(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
The Cougars won their fifth straight game by defeating the Boise State Broncos 37-20. BYU is now 6-2 this season, 536-390-26 all-time and 273-161-13 against Mountain West teams. With the win, the Cougars become bowl eligible for the ninth straight year.
Tonight’s win marks the first time BYU or a team from Utah has beat Boise State since 1997. The Broncos were 21-0 since that time. The win also ends a 50-game winning streak for Boise State when playing in October.
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall earned his 80th career win. He improves to 10-2 when playing on Friday nights. He is 7-0 when playing at home on Fridays.
Alani Fua and Mitch Mathews carried the team and special teams flags. Daniel Coats carried the alumni flag. Coats played tight end at BYU from 2002-06.
Official attendance for tonight’s game was 62,954.
Nine different receivers caught a pass in the game, the most this season. Taysom Hill completed seven passes to tight ends, a season high.
The offense produced 568 total yards. BYU has manufactured 500 or more yards three times this season (Houston, Texas and Boise State).
BYU rushed for 229 yards on 50 rushes, the fourth game of 200 or more this season. The team has rushed the ball 50 or more times six out of the eight games this year.
The Cougars have not been shutout for 120 consecutive games dating back to 2003.
The Cougars forced four turnovers in the game, including three forced fumbles and one interception.
Dating back to last year’s matchup, BYU has held Boise State to 2 for 10 on fourth down conversions, including 2 for 5 tonight.
Sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 69 rushing yards and one score. Hill has thrown seven of his 12 touchdown passes in the last two games. He’s thrown three or more touchdowns in three games this season. Tonight is the second consecutive game Hill has amassed over 400 yards of total offense and 25 or more completions. It is also the sixth consecutive game with an efficiency rating of 115 or higher.
Senior wide receiver Cody Hoffman caught his 31st career touchdown in the second quarter to break the BYU record previously held by Austin Collie with 30. Hoffman totaled 57 yards on four catches. He has caught a pass in 38 consecutive games dating back to Oct. 23, 2010. He also earned his 41st career start.
Sophomore running back Jamaal Williams rushed for 107 yards, placing him No. 15 all-time at BYU for career rushing yards with 1,508. He now has six 100-yard rushing games in his career.
Kyle Van Noy
Senior linebacker Kyle Van Noy recovered a fumble in the third quarter. He now needs just blocked kick and forced fumble to record a stat in every major defensive category. He completed that feat in both 2011 and 2012, the only player in the FBS to do so.
Senior defensive lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna got his 45th career start tonight, playing in his 51st career game. The senior contributed four tackles and a pass breakup.
Senior receiver JD Falslev caught four passes for 35 yards. Tonight marked the 47th game of his career.
Early in the third quarter, junior safety Craig Bills recorded his first career tackle for loss to force Boise to kick a field goal. He also forced a fumble and tallied seven tackles after missing last week’s game against Houston.
Sophomore defensive lineman Remington Peck recovered two fumbles, the first two of his career. He also added a pass breakup.
Linebacker Uani ‘Unga registered 15 tackles, including five solo stops. It marked his fifth game with 10 or more tackles this season. The senior captain also added a forced fumble, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.
Junior linebacker Alani Fua registered a career-high 13 tackles (seven solo). He also chipped in 0.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup.
Senior linebacker Spencer Hadley notched a career-high eight solo tackles while matching his personal best with 12 total stops.
Senior defensive back Skye PoVey caught his first career interception against Boise State. He also recorded four tackles and a pass breakup.
Junior receiver Ross Apo scored one touchdown, his third of the year, and two passes for 46 yards.
Sophomore receiver Mitch Mathews caught four passes for 66 yards and one touchdown. Mathews leads the team with four touchdown receptions on the season.
Junior receiver Marcus Mathews hauled in his first reception of the season for nine yards.
Tight end Devin Mahina notched a career-high four catches for 40 yards.
Tight end Kaneakua Friel caught three passes for 53 yards, both season highs.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall
Opening statement: "I'm really, really proud of our team. This was a big game, big stage and against a really good opponent. I thought we took control of the game early and sustained that control. Not quite as clean of play maybe third quarter-ish and we missed a few plays and a few opportunities, but created enough turnovers, moved the ball well enough, distributed the ball well enough and kicked the ball well enough to beat a team that hasn't lost to a team from Utah since 1997."
"Coach Petersen has a really good program. They have really good schemes and good players. I feel really good about our team's ability to prepare after our last game on a short week and put the kind of performance together that we did tonight."
"I'm proud of our team for being 6-2 through eight games and already bowl eligible again. That's nine straight, which I think is significant. I don't think it's easy to do and I don't think it should be discounted. I think our team continues to improve and get better."
"Taysom, for a lot of the game tonight, just looked completely composed and unrattleable. I think we're gaining momentum and making progress. Our team will need some rest and recovery. I don't have the model yet down for what we'll do through the bye week, but there'll be some healing, some conditioning, some football and then, when appropriate, starting to build into our game versus Wisconsin."
"I'm thrilled to be able to go to San Francisco. I look forward to playing the very best team we can play out of the Pac 12 and continuing a strong streak of bowl wins."
Importance of turnovers: "I told Chris Petersen after the game I thought that was one of the main differences in the game was being able to create turnovers and taking the football away. I don't think we necessarily capitalized as well as we could have on those turnovers, but I think it definitely had something to do with the game's outcome."
"Boise is an aggressive team and they love to go for it on 4th down. A year ago they were 0-for-5 and this year 2-for-5. When you're trying to determine the balance of the game and what the momentum might be like and how aggressive you can be, those early stops are huge in terms of emotional momentum as well as just changing the game."
On Taysom Hill: "He's one of the best players I've ever coached, I mean he's really good. If you watched him the first half especially, the ball is just right on the money to different players. He's poised. He's composed. It looks like the game was really slow for him. He just seemed always ahead of it. If there's a receiver open the ball is delivered right there. That was fun to see."
On having a national stage: "It goes with Texas. It goes with Georgia Tech. It goes with now Boise. We have a good team. We have a good program and I think we'll continue to build and grow. I think we earned the right to have this game. Boise and BYU have earned the right to have a chance to be on this stage and they don't put you on a Friday night if both teams aren't an intriguing match-up -- which it was. I think we're gaining momentum and making progress. I think the system changes we've put in place are producing. We're scoring points and not giving up many and those teams are hard to beat."
“We knew all week that they were going to go on fourth down. That's just Boise State. That's just what they do. But our team is a physical team. On fourth and one we can stop them. Not only in this game, but last year we stopped them 5 out of 5 times on fourth down.”
“We practice more than 90 plays each day, so we're getting used to it as a defense. As soon as we're tired, the coaches do a great job of subbing us out.”
“They scored 30 points on our defense last week. You definitely have to play with a chip on your shoulder because at BYU we don't give that up on defense. We haven't for a really long time. It was big. We take pride in holding people under 24 points. We wanted to hold these guys to under 24.”
“Danny's the best safety that's played at BYU in my opinion, and for him to be off the field, it's different. It was weird. Luckily, we have guys who stepped in like Skye who came in and played safety again, and I was able to move over to KAT. I definitely don't want that to ever happen again where Danny's not on the field when he could be.”
“It's a bummer when guys go out. Everyone on our defense is practicing with us during the week. So, when somebody goes down, it's definitely unfortunate, but we have guys that can come in and step up. That's how BYU's always been. At the beginning of the year, we had Jordan Johnson go down and everyone was concerned about our corners, but Robertson Daniel's stepped in and he's played big for us. It's hard when they go down, but we've got guys who can come in that we trust.”
“I don't think it was part of the game plan for the tight ends to be involved with the game much this week until Brett Thomson had an injury. We were just told to be ready to prepare ourselves for the extra plays that we'd be getting. We got a few balls. And it was nice to once again get the ball. I know Devin and myself were both excited about that.”
“If you can move the ball or attack certain areas, or all areas of the field, it opens your game in other areas. So, I think since we were moving the ball and getting complete passes across the middle it opened up the deep post and I think that that's the effect that it can have. I think that it's definitely going to help our team if we can continue to catch balls across the middle. People say it's scary, but it's just what you're used to. That's all that you get growing up.”
“They played man-press on the outside, taking away our quick game with our wideouts, but when you do that you leave the middle field open and we took advantage of that.”
“I feel like I've gotten better every week. Not only have I gotten better but us as an offense have gotten better. I realize that as I play a position that's in the limelight, it's easy to just talk about my progression, but it's been a team thing and it's been an offensive thing. With this new staff and this new system, it took a little bit of time but we found it.”
“It was a really big win for our program. I knew going into it that we were 0-3 against Boise State. They're a well coached team, they're a great football team, and we knew it would be a dogfight. We took what the defense gave us. We didn't try to do too much and we had a lot of really good drives. Offensively, we played really well. We gelled really well today.”
On breaking the receiving TD record: “It feels great. It feels amazing. I'm almost speechless about it because it was set by such a great player before me. It's not an easy record, and I take a lot of pride in it.”
“Coming out of high school and being barely recruited, and then to think that I'd come to a major program like this and rewrite the record book, I never thought that would happen.”
"The offense is just playing phenomenal right now. We're getting better every week and it's showing statistically. We're putting put points, and our defense has been amazing like they have been. With them holding Boise to just 20 points is huge. And for our offense to put up so many points is just a big momentum boost for us."