Cougars Run to Milestone Victory

Running back Curtis Brown ran for a career-high 219 yards and scored a career-best four touchdowns on Saturday, helping the Cougars to a 62-41 win over Air Force. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

COUGAR TOWN -- Curtis Brown ran for a career-high 219 yards and scored a personal-best four rushing touchdowns as BYU (4-4, 3-2) cruised past Air Force (3-6, 2-5), 62-41, in the Cougars' 250th all-time home victory.

"We have some exceptional running backs--Fahu Tahi and Curtis Brown," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "And with the blocking of Manase Tonga and with a pretty solid offensive line, it allows us to control the game and control tempo where we're not one dimensional."

The Cougar offense racked up 300 yards rushing and 383 yards passing, totaling a season-high 683 yards of total offense. The yardage total marked the most yards the Cougars have racked up since the 2001 season. In addition, the team picked up 39 first downs, equaling a team record.

"I'm proud of our football team. It was a great win for our program, for the conference standings and for our goals," Mendenhall said. "We made enough plays to win the football game, and that's the bottom line."

Trailing 41-7 late in the third quarter, Air Force mounted late comeback. The Falcons scored twice in the final minute of the third quarter and posted 27 points in the fourth quarter, cutting the BYU lead to just 55-41 before the Cougars put the game away with Brown's fourth touchdown of the afternoon.

"I want to salute BYU. They have a fine team," Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry said. "They're gaining momentum and have an outstanding offense. I'm proud of our team for not quitting. They showed the character of wearing the blue suit and going out there to serve you and me. I'm proud of the way they came back and fought. It really showed the pride these young men have in themselves and the program."

With the loss, the Falcons are assured of a losing season, marking the first back-to-back losing campaign of the DeBerry era. It is also only the fourth losing season in DeBerry's 22-year career at Air Force.

"I believe in this team," DeBerry said. Our kids work hard. They've given a great deal and deserve better. I want them to have success."

The Cougars scored on their first series with a 14-yard pass from John Beck to Michael Reed, which ended a 10-play 86-yard drive with 10:58 remaining in the first quarter.

After a Justin Leuttgerodt interception returned to the Air Force 12-yard line, Nathan Meikle took a handoff around the corner and into the end zone for the Cougars' second touchdown of the quarter to take a 14-0 lead.

The Falcons put seven on the scoreboard with a 15-yard pass from Adam Fitch to Jason Brown ending an eight-play 65-yard drive with 9:47 left in the second quarter.

The Cougars added two more touchdowns in the second quarter on a six-yard run by Brown and a 14-yard pass from Beck to Fahu Tahi, giving the Cougars a 28-7 lead at half.

The third quarter brought two field goals for BYU by Jared McLaughlin from 35 yards and 38 yards. Daniel Coats added a touchdown on a 15-yard pass from Beck.

Air Force scored their second touchdown of the game on the last play of the third quarter with Fitch and Brown hooking up for the second time on a 57-yard pass.

With the Falcons attempting a come back, the fourth quarter turned into a shootout. Air Force scored 27 points, but the Cougars put in 21--all three touchdowns coming off Brown runs to hold off the Falcons.

Beck added another solid performance for the Cougars, completing 31-for-43 attempts with 383 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. With his performance he now has 6,029 career yards, 136 behind former Wyoming quarterback Casey Bramlet for second in conference history. His three touchdown passes moved him from seventh all-time in the MWC for career touchdown passes to a tie for fourth with former Colorado State quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt with 37.

BYU Freshman, Reed led the Cougar receivers with five catches for 103 yard and a touchdown, recording his first career 100-yard performance.

Air Force's Fitch came in during the second quarter when starter Shaun Carney left the game with a hand injury and went 13-of-24 for 265 yards and five touchdowns--three coming in the fourth quarter--and two interceptions.

The Cougar defense forced a season-high four turnovers, including three interceptions and one fumble recovery.

Overall, Mendenhall said he is pleased with his team's performance and sees there in a need for continued progress.

"We played well enough to win," Mendenhall said. "The number of points was outstanding. Defensively, that was as good as we've played the option--ever--for three quarters. At the end, obviously, we have to learn from that when the slight edge comes off. We have plenty of room to improve that way. However, I'll take a win any way we can get a win."

Looking to win two of its final three games in order to become bowl eligible for the first time since the 2001 season, BYU will travel to UNLV on Saturday, Nov. 5. Game time is scheduled for 12 noon (PT) at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Box Score (Final)

Air Force vs Brigham Young (Oct 29 2005 at Cougar Town UT)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- -----

Air Force........... 0 7 7 27 - 41 Record: (3-6,2-5)

Brigham Young....... 14 14 13 21 - 62 Record: (4-4,3-2)

Scoring Summary:

1st 10:58 BYU - REED, Michael 14 yd pass from BECK, John (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar

kick), 10-86 4:02, AFA 0 - BYU 7

05:47 BYU - MEIKLE, Nathan 12 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 1-12 0:

05, AFA 0 - BYU 14

2nd 09:47 AFA - BROWN, Jason 15 yd pass from FITCH, Adam (EBERLE, Scott

kick), 8-65 3:27, AFA 7 - BYU 14

07:31 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 6 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 7-77 2:08,

AFA 7 - BYU 21

01:07 BYU - TAHI, Naufahu 14 yd pass from BECK, John (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar

kick), 8-78 2:18, AFA 7 - BYU 28

3rd 12:04 BYU - MCLAUGHLIN, Jar 35 yd field goal, 6-23 2:30, AFA 7 - BYU

31

09:05 BYU - COATS, Dan 15 yd pass from BECK, John (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar

kick), 5-59 1:53, AFA 7 - BYU 38

00:53 BYU - MCLAUGHLIN, Jar 38 yd field goal, 5-17 0:59, AFA 7 - BYU

41

00:00 AFA - BROWN, Jason 57 yd pass from FITCH, Adam (EBERLE, Scott

kick), 4-80 0:53, AFA 14 - BYU 41

4th 12:47 AFA - RYBAK, Garrett 28 yd blocked punt return (EBERLE, Scott

kick failed), , AFA 20 - BYU 41

10:52 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 4 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 4-74 1:55,

AFA 20 - BYU 48

09:50 AFA - HALL, Chad 8 yd pass from FITCH, Adam (EBERLE, Scott

kick), 5-80 1:09, AFA 27 - BYU 48

09:36 AFA - KIRKWOOD, Greg 36 yd pass from FITCH, Adam (EBERLE, Scott

kick), 1-36 0:07, AFA 34 - BYU 48

05:12 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 20 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 9-74 4:

20, AFA 34 - BYU 55

03:40 AFA - THOMPSON, Victo 18 yd pass from FITCH, Adam (EBERLE,

Scott kick), 6-80 1:32, AFA 41 - BYU 55

00:57 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 4 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 6-60 2:43,

AFA 41 - BYU 62

AFA BYU

FIRST DOWNS................... 21 39

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 38-200 42-300

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 279 383

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 31-17-3 43-31-1

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 69-479 85-683

Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0

Punt Returns-Yards............ 1-38 3-12

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 5-158 6-61

Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-0 3-22

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 3-39.3 2-14.0

Fumbles-Lost.................. 3-2 2-1

Penalties-Yards............... 5-64 11-115

Possession Time............... 25:57 33:56

Third-Down Conversions........ 4 of 13 5 of 10

Fourth-Down Conversions....... 2 of 5 0 of 0

Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 3-4 10-10

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-6 2-6

RUSHING: Air Force-KIRKWOOD, Greg 1-44; CARNEY, Shaun 7-36; HALL, Chad 6

-30; FITCH, Adam 9-24; KENDRICK, Jacob 2-21; McCARTHY, Kip 3-19; HANDLEY,

Justin 3-14; WILLIAMS, Ryan 5-9; SMITH, Chad 2-3. Brigham Young-BROWN,

Curtis 25-219; TAHI, Naufahu 10-59; MEIKLE, Nathan 1-12; BECK, John 4-6;

LATU, Wayne 1-5; TEAM 1-minus 1.

PASSING: Air Force-FITCH, Adam 13-24-2-265; CARNEY, Shaun 4-7-1-14.

Brigham Young-BECK, John 31-43-1-383.

RECEIVING: Air Force-BROWN, Jason 9-156; HALL, Chad 4-23; KIRKWOOD, Greg

2-74; THOMPSON, Victo 1-18; HANDLEY, Justin 1-8. Brigham Young-REED,

Michael 5-103; HARLINE, Jonny 5-76; TAHI, Naufahu 5-67; WATKINS, Todd 5

-38; ALLEN, Matt 4-38; BROWN, Curtis 4-22; COATS, Dan 3-39.

INTERCEPTIONS: Air Force-GIANNINI, Bobby 1-0. Brigham Young-MIYAHIRA,

Cole 1-0; GOOCH, Quinn 1-0; LUETTGERODT, Ju 1-22.

FUMBLES: Air Force-FITCH, Adam 1-1; BROWN, Jason 1-0; CARNEY, Shaun 1-1.

Brigham Young-COOPER, Brett 2-1.

Stadium: Edwards Stadium Attendance: 57687

Kickoff time: 13:00 End of Game: 16:51 Total elapsed time: 3:51

Officials:

Temperature: 41 Wind: S 3mph Weather: Rainy

SACKS (UA-A): Air Force-SPENCE, Overton 1-0. Brigham Young-LUETTGERODT,

Ju 1-0; MADDUX, Justin 1-0.

TACKLES (UA-A): Air Force-MADRID, Julian 9-4; GIANNINI, Bobby 7-2; BIRD,

Carson 6-2; TAIBI, John 3-4; FOWLER, Drew 2-5; SMITH, Nathan 2-3; SUTTON,

Chris 2-2; RABOLD, John 3-0; MEISSEN, Brad 2-1; POLAND, Denny 0-3;

THOMAS, Grant 2-0; RYBAK, Garrett 2-0; PAFFETT, Ty 2-0; SPENCE, Overton

1-1; KELLER, Joey 0-2; GARGUILE, Noah 0-2; JONES, Bryan 1-0; PEREZ,

Gilberto 1-0; GRAY, Andy 1-0; SHAFFER, Dave 1-0; ANDERSON, Erik 1-0;

BAXLEY, Jared 1-0; WILSON, Jon 1-0; 38 1-0; NORMAN, Tony 1-0

MITSCHERLING, R 0-1; CARLSON, Mark 0-1; HUCKINS, Chris 0-1. Brigham

Young-LUETTGERODT, Ju 8-3; GOOCH, Quinn 5-2; JENSEN, Cameron 3-3;

ROBINSON, Justi 0-5; BROWN, Manaia 2-2; TAFUNA, David 3-0; BUCHANAN,

Kayle 3-0; BECK, Ryan 3-0; HODGKISS, Corby 2-1; SITAKE, T.J. 2-1;

GABRIEL, Dustin 2-0; MADDUX, Justin 2-0; WALKENHORST, Pa 1-1; FEULA,

Vince 0-2; ASHWORTH, Luke 1-0; STACEY, Andrew 1-0; LUEKENGA, Kyle 1-0;

STAFFIERI, Mark 0-1; PAONGO, Hala 0-1.

Tags: Results