Bowl Notes: BYU vs. California

Curtis Brown and the Cougars will take on California in the Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

COUGARS TO PLAY CALIFORNIA IN LAS VEGAS BOWL

BYU (6-5 overall, 5-3 Mountain West Conference) will travel to Las Vegas to take on California (7-4 overall, 4-4 Pacific-10) in the Pioneer Pure Vision Las Vegas Bowl. The game will be played at Sam Boyd Stadium (36,800) and televised on ESPN at 5 p.m. (PST). The game will be the BYU's 24th bowl appearance, and its first Las Vegas Bowl appearance. The last time the Cougars were in a bowl was 2001, when BYU lost to Louisville in the Liberty Bowl. The game will be BYU's ninth appearance in Sam Boyd Stadium, where the Cougars are 7-1. They are 6-0 in Vegas against UNLV and 1-1 in Western Athletic Championship games. BYU is coming off a 41-34 overtime loss to the University of Utah. The Cougars fell behind early and trailed 24-3 at the half but outscored the Utes 31-10 in the second half to force overtime. Utah scored on its first drive in overtime and BYU failed to convert.

A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS

California concluded the 2005 regular season with a 27-3 win over Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif. After leading 6-3 at the half, the Golden Bears put the game away with a 21-0 second half. Steve Levy passed for 125 yards and one touchdown while Marshawn Lynch rushed for 123 yards and one touchdown. California limited the Cardinal to 327 yards of total offense and just 3.9 yards per play. Lynch leads the Golden Bears with 1,052 yards rushing and seven touchdowns while Justin Forsett is close behind with 962 yards and six touchdowns. Forsett averages 7.8 yards per carry while Lynch averages 6.1 yards per carry. Joe Ayoob leads California with 1,707 passing yards and 15 touchdown passes. DeSean Jackson is the team's leading receiver with 471 yards and five touchdowns. The Golden Bears have been solid on defense all year, limiting their opponents to 20.5 points per game and 351.6 yards of total offense. California has recorded 80 tackles for loss, including 31 sacks.

COMPLETE BROADCAST PLANS

Television: The Pioneer Pure Vision Las Vegas bowl between BYU and California will be broadcast by ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 22 starting at 5 p.m. (PST). It will mark BYU's first appearance on EPSN this season. Shawn McDonough will call the action, Mike Gottfried will offer analysis and Alex Flanigan will report from the sideline.

Radio: Fans can also catch the game by tuning into KSL Radio, 1160 AM and 102.7 FM, and follow the game live as Greg Wrubell calls the action, Marc Lyons offers expert analysis and James Dye reports from the sideline. Sports USA Radio will broadcast the game nationally with Larry Kahn calling the play-by-play, John Robinson offering analysis and Troy West reporting from the sideline.

Internet: A live audio stream will be available on the following URLs: http://ksl.com and http://www.byuradio.org/streaming

SERIES INFORMATION

The Cougars did not play any Pac-10 teams and California did not play any MWC teams in 2005. BYU is 25-52-1 all-time against current Pac-10 teams including 2-0 against California. The first meeting between the Cougars and the Golden Bears was in 1999, a game BYU won 38-28 in Provo. The second meeting was in 2001 in California and the Cougars won 44-16. The Cougars are 1-1 against Pac-10 teams in bowl games, including a 38-36 win over Washington State in the 1981 Holiday Bowl and a 31-10 loss to UCLA in the 1986 Freedom Bowl.

BYU-CALIFORNIA CONNECTIONS

- California Athletic Director Sandy Barbour served as the athletics director at Tulane University during the 1998 season when BYU played Tulane at the Liberty Bowl.

- BYU Athletics Director Tom Holmoe served as the head football coach at Cal for five seasons.

- BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall will be coaching his first game against Cal; however, it will actually be the fifth time Mendenhall has faced the Golden Bears. As a graduate assistant coach at Oregon State in 1989, Mendenhall and the Beavers recorded a 25-14 win over Cal. In 1995 and 1996, Mendenhall served as a full-time assistant coach at Oregon State. Cal won both the 1995 and '96 games, including a 48-42, triple-overtime game in 1996. In 1997, as the secondary coach at Louisiana Tech, Mendenhall and the Bulldogs defeated Cal, 41-34.

- The 2005 Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl will mark the fifth time California Head Coach Jeff Tedford has faced the Cougars. As an assistant coach at Fresno State from 1992-1997, Tedford coached against BYU four different times. During his tenure at Fresno State, the Bulldogs posted a 1-3 record against BYU.

- Current BYU offensive coordinator, Robert Anae, served as the offensive line coach at Texas Tech last season. The Red Raiders defeated Cal in the 2004 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, 45-31.

- BYU is 1-1 against the Pac-10 in post-season bowl games. The Cougars defeated Washington State in 1981 Holiday Bowl, 38-36; however, BYU dropped a 31-10 decision against UCLA in the 1986 Freedom Bowl.

COMPARE THE STATS

Stats BYU California

Scoring 368 360

Points Per Game 33.5 32.7

First Downs 280 225

Rushing Yardage 1,734 2,582

Average Per Game 157.6 234.7

Rushing TDs 23 24

Passing Yardage 3,369 2,084

Att-Comp-Int 463-297-11 298-151-17

Average Per Game 306.3 189.5

Passing TDs 24 20

Total Offense 5,103 4,666

Total Plays 854 738

Average Per Game 463.9 424.2

Kick Returns: #-Yards 41-698 27-513

Punt Returns: #-Yards 26-186 28-438

Int Returns: #-Yards 9-80 13-367

Kick Return Average 17.0 19.0

Punt Return Average 7.2 15.6

Int Return Average 8.9 28.2

Fumbles-Lost 12-7 22-10

Penalties-Yards 88-767 60-535

Punts-Yards 46-1,742 57-2,394

Time of Possession/Game 32:16 29:47

3rd-Down Conversions 72/160 47/137

4th-Down Conversions 6/14 5/9

Sacks By-Yards 22-139 31-193

Touchdowns 47 48

Field Goals-Attempts 14-19 9-15

PAT-Attempts 42-44 45-47

Attendance 349,222 362,263

Average Attendance 58,204 60,377

BRONCO MENDENHALL

After 16 seasons as an assistant coach, including the past two years as the defensive coordinator for the Cougars, Bronco Mendenhall was promoted to head football coach at Brigham Young University on December 13, 2004. Mendenhall becomes the 14th head coach since the University first officially recognized football as an intercollegiate sport in 1922.

Mendenhall (38)--one of the youngest NCAA Division I-A head coaches in the country--has served the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach for the Cougars. During his first season in Provo, Mendenhall engineered the nation's 14th-ranked defense, holding opponents to just 307 yards per game. Under Mendenhall's direction, the Cougars ranked eighth nationally in passing defense, giving up just 176.17 yards per game.

In 2004, the Cougars ranked third in the Mountain West in rushing defense, allowing 149.3 yards per game. The Cougars also ranked second in the league, with 34 sacks for a combined loss of 232 yards.

A native of Alpine, Utah, Mendenhall began his coaching career as a graduate assistant in 1989 at his alma mater, Oregon State. After earning his master's degree in 1990, he moved to Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, where he served as the secondary coach and defensive coordinator from 1991-92 under current BYU assistant coach Paul Tidwell. Following two seasons with the Badgers, Mendenhall became the secondary coach at Northern Arizona, where the Lumberjacks boasted the top-ranked defense in the Big Sky Conference. He was elevated to co-defensive coordinator for the 1994 season.

In 1995, Mendenhall returned to Oregon State to become the defensive line coach under then defensive coordinator Rocky Long. When Long left to become the defensive coordinator at UCLA, Mendenhall was promoted to defensive coordinator for the 1996 season. At just 29 years of age, Mendenhall was the youngest defensive coordinator in Pac-10 history.

In 1997, Mendenhall became the secondary coach at Louisiana Tech where he helped the Bulldogs to a remarkable 9-2 record as his defensive unit was credited with 17 interceptions, allowing just 15 touchdowns on the season.

In 1998, Mendenhall moved to Albuquerque, N.M., to become the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at the University of New Mexico. Over the next five seasons, the Lobos improved from just three wins in 1998 to seven wins and an invitation to the Las Vegas Bowl in 2002. In the Lobos' 27-13 loss against UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl, the Mendenhall-led defense held the Bruins to a season-low 167 yards.

Under Mendenhall, the Lobos led the Mountain West Conference in rushing defense for three straight seasons. In 2001, New Mexico gave up just 87.4 yards per game over the season. In his final season in Albuquerque, Mendenhall led the Lobos to a top ranking against league opponents in total defense, allowing just 316.4 yards per game. The Lobos also led the MWC in sacks in both the 2000 and 2002 season, totaling 46 and 38, respectively.

At New Mexico, Mendenhall played a valuable role in the development of the 1999 Mountain West Player of the Year, Consensus All-American and first-round NFL Draft pick Brian Urlacher. The ninth overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft, Urlacher was voted the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year and was a Pro Bowl selection. Urlacher was one of two rookies to play all 16 games, starting at middle linebacker the final 14 games to establish a team record for starts at the position by a rookie. He shattered Bears rookie records with 165 total tackles and eight sacks, making him the second Chicago first-year player to lead the team in tackles. Urlacher finished his collegiate career ranked third on New Mexico's all-time list with 442 tackles.

As a player, Mendenhall was a two-year starter at cornerback for Snow College from 1984-85. In his second season, Mendenhall captained the Badgers to a perfect 11-0 record and the NJCAA National Championship. That same season, he earned many accolades, including first-team all-conference, all-region, second-team NJCAA All-America and JC Gridwire Academic All-America honors.

Mendenhall transferred to Oregon State and was a two-year starter, playing free safety, strong safety and linebacker for the Beavers. Mendenhall was a team captain as a senior and received the Leo Gribkoff Memorial Award, given to the team's most inspirational player.

Mendenhall was raised in Alpine, Utah, and graduated from American Fork High School in 1984. He received a bachelor's degree in education from Oregon State in 1988 and a master's degree in education with an emphasis in exercise physiology also from OSU in 1990.

His older brother, Mat, played football at BYU from 1975-79, before spending four years in the NFL with the Washington Redskins. Another brother, Marty, was a former Mr. Utah bodybuilder. Mendenhall's father, Paul, was a defensive end at BYU from 1953-54.

Mendenhall, who resides in Alpine, Utah, is married to the former Holly Johnston of Missoula, Mont. The couple have three sons: Cutter (5), Breaker (3) and Raeder (18 mo.).

2005 ALL-MWC FOOTBALL TEAM

Offensive Player of the Year: DonTrell Moore, Sr., TB, New Mexico

Defensive Player of the Year: Eric Weddle, Jr., DB, Utah

Freshman of the Year: Aaron Brown, TB, TCU

Coach of the Year: Gary Patterson, TCU

All-MWC First-Team Offense

QB John Beck Jr. BYU

WR Hank Baskett III Sr. New Mexico

WR Jovon Bouknight Sr. Wyoming

RB Curtis Brown Jr. BYU

RB DonTrell Moore Sr. New Mexico

TE Jonny Harline Jr. BYU

OL Ryan Cook Sr. New Mexico

OL Robert Turner Jr. New Mexico

OL Herbert Taylor Jr. TCU

OL Michael Toudouze Sr. TCU

OL Jesse Boone Sr. Utah

PK Dan Beardall Sr. Utah

PR/KR Cory Rodgers Jr. TCU

All-MWC First-Team Defense

DL Tommy Blake So. TCU

DL Chase Ortiz So. TCU

DL Evroy Thompson Sr. New Mexico

DL Steve Fifita Sr. Utah

LB Mike Mohoric Sr. New Mexico

LB Freddy Keiaho Sr. San Diego State

LB Spencer Toone Sr. Utah

DB Gabriel Fulbright Sr. New Mexico

DB Marcus Demps Sr. San Diego State

DB Quincy Butler Sr. TCU

DB Eric Weddle Jr. Utah

P Jimmie Kaylor So. Colorado State

All-MWC Second-Team (BYU Selections)

OL Jake Kuresa Jr.

OL Lance Reynolds, Jr. Sr.

DL Manaia Brown Sr.

LB Cameron Jensen Jr.

All-MWC Honorable Mention (BYU Selections)

LB Justin Luettgerodt Sr.

GOOD GRIEF, CURTIS BROWN

Junior running back Curtis Brown has racked up a team-leading 1,095 yards on 198 carries this season. Brown is the first Cougar to rush for at least 1,000 yards in a season since Luke Staley turned in 1,582 yards during the 2001 season. Brown is only the seventh running back in BYU history to run for 1,000 yards in a single season. Against Utah, Brown recorded his 11th career 100-yard game as he registered 153 yards on 20 carries. Six of those 100-yard games have come during the 2005 season. With his performance against Utah, he passed Luke Staley, Jamal Willis, John Ogden and Lakei Heimuli for the most career 100-yard games in BYU history. Brown and Staley are the only two backs to reach the 10-game mark during their junior seasons.

QUARTER-BECK PASSES 3,000-YARD MARK

Junior quarterback John Beck has passed for 3,357 yards this season, marking the first 3,000-yard performance since Brandon Doman totaled 3,542 yards during the 2001 season. It is also only the fourth time in the past nine seasons a BYU quarterback has eclipsed the 3,000-yard mark. The 6-foot-2, 212-pound QB has also totaled 24 touchdown completions on the season, also marking the most touchdowns by a BYU quarterback since Doman completed 33 TD's during the 2001 season. (Of note: Doman serves as BYU's quarterbacks' coach. Doman is also the quarterback who engineered the Cougars' last two victories over Utah, defeating the Utes in both 2000 and 2001.)

3,000 AND 1,000 IN THE SAME SEASON

John Beck and Curtis Brown became the first Cougar duo to pass for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 yards in the same season since 2001. The last time two players combined to reach that mark were Brandon Doman and Luke Staley in 2001. John Walsh and Jamal Willis are the only other duo to achieve the 3,000-1,000 plateau in the same season, which they accomplished in 1994. Following lists the duos and their yardage totals:

Year Players Yards Total Yards

2005 John Beck/Curtis Brown 3,357/1,095 4,452

2001 Brandon Doman/Luke Staley 3,542/1,582 5,124

1994 John Walsh/Jamal Willis 3,712/1,042 4,754

SCORING MACHINE

Curtis Brown has produced five multiple-touchdown games this season, all in the last six games of the season. Four of those have come in the last four games of the season. He scored two against Colorado State, four against Air Force, two against UNLV, two against Wyoming and two against Utah. Against Air Force, he scored three in the fourth quarter, becoming the first Cougar to achieve the mark since Luke Staley in 2001. The four touchdowns scored in the game are the second most scored in a single game at BYU. Brown has 15 touchdowns on the season, including 14 rushing TD's and one touchdown reception. He is tied with Ronney Jenkins, Clay Brown and Roy Oliverson for the third most touchdowns scored in a season at BYU. He is one score behind Waymon Hamilton for second most touchdowns in a season. Hamilton scored 16 in 1981.

BECK AND BROWN IN THE BYU RECORD BOOKS

John Beck and Curtis Brown have climbed the charts in the BYU record book during the 2005 season. Following are their rankings in several career and single-season records:

Passing Yards Career

1. 15,031 Ty Detmer (1988-91)

2. 9,536 Jim McMahon (1978-81)

3. 8,400 Robbie Bosco (1983-85)

4. 8,390 John Walsh (1991-1994)

5. 8,065 Kevin Feterik (1996-1999)

6. 7,733 Steve Young (1981-83)

7. 7,637 Marc Wilson (1977-79)

8. 7,464 Steve Sarkisian (1995-96)

9. 6,784 John Beck (2003-05)

Rushing Yards Game

1. 272 Eldon Fortie vs. Washington, 1962

2. 250 Ronney Jenkins vs. San Jose State, 1998

3. 247 Pete Van Valkenburg vs. Long Beach State, 1972

4. 219 Curtis Brown vs. Air Force, 2005

Rushing Yards Season

1. 1,582 Luke Staley (2001)

2. 1,386 Pete Van Valkenburg (1972)

3. 1,307 Ronney Jenkins (1998)

4. 1,149 Eldon Fortie (1962)

5. 1,095 Curtis Brown (2005)

Rushing Yards Career

1. 2,970 Jamal Willis (1991-94)

2. 2,710 Lakei Heimuli (1984-86)

3. 2,663 Jeff Blanc (1973-75)

4. 2,493 Luke Staley (1999-2001)

5. 2,492 Pete Van Valkenburg (1970-72)

6. 2,363 John Ogden (1964-66)

7. 2,183 Curtis Brown (2002, 2004-05)

Touchdowns Game

1. 5 Luke Staley vs. Colorado State, 2001

5 Luke Staley vs. Utah State, 2001

5 Ronney Jenkins vs. San Jose State, 1998

5 Eric Lane at Utah State, 1979

2. 4 Kalin Hall vs. UTEP, 1993

4 Kirk Pendleton vs. New Mexico, 1983

4 John VanDerWouden vs. Colorado State, 1976

4 John Ogden vs. W. Michigan, 1964

4 Dick Felt at San Jose State. 1952

4 Curtis Brown vs. Air Force, 2005

Touchdowns Season

1. 28 Luke Staley (24 run, 4 pass, 2001)

2. 16 Waymon Hamilton (14 run, 2 pass, 1981)

3. 15 Ronney Jenkins (13 run, 2 pass, 1998)

15 Clay Brown (15 pass, 1980)

15 Roy Oliverson (1951)

15 Curtis Brown (14 run, 1 pass, 2005)

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