Freshman tight end Marcus Mathews had a career-high 32 receiving yards at Utah State (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
Game 6: BYU Cougars vs. San Diego State Aztecs
BYU will play San Diego State on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 4 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast live from LaVell Edwards Stadium on The Mtn. and KSL Radio 1160 AM and 102.7 FM.
BYU (1-4) at San Diego State (3-1)
Oct. 9, 2010
4 p.m. MT
LaVell Edwards Stadium
THE BYU-SAN DIEGO STATE SERIES
BYU and San Diego State have been a part of a few record-breaking performances together. Last season, the Cougars earned the program’s 500th win in school history while Dennis Pitta passed Gordon Hudson for most receiving yards by a tight end in BYU history. In 2008, BYU defeated the Aztecs to wrap up three-straight undefeated seasons at Edwards Stadium. In 2005, SDSU broke beat BYU in San Deigo for the first time since 1988. Finally, the two teams own an NCAA record that will likely never be broken: the highest-scoring game ever to end in a tie occured in 1991 when Marshall Faulk and the Aztecs tied the Cougars, 52-52. Overall, BYU leads the series 26-7-1 and has never allowed SDSU to win two-straight seasons.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- With his next PAT conversion, senior kicker Mitch Payne will break the BYU record for most in a career previously set by Kurt Gunther. Payne and Gunther are currently tied with 162 PATs apiece.
- BYU is 15-2 all-time versus San Diego State in Provo. The Aztecs have not won at Edwards Stadium since a 16-15 victory in 2000.
- The Cougars will look to win their third conference game in a row at home after defeating Air Force and Utah to end the 2009 season. The Cougars have a four-game victory streak in the series dating back to SDSU’s 31-10 victory in San Diego in 2005.
- Senior safety Andrew Rich enters the game as one of the best defenders in the country, coming in at 16th in the nation in tackles and 11th in the nation in solo tackles per game. He has had two 14-tackle games so far this year.
- The Cougars finished Saturday’s game at Utah State playing without five defensive starters who have been knocked out by injuries. BYU started the game without defensive tackle Romney Fuga, outside linebacker Jameson Frazier and free safety Steven Thomas and then lost the team’s top two tacklers, strong safety Andrew Rich and outside linebacker Jordan Pendleton, during the game. Including the offensive side of the ball, BYU played without seven opening-day starters.
MOVE FORWARD, NOT BACKWARD
As a team, the Cougars are one of the least penalized squads in the nation, averaging just five penalties per game, tied for 25th among all FBS schools and tied for second in the MWC. BYU’s average of 40 penalty yards per game is tied for 18th in the nation and is second best in the conference just behind Wyoming’s average of 39.6 yards per game. Against Nevada, BYU committed just one penalty for five yards, the first single-penalty game for the Cougars since 2003.
HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE
Junior running back JJ Di Luigi has racked up the yardage for the Cougars so far this season, leading the team with 374 rushing yards, 262 receiving yards and 690 all-purpose yards. Di Luigi also leads the team in rushing yards per game (74.8), receiving yards per game (52.4), kick return yards per game (27.0) and all-purpose yards per game (138.0). The junior has half of BYU’s touchdowns with four and is tied with kicker Mitch Payne for the team scoring lead with 24 points on the year.
HEAPS UP THE RANKS
After five games and two starts, true freshman quarterback Jake Heaps is making his mark on the BYU freshman quarterback charts:
1. Matt Berry 1,309
2. Ty Detmer 1,252
3. John Beck 864
4. Jake Heaps 759
5. Drew Miller 430
1. Matt Berry 108
2. Ty Detmer 83
3. Jake Heaps 81
4. John Beck 73
Linebacker Shane Hunter led all players with a career-high 13 tackles against Utah State last Friday, including a BYU season-high 10 assisted tackles. He is currently ranked eighth in the conference with an average of 8.6 total tackles per game. Hunter has also come up with two of BYU’s four turnovers created this season, recovering a fumble against Florida State and intercepting a pass at Air Force.
PAYNE CLOSING ON RECORDS
With one PAT against Nevada, Payne is now tied with former Cougar kicker Kurt Gunther (1980-82) for most PAT conversions in a career with 162. Payne is also currently 11 PAT attempts from passing Gunther’s mark of 179 in the BYU record books. He is also 64 points away from scoring the most points of any Cougar player in BYU history, a record currently held by kicker Owen Pochman (1997-00) with 333 points.
For the complete BYU vs. San Diego State game notes, see the attached PDF file.