BYU will be looking for its fourth consecutive victory when it welcomes UNLV for the annual homecoming match up. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
Coming off a bye week, BYU returns to action to take on UNLV for its annual homecoming match up. The Cougars are riding a current three-game winning streak and are a half-game behind Mountain West Conference leader Air Force (3-0 in MWC play). BYU will be looking for its first four-game winning streak since 2001.
LAST GAME RECAP
BYU (4-2, 2-0 MWC) remained undefeated in Mountain West Conference play and extended its winning streak to three games, as the Cougars mauled San Diego State (0-5, 0-2) 47-17.
BYU quarterback John Beck continued to add to his record-chasing season, passing for 267 yards and four touchdowns in just three quarters. Beck now has 59 career touchdown passes, a new MWC career record. His efficiency rating of 245.85 was a career-high and the highest for a Cougar quarterback since Steve Sarkisian posted a
260.8 mark against Rice in 1996.
"They had a good game plan against us, and we were facing a great quarterback and an excellent offense," San Diego State head coach Chuck Long said of BYU. "We had a lot of young guys playing in the secondary. What a baptism that was for them, playing against one of the best quarterbacks in the country."
Although BYU owns a 10-3 all-time series lead against UNLV, it has been the Rebels that have left Provo victorious the last two times the teams have met at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Interestingly, BYU owns a 6-0 all-time record when playing the Rebels in Las Vegas. The Cougars hold a 3-3 advantage over UNLV at home. The last time the two teams played in Provo, UNLV capitalized on six BYU turnovers to beat the Cougars 24-20. BYU last defeated UNLV, 10-7, in Provo in 2000. The series started in 1978 when the Cougars defeated the Rebels, 28-24, in Yokohama, Japan.
All totaled, the Cougars have outscored their opponents in 17 of 24 quarters this season, including eight shutout quarters. BYU has not trailed since the Boston College game, marking 12 consecutive quarters without trailing.
COUGARS ON NATIONAL TELEVISION
All totaled, the Cougars have a total of six nationally televised games. BYU has played on TBS (Arizona), ESPN2 (Boston College), VERSUS (TCU), and Air Force still to come) and has two games on CSTV. Interestingly, BYU played in the first nationally televised games on ESPN (1985), TBS (1982) and VERSUS (2006). All three have been victories.
THE RANKED TEAMS
BYU's 31-17 victory over TCU was the first against a ranked opponent since beating No. 23 Colorado State, 34-13, on Sept. 16, 1999. Previous to the victory over TCU, the Cougars were 0-12 against ranked opponents, including a record of 0-3 at Edwards Stadium. Interestingly, BYU's victory over TCU was the first on the road against a ranked opponent since beating Arizona State, 13-10, on Sept. 20, 1997.
TALE OF THE TAPE
BYU's offensive line checks in at an average 6-foot-4, 316.8 pounds. The Cougars' front line will be going up against a UNLV defensive front that averages just over 6-foot-2, 278.75 pounds. (Advantage: BYU +38.05 pounds per man.) BYU's defensive line weighs in at 6-foot-3, 280 pounds UNLV's offensive line averages 6-foot-4, 302 pounds. (Advantage: UNLV +22 pounds per man.)
In the first six games of the 2006 season, BYU has allowed just 104 points. With an average of 17.3 points per game, the Cougars currently ranked 32nd in the country in scoring defense. BYU's current average is the lowest scoring defense mark over the first six games of a season since allowing just 17 points per game back in 1988.
TOUCHDOWNS: TAKE YOUR PICK
In the first five games of the 2006 season, BYU has scored 19 touchdowns (one against Arizona, seven against Tulsa, two against Boston College, five against Utah State and four against TCU). All totaled, 11 different Cougars have found their way to the end zone for the eight touchdowns with only Fui Vakapuna (6), Jonny Harline (2), Matt Allen (2) Manase Tonga (2) scoring multiple touchdowns. In addition to these four, each of the following players have scored one touchdown in the early season: Daniel Coats, Curtis Brown, Zac Collie, John Beck, Harvey Unga, Justin Robinson and Michael Reed.
John Beck - MWC Offensive Player of the Week (Sept. 16 vs. Boston College) Beck completed 38-of-59 passes for a season-high 436 yards in BYU's double overtime 30-23 loss at Boston College. He also threw one touchdown pass and added a rushing touchdown in the game. Beck's passing yardage is his highest output since posting a Mountain West record 517 yards against TCU last season.
John Beck - MWC Offensive Player of the Week (Sept. 28 vs. TCU)
For the second time in three weeks--and the fifth time in his career--BYU quarterback John Beck has been named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week. The Davey O'Brien Award candidate helped lead the Cougars (3-2, 1-0) to a convincing 31-17 victory over 15th-ranked TCU on Thursday in Fort Worth, ending the Horned Frogs' nation's leading 13-game win streak.
The 6-foot-1, 216-pound senior completed 23-of-37 attempts for 312 yards and three touchdowns, avenging last season's 51-50 overtime loss to TCU in Provo. The victory also gave the Cougars' their first road victory over a ranked opponent since 1997--the same year Beck quarterbacked the Mountain View High School (Mesa, Ariz.) junior varsity squad as a sophomore.
John Beck - MWC Offensive Player of the Week (Oct. 7 vs. San Diego State)
For the third time in four weeks, and the sixth time in his career, BYU quarterback John Beck has been named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Cougars (4-2, 2-0) to a 47-17 win over San Diego State on Saturday. With his four touchdown completions, Beck broke the MWC career touchdown completions record, improving to 59 TD's throughout his career. Beck, a 6-foot-2, 216-pound senior from Mesa, Ariz., completed 16-of-21 attempts for 267 yards and a season-high four touchdowns in under three quarters of play.
The Davey O'Brien Award candidate finished the game with a career-high efficiency rating of 245.9, marking the highest rating by a BYU quarterback since Steve Sarkisian posted a 260.8 rating against Rice in 1996.
Curtis Brown has been all over the field for BYU in its six games. In addition to leading the team in rushing yards, receptions and receiving yards, he has returned kickoffs for the Cougars. Brown returned a kick for 48 yards against San Diego State and currently leads BYU in kick returns.
BYU's three consecutive victories over Utah State, TCU and San Diego State mark the first time the Cougars have won at least three in a row since last season. BYU beat Air Force Oct. 29, UNLV Nov. 5 and Wyoming Nov. 12, 2005 on the road to become bowl eligible for the first time in three years.
BYU's longest winning streak last year was three games and the Cougars won five games during a six game stretch. The Cougars will be going for their fourth consecutive victory against UNLV. The last time BYU won four in a row was in 2001 when the Cougars swept the Mountain West Conference slate en route to a 12-2 season.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN BLOCKING
Russell Tialavea has blocked a field goal in two games this season. Tialavea extended the game in overtime against Boston College when he busted through the line and blocked the Eagles game-winning field goal attempt. Against Utah State, Tialavea was a critical factor in BYU's first shutout since 1999 as he again broke through the line to block an Aggies field goal.
Despite the close proximity, UNLV has no players from the state of Utah on its current roster. BYU has three players on its current roster from Nevada (Aaron Attig, Cole Miyahira and Chris Warner).
BYU coaches Robert Anae and Barry Lamb each coached at UNLV. UNLV assistant Keith Uperesa played at BYU and was a graduate assistant after his playing days.
BYU has scored first in five consecutive games. The last time a BYU opponent took an early lead was in the Cougars' opener when Arizona scored an early field goal to go ahead 3-0. All totaled, BYU has outscored its opponents 54-12 in the opening period. The Cougars have only surrendered one first quarter touchdown on the season (Boston College).
HALF TIME ADVANTAGE
BYU's 40-3 halftime lead over San Diego State extended the Cougars' streak of being ahead at half to six straight games. BYU has held a halftime advantage in every game this season. In the Cougars two losses, they held one-point halftime leads. In any game that BYU has led over a one-point lead at the break, the Cougars have won.
HOME FIELD DOMINANCE
Since it was built in 1964, the Cougars have fielded several dominating teams. This season, BYU is averaging 44.66 points per game at home while limiting its opponents to just 13.66. The margin of difference has the Cougars beating their opponents by an average of 31 points.
With Saturday's 47-17 victory over San Diego State, the Cougars are off to a 2-0 start in Mountain West Conference play, marking the best league start for the Cougars since the 2001 season.
SCORING ON DEFENSE
Dustin Gabriel's 38-yard interception touchdown marked the second straight home game BYU has recorded a defensive touchdown. Justin Robinson had a 64-yard interception return against Utah State. This season marks the first time BYU has scored two defensive touchdowns since 1998.
UNDEFEATED AT HOME
After finishing 3-3 at home last season, the Cougars are off to a 3-0 start in Edwards Stadium for the first time since the 2001 season. BYU has won five of its last six home games.
QUARTER-BY-QUARTER SCORING ADVANTAGE
Overall, BYU has outscored its opponents 201-104. The Cougars are averaging 34 points per game in comparison to their opponents 17.3.
BYU has dominated its opponents in the first, second and fourth quarters. The Cougars have outscored their opponents 54-12 in the first quarter, 61-22 in the second quarter and 48-20 in the fourth quarter. In the third quarter, BYU's opponents have a 38-43 advantage.
BYU has started a new tradition by putting on a fireside the day prior to each game (home and away) of season. All that wish to attend are welcome to do so. The remaining firesides for home games (and the Utah game) will be held at the following LDS church buildings:
Oct. 20 7:00 p.m.
Provo, Utah Bonneville Stake Center
85 S 900 E, Provo
Nov. 8 7:00 p.m.
Provo, Utah Edgemont South Stake Center
350 E 2950 N, Provo
Nov. 17 7:00 p.m.
Orem Utah Windsor Stake Center
60 E 1600 N, Orem
Nov. 24 7:00 p.m. (Prior to the Utah game)
Ensign Stake Center
135 A Street, Salt Lake City