As the Cougars prepare for their first-ever trip to the Motor City Bowl, here are a few interesting facts about the Cougars' 1999 season.
o BYU's invitation to the Motor City Bowl will mark the Cougars' 22nd bowl appearance since 1974. The bowl game will also mark the team's eighth bowl appearance in the 90s, including the team's second straight bowl invitation. Over the past 25 years, the Cougars will have participated in 11 different bowls, including 11 appearances in the Holiday Bowl. The Dec. 27th game, to be played in the Pontiac Silverdome, will mark the Cougars' third game in the state of Michigan since playing at Western Michigan in 1962. BYU has posted a record of 1-2 when playing in Michigan. It is anticipated BYU will be playing No.11 Marshall, marking the first meeting against the Thundering Herd. This year's game would also mark the second straight season BYU has faced an undefeated team in a bowl game. If Marshall should be upset by Western Michigan in the MAC Championship game on Friday, the Cougars would face the Broncos in the Motor City Bowl, marking the sixth meeting between the two schools. BYU owns 3-2 record in the series that dates back to Nov. 10, 1962. The two teams have not met since Sept. 19, 1970. The Cougars have posted a 7-13-1 record in bowl games and have won two of their last three postseason appearances. If No. 11 Marshall and No. 25 BYU meet in the Motor City Bowl, it would be one of only 6 bowl games (outside the BCS) that would feature two ranked teams.
o BYU concluded the regular season with an 8-3 record, marking the Cougars' 26th straight winning season. BYU has not had a losing season since posting a 5-6 mark in 1973 -- LaVell Edwards' second season as head coach. The Cougars' streak of 26 straight winning seasons ranks 11th all-time at the NCAA Division I-A level and is currently the second longest streak in the nation. Nebraska leads with an impressive 38 straight winning seasons.
o With the Cougars' win over Mountain West Conference foe San Diego State on Nov. 6, BYU clinched a share of its 19th conference title, including 18 WAC championships during the LaVell Edwards' era. Officially, the Cougars ended the season in a three-way tie with Utah and Colorado State. Under the league's tie-breaking system, that has no bearing in determining an out-right champion, head-to-head competition against the three tied teams was considered as the first method to break the tie. Since BYU beat Colorado State, Colorado State beat Utah and Utah beat BYU, that log-jam could not be broken. The second method, using the BCS rankings, broke the tie with BYU on top, followed by Colorado State and then Utah. Had there been a four-way tie (with Wyoming), the Cowboys would have won the tiebreaker by virtue of head-to-head competition. However, Wyoming lost to San Diego State in their regular-season finale.
o Despite losing to Utah in the final regular-season game, BYU extended its NCAA-record streak to 311 games without being shutout. BYU was last shutout during the 1975 season (Sept. 27, 1975 vs. Arizona State). To put the streak in perspective, the Cougars have not been shutout since Gerald Ford was the President of the United States, a soft-spoken speedster out of Jackson State, named Walter Payton, was the Chicago Bear's first-round draft choice and BYU quarterback Kevin Feterik wasn't even born.
o Including Kevin Feterik's 77-yard pass to All-Conference receiver Margin Hooks (vs. Utah), the Cougars have thrown at least one touchdown pass in 16 straight games. During that streak, when BYU connects on at least one TD pass, the Cougars are 11-5. Feterik, who ranks ninth on the Cougars' all-time touchdown completions list with 53, has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 27 of his 32 games.
o Throughout the season, 18 different BYU receivers caught passes for the Cougars, totaling 3,567 yards. Running back Will Snowden became the 18th on his nine-yard reception against Wyoming. In the Cougars' season-opener against Washington, All-Conference quarterback Kevin Feterik used 12 different receivers to chalk up a season-high 501 yards on the night. Of the 18 different receivers, Margin Hooks led the Mountain West Conference with a career-high 1,067 yards and a team-leading seven touchdown receptions. On the season, Hooks grabbed a career-high 60 receptions and averaged nearly 100 yards per game (97.0 y/pg.) The sure-handed speedster from Waco, Texas recorded six 100-yard games on the season, including four in his last six appearances. After recording the sixth most receiving yards in a single season in BYU history (1,067 yds.), Hooks needs just 943 yards next season to take over the BYU career mark.
o According to a recent survey of each Division-I programs, BYU has one of the most experienced and stable coaching staffs in the nation. 1999 marked the fifth season with a single staff change for BYU, marking it the most cohesive coaching staff at the Division-I level. 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).
o BYU faced a handful of teams on the season that had an extra week to prepare for the Cougars, including Utah State, Air Force, UNLV and San Diego State. All totaled, four different teams had bye weeks prior to their BYU matchup, including three on the road and just one game at home. In each case, BYU overcame the perceived disadvantage and ended the regular-season 4-0 against opponents who had an extra week to prepare. In one of those games, the Cougars recorded a 29-0 shutout at UNLV, marking the first road shutout for BYU since the 1988 season when the Cougars defeated New Mexico, 65-0, in Albuquerque. Also against the Rebels, BYU reeled off a 98-yard scoring drive, marking the longest scoring drive since scoring on a 98-yard drive on Oct. 19, 1991 against Hawai'i.
o BYU lost two straight games to end the regular season, marking the first time since last season the Cougars have lost two straight. The Cougars have not lost three straight games in a single season in over 80 consecutive games, dating back to the 1993 season.
o BYU attracted a league-leading 391,111 fans over six home games in Cougar Stadium (65,000) this season, averaging 65,185 fans per game. This year's attendance mark is the highest per-game average since the 1993 season and ranks seventh all-time in Cougar Stadium since 1982. On the road, BYU participated in front of 153,994 fans, averaging 30,799 fans per game. The Cougars were responsible (in one way or another) for attracting season-high crowds at every single road venue, including Utah State (31,220), UNLV (30,599), New Mexico (25,301), San Diego State (40, 836) and Wyoming (26,038).
o The Cougars are averaging 30.2 points per game and prior to the last two games of the season, BYU had posted an average 33.1 points per contest. BYU averages 324.4 passing yards per game. Feterik has registered seven 300-yard games on the season, including games of 501, 414 and 362 yards. The BYU offense has generated an average 425.6 yards per game througout the season, while the Cougar defense has allowed just 307 yards per game.
o BYU's LaVell Edwards, competing in his 28th season as head coach, recorded career win number 250 during the season in a 27-20 win over Air Force. The legendary coach, known for his stone faced expressions along the sidelines, has coached in 348 games since taking over the head coaching job in 1972. Having posted an impressive 251-94-3 (.726) record over the years, Edwards ranks seventh among active coaches in winning percentage and needs just four more wins to tie Nebraska's Tom Osborne for sixth on the all-time wins list. In 28 seasons, Edwards has had just one losing campaign.
o Looking ahead ... with next year's Conference schedule expected to be just as challenging as the league's inaugural season matchups, BYU has once again added a tough non-conference schedule for the 2000 season, leaving the Cougars to look ahead to one of the school's toughest schedules in several years -- if not the toughest ever! BYU will open the 2000 season in Jacksonville, Fla., taking on Florida State in the Pigskin Classic. The following game will have the Cougars traveling back to the East Coast for a rematch at Virginia. Game three will bring BYU home to Cougar Stadium, taking on one of the top teams in the SEC, Mississippi State. The fourth game of the season takes BYU back to the East Coast to take on Syracuse. The non-conference schedule will wrap up on a Friday night against in-state foe Utah State. All totaled the Cougars will log over 15,000 miles in travel next season.
o Injury Update ... After missing the last two regular-season games with a severe calf bruise, Freshman All-American Luke Staley is expected to play in the Motor City Bowl. Senior safety Tyler Nelson is also expected to play in the Motor City Bowl after missing the last four games of the regular-season with a broken shoulder. Junior fullback Kalani Sitake will not play after breaking his ankle in the Wyoming game. Junior linebacker Jeff Holtry will also miss the Motor City Bowl after tearing his ACL against San Diego State.
o BYU had 10 team members selected for All-Conference honors this season, including three offensive and three defensive first-team selections, which marked the first time since 1996 the Cougars have had at least six first-team selections. The Cougars ranked second in the Mountain West with 10 All-Conference honors. San Diego State captured 11 first- and second-team honorees, while Colorado State had nine and Utah finished fourth with eight. Among the Cougars All-Conference selections, Kevin Feterik, Margin Hooks, Matt Johnson, Byron Frisch, Rob Morris, Brian Gray, Jimmy Richards, Setema Gali, Justin Ena and Owen Pochman. Luke Staley was also named the leagues first-ever Freshman of the Year. Staley and Morris also represent the 46th and 47th players in BYU history to receive All-America honors. Morris was recently named a Football News All-American, as well as a Sporting News All-American. Staley was recently named to the Sporting News' Freshman All-American team.