Friday's game will mark the 73rd game in the 77-year history of the BYU/Utah State in-state rivalry. The Cougars hold a 36-33-3 mark in the series, including a streak of three straight victories. Since the 1983 season, BYU has won 13 of the last 14 meetings. Friday's game will be the first meeting between the two teams in Logan since the 1996 season, which resulted in a 45-17 victory for the Cougars. During the LaVell Edwards' era at BYU, the Cougars have posted a 19-6 record against Edwards' alma mater, averaging 36.9 points per game. Since 1972, BYU has posted 40 or more points against the Aggies on 12 different occasions, including a 70-point performance in 1980, marking the most points scored by either team in the series. The two teams did not play last season, marking only the second time since the 1945 season the two teams did not meet in back-to-back seasons. Since 1945, BYU and Utah State have played every year except 1995 and 1998.
Scouting Utah State
Utah State enters Friday's game with a 1-2 record. The Aggies opened the season with a 38-7 loss at Georgia and then rebounded the following week against Stephen F. Austin, 51-17. Prior to the Aggies off week last week, USU dropped a 38-18 decision at Utah. In the 1990s, Utah State is 4-4 following a bye. The Aggies are under the direction of second-year coach Dave Arslanian. Arslanian came to USU after a nine-year stint at Weber State where he posted 53 wins to become WSU's all-time winningest coach. Now in his second season at Utah State, Arslanian has posted a 4-10 record. Offensively, the Aggies are led by running back Demario Brown. The 6-1, 213-pound senior has rushed for an average 121.3 yards per game, including a 128-yard performance against Utah. Jeff Crosbie will guide the USU attack at quarterback, averaging 227.7 passing yards per game. On defense, the Aggies are led by safety Donald Dicko. The 5-11 senior has produced a team-leading 32 tackles on the season, including 13 unassisted takedowns.
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 have 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. The Butkus watch list will be trimmed to 10 candidates (down from 65) on Oct. 21. According to this week's ESPN "Butkus Watch", Morris ranks third in the nation. Despite a third-quarter injury, Morris lead the Cougars with five tackles against Colorado State, including three unassisted and two assisted takedowns. Morris tallied two quarterback hurries and a tackle for a six-yard loss.
Team Statistics BYU USU
Scoring 109 76
Points per Game 36.3 25.3
First Downs 84 78
Rushing Yardage 350 565
Average per Rush 3.8 5.4
Average per Game 116.7 188.3
Rushing TDs 6 4
Passing Yardage 1114 761
Att-Comp-Int 143-95-4 123-64-5
Average per Game 371.3 253.7
Passing TDs 8 5
Total Offense 1464 1326
Kick Returns/No. Yards 3/73 9/189
Punt Returns/No. Yards 8/14 9/105
Interception Returns/No. Yards 4/153 3/22
Fumbles/Lost 5/4 11/4
Penalties/Yards 26/214 24/235
Punts/Yards 8/348 13/601
Time of Possession p/game 33:11 31:00
3rd Down Conversions 17/39 12/40
4th Down Conversions 3/4 2/6
Sacks by/Yards 4/34 8/45
Touchdowns Scored 15 9
Field Goals/Attempted 2/5 3/7
PAT Attempts 11/13 8/8
Coach Edwards - (245-92-3; 28th season -- Career Game No. 341)
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 245-92-3 record during his tenure. Edwards' teams have passed for over 55 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 week's game marked the 156th home game for Edwards since becoming head coach in 1972. In 27 seasons, Edwards is 127-29 (.814) in Cougar Stadium. The former Utah State lineman ranks seventh in total victories on the NCAA's all-time list. Edwards needs 11 more wins to tie Nebraska's Tom Osborne for sixth. Among active coaches, Edwards ranks eighth with a 72.5 career winning percentage.
There are three coaches on the BYU staff that have either played and/or coached at Utah State. Most noteably, BYU head coach LaVell Edwards was a three-year letterwinner for the Aggies from 1949-1951. Edwards posted a 1-2 record against BYU (1949, '50, '51), while BYU defensive line coach Tom Ramage was 3-0 against BYU when he was a player at Utah State. BYU assistant coach Chris Pella was 1-1 against BYU as a player (1963-64) and 0-3 against BYU as the Aggies' head coach (1983-85). Defensive lineman Hans Olsen is the nephew of USU Hall-of-Famers Merlin and Phil Olsen. BYU running back Mike Nielson is a transfer from Utah State.
Pound for Pound
The BYU offensive line totals a whopping 1,490 pounds, averaging 298 pounds per man. The Aggies' defensive line averages 261.5 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars' front four averages nearly 274 pounds, while the Utah State offensive line weighs in at 296.4 pounds per man.
Cougars in First Conference Game - A Look Back
Earlier this season, the Cougars participated in the first-ever Mountain West Conference game, marking the first conference game for BYU outside the WAC since the 1962 season. In 1962, BYU started play in a new conference with a 27-21 loss at Arizona. The Cougars first win in the new conference came on Nov. 3, 1962 against New Mexico, 27-0. The game also marked BYU's first conference game in Provo. BYU is 2-0 in first-ever Conference games.
The Streak Continues
BYU will look to extend its NCAA record 303 straight games without being shutout on Friday. The Cougars were last blanked in 1977 when Arizona State defeated BYU, 20-0. That loss still marks BYU head coach LaVell Edwards' only shutout in 27 seasons (339 games). Since being shutout in the first quarter of the Washington game, BYU scored in seven straight quarters. BYU scored a season-high 19 points in the second quarter against Virginia and have three times scored 14 points in a single quarter (3rd quarter vs. Washington; 2nd quarter vs. Colorado State and 2nd quarter vs. Virginia.) Throughout the season, the Cougars have enjoyed the most scoring production in the second quarter, outscoring their opponents, 46-7.
Cougars on National TV
Since its first national television appearance in 1974, BYU has posted a 39-23-2 record while playing in front of a national audience, including 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. BYU has posted a 2-3 record while playing on ESPN2. The Cougars last appearance on ESPN2 was during the 1998 season - a 26-6 win over Arizona State. BYU's first game on ESPN2 was on Oct. 19, 1996 in Tulsa, Okla., when the Cougars defeated Tulsa, 55-30. Following is a breakdown of the Cougars record on a few of the national/regional networks:
ABC -- 20-14
CBS -- 3-1
NBC -- 2-2
ESPN -- 24-13-2
ESPN2 -- 2-3
Fox Sports -- 1-0
TBS -- 1-0
USA -- 0-1
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 have 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. The Butkus watch list will be trimmed to 10 candidates (down from 65) on Oct. 21. Despite a third-quarter injury, Morris lead the Cougars with five tackles against Colorado State, including three unassisted and two assisted takedowns. Morris tallied two quarterback hurries and a tackle for a six-yard loss. Morris did not play against Virginia due to a lower abdominal strain.
Year UT AT TFL FR FC PI D BK HUR SCK
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 8 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
TOTALS 186 94 25.5 1 1 1 6 1 19 7
Feterik Takes Charge of Cougar Offense
Senior quarterback Kevin Feterik racked up 501 yards passing on Thursday, Sept. 9, marking the most single-game passing yards by a BYU quarterback since the beginning of the 1996 season. Through three games, Feterik's total, combined with his rushing numbers, rank him second in the nation in total offense (368.67) Feterik completed 39-of-59 pass attempts, setting a new Cougar Stadium record for most pass attempts in a game against the Huskies and followed that with a 310-yard effort (28-of-37) against Colorado State. Although Feterik threw three interceptions against Virginia, he racked up 303 yards passing on 28 of 47 attempts and tallied three touchdowns. The 6-0 senior also led the Cougars to 37 first downs in the season-opener - also a Cougar Stadium record. Averaging 12.10 yards per reception, Feterik used 12 different BYU receivers against Washington and 10 different receivers against Colorado State, while using just eight against the Cavaliers. For his accomplishments against Washington, Feterik was named the USA Today.com Player-of-the-Week honors and has twice earned Mountain West Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors. Feterik has posted a 6-1 record when passing for over 300 yards in a game. When passing for over 200 yards, Feterik is 11-4.
Year Cmp Att Int Pct Lng Yds TD YPG
1996 5 8 1 .625 15 26 1 4.3
1997 125 208 5 .601 70 1767 11 220.9
1998 202 336 6 .601 83 2718 16 209.1
1999 95 143 4 .664 46 1114 8 371.3
TOTALS 427 695 16 .614 83 5625 36 --
Too many mistakes early on Saturday cost BYU as Virginia upset the 17th-ranked Cougars, 45-40. BYU spotted the Cavaliers 21 first-quarter points before it could get on the scoreboard with the first of two Luke Staley touchdowns. Staley scored on a two-yard run, then cracked a 45-yard run off a draw, but the Cougars failed to convert both PATs off those second quarter drives. Virginia scored its second and third TDs of the first quarter after picking off Kevin Feterik passes. Feterik ended the night with 303 yards on 28-of-47 pass attempts. Despite his three interceptions, he completed three touchdown strikes. Cavalier running back Thomas Jones netted 210 yards off 35 rushes and had two touchdowns on the ground. Of that total, 148 yards came in the first half when he scored a first quarter TD on a 23-yard run and a second quarter 45-yard scamper, his longest of the night. BYU cornerback Brian Gray returned a 28-yard interception for a touchdown with 1:47 on the clock in the second quarter, closing the gap to 28-19 at halftime. Virginia cornerback Tim Spruill scooped up a dropped lateral and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown with 14:12 showing in the third quarter. BYU then scored with 13:40 in the third quarter when Feterik connected on the first of three second-half TD passes. The first TD pass was a 30-yard strike to Margin Hooks, culminating a quick four-play drive. With 7:06 left in the third quarter, Feterik found Ben Horton for an eight-yard score off a five-play drive. And with 10:54 left in the game, tight end Carlos NuÃ±o caught a ricocheted pass in the endzone to cap an eight-play drive. The Cougars had a final chance at the endzone with less than two minutes in the game. Virginia was called for holding and BYU whittled it to a first and goal from the eight-yard-line before a holding call against the Cougars put it back to the 16-yard-line. With first-and-goal from the 16, BYU couldn't punch it in and Feterik's final attempt was intercepted in the endzone. BYU's defense against the run was hampered by the absence of Butkus Award candidate Rob Morris who has been out all week with a lower abdominal strain. Linebacker Jeff Holtry, who substituted for Morris, was sidelined in the first quarter with a concussion. The loss to Virginia ended an eight-game home winning streak for BYU.
Home Sweet Home
Prior to Saturday's loss, 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 2-1 mark, including wins over Washington and Colorado State. Though it will be a road game, Friday's contest at Utah State will mark the fourth straight game played in the state of Utah for the Cougars. Following the game, BYU returns to Cougar Stadium to take on California, marking five straight games without leaving the state. BYU's first "true road game" will be on Oct. 16 when the Cougars travel to New Mexico.
Running back Mike Nielsen will miss the next 3-5 weeks with a broken bone in the top of his right foot. Nielsen, a Utah State transfer, suffered the injury on a kickoff, when a Washington player ran across the top of his foot. Linebacker Rob Morris suffered a lower abdominal strain against Colorado State. Morris missed the Virginia game and is listed as a "game-time" decision vs. Utah State. Linebacker Jeff Holtry suffered a concusion against Virginia. He will be evaluated during the week and is expected to play against Utah State. Tight end Carlos NuÃ±o suffered possible damage to his MCL. It is expected he could miss three to five week. NuÃ±o will not play against Utah State.
Cougars Rank Among National Leaders
Senior quarterback Kevin Feterik ranks second in the nation in total offense (368.67 yds/pg) after producing 491 yards in the season-opener, 294 yards against Colorado State and another 321 yards against Virginia. Prior to Saturday night, Feterik led the nation for two straight weeks. Feterik also ranks 18th in passing offense with a 144.7 efficiency rating. Freshman Luke "Superman" Staley ranks fifth in the nation in scoring, averaging 14.0 points per game after a pair of touchdowns against Washington, three TDs against Colorado State and two more against Virginia. Averaging 101.33 receiving yards per game, Hooks ranks 19th nationally. In the team rankings. BYU ranks second in passing offense, averaging 371.3 yards passing per game. The Cougs rank 8th nationally in total offense, posting 488.0 yards per contest. Averaging 36.3 points per game, BYU ranks 21st in scoring.
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).
Hooks on Record Pace
Wide receiver Margin Hooks leads the Cougars with 18 catches for 304 yards over three games. The 5-11 speedster from Waco, Texas needs just 938 yards to set the single-season yardage record - that's an average of 117.25 yards per game. Currently, Hooks is on pace to eclipse the 1,114 mark. After three games, Hooks leads the Cougar roster with 101.3 yards receiving per game. Through three games last season, Hooks had six completions for 80 yards, averaging 26.6 yards per game. Hooks finished his sophomore season with a career-high 732 yards and three touchdowns.
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' leading 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 14 different receivers over three games.
BYU Football - A Winning Tradition
BYU posted its 24th straight winning season, following a 9-5 record in 1998. The Cougars have not had a losing season since posting a 5-6 mark in 1973 - LaVell Edwards' second season as head coach. The Cougars' streak of 24 straight winning seasons ranks 11th all-time at the NCAA Division I-A level and is currently the second longest streak in the nation. Nebraska leads with an impressive 37 straight winning seasons. Thursday's opponent, Washington, ranks tied for third (Florida State) with a current streak of 22 straight winning season.
BYU's Righteous Rookies
Three true-freshmen have played vital rolls in the Cougars' first three games of the season. Just three months removed from attending their high school proms, the dynamic duo of Fahu Tahi and Luke "Superman" Staley have combined for over 77 percent of the Cougars' total rushing offense (271 yards). Staley, the Oregon High School Player of the Year was credited with both rushing touchdowns against Washington and picked up three more against Colorado State. Superman Staley continued his dominance against Virginia, scoring two more touchdowns. Staley ranks fifth in the nation in scoring, averaging 14.0 points per game. The third member of the terrific trio, Chris Hale, was elevated to hero status after grabbing a 38-yard touchdown reception to beat Washington in the season-opener, but also came up big by being in the right place at the right time against Colorado State. After picking up the first down, sure-handed receiver Ben Horton fumbled after picking up a 29-yard pass reception. Hale was there to pick up the goods and carry on for an additional two yards. Six plays later, BYU scored to take a 21-0 lead into the half.
Feterik Named to Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award "Watch List"
Sixteen senior quarterbacks have been selected as candidates for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented annually to the nation's top senior collegiate quarterback. The award is selected by the Frank Camp Chapter of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. Included among the elite list of candidates for the award are BYU's Kevin Feterik, who completed 39-of-59 passes for 501 yards in the first game of his senior season and has added a 310-yard performance against Colorado State and another 303 yards against Virginia. Other candidates include, NC State's Jamie Barnette, Michigan's Tom Brady, West Virginia's Marc Bulger, Michigan State's Bill Burke and Jarious Jackson of Notre Dame, Giovanni Carmazzi (Hofstra), Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech), Todd Husack (Stanford), Doug Johnson (Florida), Tee Martin (Tennessee), Chad Pennington (Marshall), Tim Rattay (Louisiana Tech), Chris Redman (Louisville), Clint Stoerner (Arkansas) and Billy Volek (Fresno State). The 1999 winner will be announced on Nov. 24 with the award presentation to be made in Louisville on December 10. UCLA's Cade McNown won the award last season.
Brian Gray Named to Jim Thorpe Award "Watch List"
BYU senior Brian Gray has been named by the Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City, Okla., as a candidate 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 37 names to appear on the "watch list". Other key players that will appear on the BYU schedule this season include, Rico Curtis of San Diego State, Al Rich of Wyoming and Brian Urlacher of New Mexico. 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.
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.
On This Day (October 1)
Since the Cougars' first season in 1922, BYU has played a total of seven times on this date, posting a 2-5 record on Oct. 1. The Cougars are 0-3 in games played on Sept. 25 in Provo and 2-2 on the road. Following is a look at each Oct. 1st game in BYU football history:
Year Outcome Score Opponent
1993 W 30-3 Air Force
1983 W 37-35 @ UCLA
1971 L 0-14 New Mexico
1960 L 7-8 @ Colorado State
1955 L 13-27 @ Montana
1949 L 21-40 San Jose State
1948 L 7-9 Pacific Fleet
1932 W 28-6 @ Western State
All in the Family
There are four sets of brothers listed on the 1999 BYU football roster. They include Brandon (QB) and Cliff (WR) Doman, Rob (DB) and Justin (DB) Warcup, Luke (RB) and Dustin (DB) Staley and Kalani (FB) and TJ (DL) Sitake. The family tradition continues with freshman receiver Chris Hale and his father, athletics director Val Hale. Defensive line coach Tom Ramage is joined by his son, offensive lineman Corey Ramage. Defensive lineman Chris Hoke is joined on the team by his brother-in-law, Mike Hennefer.
Out With the Old, In With the New
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 3 games):
Name Season Att Comp Yds Int TDs
Kevin Feterik 1999 95 143 1114 4 8
Kevin Feterik 1998 41 83 517 2 2
Steve Sarkisian 1996 72 102 1074 3 12
Steve Sarkisian 1995 71 119 1056 4 4
Ty Detmer*** 1991 56 104 764 5 4
Ty Detmer*/*** 1990 103 150 1241 9 5
Ty Detmer 1989 78 117 1207 6 3
Robbie Bosco 1985 87 131 1127 5 8
Robbie Bosco** 1984 75 119 1002 8 2
Steve Young*** 1983 92 127 1221 9 1
Steve Young 1982 60 100 771 3 7
Jim McMahon*** 1981 77 115 896 8 2
Jim Mcmahon 1980 45 80 691 8 2
* - Heisman Trophy Winner
** - National Championship Season
*** - Davey O'Brien Award Winner
The New Millennium
Following is a look at some of BYU's future non-conference opponents, beginning next season and running through the 2009 campaign: Virginia -- Georgia Tech -- Mississippi State -- Stanford -- Syracuse -- USC -- California -- Notre Dame -- UCLA -- Nevada -- North Carolina -- Utah State -- Florida State -- Washington