The Cougars return home to Cougar Stadium (65,000) after a two-game Conference road stint, while Utah enters the game after thumping New Mexico in Salt Lake City on Saturday, 52-7. With a win on Saturday, the Utes would tie the Cougars for a share of the Mountain West Conference title, while the Cougars need to win in order to take sole possession of the Mountain West's first-ever Conference title. Saturday's "Holy War" will mark the 75th meeting between the two teams, dating back to the 1922 season. Although Utah dominated the series early on, BYU has posted a record of 21-6 during the LaVell Edwards' era, including last year's 26-24 win in Salt Lake City. The visiting team has won seven of the last nine meetings in the series.
Scouting the Utes
Utah enters Saturday's contest with a 7-3 overall record and a mark of 4-2 in MWC play. The Utes can do no worse than a tie for second place, however a win would give the Utes a share of the first-ever Mountain West Conference title. After starting the season with three straight wins, Utah dropped its second straight game to Boise State. The Utes rebounded with three straight wins against Louisiana-Monroe, Air Force and San Diego State, but dropped a pair of crucial league games at Colorado State and against Wyoming. The Utes team leader, Darnel Arceneaux will miss Saturday's game following a massive concussion against Wyoming two weeks ago. His backup, T.D. Crowshaw has posted a 156. 84 efficiency rating over nine games, connecting on 68-of-113 attempts for 948 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Utes are averaging just over 231 yards passing per game, while Utah has posted an average 153.1 rushing yards per game. Mike Anderson, the Utes' leading rusher, has averaged 99.7 yards per game and has scored a team-leading 10 touchdowns. On the defense, the Utes are led by linebacker Howard Christianson. Christianson has 65 tackles on the season, including 31 unassisted tackles and 34 assisted takedowns. DB Jay Hill leads the Mountain West with six interceptions.
Mountain West Title, Liberty Bowl Bid at Stake
At 8-2 overall and 5-1 in league play, BYU could wrap up the 1999 Mountain West Conference title with a win against Utah on Saturday. A win on Saturday would also guarantee the Cougars an invitation to the 1999 AXA/Equitable Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. The game, which will feature the champions of the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA will be played on December 31 and is slated for a 1 p.m. (MST) start. Currently Southern Miss leads Conference-USA with a 5-0 record, followed closely by former Utah State head coach John L. Smith and the Louisville Cardinals at 4-1. The two teams are scheduled to meet in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 20th to decide the Conference-USA champion.
Saturday's game will be broadcast live at 1 p.m. (MDT) by ESPN+Plus and will be carried live locally on Salt Lake City's KJZZ, Ch. 5. Cougar fans outside the KJZZ viewing area can purchase the game on ESPN's Game Plan or tune in to one of the 22 affiliates listed on the ESPN website. Chris Marlowe will call the game with former South Carolina and Arena Football League quarterback Mike Hold offering color commentary. Beth Mowins will be on the sidelines.
Team Statistics BYU UTAH
Scoring 315 343
Points per Game 31.5 34.3
First Downs 242 190
Rushing Yardage 1095 1531
Average per Rush 3.2 3.9
Average per Game 109.5 153.1
Rushing TDs 13 15
Passing Yardage 3258 2316
Att-Comp-Int 406-258-13 281-153-12
Average per Game 325.8 231.6
Passing TDs 23 22
Total Offense 4353 3847
Kick Returns/No. Yards 15/341 18/436
Punt Returns/No. Yards 30/159 34/600
Interception Returns/No. Yds. 12/279 13/146
Fumbles/Lost 20/10 11/5
Penalties/Yards 70/664 71/652
Punts/Yards 45/1911 50/2072
Time of Possession p/game 32:51 30:14
3rd Down Conversions 59/143 66/148
4th Down Conversions 3/5 4/7
Sacks by/Yards 34/242 33/227
Touchdowns Scored 38 46
Field Goals/Attempted 17/22 8/13
PAT Attempts 34/36 43/44
Score by Quarters 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Total
Brigham Young 59 109 74 70 3 315
BYU Opponents 56 41 44 69 0 210
Utah 65 83 107 88 -- 343
UU Opponents 41 43 34 59 -- 177
Cougar Sports Saturday
Not only will the Cougars be playing football on Saturday, the 10th-ranked women's volleyball team will take on 11th-ranked Colorado State at 5 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse, while both the women's and men's basketball teams will be in action, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Marriott Center.
Scoring Drive Superlatives
Total Scoring Drives 53
Drives of 90+ yards 2
Drives of 80+ yards 17
Drives of 70+ yards 25
Drives of 60+ yards 29
Drives of 50+ yards 38
Most Plays in a Scoring Drive 15
Least Number of Plays in a Scoring Drive 1
Longest Scoring Drive 98 yards
Shortest Scoring Drive -3 yards
Quickest Scoring Drive 0:12 (twice)
Longest Scoring Drive 8:00
Scorging Drives Under Two Minutes 15
No. Touchdown Scoring Drives 38
No. Field-Goal Scoring Drives 17
Pound for Pound
The BYU offensive line totals a whopping 1,490 pounds, averaging 298 pounds per man. The Utes' defensive line averages 274 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars' front four averages nearly 274 pounds, while the Utah offensive line weighs in at 293 pounds per man.
Coach Edwards - (251-93-3; 28th season -- Career Game No. 348)
BYU head coach LaVell Edwards is in his 28th season at the helm of the Cougar program. Edwards has produced all but one winning season since taking over the program in 1972, posting a 251-93-3 record during his tenure. Edwards' teams have passed for over 56 miles during his 28-year career, chalked up a National Championship in 1984 and was named college football's Coach of the Year in 1979 and 1984. He has coached two Outland Trophy winners, four Davey O'Brien Trophy winners, 31 All-Americans, 11 conference Player of the Year recipients, 21 Academic All-Americans and has led the Cougars to seven NCAA single-season passing titles. Since 1972, Edwards has guided BYU to 21 postseason bowl appearances, including a string of 17 straight from 1978-1994. Only Michigan, Alabama and Nebraska have laced together a string of more consecutive appearances. The Cougars' last home game in Provo marked the 159th home game for Edwards since becoming head coach in 1972. In 28 seasons, Edwards is 129-30 (.811) in Cougar Stadium. Entering the 1999 season, the former Utah State lineman ranked seventh in total victories on the NCAA's all-time list. Edwards needs four more wins to tie Nebraska's Tom Osborne for sixth. Among active coaches, Edwards ranks seventh with a 72.8 career winning percentage, passing UNLV head coach John Robinson on Oct. 23.
Linebacker Jeff Holtry will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee. Running back Luke Staley has been listed as questionable for Saturday's game against Wyoming after suffering a torn miniscus aginst SDSU and a bruised calf. Safety Tyler Nelson will miss the rest of the regular-seson with a broken bone in his shoulder. Fullback Kalani Sitake will miss the remainder of the season with a broken left ankle. Offensive linemen John Skiba and Jason Scukanec are questionable for Saturday's game.
Hooks Leads BYU Receivers
Wide receiver Margin Hooks leads the Cougars with 53 catches for 928 yards over 10 games. Currently, Hooks is on pace to eclipse the 1021-yard mark. After 10 games, Hooks leads the Cougar roster with 92.8 yards receiving per game. Hooks finished his sophomore season with a career-high 732 yards and three touchdowns. Against Air Force, Hooks came up with a 57-yard reception for what would become the game-winning touchdown. Against Wyoming, Hooks picked up his team-leading sixth touchdown reception of the season.
Home Sweet Home
Prior to the loss against Virginia, BYU had won eight straight home games in Cougar Stadium, dating back through the 1998 season. Last year, the Cougars went 6-0 within the friendly confines of Cougar Stadium. In 1999, BYU has posted a 4-1 mark, including wins over Washington, Colorado State, California and Air Force. The Cougars have posted a 152-45-0 (.772) record through 36 season, averaging just over four home wins per season. During the 90s, BYU has posted a 48-12-0 (.800) record at Cougar Stadium. The Cougars outscored their opponents by a combined score of 212-93 at home last season, including a 13-0 shutout against San Diego State. This year, BYU has outscored its opponents by an average 34.8 to 26.8 in Cougar Stadium. Since becoming head coach in 1972, LaVell Edwards' teams have posted 129 wins over 159 games (.811) in Provo. Since 1964, the year Cougar Stadium opened, BYU has had just two losing home seasons (0-5, 1968; 1-3, 1971). Next season, BYU will host Mississippi State for its home opener.
Did You Know?
Entering Saturday's game, BYU will look to extend its NCAA-record 310 games without being shutout. BYU was last shutout during the 1975 season (Sept. 27, 1975 vs. Arizona State). To put this streak in perspective, the Cougars have never been shutout during the entire lifetime of current BYU quarterback Kevin Feterik. (Feterik was born Sept. 14, 1977).
BYU has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 15 straight games. During that streak, when BYU connects on at least one TD pass, the Cougars are 11-4.
Senior quarterback Kevin Feterik has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 26 of his 31 games. Feterik has thrown 51 TD receptions (bowl games do not count) throughout his career and currently ranks ninth on the BYU all-time touchdown completions list.
After holding New Mexico to minus-10 yards rushing on Oct. 16th, the BYU defense held UNLV to minus-14 yards rushing until the last play of the game when the Rebels racked up a 38-yard run to give them 24 yards rushing on the night. Over a span of six MWC games, the BYU defense has allowed a league-leading 79.3 rushing yards per game yards and ranks 18th nationally through nine games, allowing just 103.6 yards per contest.
Running back Will Snowden became the 18th different receiver to catch a Feterik pass this season with his nine-yard grab in the third quarter of the Wyoming game.
The Oct. 23rd win over UNLV guaranteed BYU its 26th consecutive winning season, ranking second only to Nebraska. BYU head coach LaVell Edwards has had just one losing season since taking over the program in 1972. Since then, the Cougars have averaged nine wins per season, including eight already in 1999.
On The Defense
Over the last five games, the BYU defense has held its opponents to a total 448 yards rushing, giving up just 89.6 yards per game and five rushing touchdowns. In contrast, the Cougar defense was allowing 116.8 yards rushing through the first five games and had also allowed an average one rushing touchdown per game. In Conference play, the Cougars have held their opponents to 476 total yards over six games, averaging 79.3 yards per game and five total touchdowns. Cougar opponents have scored just four passing touchdown in the last five games, as opposed to an average 2.0 per game through the first five games. Against MWC opponents, the Cougars have allowed just 186.7 yards passing per game. Equally impressive, the BYU defense was giving up 29.0 points per game through the first five games, but have allowed just 13.0 points per game over the last five games and have given up an average 13.0 points per game in Conference play. Through the first five games, the defense had recorded 11 sacks, while over the last five games, BYU has registered 29 sacks, including 10 sacks in four of the last five games. Setema Gali picked up four sacks against the Lobos, including a school-record two sacks on back-to-back plays. Currently the Cougar defense has recorded at least one interception in eight of their last nine games, including Jared Lee's third interception of the season (at San Diego State).
BYU in the Red Zone
BYU has entered the "Red Zone" on 50 different occassions this season. Of the 50 series, the Cougars have scored on 82 percent of their drives, including 11 rushing touchdowns, 17 passing TDs and 13 field goals. Following is a break down of the Cougars in the "Red Zone":
Total Red Zone Series 50
Average Red Zone Appearances per Game 5
Red Zone Scoring Efficiency (TDs + FG) (.820)
Total plays in the Red Zone 170
Touchdowns in the Red Zone 28
Rushing plays in the Red Zone 83
Rushing TDs in the Red Zone 11
Red Zone Rushing 83 carries for 244 yards
Average Rush per Carry in the Red Zone 2.94 y/pc
Passing plays in the Red Zone 72
Passing TDs in the Red Zone 17
Red Zone Passing Efficiency 32-of-72 (.444)
Field Goal Attempts in the Red Zone 15
Field Goals Made in the Red Zone 13
Red Zone Non-scoring drives 8
Missed FG 1
Blocked FG 1
End of Game (1)
Pochman Named Lou Groza Award Semifinalist
Junior place kicker Owen Pochman was named the Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 25th after connecting on five straight field goals against UNLV, leading BYU to a 29-0 win over the Rebels. Pochman paced the Cougars with 17 points, setting a BYU single-game scoring record. Pochman's five field goals also tied a 30-year-old school record, set by Joe "The Toe" Liljenquist who hit 5-of-6 in 1969. Pochman's 47-yard field goal with 8:13 left in the second quarter marked the longest of the season. The native of Mercer Island, Wa., has made a school record 14 straight attempts and is 17-of-22 (.773) on the season. Pochman currently ranks second on BYU's all-time scoring list with 241 points and needs just two points to tie Kurt Gunther who holds the BYU career scoring record with 243 points. Pochman has also connected on 27 straight PATs, dating back to the second quarter of the Virginia game. On Nov. 2, the Orange Bowl Committee released its list of semi-finalists for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place Kicker of the Year Award, selecting Pochman as one of 20 kickers being considered for the award.
Where a big question mark existed just a couple months prior, now resides a big, bold exclamation mark. Enter the dynamic duo of freshman super heros, Luke "Superman" Staley and Fahu "Flash" Tahi. The two rookies have erased all questions marks surrounding the BYU running game and dutifully picked up where others have left off -- and then some! Staley and Tahi have recorded all but one of the Cougars' 13 rushing touchdowns, including 10 from Staley. The two have combined for 855 of BYU's 1095 total rushing yards, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the Cougars' running game. Staley leads the BYU offense with 432 yards rushing, averaging 4.7 yards per carry and has a team-leading 10 rushing touchdowns. Tahi has produced 423 yards on 96 carries, averaging 4.4 yards per carry and has two rushing touchdowns. Staley has also reeled in 26 receptions for 339 yards and three touchdowns. Tahi has nine receptions for 76 yards. Staley currently ranks seventh in the nation in scoring, averaging 9.75 points per game and has produced at least one touchdown in every game he has played this season, including a career-best three TDs against Mountain West foe Colorado State. Staley has produced at least two touchdowns in four different games this season. Against Utah State, Tahi became the first BYU rusher of the season to run for 100 yards, collecting 116 yards against the Aggies and picked up a pair of touchdowns at New Mexico and ran for 89 yards against UNLV. Entering the SDSU game, the tandem of Tahi and Staley was the 15th ranked rushing duo in the nation.
TAHI Carries Gain Loss Net TD Lg. Avg.
Washington 8 26 5 21 0 13 2.6
Colorado State 6 30 5 25 0 13 4.2
Virginia 5 42 0 42 0 28 8.4
Utah State 22 119 3 116 0 24 5.3
California 8 55 2 53 0 27 6.6
New Mexico 14 53 0 53 2 12 3.8
UNLV 16 94 5 89 0 24 5.6
San Diego State 7 15 2 13 0 8 1.9
Wyoming 10 15 4 11 0 7 1.1
Total 96 449 26 423 2 28 4.4
STALEY Carries Gain Loss Net TD Lg. Avg.
Washington 8 39 0 39 2 11 4.9
Colorado State 14 68 3 65 2 27 4.6
Virginia 8 80 1 79 2 41 9.9
California 15 60 7 53 1 13 3.5
New Mexico 8 75 6 69 1 61 8.6
UNLV 7 54 0 54 1 16 7.7
Air Force 26 85 17 68 1 12 2.6
San Diego State 6 9 4 5 0 4 0.8
Total 92 470 38 432 10 61 4.7
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).
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 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. Morris was named the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Week after recording a game-high 15 tackles, including 14 solo tackles, in the Cougars' 30-7 win at San Diego State. Morris collected a season-high five tackles for a combined loss of 30 yards, including three sacks for minus-25 yards. He also forced two key fumbles and recovered one. His forced fumble in the third quarter broke the game open when Hans Olsen scooped up the ball and ran for a 24-yard touchdown. Morris entered his final season at BYU as one of the nation's leading candidates for the coveted Butkus Award, but was forced to miss four games with a sever lower abdominal/groin strain. The San Diego State game marked Morris' third straight game with 13 or more tackles. Since returning from his injury, the 6-2, 250-pound bruiser has produced 47 tackles, averaging 11.75 takedowns per game. Despite missing four games, Morris ranks second on the BYU defense with 63 tackles on the season, including 42 solos.
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 42 21 9 1 2 0 1 0 3 6
TOTALS 220 111 33.5 2 3 1 7 1 20 13
Cougars on National TV
Since its first national television appearance in 1974, BYU has posted a 40-23-2 record while playing in front of a national audience, including a 21-14 mark on ABC and 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.
2000 Schedule Taking Shape
With the announcement of the Florida State game to be played on August 26, 2000, the Cougars' 2000 non-conference schedule is beginning to take shape as the toughest schedule in BYU football history. Of the five future non-conference opponents, two teams are ranked in the top-10, including No. 1 ranked Florida State and No. 7 Mississippi State. The two teams currently have a combined record of 17-0. Following is a list teams BYU will compete against during the 2000 season:
DATE OPPONENT LOCATION
Aug. 26 Florida State Jacksonville, Fla.
TBA Virginia Charlottesville, Va.
TBA Mississippi State Provo, Utah
TBA Syracuse Syracuse, NY
TBA Utah State Provo, Utah
The Streak Continues
BYU will look to extend its NCAA record 310 straight games without being shutout on Saturday. The Cougars were last blanked in 1975 when Arizona State defeated BYU, 20-0. That loss still marks BYU head coach LaVell Edwards' only shutout in 28 seasons (342 games). BYU has scored in 36 of its 41 quarters this season, including a season-high 21 points in the first quarter at New Mexico. Throughout the season, the Cougars have enjoyed the most scoring production in the second quarter, outscoring their opponents, 109-41.
Another Model From BYU's Quarterback Factory
After 10 games into the season, ranks 9th nationally in passing efficiency (144.9), 7th nationally in total offense (313.4) and has lead the Cougars to a 5th ranking in passing offense, averaging 325.8 yards per game and also a 12th-place ranking in total offense (435.3 yards per game) - Has led BYU to its best season (after 10 games) since the 1996 season at 8-2 - Named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week and the USA Today.com National Player of the Week after completing 39-of-59 attempts in a 35-28 win over Washington in the Cougars' season-opener, including three touchdown passes - Used 12 different receivers against the Huskies to total 501 yards - the most passing yards by a BYU quarterback since the first game of the 1996 season - Set a Cougar Stadium record with 59 pass attempts and paced BYU to 37 first downs, another stadium record against the Huskies - Followed the season-opener with a 310-yard passing performance against Colorado State, leading BYU to a 34-13 victory - Was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week for a second straight week with two TD passes on 28-of-37 attempts against the Rams - Completed 28-of-47 attempts against Virginia for 303 yards - his third straight 300-yard performance of the season - Led a BYU comeback that included three touchdown passes, as the Cougars fell just five points shy of overcoming a 22-point deficit against the Cavaliers - Equaled a career-high four touchdown completions on 23-of-36 attempts for 289 yards in a 34-31 overtime win at Utah State - Tallied four TD completions for a second straight week in a 38-28 win over Cal, completing 25-of-41 attempts for 414 yards - his fourth 300-yard performance of the season - In just three quarters of play, tallied 211 yards passing on 15-of-27 attempts in a 31-7 win at New Mexico - Connected with Doug Jolley in the first quarter (at UNLV) to collect his 46th career touchdown completion - Is 8-2 as a starter when passing for over 300 yards - Ranks 9th on BYU's all-time touchdown completions list with 51 TDs - With his 262-yard performance against San Diego State, improved to 17-4 as a starter when passing for over 200 yards - Including the Wyoming game, has completed at least one touchdown pass in 15 straight games, including 18 of his last 19 games - Over 400 attempts, has thrown just 12 interceptions, averaging only one miscue every 33.3 attempts - Has thrown a career-high 23 touchdown completions on the season...Earned Mountain West Player-of-the-Week honors after completing 24-of-33 passes against Air Force, including a 14-for-15 performance in the first half ... With 362 yards passing against Wyoming, logged his fifth 300-yard game of the season.
Year Games Cmp Att Int Pct Lng Yds TD YPG
1996 1 5 8 1 .625 15 26 1 4.3
1997 8 125 208 5 .601 70 1767 11 220.9
1998 14 202 336 6 .601 83 2718 16 209.1
1999 10 255 400 12 .638 57 3245 23 324.5
TOTALS 33 587 952 24 .617 225 7756 51 242.4
Feterik Climbing All-Time Passing List
With 362 yards passing against Wyoming Feterik moved in to 5th place on the Cougars' all-time passing list. Feterik, who started the week in eighth place, passed Steve Sarkisian (7,464 yds.), Marc Wilson (7,637 yds.) and Steve Young (7,733 yds.) to take over fifth place. Following is a look at the top-10 career passing marks at BYU and where current BYU quarterback Kevin Feterik ranks:
Career Passing Yards
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 (991-94)
5. 7,756 Kevin Feterik (1996-present)
6. 7,733 Steve Young (1981-83)
7. 7,637 Marc Wilson (1977-79)
8. 7,464 Steve Sarkisian (1995-96)
9. 5,833 Gifford Nielsen (1975-77)
10. 5,125 Virgil Carter (1964-66)
7. 55 Gifford Nielsen (1975-77)
8. 54 Steve Sarkisian (1995-96)
9. 51 Kevin Feterik (1996-present)
10. 50 Virgil Carter (1964-66)
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' lleading 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. All totaled, BYU has used 17 different receivers over seven games. Cliff Doman became the 17th different receiver (against UNLV) when he grabbed his first reception of the season, which happened to be his 26th birthday.
Brian Gray Named Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist
BYU senior Brian Gray has been named by the Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City, Okla., as a semifinalist 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 12 names to be named as a semifinalist. Gray, who was questionable prior to the Virginia game with a groin injury, picked off a Dan Ellis pass to rumble 28 yards for his second career touchdown. Against Utah State, Gray recorded his second interception of the season, good for an 18-yard return and lead to an Owen Pochman 19-yard field goal. Both Gray interceptions have led to a total of 10 points. The Thorpe Award screening committee announced the semi-finalists today and will narrow the list to three finalists on November 22. The finalists will be invited to ESPN's College Football Awards Show on Dec. 9, 1999 in Orlando, Fla., at which time the winner will be announced. The formal presentation will be held on February 17, 2000 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Following is the list of 12 semi-finalists: Brian Gray, Sr., Brigham Young - Brian Urlacher, Sr., New Mexico - Tyrone Carter, Sr., Minnesota - Ahmed Plummer, Sr., Ohio State - Mario Edwards, Sr., Florida State - Mark Roman, Sr., Louisiana State - Dwayne Goodrich, Sr., Tennessee - Aric Morris, Sr., Michigan State - Deon Grant, Jr., Tennessee - David Macklin, Sr., Penn State - Ralph Brown, Sr., Nebraska - Lloyd Harrison, Sr., NC State.
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.
Of all the Division I-A schools in the west, BYU finished behind only Washington (71,356) and UCLA (73,709) in average, per-game attendance in 1998, averaging 62,702 fans per game.
Quarterback U. Game-by-Game Comparison
Following is a breakdown of some of BYU's more notable quarterbacks of recent years and how current Cougar quarterback Kevin Feterik's numbers compare (Through 9 Games):
Name Season Att Comp Yds Int TDs
Kevin Feterik 1999 400 255 3,245 12 23
1998 266 162 2,239 5 14
Steve Sarkisian 1996 332 231 3,501 11 30
1995 385 244 3,437 14 21
Ty Detmer *** 1991 375 221 3,653 10 30
*/*** 1990 517 339 4,869 24 38
1989 379 241 4,227 22 36
Robbie Bosco 1985 437 291 3,687 22 27
** 1984 406 255 3,537 10 32
Steve Young *** 1983 399 284 3,634 10 27
1982 333 206 2,850 18 15
Jim McMahon *** 1981 423 272 3,555 7 30
1980 365 235 3,668 16 38
* - Heisman Trophy Winner
** - National Championship Season
*** - Davey O'Brien Award Winner
The Cougars are 5-0 when they score first and have posted a 3-2 mark on the season when their opponent scores first.
The Cougars are 1-2 when trailing the game at halftime. When BYU is outscoring its opponent at the half, BYU is a perfect 7-0.
BYU has scored an average 28.0 points against Mountain West opponents through six games and have held those same opponents to an average 13.0 points per game.
BYU faced four teams on the season that had an off-week prior to playing the Cougars. San Diego State marked the fourth opponent to have a bye week prior to a date with the Cougars. BYU finished 4-0 when playing teams that had a week off prior to its game.
The Cougars' 29-0 shutout at UNLV was the first road shutout for BYU since the 1988 season. (BYU defeated New Mexico 65-0 in Albuquerque.)
BYU's 98-yard scoring drive at UNLV marked the longest scoring drive since the Cougars reeled off a 98-yard drive on Oct. 19, 1991 against Hawai'i.
BYU head coach LaVell Edwards collected career win 250 after defeating Air Force on Saturday. In his 28th season, Edwards ties Joe Paterno as the second fastest coach to reach the 250 milestone. Tom Osborne reach 250 wins in 25 season.
Currently the Cougars have recorded at least one interception in eight of the team's last nine games, including Jared Lee's interception against San Diego State last weekend.
Jared Lee picked up a career-high 22 tackles against Air Force, marking the first 20+ tackle performance since Sept. 21, 1991 when Derwin Gray racked up 22 takedowns against Penn State. Lee earned MWC Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors for his trouble.