LAS VEGAS -- With tonight's win over UNLV, the Cougars improve to 6-1, marking the team's best start since the 1996 season. BYU is 4-0 when the Cougars post the first points of the game and has posted a perfect 5-0 mark when outscoring their opponents at halftime.
After holding New Mexico to -10 yards rushing last week, the BYU defense held UNLV to -14 yards rushing until the last play of the game when the Rebels racked up a 38-yard to give them 24 yards rushing on the night. Over a span of two games, the BYU defense has allowed just 14 yards rushing.
Tonight's win (over UNLV) has 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 8.9 wins per season, including six in 1999.
UNLV's John Robinson is the third head coach BYU has faced this season with Provo ties. Cal's Tom Holmoe went to BYU, New Mexico's Rocky Long was born in Provo and Robinson lived in Provo for three years while his father helped build a local steel factory.
UNLV is the third opponent the Cougars have played this season that have had a bye week prior to playing. (Utah State, New Mexico and UNLV). BYU will face two others this season following its opponents' off week, including Air Force and San Diego State. The Cougars do not have a bye week this season.
Owen Pochman connected on a 47-yard field with 8:13 left in the second quarter, marking the longest field goal of the season. Pochman is the BYU career field goal record holder with 40. Pochman has made eight straight attempts and is 11-of-16 (.688) on the season, including five straight against the Rebels. Tonight's five-field goal effort ties Joe "The Toe" Liljenquist's 1969 single-game record (against Colorado State). Pochman's 17 points against UNLV are the most ever scored in a single game by a BYU kicker, a record previously shared by Owen's brother Ethan and Liljenquist (16). He is currently third on BYU's all-time scoring list, with 217 career points. He trails Kurt Gunther (243) and Jamal Willis (240).
Tyson Smith became the sixth different player on the BYU roster to record an interception this season. Smith picked off a Jason Vaughan pass in the second quarter and rumbled 52 yards to set up an Owen Pochman 26-yard field goal, giving BYU a 13-0 lead.
Kevin Feterik's 48-yard completion to Margin Hooks with just under two minutes left in the third quarter marked the longest pass play of the season. Previously, Hooks and Feterik had teamed up for 46 yards against Virginia.
The Cougars' 16-0 lead at halftime marked the second straight week BYU has held its opponent scoreless in the first half. After allowing 145 points over the first 21 quarters of the season (29 points per game), the BYU defense has stiffened, giving up just 7 points over the last eight quarters. In Conference play, the Cougars have allowed just 20 points over 12 quarters, allowing just 6.67 points per contest. Offensively, BYU has scored an average 31.3 points per game.
BYU extended its NCAA record with tonight's win at UNLV, marking the Cougars' 307th straight game without being shutout. BYU was last shutout during the 1975 season (Sept. 27, 1975 vs. Arizona State). To put the streak in perspective, BYU has never been shutout during the entire lifetime of quarterback Kevin Feterik. (Feterik was born Sept. 14, 1977.)
Senior Cliff Doman became the 17th different receiver to catch a Feterik pass this season with his 10-yard grab in the first quarter. The reception marked the first for Doman this season and came on his 26th birthday.
Jaron Dabney opened the game with a 41-yard kick return, marking the second longest kick return of the season for BYU. Dabney returned a kick at Utah State for 45 yards.
BYU has thrown at least one touchdown in 12 straight games, dating back to last season. During that streak the Cougars have posted a 9-3 record.
Senior quarterback Kevin Feterik has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 25 of his 30 games. Feterik has completed 46 TD receptions throughout his career and is currently in 10th place on the Cougars' all-time touchdown completion list. Feterik has posted a career-high 18 TD passes this season, marking the most single-season TD receptions through seven games since Steve Sarkisian completed 18 TD passes in 1996.
BYU's Luke Staley recorded his 10th touchdown (ninth rushing) of the season with 13:48 left in the fourth quarter. Staley has scored at least one touchdown in every game he has played this season. Staley is averaging 10.0 points per game. Staley needs just seven touchdowns to break the BYU single-season touchdown scoring record. The Cougars have scored 11 rushing touchdowns on the season, including the nine scored by Staley.