BYU Snaps Two-Game Skid With 10-7 Victory Over Rebels
written by Greg Bennett, BYU Athletic Media Relations
Chris Hoke tackles Rudolph of UNLV for a loss (BYU Photo/Mark Philbrick)
PROVO -- BYU ended its two-game skid with a 10-7 win over UNLV on Saturday in the 200th game at Cougar Stadium. The Cougars improve to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in Mountain West Conference play, while the Rebels drop to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the MWC.
Sophomore running back Luke Staley led the Cougars with 167 yards rushing on 28 carries in his first full game of the season. He has missed all or parts of the four previous games with a concussion and knee problems and entered the game with only 49 yards on 10 carries. At halftime Staley had 88 yards on 12 carries.
"We were making improvement in the running game and obviously it came up big for us today," BYU head coach LaVell Edwards said. "Our plan was to run the ball to take the pressure off of our injured quarterbacks. A healthy Luke Staley makes all the difference."
Sophomore quarterback Bret Engemann, who was suffering from a high ankle sprain that was aggravated in the second half, led BYU to a touchdown with 10:15 left in the first quarter on a 25-yard run by junior Brian McDonald. The run gave the Cougars a 7-0 lead. It was McDonald's fifth touchdown run of the season and the first time of the season BYU scored a touchdown before its opponent to start a game.
A 42-yard field goal by senior Owen Pochman with 1:28 left in the first quarter gave the Cougars the 10-0 lead and all the points they would need.
The BYU defense finished the game by allowing only 41 net yards on the ground, including a 72-yard run by UNLV quarterback Jason Thomas. Rebel running back Jeremi Rudolph finished with 11 carries for -10 yards.
"They're a good team," UNLV head coach John Robinson said. "Their defense is one of the biggest and strongest in the country, but we weren't able to match up with them."
Freshman linebacker Paul Walkenhorst, in his first start since stepping in for the injured Josh Lowe, finished with two tackles for loss and a blocked field goal. Junior defensive end Ryan Denney ended the afternoon with five tackles, three of which were for a loss of yardage. Senior safety Jared Lee led the Cougars with six tackles.
Senior wide receiver Margin Hooks led the Cougars in receiving with five catches for 49 yards. His 49 yards against the Rebels brings his career total to 2,424 yards receiving. He needs only five more yards to pass Mark Bellini for fifth all-time at BYU.
Thomas finished the game with 202 yards passing and 51 yards rushing. He also scored the only Rebel touchdown, a one-yard run with 12:26 remaining in the game. With the score, Thomas has scored in all three games for the Rebels this season. UNLV's Kevin Brown was the only other player with positive yardage. Brown totaled just seven yards on six carries.
"Jason (Thomas), when he had time, did some things I liked and it kept us with a chance to put something together for a win, but the pass rush, the coming-after-us, we just couldn't handle," Robinson said.
Until Thomas' fourth-quarter touchdown, BYU had held the Rebels scoreless through nine quarters, dating back to the 1998 season.
The Cougars will travel to play Syracuse on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. (EDT). The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2. UNLV will host Air Force Saturday in its second Conference game of the season.
Box Score (Final)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
UNLV................ 0 0 0 7 - 7 Record: (1-2,0-1)
Brigham Young....... 10 0 0 0 - 10 Record: (2-3,1-1)
1st 10:15 BYU - MCDONALD, Brian 25 yd run (POCHMAN, Owen kick),
6 plays, 55 yards, TOP 2:51, UNLV 0 - BYU 7
01:28 BYU - POCHMAN, Owen 42 yd field goal,
9 plays, 49 yards, TOP 4:04, UNLV 0 - BYU 10
4th 12:26 UNLV - THOMAS, Jason 1 yd run (CHEETANY, Ray kick),
5 plays, 70 yards, TOP 1:48, UNLV 7 - BYU 10
FIRST DOWNS................... 10 19
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 33-41 47-196
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 202 157
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 17-11-1 29-15-1
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 50-243 76-353
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 2-18 6-33
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 1-18 0-0
Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-7 1-6
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 8-45.5 7-39.7
Fumbles-Lost.................. 4-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards............... 1-5 6-57
Possession Time............... 24:38 35:22
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 5-40 4-28
RUSHING: UNLV-THOMAS, Jason 15-51; BROWN, Kevin 6-7; WOFFORD, James 1-minus
7; RUDOLPH, Jeremi 11-minus 10. Brigham Young-STALEY, Luke 28-167; MCDONALD,
Brian 8-52; WHALEN, Marcus 2-8; SITAKE, Kalani 2-7; ENGEMANN, Bret 3-minus
18; PETERSON, Charl 4-minus 20.
PASSING: UNLV-THOMAS, Jason 11-17-1-202. Brigham Young-ENGEMANN, Bret
7-18-1-62; PETERSON, Charl 8-11-0-95.
RECEIVING: UNLV-MASON, Troy 5-102; TURNER, Nate 3-46; MANDLEY, DeJhow 1-40;
WOFFORD, James 1-8; NERO, Bobby 1-6. Brigham Young-HOOKS, Margin 5-49;
SITAKE, Kalani 3-39; STALEY, Luke 2-19; JOLLEY, Doug 1-24; HORTON, Ben 1-8;
PITTMAN, Jonath 1-7; OFAHENGAUE, Tev 1-7; HALLADAY, Soren 1-4.
INTERCEPTIONS: UNLV-THOMAS, Kevin 1-7. Brigham Young-WILSON, Derrus 1-6.
Stadium: Cougar Stadium Attendance: 60191
Kickoff time: 1:05 pm End of Game: 4:01 Total elapsed time: 2:56
Officials: Referee: Tom Robinson; Umpire: Gary Crumb; Linesman: Tim Podraza;
Line judge: Gary McNanna; Back judge: Bob Collins; Field judge: Steve Lindsay;
Side judge: Kent Payne; Scorer: Nedia Relations;
Temperature: 41 Wind: NE-5 Weather: Overcast, some rain
SACKS (UA-A): UNLV-PALEPOI, Anton 2-0; SUNIA, James 2-0; BURRUS, Tosh 1-0.
Brigham Young-KELLEY, Isaac 1-0; ENA, Justin 1-0; HOKE, Chris 0-1; DENNEY,
Ryan 1-0; WALKENHORST, Pa 0-1.
TACKLES (UA-A): UNLV-BRANDON, Sam 6-5; BRISCO, Amar 8-1; SUNIA, James 5-3;
BLACK, Randy 5-2; PALEPOI, Anton 2-3; WILSON, Shanga 2-3; MILLER, Ahmad 1-4;
PARKHURST, Scot 2-2; THOMAS, Kevin 3-0; HAMILTON, Shari 2-1; SMELTZER, Toby
1-1; BURRUS, Tosh 1-1; RYDALCH, Nate 1-1; SUGGS, Anthony 0-2; WATSON, Adrian
0-2; WYNN, Jamal 1-0; CLARIDGE, Ryan 1-0; OWENS, LaMar 1-0; NEWTON, Steve
1-0; COSTA, Steven 1-0; MANDLEY, DeJhow 1-0; BRIGGS, Ahmad 1-0; BRICKELL,
Tyler 1-0; CANTERBERRY, Di 0-1. Brigham Young-LEE, Jared 2-4; OLSEN, Hans
3-2; DENNEY, Ryan 3-2; ENA, Justin 3-2; PHILLIPS, Danny 3-2; SMITH, Tyson
3-2; KELLEY, Isaac 2-2; HOKE, Chris 2-1; WALKENHORST, Pa 1-2; GALI, Setema
1-2; BOCKWOLDT, Colb 1-0; PETERSON, Paul 1-0; KEISEL, Brett 1-0; STALEY,
Dustin 1-0; ORD, Andy 1-0; SITAKE, Kalani 1-0; WILSON, Derrus 1-0; KUKAHIKO,
Jason 1-0; EDWARDS, Elan 0-1.