Freshmen Shine in Record-Setting Day at the New Mexico Bowl

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

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ALBUQUERQUE -- BYU opened the 2010 bowl season with its fourth bowl victory in the last five years with a 52-24 triumph over UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday.

The Cougars had a record-setting day to finish the season with a 7-6 record and wins in five of their last six games.

New Mexico Bowl Offensive MVP Jake Heaps went 25-of-34 for 264 yards and four touchdown passes, passing Ty Detmer’s freshman record for most touchdown passes. Heaps also set the BYU bowl record for best completion percentage (.735) in a bowl game.

Senior safety Andrew Rich was awarded the game’s Defensive MVP in his final game as a Cougar, finishing with four solo tackles, two interceptions, one tackle-for-loss, one sack and a pass breakup.

BYU played well for the start at University Stadium, scoring on its first five possessions to take a 31-3 lead and set a new first-half New Mexico Bowl scoring record. After forcing UTEP to punt to open game, freshman JD Falslev returned the ensuing punt 43 yards to set up BYU’s first score of the day. Junior running back Bryan Kariya capped the four-play, 37-yard drive with a 4-yard run into the south end zone.

The Cougars went up 14-0 after Heaps found senior wide receiver Luke Ashworth for a nine-yard score with 4:37 to go in the first quarter. BYU put together 12 plays to cover 78 yards on the drive with Ashworth breaking a tackle at the 2-yard line to get in for the touchdown.

While BYU’s offense was successfully moving the ball, the Cougar defense was equally successful keeping the Miners from gaining ground. BYU finished the first quarter with a 17-3 lead while totaling 143 yards and holding UTEP to minus-5 yards.

UTEP’s only score of the quarter was set up by a 72-yard kickoff return by Marlon McClure. Even then, BYU’s defense forced a 52-yard field goal after pushing the Miners back 13 yards in three plays. Reserve cornerback Corby Eason blindsided Miner quarterback Trevor Vittatoe for a 10-yard sack on the first play of the possession at the 22-yard line, marking 3.5 sacks on the year for the junior from Columbus, Ga.

Special teams continued to provide return highlights as BYU freshman Cody Hoffman ran back UTEP’s ensuing kick a career-best 51 yards to set up Mitch Payne’s 38-yard field goal for the 17-3 advantage. The Cougars quickly added to the lead in the opening moments of the second quarter after sophomore linebacker Brandon Ogletree intercepted Vittatoe’s tipped pass on the Miners’ first-down play. Eight seconds and one-play later, Heaps connected with Hoffman for a 31-yard strike.

The 24-3 lead became 31-3 when Heaps and Hoffman again teamed for a touchdown, this time from three yards out. The eight-play, 64-yard drive completed a string of five straight possessions that resulted in a BYU score. The touchdown also moved Heaps past Ty Detmer for the most scoring throws by a Cougar freshman, giving Heaps 14 on the year and three for the half.

The Miners responded quickly to slow BYU’s momentum as Vittatoe found wide receiver Kris Adams over the top for a 67-yard touchdown. The one-play drive took only nine seconds off the clock.

On BYU’s next possession, Cougar punter Riley Stephenson made the most of his lone punt attempt of the half, booming his kick 60 yards. His effort not only tied his career best but also equaled the BYU bowl record Stephenson set in last year’s Maaco Las Vegas Bowl.

BYU finished the half with 286 yards of total offense with Heaps connecting on 18-of-25 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns. The Cougar defense held the Miners to 80 yards, with 67 of that total coming on one play.

The Cougars outscored the Miners 14-7 in the third quarter to take a 45-17 lead into the final quarter. JJ Di Luigi finished off a 14-play, 75-yard drive to open the second half with a two-yard sweep to paydirt, and Heaps and Hoffman connected for the third time just before the end of the quarter on a 29-yard pass play. UTEP’s touchdown was another long pass play to Adams, this time covering 37 yards.

Hoffman set career highs across the board with eight receptions for 137 yards and three touchdowns, tying a BYU bowl game record for most touchdown receptions in a game.

After freshman running back Joshua Quezada bulled his way to an 8-yard touchdown with 12 minutes remaining, Payne converted the point-after attempt to pass Owen Pochman as the Cougars’ all-time scoring leader with 334 points. With the score 52-17, UTEP added another touchdown to make the final tally 52-24.

Overall, BYU outgained the Miners, now 6-7 on the year, 514 total yards to 233. Quezada rushed for a game-high 101 yards on 15 carries to average 6.7 yards per carry while Di Luigi added 98 yards on 20 carries as the Cougars totaled 219 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Through the air, Heaps and sophomore James Lark combined for 295 yards with Heaps finishing the game with four touchdowns.


 

BYU (7-6) vs. UTEP (6-7)

Date: Dec 18, 2010 Site: Albuquerque, N.M.

Stadium: University Stadium

Attendance: 32424

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

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

BYU................. 17 14 14 7 - 52

UTEP................ 3 7 7 7 - 24

Scoring Summary:

1st 10:29 BY - KARIYA, Bryan 4 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 4-37 1:43, BY 7 - UTEP 0

04:37 BY - ASHWORTH, Luke 9 yd pass from HEAPS, Jake (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 12-78 4:47, BY 14 - UTEP 0

02:42 UTEP - WARREN, Dakota 52 yd field goal, 4--13 1:42, BY 14 - UTEP 3

00:34 BY - PAYNE, Mitch 38 yd field goal, 8-28 2:00, BY 17 - UTEP 3

2nd 14:43 BY - HOFFMAN, Cody 31 yd pass from HEAPS, Jake (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 1-31 0:08, BY 24 - UTEP 3

08:55 BY - HOFFMAN, Cody 3 yd pass from HEAPS, Jake (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 8-64 4:22, BY 31 - UTEP 3

08:38 UTEP - ADAMS, Kris 67 yd pass from VITTATOE,Trevor (WARREN, Dakota kick), 1-67 0:09, BY 31 - UTEP 10

3rd 08:18 BY - DI LUIGI, JJ 2 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 14-75 6:36, BY 38 - UTEP 10

04:55 UTEP - ADAMS, Kris 37 yd pass from VITTATOE,Trevor (WARREN, Dakota kick), 6-66 3:16, BY 38 - UTEP 17

00:14 BY - HOFFMAN, Cody 29 yd pass from HEAPS, Jake (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 5-46 2:12, BY 45 - UTEP 17

4th 12:00 BY - QUEZADA, Joshua 8 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 7-65 2:41, BY 52 - UTEP 17

09:48 UTEP - ADAMS, Kris 49 yd pass from VITTATOE,Trevor (WARREN, Dakota kick), 4-60 2:06, BY 52 - UTEP 24

BYU UTEP

FIRST DOWNS................... 28 13

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 50-219 22--12

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 295 245

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 36-26-2 33-14-3

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 86-514 55-233

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

Punt Returns-Yards............ 2-42 2-2

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 5-125 8-202

Interception Returns-Yards.... 3-42 2-55

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 3-53.3 6-47.8

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

Penalties-Yards............... 6-54 7-52

Possession Time............... 38:16 21:44

Third-Down Conversions........ 9 of 16 3 of 12

Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 0 1 of 1

Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 5-5 0-2

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 4-58 0-0

RUSHING: BYU-QUEZADA, Joshua 15-101; DI LUIGI, JJ 20-98; KARIYA, Bryan

6-18; HAGUE, Mike 3-9; LARK, James 1-minus 1; FOOTE, David 2-minus 2; TEAM

3-minus 4. UTEP-BANYARD, Joe 2-11; THOMAS II,James 4-10; BUCKRAM, Donald 6-10;

MYERS, Leilyon 1-3; MCCLURE, Marlon 1-minus 3; VITTATOE,Trevor 8-minus 43.

PASSING: BYU-HEAPS, Jake 25-34-1-264; LARK, James 1-2-1-31.

UTEP-VITTATOE,Trevor 14-29-3-245; THOMAS II,James 0-3-0-0; TEAM 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING: BYU-HOFFMAN, Cody 8-137; JACOBSON, McKay 4-32; DI LUIGI, JJ

3-21; MAHINA, Devin 2-20; WILSON, Richard 2-16; QUEZADA, Joshua 2-15; FOOTE,

David 1-31; ASHWORTH, Luke 1-9; HAGUE, Mike 1-6; HAFOKA, Spencer 1-4; HOLT,

Austin 1-4. UTEP-MCCLURE, Marlon 4-38; ADAMS, Kris 3-153; HUNTER, Pierce 3-27;

TRISBY, Corey 2-14; THOMAS II,James 1-7; CARR, Russell 1-6.

INTERCEPTIONS: BYU-RICH, Andrew 2-43; OGLETREE, Brand 1-minus 1.

UTEP-NIXON, Travaun 1-43; OBI, Bernard 1-12.

FUMBLES: BYU-HOFFMAN, Cody 1-0. UTEP-None.

SACKS (UA-A): BYU-FRAZIER, Jameso 1-0; EASON, Corby 1-0; SO'OTO, Vic 1-0;

RICH, Andrew 1-0. UTEP-None.

TACKLES (UA-A): BYU-RICH, Andrew 4-0; HUNTER, Shane 1-3; JORGENSEN, Aust

3-0; STOUT, Zac 3-0; BRADLEY, Brando 2-1; FRAZIER, Jameso 2-1; MANUMALEUNA, Ea 1-2; WAGNER, Jadon 1-2; HESS, Connell 1-2; VAN NOY, Kyle 2-0; OGLETREE, Brand 1-1; LOGAN, Brian 1-1; PUTNAM, Matt 1-1; FOOTE, David 1-1; EASON, Corby 1-0; PETERSON, Matt 1-0; MENDENHALL, Zek 1-0; SO'OTO, Vic 1-0; KARIYA, Bryan 1-0; JAUSSI, Landon 0-1; MARSHALL, Matt 0-1; LARK, James 0-1; UALE, Travis 0-1; QUEZADA, Joshua 0-1.

UTEP-JEUNE, Wiston 7-3; MORROW, Anthony 5-4; CARTER, Isaiah 4-4; SPRINGER,Jeremy

4-3; NIXON, Travaun 5-1; GRAYSON,DeShawn 2-3; SMITH, Royzell 1-4; BLAKE, Antwon

4-0; REED, Germard 3-1; ALEXIUS, Aubrey 3-0; WATKINS, Greg 2-1; AYALA, Adam 1-2;

BAGLEY, Marcus 1-2; MILLER, Brandon 2-0; SPENCER,Richard 2-0; BANYARD, Joe 1-1;

CONTRERAS, A. 1-1; SOLEYJACKS, R. 0-2; CULLUMBER, T. 1-0; EVBUOMWAN, L. 1-0;

CAMILLI, Matt 1-0; CAMPBELL, Ian 1-0; IRVING, Jamie 1-0; MUNOZ, Ruben 0-1;

STRANGE, Martel 0-1; OBI, Bernard 0-1; THOMAS, Drew 0-1.

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