BYU wide receiver Luke Ashworth caught his first touchdown last year against Utah State (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
Game 5: BYU Cougars vs. Utah State Aggies
BYU will play Utah State on Friday, Oct. 1, at 6 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast live from Romney Stadium on ESPN and KSL Radio 1160 AM and 102.7 FM.
BYU (1-3) at Utah State (1-3)
Oct. 1, 2010
6 p.m. MT
THE BYU-UTAH STATE SERIES
BYU vs. Utah State is one of the oldest matchups in college football, stretching all the way back to 1922. The two teams met each other every year from 1922-97 (excepting the war years) and seven of the last 12 years. The Cougars are on a 10-game win streak over the Aggies and claim an average margin of victory of 25.3 points over Utah State since Bronco Mendenhall became BYU’s head coach. Last season, current wide receiver Luke Ashworth caught his first-career touchdown and had a career high of 91 yards receiving against the Aggies. In 2008, Austin Collie caught eight passes for 132 yards while Fui Vakapuna scored three touchdowns in a 38-0 shutout the year before.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- BYU is looking to earn its 11th-straight win over Utah State. The longest win streak in the series is currently at 10 wins set by BYU from 1983-92 and 1994-present. Utah State has not defeated BYU since a 58-56 win in Logan in 1993. The Aggies last win over the Cougars before that was in 1982.
- The Cougars are looking to go 4-0 against Utah State since Bronco Mendenhall took over as BYU head coach.
- BYU has not scored fewer than 30 points against Utah State since a 20-17 loss to the Aggies in 1982.
- BYU quarterback Jake Heaps will start the second game of his career, becoming just the third freshman to start more than one game for the Cougars in his first season.
- Senior safety Andrew Rich enters the game as one of the best defenders in the country, coming in at 11th in the nation in tackles and 2nd in the nation in solo tackles per game. He has had two 14-tackle games so far this year.
- BYU has not lost four-straight games in one season since a four-game streak in the middle of the 1993 season. BYU dropped games to UCLA, Notre Dame, Fresno State and...a 58-56 loss at Utah State during that span.
A SINGLE YELLOW HANKY
The Cougars committed a single penalty for five yards last week against Nevada, a season low and the first time BYU has been penalized once in a game in almost seven years in a 27-20 win against UNLV in 2003.
Freshman quarterback Jake Heaps started the first game of his career against Nevada after seeing action in BYU’s previous three games. The start by Heaps in just his fourth game is the fastest start at quarterback for any freshman out of high school in BYU history. Drew Miller, a true freshman in 1997, started the eighth game of that season after playing in three game earlier in the season. Slated to start again at Utah State, Heaps will become the third freshman quarterback at BYU to start in more than one game after Berry (6 starts) and Beck (4 starts).
Senior and team captain Andrew Rich is ranked 2nd in the nation with an average of 7.5 solo tackles per game and is tied for 9th in the nation in total tackles per game at 11.8. Rich, who has seen time at both safety positions this year, has led BYU in tackles three out of four games while finishing second in the other. He’s totaled a career-high 14 tackles against both Air Force and Nevada. Rich, a former walk-on from Snow College, entered the 2010 season as the top returner on the team in solo tackles, assisted tackles, total tackles and interceptions.
FIRST IN THE NATION
BYU’s kickoff return defense has been ranked first in the nation all four weeks of the 2010 football season. The Cougars allow just 10.25 yards per kickoff return, almost four yards better than second-best Rutgers’ average of 14.1 yards per return. BYU allowed just 20 yards on three kicks against Washington, 12 yards on one kick at Air Force, two returns for 18 yards versus Florida State and 32 yards on two kick returns against Nevada. BYU is also 27th in the nation and second in the MWC in punt return defense, allowing only 4.5 yards per punt return on the year.
Senior kicker Mitch Payne kicked a 27-yard field goal and a 29-yard field goal against Nevada, keeping him perfect inside the 30-yard line in his career. Payne has made 20-of-20 attempts inside the 30, including 5-of-5 this season.
For the complete BYU at Utah State game notes, see the attached PDF file.