With its 38-14 win over Utah State on Friday, BYU improved to 3-4 on the season an extended its streak to 12 straight home wins over the Aggies, dating back to 1978. The Cougars lead the all-time series over Utah State, 38-33-3. In his final meeting against his alma mater, BYU coach LaVell Edwards improved his career coaching record over Utah State to 21-6 (.778).
BYU gained a total 198 yards rushing against Utah State, marking the first time the Cougars have had over 190 yards rushing since gaining 193 yards against New Mexico on Oct. 16, 1999. True Freshman Marcus Whalen led BYU with 91 yards rushing on nine carries, averaging 9.1 yards per carry -- all in the fourth quarter. Whalen recorded a 40-yard trek in the final period, marking the longest rush by a BYU back this season. Sophomore Luke Staley added 75 yards, including three touchdowns, while junior running back Brian McDonald added 27 yards on the night and a touchdown. McDonald leads the team with 343 yards rushing on the season and six rushing touchdowns. He ranks second on the roster with 36 points on the season.
Friday's game marked the first time BYU has recorded four rushing touchdowns since the Cougars posted five rushing TDs against San Jose State on Oct. 24, 1998.
Luke Staley's three rushing touchdowns marks the fifth career multi-scoring game for the 6-foot-2, 225-pound sophomore. Staley has scored 14 rushing TDs and three receptions for touchdowns throughout his career. The Tualatin, Ore., native has scored at least one touchdown in 10 of the 14 games he has played at BYU, including two three TD performances. Staley has scored 102 points for BYU over the past two seasons, including a 78 points as a freshman and 24 points this season. Staley ranks second on the BYU roster with 292 yards rushing on 60 carries, averaging 4.9 yards per carry.
The Cougars extended their NCAA-record streak to 319 games without being shutout on Owen Pochman's first-quarter, 28-yard field goal. BYU has not been shutout since Sept. 27, 1975 (vs. Arizona State.) The Cougars' first-quarter field goal marked the third time this season that BYU has scored before its opponent. The Cougars' 24-7 halftime lead marked only the second time BYU has had the lead going in to the half. The 24 first-half points are the most points BYU has scored in the first half this season. The 38-point total also marked the most points scored by the Cougars during regulation. The 24-point victory marks the largest BYU win since beating UNLV, 29-0, on Oct. 23, 1999.
Senior receiver Margin Hooks recorded five receptions for 84 yards, extending his streak to 31 games with at least one reception. That streak curretnly ranks fifth in the nation. Hooks moved into third place on the BYU all-time receiving yardage list, passing Phil Odle (1965-67). Hooks has produced 2,576 career yards and needs just 60 yards to pass Matt Bellini (1987-90) for second on the list and 491 to pass Eric Drage (1990-93) for the all-time career record.
Senior Owen Pochman has produced a team-leading 40 points on the season, including eight points against Utah State on Friday. Pochman has produced a school record 287 points over his career. He has connected on 19-of-19 extra-point attempts and split the uprights on seven-of-nine field goals. Pochman was a perfect five-for-five on PATs against the Aggies and connected on a 28-yard field goal for the Cougars' first points of the ball game. Pochman is a perfect three-for-three from 20-28 yards on the season. Pochman has connected on 48 straight extra-point attempts, dating back to Sept. 25, 1999. After having a PAT blocked against Virginia with 7:17 remaining in the second quarter, Pochman has not missed a single extra-point attempt. Despite the fact Utah State's Emmett White returned four of Pochman's would-be touchbacks that were deep in the endzone, the Mercer Island, Wash., native has recorded 19 touchbacks, producing a .576 touchback percentage on the season.
The Cougars entered the Red Zone six different times against Utah State, marking the first time BYU has penetrated the Red Zone in two games. The Cougars scored on five-of-six trips to the Red Zone, including four touchdowns and a field goal. BYU made at least appearance in the Red Zone in each of the four quarters of Friday's game. On the season, BYU has scored on 17-of-21 trips to the Red Zone, producing an .810 scoring average. Including Friday's game against Utah State, the Cougars have produced 10 rushing TDs, four passing TDs and three field goals inside the Red Zone.
Junior quarterback Charlie Peterson, in only his second career start, led BYU to a 38-14 win over Utah State, completing a game high 24-of-37 (.649) attempts for a career high 324 yards and one touchdown. Peterson guided the Cougars on six scoring drives, including a touchdown-scoring drive in the third quarter that covered 90 yards on 16 plays and took nearly eight minutes off the clock. Just prior to the half, Peterson drove the Cougars on a three-play, 69-yard drive that concluded on a 21-yard touchdown completion to Mike Rigell. Since the Mississippi State game, Peterson has thrown 86 pass attempts without an interception. On the season, Peterson leads the BYU roster with 968 yards on 82-of-144 attempts with three touchdown completions.
Coming off a second half at Syracuse, in which the Cougars allowed just 46 yards rushing, the BYU defense held Utah State to just 11 yards rushing. Entering Friday's game, the Aggies had averaged nearly 83 yards rushing per contest. Over the last six quarters, the BYU defense has allowed just 9.5 yards rushing per quarter. The Cougars registered three sacks against the Aggies and totaled eight tackles for a combined loss of 35 yards. Linebacker Justin Ena and safety Jared Lee combined for 16 of the Cougars' 62 tackles. Senior tackle Chris Hoke recorded five tackles, including three for a combined loss of 17 yards. Brett Keisel also produced three tackles for loss, totaling 14 yards.