two touchdowns.

In the second half, it was Eastern Illinois that took advantage of a couple BYU miscues. Taking advantage of a Curtis Brown fumble, the Panthers scored on a 23-yard, Zach Yates field goal with 9:48 remaining in the third quarter. Then, after Terrance Sanders picked off Beck early in the fourth quarter, Eastern Illinois drove 61 yards on six plays to score on a Vincent Webb two-yard run.

"I didn't like the way we played at all in the third quarter, "Mendenhall said. "As with a new football team under new leadership, we need to learn how to handle success as well. It took us a while to get that."

After sputtering in the third quarter, the Cougars scored two more touchdowns in the final quarter. Beck hooked up with Fahu Tahi on a 7-yard pass with 6:01 left, and Tahi later capped a six-play, 47-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown run.

The Cougars rushing game was much improved from last week, gaining 188 yards on 32 carries. Curtin Brown led the way with 18 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown. Tahi added 59 yards on nine carries and a touchdown.

After being held to just two receptions against Boston College, Watkins pulled in seven catches for 93 yards. All totaled the Cougars used nine different receivers.

Beck finished the day completing 26-of-40 attempts for 255 yards and three touchdowns.

The Cougars will use this week's scheduled bye to prepare for Mountain West newcomer TCU on Sept. 24.

Box Score (Final)

Eastern Illinois vs Brigham Young (Sep 10, 2005 at Cougar Town Utah)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- -----

Eastern Illinois.... 0 0 3 7 - 10 Record: (1-1)

Brigham Young....... 17 14 0 14 - 45 Record: (1-1)

Scoring Summary:

1st 11:34 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 1 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 8-67 3:26,

EIU 0 - BYU 7

08:55 BYU - BECK, John 1 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 2-2 0:52,

EIU 0 - BYU 14

02:47 BYU - MCLAUGHLIN, Jar 20 yd field goal, 10-52 3:23,

EIU 0 - BYU 17

2nd 12:31 BYU - WATKINS, Todd 31 yd pass from BECK, John (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar

kick), 3-29 0:50, EIU 0 - BYU 24

03:46 BYU - WATKINS, Todd 6 yd pass from BECK, John (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar

kick), 3-41 0:57, EIU 0 - BYU 31

3rd 09:48 EIU - YATES, Zach 23 yd field goal, 5-17 2:01, EIU 3 - BYU 31

4th 12:22 EIU - WEBB, Vincent 2 yd run (YATES, Zach kick), 6-61 2:31,

EIU 10 - BYU 31

06:01 BYU - TAHI, Naufahu 7 yd pass from BECK, John (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar

kick), 14-79 6:13, EIU 10 - BYU 38

00:41 BYU - TAHI, Naufahu 6 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 6-47 2:40,

EIU 10 - BYU 45

EIU BYU

FIRST DOWNS................... 9 21

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 30-70 32-176

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 126 255

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 29-14-1 41-26-2

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 59-196 73-431

Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0

Punt Returns-Yards............ 1-1 5-29

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 4-58 3-39

Interception Returns-Yards.... 2-0 1-13

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 10-36.2 3-29.0

Fumbles-Lost.................. 3-2 2-2

Penalties-Yards............... 8-78 7-42

Possession Time............... 26:20 33:40

Third-Down Conversions........ 2 of 14 6 of 14

Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 0 0 of 0

Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 2-2 6-6

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-8 2-12

RUSHING: Eastern Illinois-BESS, Travorus 8-27; WEBB, Vincent 10-24;

OWENS, Charles 1-8; DONATO, Mike 5-8; SMITH, Norris 3-4; CAMPIONE, Dave

1-3; KNISS, Kyle 1-3; TEAM 1-minus 7. Brigham Young-BROWN, Curtis 18-110;

TAHI, Naufahu 9-59; MEIKLE, Nathan 1-11; BECK, John 4-minus 4.

PASSING: Eastern Illinois-DONATO, Mike 14-29-1-126. Brigham Young-BECK,

John 26-40-2-255; BERRY, Matt 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING: Eastern Illinois-VOSS, Ryan 3-33; DUHAI, Justin 2-15; BESS,

Travorus 2-13; OWENS, Charles 2-11; NOZINOR, Alicus 1-32; KESLER, Adam

1-9; MOBLEY,Jermaine 1-6; WEBB, Vincent 1-4; MORRIS, Mike 1-3. Brigham

Young-WATKINS, Todd 7-93; COATS, Dan 4-30; BROWN, Curtis 4-14; ALLEN,

Matt 2-48; COLLIE, Zac 2-20; MEIKLE, Nathan 2-17; GRIFFIN, Joe 2-14;

TAHI, Naufahu 2-10; REED, Michael 1-9.

INTERCEPTIONS: Eastern Illinois-BURGE, Tristan 1-0; SANDERS,Terranc 1-0.

Brigham Young-GABRIEL, Dustin 1-12; JENSEN, Cameron 0-1.

FUMBLES: Eastern Illinois-TEAM 1-1; OWENS, Charles 1-1; DONATO, Mike 1-0.

Brigham Young-BROWN, Curtis 1-1; MAHUIKA, Bryce 1-1.

Stadium: Edward's Stadium Attendance: 52630

Kickoff time: 13:00 End of Game: 16:15 Total elapsed time: 3:15

Officials: Referee: Pete Gautreau; Umpire: Kevin Matthews; Linesman:

Edwin Walker; Line judge: Terry Wlson; Back judge: Nelson; Field judge:

Randy Smith; Side judge: Craig Faulkner;

Temperature: 67 F Wind: NW 7 Weather: PCloudy

SACKS (UA-A): Eastern Illinois-SELLERS, Clint 1-0. Brigham

Young-WALKENHORST, Pa 1-0; LUETTGERODT, Ju 1-0.

TACKLES (UA-A): Eastern Illinois-SELLERS, Clint 9-7; BURGE, Tristan 6-4;

BROWN, B.J. 6-2; SEYMOUR, Lucius 2-4; CLEVELAND, Chad 1-4; THOMAS, Donald

1-3; WANZECK, Travis 2-1; TORRES, Michael 0-3; TURNER, Sinque 1-1; BROWN,

Ben 0-2; KELLY, Tim 0-2; MEYERS, R.J. 0-2; MORRISON,Anthny 1-0; KOSINSKI,

Jack 1-0; PARSILL, Adam 1-0; PONIUS, Quinten 1-0; VOSS, Ryan 1-0;

SANDERS, Terranc 1-0; RUETER, Jon 1-0; LOTHE, Kory 0-1; WALTERS, Pierre

0-1; DONATO, Mike 0-1; ADAMS, Mike 0-1; WASHINGTON, S. 0-1; LOVE, George

0-1; SAMS, Ke'Andre 0-1. Brigham Young-SOELBERG, Natha 4-3; JENSEN,

Cameron 2-4; BROWN, Manaia 2-2; LUETTGERODT, Ju 2-2; ROBINSON, Justi 2-2;

BATES, Dan 1-3; GABRIEL, Dustin 3-0; WHITE, Spencer 2-1; WAGNER, Aaron

1-2; WALKENHORST, Pa 1-2; TAFUNA, David 2-0; GOOCH, Quinn 2-0; BILLS,

K.C. 2-0; STAFFIERI, Mark 1-1; MARQUARDT, Dani 1-1; PAONGO, Hala 0-2;

KEHL, Bryan 1-0; MCLAUGHLIN, Jar 1-0; STACEY, Andrew 0-1; LUEKENGA, Kyle

0-1; LOVELY, Gary 0-1.

Tags: Results