Cougars Face the Aztecs in San Diego

No. 13 BYU enters Saturday's game sitting atop the Mountain West Conference with a 7-1 overall record, including a perfect 4-0 mark in league play. The Aztecs are in a three-way tie for sixth place with a 3-5 overall mark and a 1-3 record in league play. After starting the season with non-conference wins over South Florida and Kansas. Since the Aztecs' dominating 41-13 win over the Jayhawks, SDSU has lost three of its last four games, including the team's most recent loss -- a 38-16 defeat at Utah on Oct. 23. San Diego State is the fourth team BYU has faced this season that has had the week off prior to playing, including the third straight opponent. Prior to last season's defensive battle in Provo, the Cougars have scored 31 or more points in seven straight games, dating back to the 1989 contest. Saturday's game will be the first meeting between the two teams in San Diego since the 1993 season. BYU won that game in a thriller, 45-44. The Cougars have averaged 32.4 points per game when playing the Aztecs in San Diego during the LaVell Edwards' era, while SDSU has averaged 22.4 points against the Cougars in San Diego.

Scouting the Aztecs

San Diego State enters Saturday's game with a 3-5 overall record, including wins over South Florida, Kansas ant Colorado State. The Aztecs have won just one game at home this season -- a Sept. 4 win over South Florida. The Aztecs's have the Mountain West's fourth-ranked offense, led by quarterback Jack Hawley. Hawley has completed 113-of-205 attempts for just over 1400 yards. The Aztecs have scored 10 touchdowns via the pass, while the ground game has accounted for nine TDs. Larry Ned ranks third in the league, averaging just over 91 yards per game. Ned has produced eight of SDSU's ning rushing TDs. The Aztecs' leading receiver Damon Gourdine will not play on Saturday, due to a season-ending injury. On defense, the Aztecs rank second in the league against the run, allowing just 115.2 yards per game. The SDSU defense ranks third against the pass and ranks second overall in total defense. San Diego State is led by Joey May on defense with a team-best 39 unassisted tackles and 28 assisted takedowns. Through four MWC games, the Aztecs are the most penalized teams, averaging 7.5 penalites for over 63 yards per game.

Television Information

Saturday's game will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. (MDT) by SportsWest Productions and will be carried live locally on Salt Lake City's KSL, Ch. 5. Las Vegas' top-rated sports caster, Dave McCann, will call the game with former BYU quarterback Blaine Fowler offering color commentary. The game will be available on ESPN Game Plan, a pay-per-view service, or can be picked up on satellite at Telstar 5, K-3 Upper, KU Band.

Travel Plans

The Cougars will depart Salt Lake City at 2:15 p.m. on Friday, arriving in San Diego at 2:50 p.m. aboard Casino Air Charter. The team will be staying at the San Diego Marriott Marina Hotel. BYU will participate in its walk-through at Qualcomm Stadium at 5 p.m. Access to players and coaches will be restricted throughout the weekend. Players and coaches will be available for interviews following the 10-minute cooling-off period after the game. The team will return to Provo immediatly following the game.

Statistical Comparison

Team Statistics BYU SDSU

Scoring 268 189

Points per Game 33.5 23.6

First Downs 204 153

Rushing Yardage 1033 1367

Average per Rush 3.5 4.5

Average per Game 129.1 170.9

Rushing TDs 12 9

Passing Yardage 2634 1619

Att-Comp-Int 326-206-10 248-132-8

Average per Game 329.3 202.4

Passing TDs 20 12

Total Offense 3667 2986

Kick Returns/No. Yards 13/318 23/416

Punt Returns/No. Yards 27/140 11/59

Interception Returns/No. Yds. 10/242 8/138

Fumbles/Lost 17/9 20/10

Penalties/Yards 54/528 66/551

Punts/Yards 32/1318 39/1464

Time of Possession p/game 33:08 30:13

3rd Down Conversions 48/114 45/122

4th Down Conversions 3/5 6/14

Sacks by/Yards 24/173 19/149

Touchdowns Scored 33 22

Field Goals/Attempted 13/18 12/15

PAT Attempts 29/31 21/21

Score by Quarters 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Total

Brigham Young 59 89 61 56 3 268

San Diego State 34 75 29 51 -- 189

Two Cougs Earn MWC Honor

Following the Cougars 27-20 win over Air Force, BYU quarterback Kevin Feterik and safety Jared Lee each recevied Mountain West Conference Player-of-the-Week honors. Feterik connected on 24-of-33 attempts for a game-high 336 yards and two touchdowns as the Cougars' held off a late Air Force attack. Feterik eclipsed the 300-yard mark for the fifth time this season, averaging a season-high 10.2 yards per completion. Feterik has laced together a string of 11 straight games of 200 or more yards passing, which ties Drew Brees of Purdue for the fourth longest 200-yard passing streak. With 10:18 left in the fourth quarter, Feterik found junior receiver Margin hooks for what would be the game-winning touchdown on a 57-yard reception. The completion marked the longest pass play of the season for the Cougars. Feterik started the game, completing 14-of-15 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown, including a stretch of seven straight completions. The senior left-hander has completed at least one touchdown pass in 13 straight games, marking the fourth longest streak in the nation. Junior safety Jared Lee tallied a career-high 22 tackles on Saturday against the Air Force, including a game-high 11 solo tackles and 11 assisted takedowns. After Air Force had driven all the way from their own 20-yard line to the Cougars' 10-yard line, Lee recovered a Nathan Beard fumble to end the crucial 70-yard Falcon drive.

Scoring Drive Superlatives

Total Scoring Drives 45

Drives of 90+ yards 2

Drives of 80+ yards 14

Drives of 70+ yards 22

Drives of 60+ yards 24

Drives of 50+ yards 31

Most Plays in a Scoring Drive 15

Least Number of Plays in a Scoring Drive 1

Longest Scoring Drive 98 yards

Shortest Scoring Drive -3 yards

Quickest Scoring Drive 0:12 (twice)

Longest Scoring Drive 8:00

Scorging Drives Under Two Minutes 13

No. Touchdown Scoring Drives 32

No. Field-Goal Scoring Drives 13

Pound for Pound

The BYU offensive line totals a whopping 1,490 pounds, averaging 298 pounds per man. The Aztecs' defensive line averages 278.3 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars' front four averages nearly 274 pounds, while the San Diego State offensive line weighs in at 301 pounds per man.

Coach Edwards - (250-92-3; 28th season -- Career Game No. 346)

BYU head coach LaVell Edwards is in his 28th season at the helm of the Cougar program. Edwards has produced all but one winning season since taking over the program in 1972, posting a 250-92-3 record during his tenure. Edwards' teams have passed for over 56 miles during his 27-year career, chalked up a National Championship in 1984 and was named college football's Coach of the Year in 1979 and 1984. He has coached two Outland Trophy winners, four Davey O'Brien Trophy winners, 31 All-Americans, 11 conference Player of the Year recipients, 21 Academic All-Americans and has led the Cougars to seven NCAA single-season passing titles. Since 1972, Edwards has guided BYU to 21 postseason bowl appearances, including a string of 17 straight. Only Michigan, Alabama and Nebraska have laced together a string of more consecutive appearances. Last Saturday's game (vs. Air Force) marked the 158th home game for Edwards since becoming head coach in 1972. In 27 seasons, Edwards is 129-30 (.811) in Cougar Stadium. Entering the 1999 season, the former Utah State lineman ranked seventh in total victories on the NCAA's all-time list. Edwards needs five more wins to tie Nebraska's Tom Osborne for sixth. Among active coaches, Edwards ranks seventh with a 72.8 career winning percentage, passing UNLV head coach John Robinson on Oct. 23.

Last Week

Career victory 250 for BYU head coach LaVell Edwards came off key two second half plays which propelled No. 16 BYU to a 27-20 defeat Saturday over the Air Force Academy. Following a 17-7 lead, BYU's opening second half possession put them in peril when AFA blocked a Jesse Sowards' punt. The Falcons got the ball on BYU's seven-yard-line and had nine chances at the endzone, but had to settle for a 25-yard field goal. A critical sack of Falcon quarterback Mike Thiessen during this drive was delivered by Cougar linebacker Josh Lowe. The 28-year-head coach lauded BYU's offensive effort to score a 26-yard field goal later in the third quarter when Owen Pochman booted his record-setting 10th consecutive field goal, his second of the afternoon. Pochman's streak broke the nine-goal mark set by Leonard Chitty. The Falcons were stopped on the next series in part thanks to back-to back tackles for losses of Thiessen by Cougar defensive end Setema Gali. That forced Air Force to punt for the second straight series in the second half and set up the Cougars' final score. With third and 10 from the BYU 43, Kevin Feterik found Margin Hooks in a soft spot over the middle for a 57-yard touchdown, marking the longest pass play of the season. After a BYU fumble, the Falcons' Scotty McKay ran for a seven yard touchdown to close the gap to 10 points. The Falcons recovered a perfectly-executed on-side kick. They drove to score off a 32-yard field goal by Jackson Whiting with 2:37 remaining in the game tightened things up at 27-20. The never-say-die Falcons had started the day with the ball, but had their initial drive thwarted when Dustin Staley intercepted Thiessen in the first quarter to the delight of 65,319 fans (the fourth sellout of the season). The pesky Falcons netted 212 yards rushing and 109 yards passing, barely losing to BYU also in possession time, 27:12 to 32:48. Staley's younger brother Luke scored BYU's other touchdowns off a 14 yard pass from Feterik and a seven-yard run, both in the second quarter. Feterik's pass efficiency was 178.25 off a 24-of-33 performance for 336 yards and a pair of TD passes.

Home Sweet Home

Prior to the loss against Virginia, BYU had won eight straight home games in Cougar Stadium, dating back through the 1998 season. Last year, the Cougars went 6-0 within the friendly confines of Cougar Stadium. In 1999, BYU has posted a 4-1 mark, including wins over Washington, Colorado State, California and Air Force. The Cougars have posted a 152-45-0 (.772) record through 36 season, averaging just over four home wins per season. During the 90s, BYU has posted a 48-12-0 (.800) record at Cougar Stadium. The Cougars outscored their opponents by a combined score of 212-93 at home last season, including a 13-0 shutout against San Diego State. Since becoming head coach in 1972, LaVell Edwards' teams have posted 129 wins over 158 games (.812) in Provo. Since 1964, the year Cougar Stadium opened, BYU has had just two losing home seasons (0-5, 1968; 1-3, 1971). Next season, BYU will host Mississippi State for its home opener.

Did You Know?

Entering Saturday's game, BYU will look to extend its NCAA-record 308 games without being shutout. BYU was last shutout during the 1975 season (Sept. 27, 1975 vs. Arizona State). To put this streak in perspective, the Cougars have never been shutout during the entire lifetime of current BYU quarterback Kevin Feterik. (Feterik was born Sept. 14, 1977).

BYU has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 13 straight games. During that streak, when BYU connects on at least one TD pass, the Cougars are 10-3.

Senior quarterback Kevin Feterik has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 26 of his 31 games. Feterik has thrown 48 TD receptions (bowl games do not count) throughout his career and currently ranks 10th on the BYU all-time touchdown completions list.

After holding New Mexico to -10 yards rushing on Oct. 16th, the BYU defense held UNLV to -14 yards rushing until the last play of the game when the Rebels racked up a 38-yard run to give them 24 yards rushing on the night. Over a span of four MWC games, the BYU defense has alloweda league-leading 63.5 rushing yards per game yards and ranks 15th nationally through eight games, allowing just 101.8 yards per contest.

Senior Cliff Doman became the 17th different receiver to catch a Feterik pass this season with his 10-yard grab in the first quarter of the UNLV game. The reception also marked the first for Doman of the season, which came on his 26th birthday.

The Oct. 23rd win over UNLV guaranteed BYU its 26th consecutive winning season, ranking second only to Nebraska. BYU head coach LaVell Edwards has had just one losing season since taking over the program in 1972. Since then, the Cougars have averaged nine wins per season, including seven already in 1999.

On The Defense

Over the last three games, the BYU defense has held its opponents to 226 yards rushing, giving up just 75.3 yards per game and three rushing touchdowns. In contrast, the Cougar defense was allowing 116.8 yards rushing through the first five games and had allowed an average one rushing touchdown per game. In Conference play, the Cougars have held their opponents to 254 total yards over four games, averaging 63.5 yards per game and three total touchdowns. In the Cougars' first five games, BYU gave up over 239 yards passing per game, while over the last three games, the BYU defense has permitted just 112.3 yards per game. Cougar opponents have scored just one passing touchdown in the last three games, as opposed to an average 2.0 per game through the first five games. Against MWC opponents, the Cougars have allowed just 156.5 yards passing per game. Equally impressive, the BYU defense was giving up 29.0 points per game through the first five games, but have allowed just 9.0 points per game over the last three games and have given up an average 10.0 points per game in Conference play. Through the first five games, the defense had recorded 11 sacks, while over the last three games, BYU has registered 19 sacks, including a season high seven sacks at New Mexico and against Air Force. Setema Gali picked up four sacks against the Lobos, including a school-record two sacks on back-to-back plays. Currently the Cougars have put together a streak of seven straight games with at least one interception, including Dustin Staley's interception against Air Force in his first career start.

Just Kickin' It, Pochman Named MWC Player of the Week

Junior place kicker Owen Pochman was named the Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Week last week after connecting on five straight field goals against UNLV, leading BYU to a 29-0 win over the Rebels. Pochman paced the Cougars with 17 points, setting a BYU single-game scoring record. Pochman's five field goals also tied a 30-year-old school record, set by Joe "The Toe" Liljenquist who hit 5-of-6 in 1969. Pochman's 47-yard field goal with 8:13 left in the second quarter marked the longest of the season. The native of Mercer Island, Wa., has made a school record 10 straight attempts and is 13-of-18 (.722) on the season. Pochman currently ranks third on BYU's all-time scoring list with 226 points. He trails only Kurt Gunther (243) and Jamal Willis (240).

Career Stats


99-103 (.961) 42-60 (.700) 225

Cougar Stadium Records Fall

Three Cougar Stadium records fell by the wayside on Thursday, Sept. 9 (vs. Washington). Senior QB Kevin Feterik made 59 pass attempts, breaking both the individual and team records. The old individual record of 57 attempts was held by John Walsh (BYU, 1993), Anthony Calvillo (Utah State, 1992) and Sam King (UNLV, 1981). The team, stadium record was held by Utah State, which attempted 58 passes against the Cougars in 1976. Feterik also led BYU to 37 first downs, setting a new stadium record that had been established at 36 both in 1980 and 1990.

Some Things Never Change

According to a recent survey of each Division-I program, BYU has one of the most experienced and stable coaching staffs in the nation. 1999 is the fifth year without a staff change for BYU, making it the most cohesive unit in the nation. Entering its fourth year as a unit, Penn State ranks second to the Cougars. BYU coaches have an average tenure of 15.5 years at BYU, the third-highest average in the nation behind Penn State (19.9) and Florida State (15.7).

For Whom the Whistle Blows

During the summer, BYU athletic media relations' personnel distributed some 300 wooden train whistles to various media throughout the country, touting Rob "Freight Train" Morris for the prestigious Butkus Award - an honor given annually to college football's top linebacker. The whistles, which state, "It's Time to Toot His Horn", are a play off an interview between Morris and ABC's Dan Fouts. During the interview Morris told Fouts when he sacked a quarterback, it could be compared to "a freight train hitting a Yugo." The BYU season ticket campaign, "Get on Board", and several other promotions centered around Morris' candidacy for the Butkus Award. During each home game, some 33,000 wooden train whistles will be blown every time BYU makes a good play or when Morris makes a tackle. Despite a third-quarter injury against Colorado State, Morris led the Cougars with five tackles, including three unassisted and two assisted takedowns. Morris tallied two quarterback hurries and a tackle for a six-yard loss. After missing four games due to injury, Morris returned with a vengeance against UNLV. Morris recorded a team-high 13 tackles, including seven unassisted tackles and one sack. Against Air Force, Morris helped pace the BYU defense with 13 total tackles, including seven unassisted takedowns.


1993 3 8 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

1997 61 49 8.5 0 0 0 1 0 6 1

1998 114 33 16 1 1 1 4 1 11 6

1999 20 16 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 1

TOTALS 200 106 26.5 1 1 1 6 1 19 8

Cougars on National TV (Saturday's Game Live on SportsWest)

Since its first national television appearance in 1974, BYU has posted a 40-23-2 record while playing in front of a national audience, including a 21-14 mark on ABC and a 24-13-2 mark on ESPN. BYU has been a regular on ESPN's Thursday Night Game of the Week in recent history, compiling an 9-2 overall record and a current five-game winning streak. Current assistant coach, Robbie Bosco, led the Cougars to a 20-14 win over Pitt in the first live ESPN College Football broadcast in 1984. Over 11 years ago the Cougars recorded their largest margin of victory while playing on national television, defeating Texas, 72-6, on Sept. 8, 1988.

The Streak Continues

BYU will look to extend its NCAA record 308 straight games without being shutout on Saturday. The Cougars were last blanked in 1975 when Arizona State defeated BYU, 20-0. That loss still marks BYU head coach LaVell Edwards' only shutout in 27 seasons (342 games). BYU has scored in 28 of its 33 quarters this season, including a season-high 21 points in the first quarter at New Mexico. Throughout the season, the Cougars have enjoyed the most scoring production in the second quarter, outscoring their opponents, 89-34.

Another Addition From BYU's Quarterback Factory

After eight games into the season, ranks 6th nationally in passing efficiency (146.0), 6th in total offense (320.5) and has lead the Cougars to a 6th-place ranking in passing offense, averaging 329.3 yards per game and also an 11th-place ranking in total offense (458.4 yards per game)...Has led BYU to its best start (after eight games) since the 1996 season at 7-1...Named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week and the USA National Player of the Week after completing 39-of-59 attempts in a 35-28 win over Washington in the Cougars' season-opener, including three touchdown passes...Used 12 different receivers against the Huskies to total 501 yards - the most passing yards by a BYU quarterback since the first game of the 1996 season...Set a Cougar Stadium record with 59 pass attempts and paced BYU to 37 first downs, another stadium record against the Huskies...Followed the season-opener with a 310-yard passing performance against Colorado State, leading BYU to a 34-13 victory...Was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week for a second straight week with two TD passes on 28-of-37 attempts against the Rams...Completed 28-of-47 attempts against Virginia for 303 yards - his third straight 300-yard performance of the season...Led a BYU comeback that included three touchdown passes, as the Cougars fell just five points shy of overcoming a 22-point deficit against the Cavaliers...Equaled a career-high four touchdown completions on 23-of-36 attempts for 289 yards in a 34-31 overtime win at Utah State...Tallied four TD completions for a second straight week in a 38-28 win over Cal, completing 25-of-41 attempts for 414 yards - his fourth 300-yard performance of the season...In just three quarters of play, tallied 211 yards passing on 15-of-27 attempts in a 31-7 win at New Mexico...Connected with Doug Jolley in the first quarter (at UNLV) to collect his 46th career touchdown completion...Is 8-1 as a starter when passing for over 300 yards...Ranks 10th on BYU's all-time touchdown completions list...With his 300-yard performance against Air Force, improved to 16-4 as a starter when passing for over 200 yards...Including the Air Force game, has completed at least one touchdown pass in 13 straight games, including 16 of his last 17 games...Over 322 attempts, has thrown just 10 interceptions, averaging only one miscue every 32.2 attempts...Has thrown a career-high 20 touchdown completions on the season...Earned Mountain West Player-of-the-Week honors after completing 24-of-33 passes against Air Force, including a 14-for-15 performance in the first half.

Year Games Cmp Att Int Pct Lng Yds TD YPG

1996 1 5 8 1 .625 15 26 1 4.3

1997 8 125 208 5 .601 70 1767 11 220.9

1998 14 202 336 6 .601 83 2718 16 209.1

1999 8 204 322 10 .634 57 2621 20 327.6

TOTALS 31 536 874 22 .613 83 7132 48 237.7

Feterik Climbing All-Time Passing List

With his 289-yard passing performance at Utah State, Feterik moved into eighth place on the all-time passing list and is now just 332 yards from joining Steve Sarkisian as the seventh-ranked career passer. Following is a look at the top-10 career passing marks at BYU and where current BYU quarterback Kevin Feterik ranks:

Career Passing Yards

1. 15,031 Ty Detmer (1988-91)

2. 9,536 Jim McMahon (1978-81)

3. 8,400 Robbie Bosco (1983-85)

4. 8,390 John Walsh (991-94)

5. 7,733 Steve Young (1981-83)

6. 7,637 Marc Wilson (1977-79)

7. 7,464 Steve Sarkisian (1995-96)

8. 7,132 Kevin Feterik (1996-present)

9. 5,833 Gifford Nielsen (1975-77)

10. 5,125 Virgil Carter (1964-66)

Career Touchdowns

7. 55 Gifford Nielsen (1975-77)

8. 54 Steve Sarkisian (1995-96)

9. 50 Virgil Carter (1964-66)

10. 48 Kevin Feterik (1996-present)

Spreading the Wealth

In the Cougars 38-25 win over Washington, BYU quarterback Kevin Feterik used 12 different receivers to compile a career-high 501 yards passing, including three touchdown passes. Junior Margin Hooks was the Cougars' lleading receiver, racking up 140 yards on eight receptions. The Cougars tallied 39 receptions, averaging 12.8 yards per catch. One week later, Feterik used 10 different receivers to upend Colorado State with 310 yards passing. All totaled, BYU has used 17 different receivers over seven games. Cliff Doman became the 17th different receiver (against UNLV) when he grabbed his first reception of the season, which happened to be his 26th birthday.

Leading the Nation

Freshman Luke Staley currently ranks 9th in the nation in scoring, averaging 10.2 points per game. Staley's name appears with many of the nation's top athletes, including Heisman hopefuls Shaun Alexander, Thomas Jones and Terence Kitchens. Of the names in the top-10, Staley ranks as the nation's top-scoring freshman.

Dynamic Duo

Where a big question mark existed just a couple months prior, now resides a big, bold exclamation mark . Enter the dynamic duo of freshman super heros, Luke "Superman" Staley and Fahu "Flash" Tahi. The two rookies have erased all questions marks surrounding the BYU running game and dutifully picked up where others have left off -- and then some! Staley and Tahi have recorded all of the Cougars' 12 rushing touchdowns, including 10 from Staley. The two have combined for 826 of BYU's 1033 total rushing yards, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the Cougars' running game. Staley leads the BYU offense with 427 yards rushing, averaging 5.0 yards per carry and has a team-leading 10 touchdowns. Tahi has produced 399 yards on 79carries, averaging 5.1 yards per carry and has two rushing touchdowns. Staley has also reeled in 25 receptions for 319 yards and two touchdown. Tahi has seven receptions for 62 yards. Staley currently ranks 9th in the nation in scoring, averaging 10.2 points per game and has produced at least one touchdown in every game he has played this season, including a career-best three TDs against Mountain West foe Colorado State. Staley has produced at least two touchdowns in four different games this season. Against Utah State, Tahi became the first BYU rusher of the season to run for 100 yards, collecting 116 yards against the Aggies. In the past three weeks, Tahi picked up a pair of touchdowns at New Mexico and ran for 89 yards against UNLV. After eight games last season, BYU had totaled 1080 net rushing yards. This season BYU has tallied 1033 net yards rushing, averaging nearly 129.1 rushing yards per game, compared to 135 yards last season.

TAHI Carries Gain Loss Net TD Lg. Avg.

Washington 8 26 5 21 0 13 2.6

Colorado State 6 30 5 25 0 13 4.2

Virginia 5 42 0 42 0 28 8.4

Utah State 22 119 3 116 0 24 5.3

California 8 55 2 53 0 27 6.6

New Mexico 14 53 0 53 2 12 3.8

UNLV 16 94 5 89 0 24 5.6

Total 79 419 20 399 2 28 5.1

STALEY Carries Gain Loss Net TD Lg. Avg.

Washington 8 39 0 39 2 11 4.9

Colorado State 14 68 3 65 2 27 4.6

Virginia 8 80 1 79 2 41 9.9

California 15 60 7 53 1 13 3.5

New Mexico 8 75 6 69 1 61 8.6

UNLV 7 54 0 54 1 16 7.7

Air Force 26 85 17 68 1 12 2.6

Total 86 461 34 427 10 61 5.0

BYU Nears Top-10

Following the Cougars' 34-31 overtime win at Utah State on Friday, the Cougars climbed back in to the AP and USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Top-25. With Saturday'swin against Air Force, the Cougars climbed even higher. BYU, ranked 13th in on poll and 15th in the other, had fallen from the top-25 after losing to Virginia in a 45-40 shootout in Provo. After a 27-20 win at UNLV, BYU secured its highest ranking of the season at No. 13.

Brian Gray Named Jim Thorpe Award Finalist

BYU senior Brian Gray has been named by the Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City, Okla., as a semifinalist for the 1999 Jim Thorpe Award. The Jim Thorpe Award is presented annually to the best defensive back in college football. Gray, a 6-2, 215-pound defensive back, is one of 12 names to be named as a semifinalist. Gray, who was questionable prior to the Virginia game with a groin injury, picked off a Dan Ellis pass to rumble 28 yards for his second career touchdown. Against Utah State, Gray recorded his second interception of the season, good for an 18-yard return and lead to an Owen Pochman 19-yard field goal. Both Gray interceptions have led to a total of 10 points. The Thorpe Award screening committee announced the semi-finalists today and will narrow the list to three finalists on November 22. The finalists will be invited to ESPN's College Football Awards Show on Dec. 9, 1999 in Orlando, Fla., at which time the winner will be announced. The formal presentation will be held on February 17, 2000 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Following is the list of 12 semi-finalists: Brian Gray, Sr., Brigham Young - Brian Urlacher, Sr., New Mexico - Tyrone Carter, Sr., Minnesota - Ahmed Plummer, Sr., Ohio State - Mario Edwards, Sr., Florida State - Mark Roman, Sr., Louisiana State - Dwayne Goodrich, Sr., Tennessee - Aric Morris, Sr., Michigan State - Deon Grant, Jr., Tennessee - David Macklin, Sr., Penn State - Ralph Brown, Sr., Nebraska - Lloyd Harrison, Sr., NC State.

Men in Blue

The August 16th announcement of a uniform change at BYU means the first major change in Cougar football attire for nearly 30 years. Perhaps the most notable change in the BYU uniform is the re-introduction of the blue helmet, marking the first time since 1968 the Cougars have worn a blue helmet. Following is a year-by-year breakdown of the evolution of the BYU helmet:

1950-1954 -- Solid white helmet with a single blue stripe running down the center.

1955-1960 -- White helmet replaced with a plain, silver helmet.

1961-1963 -- Blue player numbers are added to the silver helmet.

1964-1965 - Silver helmet is replaced with solid blue helmet.

1966-1968 -- A blue "Y", surrounded by a white oval is placed on the helmet

1969 -- Traditional white helmet with blue and white decals is used for the next 30 years.

1970 -- "Cage loops", a Floyd Johnson invention, are added to the helmet.

1978 -- The oval was dropped and a solid blue "Y" was used on the helmet.

1978 -- Little blue stickers (Cougar heads) are used by players to designated top plays.

1979 -- After losing four games in 1978, blue oval with white "Y" returned to the helmet.

1993 -- Black is added as a third color on the helmet.

1994 -- Players vote to discontinue the use of the cougar-head stickers.

1998 -- Two black stripes, separated by a blue stripe is added to the crown of the helmet.

1999 -- (August 16) BYU unveils its new logo and colors, complete with new football uniforms and helmets. A darker shade of blue and white become the official colors of the University, with tan serving as the primary accent color. The re-birth of the blue helmet in 1999 is the first time BYU has worn a different color, other than white, for over 30 years. The new logo on the side of the helmet, similar to the traditional side decal, is the first new design used on a BYU helmet since 1978. The new uniforms represent a new and flashy look, never before used on the collegiate playing field. The new-look uniforms and helmets represent the first major uniform change under the LaVell Edwards era.

Attendance Tracker

Averaging 62,702 fans per game during the 1998 season, the Cougars ranked 22nd nationally. (Michigan led the nation with 110,965 fans per game.) 376,210 fans passed through the gates at Cougar Stadium last season, ranking tops among Conference opponents. Of all the Division I-A schools in the west, BYU finished behind only Washington (71,356) and UCLA (73,709) in average, per-game attendance.

Quarterback U. Game-by-Game Comparison

Following is a breakdown of some of BYU's more notable quarterbacks of recent years and how current Cougar quarterback Kevin Feterik's numbers compare (Through 7 Games):

Name Season Att Comp Yds Int TDs

Kevin Feterik 1999 322 204 2621 10 20

1998 162 95 1267 3 7

Steve Sarkisian 1996 263 147 2411 7 19

1995 277 172 2467 10 14

Ty Detmer *** 1991 263 147 2411 7 19

***/* 1990 367 244 3374 15 26

1989 283 178 3065 19 25

Robbie Bosco 1985 348 231 2858 18 19

** 1984 287 185 2607 4 23

Steve Young *** 1983 311 221 2964 7 22

1982 266 160 2290 17 12

Jim McMahon *** 1981 336 215 2721 6 26

1980 282 172 2763 12 30

* - Heisman Trophy Winner

** - National Championship Season

*** - Davey O'Brien Award Winner

Huddle Up!

The Cougars are 5-0 when they score first and have posted a 2-1 mark when their opponent scores first.

The Cougars are 1-1 when trailing the game at halftime. When BYU is outscoring its opponent at the half, BYU is a perfect 6-0.

After winning six straight coin flips to start the season, including the overtime toss at Utah State, BYU has lost three straight. The Cougars are 3-0 when losing the coin toss.

BYU has scored an average 30.25 points against Mountain West opponents through four games and have held those same opponents to an average 10.0 points per game.

BYU will face four teams on the season that have (or will have) an off-week prior to playing the Cougars. This weekend's contest at San Diego State will mark the fourth opponent to have a bye week prior to a date with the Cougars. BYU is currently 3-0 when playing a team that had a week off prior to its game.

The Cougars' 29-0 shutout at UNLV was the first road shutout for BYU since the 1988 season. (BYU defeated New Mexico 65-0 in Albuquerque.)

BYU's 98-yard scoring drive at UNLV marked the longest scoring drive since the Cougars reeled off a 98-yard drive on Oct. 19, 1991 against Hawai'i.

BYU head coach LaVell Edwards collected career win 250 after defeating Air Force on Saturday. In his 28th season, Edwards ties Joe Paterno as the second fastest coach to reach the 250 milestone. Tom Osborne reach 250 wins in 25 season.

Currently the Cougars have put together a streak of sevenstraight games with at least one interception, including Dustin Staley's interception against Air Force in his first career start.

Jared Lee picked up a career-high 22 tackles agaist Air Force, marking the first 20+ tackle performance since Sept. 21, 1991 when Derwin Gray racked up 22 takedowns against Penn State.

Next Week

Next Saturday, Nov. 13, BYU travels to Laramie to face the Cowboys of Wyoming. The game will be televised by the Sports West Productions, locally on KSL Ch. 5 beginning at 4:00 p.m. (MST).