Cougars Open Against Florida State in Pigskin Classic | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Cougars Open Against Florida State in Pigskin Classic

BYU will open the 2000 campaign by making one of three regular-season trips to the East Coast, taking on second-ranked and defending National Champion Florida State in Jacksonville, Fla., at the Pigskin Classic. The game, sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) will be played in Jacksonville's 73,000-seat Alltell Stadium -- home of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. The game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. (EDT) and will be televised nationally on ABC. The BYU-FSU matchup pits two of the nation's most respected and successful coaches. The Seminoles Bobby Bowden ranks second among active coaches (with a minimum 200 wins) with 304 wins, while the Cougars' LaVell Edwards ranks third with 251 career wins.

Travel Plans

The Cougars will leave the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo at 1:30 p.m. on Wed., Aug. 23 and travel via charter to Jacksonville, Fla. The team will depart the Salt Lake City International Airport at 3:15 p.m. and is scheduled to arrive in Jacksonville at 9:30 p.m. (EDT). The team will be staying at the Jacksonville Marriott in downtown Jacksonville. On Thursday, Aug. 24, the team will practice from 10 a.m. until noon. The Cougars are also scheduled to practice again on Friday, Aug. 25 from noon until 1 p.m. Following the game, the team will return to Provo, arriving at the Smith Fieldhouse at approximately 5:15 a.m. on Sunday.

Broadcast Information

Saturday's game will be broadcast to a national television audience on ABC, beginning at 8:06 p.m. (EDT). Veteran sports announcer Brad Nessler will call the action, with Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Bob Griese lending expert analysis. Nessler and Griese will be joined by former Pittsburgh Steeler Lynn Swann, who will be reporting from the sidelines. Saturday's national broadcast marks the first of two BYU games on ABC this season, as well as the first of five nationally broadcast games. The Cougars are 21-13 (.618) when playing on ABC, including a record of 5-1 in nationally broadcast games.

BYU Makes Record Third Appearance in Pigskin Classic

The 2000 Pigskin Classic will mark a record third appearance in the late-summer classic for the Cougars, dating back to 1991 season. The Cougars have played in the Pigskin Classic more than any other team. Florida State will be making its second appearance, while USC and Texas A&M are the only other teams with more than one appearance. Entering the 11th season of the Pigskin Classic, the Cougars are 1-1, while Florida State is 1-0. Florida State defeated BYU, 44-28, in the 1991 Pigskin Classic in its only other appearance. The last time BYU played in the Pigskin Classic, the Cougars defeated favored Texas A&M, 41-37, in 1996 and went on to post a 14-1 record, including a 19-15 win over Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl.

Ultimate Exposure

Including the Pigskin Classic, the Cougars will appear on national television a total of six times during the 2000 regular-season, marking the most single-season national television appearances in BYU football history. The Cougars will open the season on ABC against Florida State, and will play on three ESPN Thursday Night games. In addition, BYU will play at Syracuse on an ESPN2 national broadcast. Dating back to 1980, the Cougars have appeared on national television an average of three times per season. Prior to this season, the Cougars have played five games on national T.V. four different times, including the 1998, 1996, 1988 and 1985 seasons. Since 1980, BYU has played in at least one nationally-televised game. In 1999, the Cougars were 2-1 in national TV games.

Scouting the Seminoles

The Seminoles welcome back 14 starters from last season's national championship team including seven starters on defense and six on offense. However, the Tribe lost four first team Associated Press All-Americans in wide receiver Peter Warrick, defensive tackle Corey Simon, offensive guard Jason Whitaker and kicker Sebastian Janikowski. Returning at quarterback will be Chris Weinke who could re-write the entire Florida State passing record book. Weinke, who has won 20 consecutive games at Florida State, threw for 3,103 yards and 25 touchdowns over the regular season last year, then burned Virginia Tech's top-ranked defense for 329 yards and four touchdowns in the national championship game. He led the ACC in passing yards per game last year with an average of 282.1 and ranked seventh nationally in passing efficiency (145.1). Weinke already ranks fifth in FSU history with 5,672 passing yards and is just 707 yards away from becoming the Seminoles all-time passing leader. Florida State will expect to emphasize the power running game with the return of all of their tailbacks. Travis Minor is back for his senior season after rushing for 815 yards and seven touchdowns last year. A nagging ankle sprain slowed Minor some last year, but coaches look for a great year out of him in 2000. Jeff Chaney also returns after an excellent junior season. The fullback position should be filled by William McCray, who returns after a knee injury cost him the entire 1999 campaign. Much of the optimism surrounding the offense centers around the returning veterans on the all important offensive line. The bad news for receivers coach Jeff Bowden is that Peter Warrick and Ron Dugans have graduated. The good news for the Seminoles is that they return a stable of talented players including emerging starts Marvin Minnis, Anquan Boldin, Robert Morgan and Atrews Bell. Minnis is the Seminole's top returning receiver with 19 catches for 257 yards and three touchdowns last year. The Seminoles welcome back three starters from last year and a fourth would-be starter who eased back into the lineup over the course of the national championship season along the offensive line. The strength of last year's national championship team on defense was the pair of senior interior lineman. The Tribe will trade sophomores for seniors as Tony Benford and Chris Woods are listed at first team defensive tackle and noseguard, respectively. The starting linebacking corps returns in tact, but will be coached by a new face for the first time in four years. Joe Kines replaced Chuck Amato, who left to become head coach at NC State and he welcomes back starters Tommy Polley, Bradley Jennings and Brian Allen. While the secondary lost a pair of frequent starters in cornerback Mario Edwards and safety Sean Key, FSU's practice of always playing a lot of players eases the transition every year. In fact, the Seminoles return all four of the starters from the last two games of the season against Florida and Virginia Tech.

Coach Edwards - (251-95-3, .723)

BYU head coach LaVell Edwards enters his 29th 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 215-95-3 record during his tenure. Edwards' teams have passed for over 56 miles during his 28-year career, chalked up a National Championship in 1984 and was named college football's Coach of the Year in 1979 and again in 1984. He has coached two Outland Trophy winners, four Davey O'Brien Trophy winners, 35 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 22 postseason bowl appearances, including a string of 17 straight from 1978-1994. Only Michigan, Alabama and Nebraska have laced together a string of more consecutive appearances. During the Edwards' era, the Cougars have won 20 Conference Championships, including a share of the first-ever Mountain West Conference title in 1999. The Cougars' last home game in Provo marked the 160th home game for Edwards. In 28 seasons, Edwards is 129-31 (.810) in Cougar Stadium. Enter the 2000 season, the former Utah State lineman ranks third among active coaches with 200-or-more wins. Edwards trails only Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden. The Cougars game against Florida State will mark Edwards' 350th career game.

More Edwards' Notes

Currently, Edwards ranks third in total number of career wins at the same school. Edwards needs just five more wins to pass Nebraska's Tom Osborne.

Coach, School Number of Wins

Joe Paterno, Penn State 317

Tom Osborne, Nebraska 255

LaVell Edwards, BYU 251

Paul "Bear" Bryant, Alabama 232

Bobby Bowden, Florida State 231

Currently, Edwards ranks third in total number of career victories among active coaches with at least 150 or more wins.

Coach, School Number of Wins

Joe Paterno, Penn State 317

Bobby Bowden, Florida State 304

LaVell Edwards, BYU 251

Lou Holtz, South Carolina 216

Don Nehlen, West Virginia 195

John Cooper, Ohio State 184

Frequent Flyers

With three-regular season, non-conference games on the East Coast, including matchups against Florida State, Virginia and Syracuse, as well as league games at Air Force, Colorado State and Utah, the Cougars will log some 10, 874 miles this season. With the exception of Hawai'i, which will make four trips to the Mainland, including three trips to the state of Texas, BYU will travel more miles than any other NCAA Division-I team in the country. The 2000 season will also mark the first time the Cougars have traveled east of the Mississippi River three different times during the regular season. The Cougars will be making first-ever appearances in Jacksonville, Fla., Charlottesville, Va., and Syracuse, N.Y.

Statistical Comparison

Team Statistics BYU FSU

Total First Downs 261 262

First Downs-Rushing 81 92

First Downs-Passing 151 147

First Downs-Penalty 29 22

Rushing Att-Yds 375-1115 397-1351

Pass Comp-Att-Int 280-458-16 250-423-17

Passing Yards 3567 3332

Total Offense Plays-Yards 833-4682 820-4683

Punting No.-Yds-Avg 53-2246-42.4 46-1963-42.7

Fumbles-Lost 22-10 11-4

Penalties-Yards 78-725 109-927

Sacks by-Yds Lost 35-245 29-191

3rd Down Conversions 66-162 69-161

3rd Down Conversion Pct. .410 .429

4th Down Conversions 3-5 2-3

4th Down Conversion Pct. .600 .667

Avg. Time of Possession 32:29 28:29

Scoring by Quarter 1 2 3 4 OT Total

Brigham Young 62 109 81 77 3 332

Florida State 103 117 14 78 0 412

Keeping the Faith

With Bret Engemann listed as the starter against Florida State, it will mark the first time since the 1991 season BYU has had a Mormon (preferably, Latter-day Saint) as its starting quarterback. With all three quarterbacks listed as returned missionaries, it will also mark the first season since 1988 the Cougars have been led by a returned missionary. Engemann served a two-year LDS Church mission in Boston, Mass., Peterson served in Suva, Fiji and Doman served in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. The last starting quarterback at BYU to serve an LDS Church mission was Sean Covey, who started the 1988 season after serving a mission in South Africa.

Schedule Notes

During the 2000 season, the Cougars will compete against six teams which participated in bowl games during the 1999 season, posting a 4-2 mark. All 12 of this year's opponents posted a combined 82 wins during the 1999 season, totaling a .594 winning percentage. Nine of the Cougars 12 opponents recorded winning records in 1999, including Mississippi State (10-2) and Florida State (12-0). The Cougars have posted winning records against seven of this year's opponents.

The Streak Continues

Despite a 21-3 loss against Marshall in the Motor City Bowl, the Cougars extended its NCAA record streak to 312 games without being shutout. BYU was last shutout during the 1975 season (Sept. 27, 1975 vs. Arizona State). To put the streak in perspective, the Cougars have not been shutout since Gerald Ford was the President, a soft-spoken speedster out of Jackson State, named Walter Payton, was the Chicago Bears' first-round draft choice and Kam Valgardson, one of the oldest players on the BYU roster, was born three days after the shutout (Sept. 24, 1975).

Believe It or Not ...

Senior defensive tackle, Hans Olsen , the nephew of NFL Hall-of-Famer Merlin Olsen, has developed a unique talent. The 6-4, 295-pound farmboy from Weiser, Idaho, has balanced tables, chairs, bicycles atop a garden rake, small children in high-chairs and even railroad ties ... all on his chin. Olsen said he was inspired one day while fighting boredom on the family farm. A popular visitor among local elementary schools, Olsen will often balance large lunch tables on his chin if children promise to spend more time reading. Olsen's ultimate balancing act was accomplished by balancing two railroad ties on his chin at the same time. With one lying across the top of the other, Olsen's balancing act totaled over 250 pounds. Olsen's talent was recently featured in ESPN Magazine.

Natural Born Winners

Despite dropping the final three games of the 1999 season, the Cougars posted an 8-4 record, marking the 26th straight winning season. BYU has not had a losing season since posting a 5-6 mark in 1973 -- head coach LaVell Edward's second season as head coach. The Cougar's streak of 26 straight winning season ranks 11th all-time at the NCAA Division -1A level and is currently the second longest streak in the nation. (Nebraska leads with an impressive 38 straight winning seasons.)

BYU's Winning Margin

All-America and Biletnikoff Award candidate Margin Hooks currently ranks fifth in the nation with a streak of 24 straight games with at least one reception. The 6-0, 190-pound speedster led the Cougars in 1999 with 1,067 yards, averaging 97 yards per game. The senior receiver produced a team-leading seven touchdowns receptions and ranked third on the roster in scoring with 42 points on the season. Hooks has produced 2,123 career receiving yards and needs just 944 yards to become the Cougars' all-time receiving yardage leader. Hooks is currently ranked ninth on that list.

BYU Career Receiving Yardage Leaders

Receiver Career Yards

1. Eric Drage, 1990-93 3,066

2. Matt Bellini, 1987-90 2,635

3. Phil Odle, 1965-67 2,548

4. Gordon Hudson, 1980-83 2,484

5. Mark Bellini, 1983-86 2,429

6. Chris Smith, 1988-90 2,367

7. Glen Kozlowski, 1981-85 2,223

8. Mike Chronister, 1976-78 2,205

9. Margin Hooks, 1997-present 2,213

10. Dan Plater, 1978-81 1,979

Lookin' for Some Hospitality

The Cougars have never won a ballgame in the state of Florida. Saturday's game will mark only the fourth trip to Florida and only the second regular-season game. BYU lost to Miami, 41-17, in a 1988 regular-season game. The Cougars have also played in two Florida bowl games, losing to Oklahoma State, 49-21 in the 1976 Tangerine Bowl and losing to Ohio State, 10-7, in the 1985 Citrus Bowl. Both bowl games were played in Orlando.

Pigskin Review

BYU last played in the Pigskin Classic against Texas A&M to open the 1996 season. Played in Provo, the game saw the Cougars down 34-26 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. But three minutes later, a 12-yard TD pass from Steve Sarkisian to James Dye and a two-point conversion pass to Dustin Johnson tied the score at 34. After BYU missed a field goal and the teams exchanged punts, Texas A&M finally regained the lead, 37-34, on a 52-yard field goal by Kyle Bryant, leaving only 1:27 to play in the game. But, with a 46-yard TD bomb to K.O. Kealluluhi, it only took three plays and :24 seconds for the Cougars to score the go-head touchdown. Leaving 1:03 on the clock for the Aggie offense proved to be dangerous. In four plays, Texas A&M moved the ball to the BYU 34-yard line. On first down, Aggie quarterback Branndon Stewart fumbled a pass attempt and BYU recovered to seal the game. BYU also played in the second annual Pigskin Classic in 1991 against none other than Florida State. The No. 1 ranked Seminoles, led by Casey Weldon, beat BYU, 44-28 in Anaheim, Calif.

Mustache Club

While sitting in the team room this summer, senior offensive captain Kalani Sitake took notice of a number of former BYU All-America and All-Conference photos on the wall. Many of the players, including those from the 1984 National Championship team, were wearing mustaches. In an attempt to ralley the troops, and perhaps an effort to tap in to the secret success of the 1984 team, Sitake encouraged several of his teammates to grow moustaches as well. Some member of the group now wearing moustaches (or trying to) include, Sitake, his brother T.J. Sitake, Setema Gali, Ben Horton, Brett Keisel, Jared Lee, Chris Hoke and Hans Olsen.

Pound For Pound

The BYU offensive line totals an beefy 1,145 pounds, averaging 289 pounds per man. They will be going up against the FSU defensive line, which weighs in at an average 251 pounds. The BYU front five is made up of one sophomore, two juniors and two seniors, while the Seminoles' defensive front four contain two seniors, a sophomore and a freshman. Defensively, the Cougars' front four, which weighs in at an average 276 pounds, will be going up against an FSU front five that weighs in at a total 1,565 pounds. That's an average of 313 pounds per man. The BYU defensive front, which contains three seniors and a junior, will be grinding it out with three seniors and two sophomores.

As a Matter of Fact

The Cougars have thrown at least one TD pass in 16 of their last 17 games. During that streak BYU has posted a record of 11-6. Without a single touchdown against Marshall, the Cougars ended their consecutive streak at 16, dating back to the 1998 season.

The Cougars have recorded at least one interception in 10 of its last 11 games, including a current streak of two games.

Dating back to last season, the Cougars have lost three straight games, including a 21-3 defeat against Marshall in the Motor City Bowl. BYU has not lost four straight games since losing four straight in 1993 against UCLA, Notre Dame, Fresno State and Utah State.

On This Day (August 26)

Saturday's game will mark the first time the Cougars have played on Aug. 26th. Saturday's game will also mark the second earliest start in BYU football history. The Cougars' earliest start was an Aug. 24th matchup against Texas A&M in the 1996 Pigskin Classic. The only other game played in the month of August was on Aug. 29th against Florida State in the 1991 Pigskin Classic.