(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BYU will host New Mexico State on Saturday, Nov. 19, with kickoff set for 8:15 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast live from LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah, on ESPNU, WatchESPN.com and KSL Radio 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and ksl.com.
BYU (7-3) vs. New Mexico State (4-6, 2-3 WAC)
Nov. 19, 2011
8:15 p.m. MT
LaVell Edwards Stadium
For the complete BYU vs. New Mexico State game notes, see the attached PDF file below.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- BYU will honor 19 seniors this weekend at the game, including offensive lineman Terence Brown, running back JJ Di Luigi, defensive back Corby Eason, tight end Matt Edwards, defensive lineman Hebron Fangupo, linebacker Jameson Frazier, wide receiver Spencer Hafoka, wide receiver McKay Jacobson, running back Bryan Kariya, linebacker Aveni Leung-Wai, wide receiver/holder Matt Marshall, linebacker Jordan Pendleton, defensive lineman Matt Putnam, offensive lineman Matt Reynolds, defensive back Steven Thomas, offensive lineman Marco Thorson, safety Travis Uale, defensive lineman Simote Vea and linebacker Jadon Wagner.
- This is the first-ever matchup between the two schools and the third time this season BYU has played an opponent for the first time in program history after also facing Ole Miss and UCF earlier this year.
- Sophomore Jake Heaps will start at quarterback this weekend for the first time this season since Sept. 30 against Utah State after junior Riley Nelson was injured last week against Idaho. Heaps started the first five games of this season and last 10 games of the 2010 season as a true freshman.
- Under head coach Bronco Mendenhall, BYU has posted a 21-3 record in November with all three losses coming against Utah.
- BYU has just two games this November, only the second season along with 2003 that BYU has played less than three November games since 1943. BYU has played just two games in November in only five of its previous 86 seasons (2003, 1942, 1931, 1928, 1925). The only time the Cougars won both games during those years was in 1925 with wins over Western State and Montana State.
WALKER KNOWS BYU
The Aggies head coach DeWayne Walker knows BYU as he worked under LaVell Edwards in 1994 as the Cougars’ cornerbacks coach. He has also coached against BYU three times in his coaching career. Walker worked as UCLA’s defensive coordinator from 2006-08. The Bruins played the Cougars three times during that stretch. UCLA defeated BYU in the 2007 regualar season 27-17 but BYU got back at them with a 17-16 win in the Las Vegas Bowl the same year. Walker’s last trip to Provo wasn’t a memorable one - the Cougars blasted UCLA 59-0 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in 2008.
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 54th with 165.00 yards per game. After the UCF game the Cougars had the 111th ranked total offense with 291.3 yards per game. six games later BYU is ranked 54th at 398.9 yards per game. Scoring has also improved as well, going from 18.2 points per game to 28.4 points per game. With two more regular-season games to go, the Cougars will have plenty of opportunities to improve.
In its last six games, BYU has seen great balance from its passing and running game. The Cougars have 1,378 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns to go along with 1,397 passing yards and 15 touchdowns. In five of the six games, BYU has gone for at least 200 rushing yards and 200 passing yards. The Cougars had seven different players combine to rush for 243 yards and three touchdowns and Riley Nelson, Jake Heaps and James Lark combined to throw for 262 yards and three more touchdowns vs. Idaho. Against Idaho State, BYU ran for a season-high 290 yards and four touchdowns while adding 282 passing yards and three touchdowns. The week before against Oregon State BYU rolled up 282 yards on the ground and 217 in the air. Against San Jose State, BYU was even more balanced, rushing for 224 yards and throwing for 219 yards and vs. Utah State, the Cougars used 251 passing yards and 200 rushing yards to beat the Aggies.
THIRD DOWNS ... NOW AND THEN
BYU is currently ranked No. 7 in the nation in third-down conversions, converting 51.52 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. Against Idaho last week, BYU was 9 of 13 on third down to improve their mark even more.
HOFFMAN KEEPS IT GOING
Wide receiver Cody Hoffman continues his streak, catching at least one pass in 16-straight games. Hoffman snagged six passes for 114 yards and two
touchdowns, all in the first half against Idaho. He had four receptions for 67 yards vs. TCU. Against Idaho State he had five catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Hoffman set career-highs at Oregon State with 9 receptions for 162 yards. The redshirt sophomore caught four passes for 68 yards and one touchdown against Utah State. He grabbed three receptions for 24 yards against UCF. Hoffman finished with a team-high eight catches and 138 yards vs. Utah. He extends his streak to 16 games with at least one reception and 22 of 23 career games.
OH, HE PLAYS FOOTBALL, TOO
Running back Bryan Kariya has been an asset or the BYU ground game for the last several years. He has also been an asset in the classroom. Kariya was just named to the Capital One All-Academic District 8 Team. With a 3.9 GPA and a major in Chinese with a minor in business, Kariya plans to head out to dental school after his BYU career is over. Last season, Kariya was the only Division I running back named Academic All-American by ESPN. He doesn’t have the most carries or the most yards but he constantly falls forward for extra yards and his a tough runner. Kariya has been extremely valuable in short yardage situations or when the Cougars need to find the end zone. Kariya actually leads the team in rushing touchdowns with four.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
BYU continued its streak of recording at least 4.0 TFL to six games against Idaho. Four different Cougars combined to record 5.0 TFL and Kyle Van Noy led the way with 2.0 TFL in the game.
Idaho - 5.0
TCU - 4.0
Idaho State - 9.0
Oregon State - 7.0
San Jose State - 5.0
Utah State - 6.0
After playing four games on the road or at neutral sites, the BYU defense ranks seventh in total defense in the NCAA when away from home. The Cougars are allowing 286.3 yards per game when playing on the road and rank behind six teams that are currently ranked in the AP Top 25. BYU is also one of two non-BCS teams in road defense, along with No. 10 Boise State.