(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
Today’s attendance of 63,742 is BYU’s first sellout since 2010’s opener versus Washington.
ALL OVER THE FIELD
Sophomore receiver Cody Hoffman dialed up 277 all-purpose yards, the 6th-best total in BYU history. Hoffman had 138 yards receiving, also a career high, on eight catches along with 139 yards on eight kickoff returns. Hoffman was the last Cougar to record a 100-yard receiving game, doing so last year against UTEP.
NEW CAREER HIGH
Sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps set a career high with 305 yards passing, the first 300+ game of his career. Heaps’ 27 completions also tied a career high set last year against Utah State
CHEWING UP YARDAGE
Quarterback Jake Heaps threw for 136 yards and receiver Cody Hoffman had 98 yards receiving in the first quarter – career highs for a single quarter by each player.
Punter Riley Stephenson’s 65-yard punt to end the first half is also a new career high for the junior.
Under Bronco Mendenhall BYU is in 4-3 in its home openers. The Cougars had previously won four-straight home openers when playing a Pac-12 team. Today’s game also marks the sixth time BYU has opened at home against an in-state team with a record of 2-4 in those games. (Utah State – 1922, 1924, 1974, 1986; Weber State – 1974).
COUGH IT UP
Junior linebacker Brandon Ogletree’s fumble recovery in the second quarter extended BYU’s streak of forcing a turnover to eight-straight games. It was Ogletree’s second career fumble recovery.
FIRST QUARTER DEFENSE
With no points allowed in the first quarter, the Cougar defense has eight first quarter shutouts in their last nine games dating back to last season. UTEP scored three points on the BYU defense in last year’s bowl game.
BYU’s first three TDs of the season have been receptions by freshman receiver Ross Apo – one in each of the Cougars’ first three games. The catches have gone for 19, 6 and 32 yards, respectively.
NO RUNNING START
BYU has held its last 10 opponents to 30 yards rushing or less in the first quarter. Utah ran for just five yards in the opening frame, the lowest total for a BYU opponent since UTEP’s minus-26.
WELCOME TO PROVO
A delegation from Tonga, including the Prime Minister of Tonga, Lord Tu'ivakano, along with members of his cabinet, are at the game today. One cabinet member in attendance, Tongan Minister of Health Uliti Uata, is the grandfather of BYU senior defensive lineman Hebron Fangupo.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert was also one of the dignitaries in attendance at today’s game.
RUNNING OUT THE FLAG
BYU was led out of the tunnel today by sophomore wide receiver JD Falslev carrying the team flag and junior defensive back Carter Mees with the special teams flag. The special teams flag, highlighted by an old school BYU logo adopted by the special teams, is a new addition this season. All-American tight end Clay Brown (1976-80) carried the alumni flag.
BYU HEAD COACH BRONCO MENDENHALL
“Turnovers played a huge role in game. They just played better. When you look at the first half, that was the way I expected the game to go.
“The first half was much more how we prepared the game to go. The second half was not. We're still looking for the balance we'd like to have. I credit Utah for that. We didn't run the ball correctly.”
“I intend to bounce back and hopefully I can be the example for the team.”
“We certainly haven’t gotten through to the players yet in terms of playing the way that we can.”
“The turnovers were the critical difference in the game. There were a lot but those were number one. We’ll look at anything we can to improve our football team.”
Click here for the postgame recap.