BYU vs. TCU Game Notes - Game 9

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

BYU will play TCU on Friday, Oct. 28, with kickoff set for 7:05 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast live from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex., on ESPN, WatchESPN.com, KSL Radio 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and ksl.com.

BYU (6-2) vs. TCU (5-2, 3-0 MWC)
Oct. 28, 2011
7:05 p.m. CT
Cowboys Stadium
Arlington, Texas


For the complete BYU vs. TCU game notes, download the attached PDF file below.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- BYU’s first trip to Cowboys Stadium in 2009 saw the Cougars knock off No. 3 Oklahoma, 14-13, in the first collegiate football game to be played in the stadium. BYU is 24-20-1 all-time at neutral sites and 5-2 under Bronco Mendenhall.
- For their performances against Idaho State, Riley Nelson and Kyle Van Noy were each awarded an FBS Independent Player of the Week award. Nelson led six touchdown drives in seven series before leaving the game early in the third quarter. He completed 11 of 17 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns, adding 62 yards and a touchdown on seven carries; his pass efficiency rating of 229.2 is the 12th-best single-game mark in BYU history.
Van Noy had four solo tackles, including three tackles for loss and two sacks. Van Noy’s defensive stat line also included three quarterback hurries and a blocked punt he returned for six yards, setting up BYU’s first touchdown of the day.
- BYU has totaled more than 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing in each of its last four games, including a season high 572 total yards (290 rush, 282 pass) last week against Idaho State.
- BYU has not allowed a passing touchdown in five of its eight games this season. Only Utah (2), Utah State (2) and Oregon State (1) have scored through the air against the Cougars. TCU has 17 passing touchdowns on the year, an average of 2.4 per game.
- BYU is looking for its sixth-straight win. The Cougars have not won six straight or more since winning 13 in a row from 2007-08, the third-longest win streak in BYU history. That 13-game win streak was broken by none other than TCU in Oct. 2008.
- Since coming in at quarterback against Utah State, junior Riley Nelson has thrown for 11 touchdowns, including three TD tosses in each of his three starts this season and two in just over a quarter’s worth of work against USU.

THE BYU-TCU SERIES
This will be the 11th time BYU has played TCU. The series is currently tied 5-5 with the last meeting coming on Oct. 16 of last year when the Horned Frogs defeated the Cougars 31-3 in Fort Worth, Tex.

BOWL ELIGIBLE AGAIN
With BYU's sixth win of the season, the Cougars become bowl eligible for the seventh-straight season, every season under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. Coach Mendenhall is the only FBS coach to this point to be bowl eligible in each of his first seven seasons as a head coach.

MULTI-TOUCHDOWN STREAK
Since taking over at quarterback vs. Utah State, Riley Nelson has thrown at least two touchdown passes in four-straight games. The last time that happened was when Max Hall connected for at least two touchdowns for the last four regular-season games of 2009. Hall extended his streak to five in his final game as a Cougar, in BYU’s 44-20 victory over Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Hall threw 16 touchdown passes over those final five games. Nelson has 11 over the last four.

GOING LONG
BYU got some long plays going against the Idaho State Bengals. The Cougars had six plays of 20 yards or more, including some of the longest plays of the year. JJ Di Luigi caught a 57-yard pass for BYU’s longest play from scrimmage of the year. Running back Michael Alisa had a 42-yard touhchdown run, good for both the longest scoring play of the year and the longest run of the 2011 season.

ALWAYS IMPROVING
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 58th with 159 yards per game. After the UCF game the Cougars had the 111th ranked total offense with 291.3 yards per game. Four games later BYU is ranked 64th at 391.3 yards per game. With four more regular-season games to go, the Cougars will have plenty of opportunities to improve.

HOFFMAN KEEPS IT GOING
Wide receiver Cody Hoffman continues his streak, catching at least one pass in 14-straight games. The Crescent City, Calif. product had five catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns vs. Idaho State. Hoffman has 33 receptions for 491 yards and four touchdowns in 2011. He now has at least one reception and 20 of 21 career games.

NOT A LONG LIST
BYU hasn’t had many quarterbacks with Riley Nelson’s skill set of running and passing. It’s a short list but Nelson has a chance to make some noise on the career quarterback-rushing leaders for the Cougars. In fact, he is sneaking up on former BYU quarterback and current offensive coordinator Brandon Doman’s mark on the list.

BYU Career Quarterback Rushing Yards
1. Carter, Virgil (1964-66)    1,225 yards
2. Young, Steve (1981-83)    1,084 yards
3. Doman, Brandon (1998-01)    632 yards
4. Nelson, Riley (2009-)    554 yards

BEHIND ENEMY LINES
BYU continued its streak of recording at least 5.0 TFL to four games against Idaho State. The Cougars spent the majority of the afternoon against the Bengals in the ISU 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.

TURNOVER CITY
In eight games so far this season the BYU defense has forced 18 total turnovers. BYU is on pace to top its total of 23 turnovers gained from 2010, which they accured over the course of 13 games. The top game for the Cougars this year came against Oregon State when they picked off two passes and recovered two fumbles for a total of four turnovers. BYU forced three turnovers, all interceptions, in its most recent game against Idaho State. The Cougars have 11 interceptions and seven fumble recoveries. BYU has also forced at least one turnover in 12 of its last 13 games.

PERFECT KICKER
Sophomore kicker Justin Sorensen continued perfection, now connecting on 26 of 26 PATs this season, including 8 of 8 against Idaho State. However, one streak did end for Sorensen; the sophomore had hit field goals in six-straight games for the Cougars before not attempting a field goal against the Bengals. The Idaho State game marked the first game this season in which Sorensen has not attempted a field goal. Sorensen has 10 field goals on the season and is 7-8 inside 40 yards. He leads all FBS independent teams with 10 field goals and with a 71.4 success rate. Sorensen currently ranks 46th in the NCAA in field goals per game with 1.25.

TOP RETURN MAN
Cody Hoffman has excelled in his young career as a kick returner. The sophomore is making noise on the BYU career and single-season kick return marks. When he took a 93-yard kickoff back for a touchdown he became the first BYU player to return a kickoff for a touchdown since 1998 when Mike Rigell did it. Here is a look at where he stands and who he has a chance to pass up this season and in the future.

BYU Career Kick Return Yards
1. Rigell, Mike (1998, 00-01) 1,625 yards
8. O’brien, Mike (1986-88) 945 yards
9. Jones, Homer (1979-80) 865 yards
10. Hoffman, Cody (2010-) 853 yards

BYU Single-Season Kick Return Yards
1. Rigell, Mike (2001) 865 yards
8. Farasopoulos, Chris (1969) 548 yards
9. Lowry, David (1976) 544 yards
10. Hoffman, Cody (2011) 513 yards

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