Defense Fuels 55-14 Victory

The BYU defense forced three interceptions, including the second in two games by linebacker Justin Leuttgerodt, leading BYU to a 55-14 win at UNLV. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

LAS -- BYU forced three interceptions and had five sacks en route to a 55-14 Mountain West victory over UNLV on Saturday. With the win, the Cougars improve to 5-4 overall and 4-2 in league play, while the Rebels fall to 2-7, 1-5 on the year.

"This was the next step," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "It isn't over. This is only the beginning. This program is being shaped and molded with every situation that comes along."

BYU held the Rebels to a season-low two yards rushing, marking the fourth time this season the Cougars' defense has held its opponent under 100 yards rushing.

"They did a good job defending the run and we didn't run the ball well," UNLV head coach Mike Sanford said. "We threw a lot of passes, threw way too many passes and had way too many sacks."

Senior Justin Maddux was credited with a team-leading 3.0 sacks for a combined loss of 22 yards. Fifth-year senior Kyle Tew and sophomore defensive back Dustin Gabriel were also credited with a sack each.

For the second straight week, the Cougars were credited with three interceptions. The three picks led to 21 of BYU's 55 points.

"We played three or four more concepts than we've shown in previous games," Mendenhall added. "We created turnovers and turned them into points. The number of points (55) was directly tied to turnovers, which was the same as last week. I think our team can play better. I'm glad we are scoring and putting up points."

Offensively, the Cougars rolled up 224 yards rushing and added 267 yards passing, marking the second straight week BYU used a balance attack to post big numbers on the scoreboard. BYU quarterback John Beck passed for 267 yards, completing 23-of-34 attempts and had three touchdown receptions. Interestingly, all three of Beck's touchdown completions went for 11 yards.

The Cougars got on the board first for the fifth straight game, scoring on Fahu Tahi's one-yard run with 6:15 remaining in the opening quarter. Tahi's run capped a six-play, 38-yard drive that was set up after the BYU defense forced UNLV to punt from its own 4-yard line.

After holding the Rebels scoreless in the first quarter--the fifth time this season the BYU defense has posted a first-quarter shutout--the Rebels drove to the BYU five-yard line before Jarrod Jackson hooked up with tight end Greg Estandia for the five-yard touchdown reception. The 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive tied the score at 7-7 with 12:21 remaining in the second quarter.

On the following drive, the Cougars took a 10-7 lead on Jared McLaughlin's 45-yard field goal with 8:42 left in the second quarter. BYU drove to the UNLV 18-yard line after Tahi rolled down the field for a season-high 31-yard gain. Manase Tonga added a five-yard run on the following play; however, a holding penalty and a UNLV sack forced the Cougars into a fourth-and-14 situation from the Rebels' 35-yard line.

On the following drive, Justin Leuttgerodt picked off Jackson at the BYU 48-yard line--his second pick in as many weeks--and returned it 28 yards to the UNLV 24-yard line. The Rebels forced BYU to kick a 38-yard field goal; however, a UNLV personal foul gave the Cougars a first down on the 11-yard line. On the next play, Beck went over the top to Todd Watkins for the 11-yard touchdown pass, giving the Cougars a 17-7 lead with 6:17 remaining in the second quarter. The play marked Watkins' team-leading seventh touchdown reception of the season.

Kayle Buchanan stopped UNLV's next drive with his first-career interception. Six plays later, the Cougars took a 24-7 lead with 3:22 left in the half on Curtis Browns' one-yard run--his 10th rushing touchdown of the season.

On the final drive of the opening half, the Cougars faced a third-and-13 from the UNLV 42-yard line. The Rebels appeared to have stopped BYU; however, another untimely personal foul game the Cougars a first down with just eight seconds remaining on the clock. After Beck spiked the ball, McLaughlin nailed the 37-yard field goal attempt.

In the second half, the BYU defense picked up where it left off. Spencer White recorded the Cougars' third interception of the day, returning it to the UNLV 26-yard line. On the next play, Tahi barreled ahead for a 15-yard gain, giving the Cougars a first-and-10 from the UNLV 11-yard line. Two plays later, Beck found Brown all alone in the flat for an 11-yard touchdown to give the Cougars' a 34-7 lead with 12:51 remaining in the third quarter.

On UNLV's next drive, Justin Maddux came up with back-to-back sacks, forcing the Rebels into a third-and-22 situation from their own 31-yard line. After a dropped pass, UNLV was forced to punt.

BYU extended its lead to 41-7 after Tahi picked up his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon. The Cougars racked up 63 yards in 13 plays on the drive, scoring with 5:15 left in the third quarter.

UNLV's Erick Jackson scored on a 15-yard run to cut the BYU lead to 41-14; however, Beck found tight end Jonny Harline for an 11-yard touchdown.

Freshman running back Wayne Latu completed the scoring on a one-yard run with 4:49 left in the game. Latu led the Cougars with 93 yards on 15 carries, including a career-best 23 yard run during the drive.

The Cougars will look to pick up their sixth win next weekend at Wyoming. The Cowboys have lost four straight, including a loss at Utah on Saturday.

Box Score (Final)

Brigham Young vs UNLV (Nov 05, 2005 at Las Vegas, Nev.)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

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

Brigham Young....... 7 20 14 14 - 55 Record: (5-4,4-2)

UNLV................ 0 7 0 7 - 14 Record: (2-7,1-5)

Scoring Summary:

1st 06:15 BYU - TAHI 1 yd run, 6-38 2:09, BYU 7 - LV 0

2nd 12:21 LV - ESTANDIA 5 yd pass from JACKSON, 11-80 4:38, BYU 7 - LV 7

08:42 BYU - MCLAUGHLIN 45 yd field goal, 7-50 3:33, BYU 10 - LV 7

06:17 BYU - WATKINS 11 yd pass from BECK, 4-24 0:59, BYU 17 - LV 7

03:22 BYU - BROWN 1 yd run, 6-40 2:19, BYU 24 - LV 7

00:00 BYU - MCLAUGHLIN 37 yd field goal, 6-48 0:55, BYU 27 - LV 7

3rd 12:51 BYU - BROWN 11 yd pass from BECK, 3-26 1:12, BYU 34 - LV 7

05:15 BYU - TAHI, 1 yd run, 13-63 3:59, BYU 41 - LV 7

4th 13:49 LV - JACKSON, 15 yd run, 6-33 1:23, BYU 41 - LV 14

10:07 BYU - HARLINE 11 yd pass from BECK, 8-57 3:41, BYU 48 - LV 14

04:49 BYU - LATU 1 yd run, 8-55 3:42, BYU 55 - LV 14

BYU LV

FIRST DOWNS................... 29 19

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 46-224 20-2

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 279 329

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 35-24-0 53-31-3

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 81-503 73-331

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

Punt Returns-Yards............ 1-12 2-13

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 3-38 3-64

Interception Returns-Yards.... 3-37 0-0

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 4-32.2 5-38.2

Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-0 1-0

Penalties-Yards............... 6-50 10-81

Possession Time............... 32:32 27:28

Third-Down Conversions........ 8 of 15 4 of 15

Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 1 1 of 4

Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 9-9 2-2

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 5-40 2-8

RUSHING: Brigham Young-LATU, Wayne 15-93; TAHI, Naufahu 11-62; BROWN, Curtis

10-43; TONGA, Manase 3-20; MEIKLE, Nathan 2-12; BECK, John 5-minus 6.

UNLV-JACKSON, Erick 11-34; SAINT PREUX, R. 1-7; JACKSON, Jarrod 8-minus 39.

PASSING: Brigham Young-BECK, John 23-34-0-267; BERRY, Matt 1-1-0-12.

UNLV-JACKSON, Jarrod 31-52-3-329; KIRKLAND, T. 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING: Brigham Young-WATKINS, Todd 7-66; HARLINE, Jonny 6-80; TAHI,

Naufahu 3-27; ALLEN, Matt 2-23; TONGA, Manase 2-21; REED, Michael 1-22;

COLLIE, Zac 1-17; COOPER, Brett 1-12; BROWN, Curtis 1-11. UNLV-JACKSON,

Erick 8-91; SAINT PREUX, R. 8-59; ANDERSON, Corey 4-53; ESTANDIA, Greg 4-45;

WHEATON, D. 3-36; FLAIR, Casey 2-27; WILLIAMS, S. 1-14; KIRKLAND, T. 1-4.

INTERCEPTIONS: Brigham Young-JENSEN, Cameron 1-9; BUCHANAN, Kayle 1-0;

LUETTGERODT, Ju 1-28. UNLV-None.

FUMBLES: Brigham Young-BECK, John 2-0. UNLV-JACKSON, Jarrod 1-0.

Stadium: Sam Boyd Stadium Attendance: 23677

Kickoff time: 12:05 End of Game: 3:55 Total elapsed time: 3:50

Officials: Referee: Terry Leyden; Umpire: Gary Crum; Linesman: Robert Bahne;

Line judge: Gary McNanna; Back judge: Judson Howard; Field judge: Ken Lucido;

Side judge: Craig Battaglia; Scorer: Jim Shaffer;

Temperature: 70 Wind: 6MPH SE Weather: Clear

ID-332414

Brigham Young vs UNLV (Nov 05, 2005 at Las Vegas, Nev.)

SACKS (UA-A): Brigham Young-MADDUX, Justin 3-0; GABRIEL, Dustin 1-0; TEW,

Kyle 1-0. UNLV-HALES, Jacob 1-0; WATTS, Isaac 1-0.

TACKLES (UA-A): Brigham Young-WHITE, Spencer 4-3; LUETTGERODT, Ju 2-4;

MADDUX, Justin 3-2; ROBINSON, Justi 4-0; WALKENHORST, Pa 2-2; BILLS, K.C.

2-2; JENSEN, Cameron 2-1; BUCHANAN, Kayle 2-1; BROWN, Manaia 1-2; MIYAHIRA,

Cole 2-0; BECK, Ryan 2-0; HODGKISS, Corby 2-0; KEHL, Bryan 1-1; STAFFIERI,

Mark 0-2; FEULA, Vince 0-2; ALLEN, Matt 1-0; SEKONA, Sosiua 1-0; HOWELL,

O'Neil 1-0; MORRIS, Michael 1-0; GABRIEL, Dustin 1-0; TEW, Kyle 1-0; TAFUNA,

David 0-1; COATS, Dan 0-1; SITAKE, T.J. 0-1; GORDON, Aaron 0-1. UNLV-BELL,

Beau 7-8; MIKLOS, Joe 6-9; GUICE, John 8-1; KELLY, Bobby 7-1; STAGGS, Jay

4-1; ASIODU, KC 2-3; BLOOMER, Chanti 0-4; HALES, Jacob 3-0; MOORE, Leon 1-2;

KENION, Nate 2-0; WATTS, Isaac 2-0; GORDON, Ernest 1-1; SMART, Solomon 1-1;

FAGA, Faauo 0-2; HOLLERMEIER, C. 1-0; OLSEN, David 1-0; WILLIAMS, S. 1-0;

HEISE, Ryan 1-0; BOWSER, Chris 1-0; DUNBAR, Pete 0-1.

Tags: Results