Cougars to Face Nation's Top Scoring Team

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- After taking on No. 1 ranked USC at LaVell Edwards Stadium, BYU will face another highly ranked non-conference opponent Friday, Sept. 24 when they travel to Boise to take on No. 21 Boise State. The Broncos are currently 3-0 after defeating UTEP 47-31 last week, while BYU is 1-2 after losing to the Trojans. Boise State holds a 1-0 edge in the all-time series. The Broncos beat the Cougars last year 50-12 behind the passing of Ryan Dinwiddie, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for another.

SETTING THE GAME

KICKOFF: 8 p.m. (MST)

SITE: Bronco Stadium (30,000)

TELEVISION (National): ESPN; Rod Gilmore, Brad Sheldon, Tim Ryan and Heather Cox: KSL-Radio; 1160 AM (Greg Wrubell, Marc Lyons, Bill Riley)

INTERNET WEBCAST: http://www.byucougars.com/football

THE SERIES: Boise State leads 1-0

IN PROVO: Boise State leads 1-0

LAST MEETING: Oct. 30, 2003 (Boise State, 50-12)

LAST MEETING IN PROVO: Oct. 30, 2003 (Boise State, 50-12)

RECORD VS. TEAMS CURRENTLY IN THE WAC

The Cougars hold a 64-23-3 (.736) record against teams currently in the Western Athletic Conference. Out of the 10 teams that comprise the WAC, BYU has played all of them except coach Gary Crowton's old team, Louisiana Tech. The Cougars competed in the WAC from 1962 until 1998 when BYU and seven other members of the WAC formed the Mountain West Conference. Nineteen of BYU's 21 conference championships came while they were still competing in the WAC with the first coming in 1965 and the last coming in 1996.

THE GEM STATE

Despite its proximity to the Gem State, BYU has only played four games in the state of Idaho, posting a 2-1-1 record. BYU hasn't played in Idaho since a 34-0 loss to the University of Idaho in 1954. The Cougars have three players on their roster that are from Idaho: linebacker Dan Bates (Boise), running back Nathan Meikle (Idaho Falls) and offensive lineman Scott Tidwell (Nampa). Other Cougars with ties to Idaho are Bryce Mahuika (mission in Pocatello) and John Denney, Jonny Harline Cameron Jensen and Scott Tidwell who all played at Ricks College. Some of the Cougars' greatest players have hailed from Idaho, including Outland Trophy winner Jason Buck, Academic All-American Jared Lee and current Indianapolis Colt Rob Morris.

ELECTION YEAR RECORD

Since 1972, BYU has posted a 78-24 (.765) record during election years. Some of the most significant moments have occurred while republicans and democrats are fighting for a seat in the oval office. During the 1972 presidential election, LaVell Edwards took over as BYU's head coach. In 1976, BYU was invited to its first bowl game, the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State. The 1980 presidential election year brought the Cougars their first bowl victory and a 12-1 record. BYU won the national championship in 1984, and in 1996, the Cougars posted 14 victories and earned their first trip to a New Year's Day bowl game.

COMPLETE BROADCAST PLANS

TELEVISION: Saturday's game will be broadcast to a national audience on ESPN. The game will be broadcast beginning at 8 p.m. MST. The ESPN team that will call the game consists of Brad Sheldon, Tim Ryan, Rod Gilmore and Heather Cox.

RADIO: Fans can tune into KSL Radio--the 50,000-watt home of the Cougars--and follow the action with the broadcast team of Greg Wrubell, Marc Lyons and Bill Riley. The game can also be heard on Dish Network channel 980.

INTERNET: A live webcast of the game, which includes play-by-play and up-to-the-minute statistics, can be viewed by logging on to: http://www.byucougars.com/football

In addition to the webcast, a live audio stream will be available on the following URLs:

http://ksl.com and http://www.byuradio.org

EARLY LEADS

Following Matt Payne's 46-yard field goal against USC, BYU had scored first in all three of its games this year. Running back Fahu Tahi scored the Cougars' first points against both Notre Dame and Stanford. On the season, BYU has outscored its opponents 20-7 in the first quarter, while its opponents have outscored the Cougars 41-0 in the fourth.

TALE OF THE TAPE

BYU's projected starting offensive line averages an enormous 6-foot-4 and 312 pounds. They will face a Boise State defensive line that averages 6-foot-2 and 261 pounds. When the Broncos has the ball, Cougar defensive linemen that average 6-foot-4 and 293 pounds will face a Boise State front five that are listed at 6-foot-3 and 288 pounds.

PACKING THE HOUSE

Through two home games, BYU is averaging 64,359 fans per game, which is ranks 28th best in the nation. Against Notre Dame, the Cougars packed in 65,251 fans into the stands, the most to watch a game at LaVell Edwards stadium since the Legacy seating was added in 2003. BYU's game against Notre Dame was the 47th largest crowd to watch an NCAA football game this year, while the Cougars' game against USC was the 52nd largest.

OFFENSIVE NOTES

BYU currently ranks 100th in the nation in total offense with 278 yards per game. The Cougars will face a Bronco defense that ranks 44th in the nation. BYU is averaging 248 passing yards a game, which ranks 31st in the country, while Boise State's pass defense ranks 88th in the nation, yielding 246 yards a game. BYU ranks 116 out of 117 teams in rushing offense, racking up just 30 yards per contest, while the Broncos rank 15th in the nation in rush defense, giving up only 78 yards a game. Cougar wide receiver Todd Watkins ranks 16th in the nation and second in the MWC in receiving yards per game with a 99.33 average

DEFENSIVE NOTES

The Cougars defense, which ranks 80th in the nation, will face the nation's fourth best offense yardage-wise and the nation's top scoring team that averages 55 points a game. The Broncos' passing attack ranks seventh in the nation, averaging 318 yards per game, while their running game averages 225 yards per game. BYU ranks 101st in pass defense and 50th against the rush.

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