(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BYU will host Idaho on Saturday, Nov. 12, with kickoff set for 7:15 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast live from LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah, on ESPN2, WatchESPN.com and KSL Radio 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and ksl.com.
BYU (6-3) vs. Idaho (2-7, 1-4 WAC)
Nov. 12, 2011
7:15 p.m. MT
LaVell Edwards Stadium
For the complete BYU vs. Idaho game notes, see the attached PDF file below.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- This is the first year BYU has played two teams from Idaho in the same season. BYU has not played Idaho since 1955 when the Vandals won 49-6 in the two teams’ only matchup of the series in Provo. Idaho leads the series, 2-1 overall.
- Coming off a bye week, BYU is 6-1 in six years under Bronco Mendenhall and has outscored its opponents 141-21 coming off a bye week in the last three years. The Cougars are 10-2 in the last 10 years in games following a bye.
- BYU is 4-0 this season and 27-1 in the last six years when scoring 24 points or more at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
- BYU kick returner Cody Hoffman has 680 yards on 28 returns this season, both marks good for 4th place in the BYU single-season record books. Hoffman needs just 186 yards and 8 returns to claim the top spot in both categories. For his career, the sophomore has 1,060 yards on 42 returns, good for 5th and 6th, respectively, on the BYU all-time list.
- BYU is 0-2 when playing on ESPN2 this season. This is the Cougars’ eighth game this year on an ESPN network.
BRONCO AND BOWLS
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall has led BYU to six wins again for the seventh consecutive year. He is currently one of only three FBS coaches to have his team bowl eligible in his first seven seasons along with Bob Stoops of Oklahoma and Mark Richt of Georgia. During Mendenhall’s tenure, BYU is 4-2 with five trips to the Las Vegas Bowl and last year’s trip to the New Mexico Bowl and a 52-24 victory over UTEP.
BYU now has two members in its 1,000 career receiving yards and 1,000 career kickoff return yards. Cody Hoffman joins Austin Collie as the only two players to reach the mark. Hoffman now has 1,085 career receiving yards to go along with 1,060 career kickoff return yards. Hoffman caught four passes for 67 yards and returned seven kicks for a career-high 167 yards vs. TCU to cross over the 1,000 mark. Collie is BYU’s career receiving yards leader with 3,255 yards and fourth in career kickoff return yards with 1,277 yards.
BYU has been steadily improving throughout the season. After a low point in the season and struggling against Utah, the Cougars have seen a jump in their offensive output. After Utah, BYU was ranked 118th nationally in rushing with 48 yards per game, and now sit at 63rd with 156.33 yards per game. After the UCF game the Cougars had the 111th ranked total offense with 291.3 yards per game. Five games later BYU is ranked 65th at 387.1 yards per game. Scoring has also improved as well, going from 18.2 points per game to 26.9 points per game. With three more regular-season games to go, the Cougars will have plenty of opportunities to improve.
THIRD DOWNS ... NOW AND THEN
BYU is currently ranked No. 13 in the nation in third-down conversions, converting 49.61 percent. At the end of September, BYU was 78th in third-down coversions, converting 38.86 percent. In September, the Cougars converted 30 of 77 third downs, while in October BYU converted 33 of 50 third downs, good for the best mark in the nation for the month.
Riley Nelson’s running and passing skills have revitalized the Cougar offense. In all four starts, Nelson has thrown for at least 200 yards and rushed for at least 50 yards. BYU is 3-1 under Nelson when he reaches the 200/50 mark. All-time leading quarterback-rusher Virgil Carter started the trend during his time, accomplishing the feat three times and earning a 3-0 record in each 200/50 game. Current offensive coordinator and former BYU quarterback Brandon Doman did it four times in his career, earning a 4-0 record under those circumstances. Cougar great Steve Young is the king of 200/50 games, with 11 under his belt. Young amassed a 8-3 record when going 200/50.
GOING FOR A DRIVE
BYU’s 99-yard touchdown drive vs. Idaho State was the longest of the 2011 season. The long drive ties the longest since a 99-yard drive vs. Utah State in 2006. BYU had a 97-yard scoring drive at Texas. The Cougars’ game-winning drive against the Utah State Aggies was 96 yards officially, although the team actually had to go 98 yards. Quarterback Riley Nelson lost two yards on his first rush of the drive, pushing BYU all the way back to inside its own two yard line. BYU is one of 8 teams that have four scoring drives of 90 yards or more.
HOLDING THEM BACK
A week after the BYU defense played its best overall game of the season against Idaho State, the Cougars held TCU below their season averages in passing yards, rushing yards and total yards. The Cougars held the TCU passing attack to 157 yards -- 76 yards below their season average of 233 ypg. BYU also prevented the TCU rushing attack from reaching their season average of 217 ypg by limiting them to 136 yards on the ground. The Cougars held the TCU offense, previously averaging 453 ypg, to 283 total yards.
The performance against TCU was sparked by a dominant performance the week earlier against Idaho State when the Cougars held ISU to 20 rushing yards on 19 attempts. BYU also limited the Bengals to three points, the first time a BYU defense has held an opposing offense to three points or less since defeating Wyoming 52-0 in 2009.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
BYU continued its streak of recording at least 4.0 TFL to five games against TCU. Four different Cougars recorded a TFL against the Horned Frogs and senior Jameson Frazier recorded the only BYU sack of the game. The Cougars spent the majority of the game against the Idaho State in the Bengal backfield while recording a season best 9.0 TFL for a total loss of 44 yards. Kyle Van Noy led BYU with 3.0 TFL in the game. BYU recorded 7.0 TFL for a total loss of 22 yards against Oregon State one week prior to setting the season best mark against ISU. The Cougars recorded 5.0 TFL against the San Jose State and 6.0 against Utah State.
BREAK IT UP
BYU defensive back Corby Eason currently has 11 pass breakups in 2011, tied for the second most by a BYU player in a single season since 2000. Eason is on pace to top the post-2000 mark set by cornerback Brian Logan in 2009 of 14 pass breakups. Eason is averaging 1.22 pass breakups per game. Fellow cornerback Preston Hadley is also on pace to top Logan’s 14 pass breakups this season. Hadley currently has 10 pass breakups this season and is averaging 1.11 per game. This is the first season since 2000 that the Cougars have had two defensive players with double-digit pass breakups. The Hadley-Eason combination has led the Cougars to 54 pass breakups on the season which currently ranks fifth in the NCAA.
EVERYTHING UNDER FIFTY
BYU sophomore kicker Justin Sorensen is 12 of 17 on field goals this season, a 70.6% success rate. Three of his misses have come on kicks beyond 50 yards and he is 12 of 14 on kicks under 50 yards. His 85.7% success rate at kicks under 50 yards is the best mark for a BYU kicker since Jared McLaughlin went 12 of 14 (85.7%) on field goals under 50 yards in 2006.