Game Notes: BYU at Notre Dame

BYU ran for a season-high 274 yards in the team's 24-14 win over Colorado State, including a season-high 86 yards from senior running back Fahu Tahi. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

COUGARS SET TO BATTLE FIGHTING IRISH

Riding a two-game win streak, the Cougars, 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the MWC, will take a one-week hiatus from conference play and take a trip to Indiana for a game with the No. 9 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. BYU's most recent win was Saturday against Colorado State in this year's homecoming game. The Cougars struck twice in the second quarter on a four-yard run by Curtis Brown and a two-yard scoring pass from John Beck to Daniel Coats. BYU added a third-quarter field goal before yielding two touchdowns to the Rams, which cut the Cougar lead to 17-14. BYU responded after the second when Brown scored from two yards out in the fourth, capping a 14-play, 76-yard drive that ate 6:53 off the clock and left Colorado State down 10 with 2:07 remaining. The Cougar defense held to secure the 24-14 win. Brown had season highs of 147 yards, two touchdowns and 31 rush attempts.

A LOOK AT THE IRISH

The No. 9 Irish are 4-2 and coming off a near-upset of the No. 1-ranked USC Trojans. Notre Dame held the lead three times during the game, including 31-28 with 2:02 remaining after quarterback Brady Quinn scored on a five-yard run. The Trojans answered as Matt Leinart took his team to the goal line with just seven seconds remaining and scored the game-winning touchdown. Quinn finished the game completing 19-of-35 pass attempts for 264 yards and one touchdown. Jeff Samardzija caught six passes for 99 yards and a touchdown while the Irish ran for 153 yards. For the season, Quinn has thrown for 1,885 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is averaging 314.2 yards per game. Samardzija has caught nine of those touchdown passes and has 598 receiving yards. Darius Walker is the team's top rusher with 600 yards and three touchdowns.

COMPLETE BROADCAST PLANS

Television: BYU's game against No. 9 Notre Dame will be broadcast nationally on NBC. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (CT). The game can be seen locally on KSL-TV Channel 5.

Radio: Fans can also catch the game by tuning into KSL Radio, 1160 AM and 102.7 FM, and follow the game live as Greg Wrubell calls the action, Marc Lyons offers expert analysis and James Dye reports from the sideline. Westwood One will also broadcast the game with Tony Roberts, Allen Pinkett and Al Smith calling the action.

Internet: A live webcast of the game, which includes play-by-play and up-to-the minute statistics, can be viewed by logging on to the Notre Dame Web site: http://und.collegesports.com/sports/m-footbl/. In addition to the webcast, a live audio stream will be available on the following URLs: http://ksl.com and http://www.byuradio.org/streaming.

SERIES INFORMATION

Saturday's game will be the sixth meeting between BYU and No. 9 Notre Dame. The Irish lead the series 3-2 and hold a 2-1 advantage in Notre Dame. The two teams opened their respective 2004 schedules in Provo and BYU prevailed, 20-17. The Cougars jumped out to a 13-0 lead on a five-yard touchdown run by Fahu Tahi and two field goals by Matt Payne, including a 53-yarder. After a Notre Dame field goal, the Cougars increased their lead to 20-3 in the third on a 42-yard pass from Matt Berry to Austin Collie. The Irish came back with 14-unanswered points to get within three but BYU managed to run out the clock, preserving the victory. The last time the teams met in Notre Dame was in 2003. The Irish defeated the Cougars 33-14.

THE RANKED TEAMS

The Cougars' game at No. 9 Notre Dame will be their second against a ranked opponent this season. BYU started the season with a loss to then No. 22 Boston College. The Cougars are now 0-11 against ranked teams since defeating No. 23 Colorado State, 34-13, on Sept. 16, 1999. During that streak BYU is 0-3 at LaVell Edwards Stadium. BYU has not defeated a ranked opponent on the road since beating Arizona State, 13-10, on Sept. 20, 1997.

CONFERENCE STANDINGS

With Saturday's 24-14 win over Colorado State, the Rams fall to 2-1 in league play and trail TCU. The Horned Frogs lead the league with a 4-0 record against MWC opponents. Wyoming, New Mexico, BYU and San Diego State are tied for third with a 2-2 conference record. Air Force is in seventh place with a 2-3 league record, while Utah and UNLV are tied for last with a 1-3 MWC record.

GOOD GRIEF CURTIS BROWN

Curtis Brown carried the ball 31 times for 147 yards and scored two touchdowns, marking season-high numbers in each category. Brown had his eighth career 100-yard game--tied for second most in BYU history--by halftime as he ran for 103 yards on 18 carries in the opening half. Brown opened the scoring in the second quarter with a four-yard touchdown run--his fourth rushing touchdown of the year. For the season, he has 504 yards and five touchdowns on 106 carries. BYU is 7-1 when Brown rushes for over 100 yards. The only loss came in 2004 against UNLV when he had 102 yards on eight carries.

WEARING OUT THE TURF

The Cougars relied on the rushing game in Saturday's 24-14 win over Colorado State. Led by Curtis Brown and Fahu Tahi, BYU amassed 274 yards rushing on 52 attempts. Brown accumulated 147, Tahi had 86 and John Beck added 37. It was the most rushing yards gained by BYU since the Cougars had 410 yards on 45 carries against Colorado State on November 1, 2001. The Cougars defeated the Rams 56-34 in that contest.

MAKING HIS PLACE IN THE MWC

When John Beck completed a 19-yard pass to Jonny Harline on BYU's first drive of the night against Colorado State, he moved into fifth-place on the MWC career passing yards list with 5,180, passing Adam Hall of San Diego State who had 5,173. Later in the first quarter, Beck passed former Utah quarterback Alex Smith on a 13-yard pass to Joe Griffin. The completion gave Beck 5,210 yards. Smith had 5,203 yards during his career. Beck had 168 yards for the game and now has 5,329 career yards.

STAT WATCH

John Beck and the Cougar offense are among national and conference leaders. Beck currently ranks seventh nationally in passing yards per game (317.0 p/g) and in total passing yards (1,902). He leads the Mountain West Confernce in both categories. BYU's passing offense is 11th in the nation and first in the conference while its total-offense average of 432.3 yards per game is second in the conference and 26th in the nation. Beck is second in the conferenece and is 11th nationally in total offense (313.8 yards p/g). Jared McLaughlin is fifth in the conference in scoring (6.2 pts/g). Curtis Brown is fourth in the conference and 40th nationally in rushing yards per game (84.0). Jonny Harline is fifth in the conference in receiving yards per game and 45th nationally (75.0).

IN GOOD COMPANY

Through his freshman and sophomore years, John Beck compiled 3,427 yards passing. Only two BYU quarterbacks passed for more yards in their first two years of college football. Heisman trophy winner Ty Detmer recorded 5,812 yards in 1988-89, including 4,560 in 1989 as a sophomore. John Walsh had 4,678 yards from 1991-93, including 3,727 as a sophomore in 1993. He threw for 857 in 1992 before going down with a shoulder injury and being granted a medical redshirt. Six games into his junior season, Beck has thrown for 5,329 career yards, including 1,902 yards this season. Following lists each players' total yards through five games as a junior.

Player Career (through six games of junior year)

Detmer 8,325

Walsh 6,261

Beck 5,329

ONE PUNT

Punter Derek McLaughlin set foot on the field just once against Colorado State, punting for 38 yards in the third quarter. The last time BYU punted only once in a game was Nov. 9, 2002 against Wyoming, a 35-31 Cougar win at home. The last time a BYU opponent had just one punt was Utah on Nov. 20, 2004.

WHERE'S THE BEEF?

The BYU offensive line doesn't order salads when it goes out to eat. Each starter weighs over 300 pounds for an average of 325 and a total of 1,625 pounds. They will be going up against a Notre Dame defensive line that weighs an average of 271.0 pounds. The Irish offensive line weighs on average of 294.6 pounds while BYU's defensive line weighs an average of 298.3.

SCORELESS QUARTERS AND FIRST-HALF SHUTOUTS

BYU led 14-0 at the half against Colorado State, marking the Cougars' second first-half shutout of the season. The Cougars also kept Eastern Illinois scoreless in the first half. BYU has shut out its opponents in seven quarters this season, including three consecutive quarters from the fourth at New Mexico through the first half against Colorado State. The Cougars nearly made it four-straight but the Rams scored as time expired in the third.

ONLY ONE PASS

BYU quarterback John Beck completed 13-of-18 attempts for 168 yards in the Cougars' 24-14 win over Colorado State. He had only one pass in the entire second quarter--a two-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Coats that gave the Cougars' a 14-0 lead with 1:32 left in the second quarter. The pass concluded a 10-play, 74-yard drive.

PAPER OR PLASTIC?

Through the first five games of the year, BYU recorded just seven sacks. Against Colorado State, the Cougars had their most successful game getting to the quarterback, recording four sacks. Justin Luettgerodt led the way with 2.5 sacks for 15 yards. Colorado State quarterback Justin Holland had only been sacked three times entering the game.

LAST SEVEN YEARS

Since 1999, the victorious team in the BYU-Colorado State series has won by 10-points or more. Last season, BYU defeated the Rams 31-21 in Fort Collins. The largest margin of victory during that stretch was 45 when Colorado State defeated the Cougars 58-13 in 2003 in Provo. Since the 1999 season--the first year of the Mountain West Conference--the Cougars have posted a 4-3 record against the Rams.

BECK NOTES:

- With 168 passing yards against Colorado State, Beck moved into fourth in the MWC for the most career passing yards with 5,329 career yards. He now needs 358 yards to take sole possession of third place on the all-time list.

- With 371 yards passing against New Mexico, Beck has seven career 300-yard games.

- With 32 career touchdown passes, Beck needs three more to move into a tie for fifth place on the Mountain West Conference career touchdown completions list.

- With 517 yards against TCU, Beck became only the third player in league history to pass for over 500 yards in a game.

TURNOVER MARGIN

The Cougars rank last in the MWC and 104th nationally in turnover margin at -1.00 per game and -6 overall. Interestingly, the offense has turned the ball over 13 times, fourth in the MWC. However, the defense has produced seven takeaways, five less than any other team in the conference.

ON THE AIR

The exclusive radio home of BYU Football and flagship of the Cougar Sports Network is KSL NEWSRADIO (1160 AM and 102.7 FM) in Salt Lake City. The "Voice of the Cougars" is Greg Wrubell, now in his 5th season as play-by-play commentator. A BYU alum, Wrubell joined the broadcast crew in 1992 as the sideline/lockerroom reporter. He began calling BYU basketball games in 1996.

Joining Wrubell is game analyst and former BYU quarterback Marc Lyons. Lyons is a 24-year veteran of Cougar football broadcasts and co-host of the midweek "Bronco Mendenhall Show." A pair of BYU greats join the KSL Broadcast team this season, with two-time all-conference kick returner James Dye reporting from the sidelines and lockerroom, and three-time NFL Pro-Bowl selection Chad Lewis joining Lyons and Dye on the pregame "Cougar Countdown Show." The gameday studio host is KSL's Scott Haws, a former BYU student-athlete and all-conference pitcher for the baseball Cougars.

Chief Engineer John Dehnel returns for his 21st season, while veteran statistician Ralph Sokolowsky and spotter Doug Martin complete the lineup in the booth.

KSL's game day coverage begins two hours prior to kickoff with the "Cougar Countdown Show." The "Cougar Pregame Scoreboard Show" starts the broadcast's second hour, with the "Cougar Pregame Coach's Show" 35 minutes prior to kickoff, followed by the "Cougar Kickoff Show."

After the game, KSL presents the "Cougar Postgame Scoreboard Show," followed by the "Cougar Locker Room Show," "Cougar Postgame Coach's Show," "Cougar Call-In Show" and "IFA Country Store Replay."

In-week programming includes, "Coach's Corner with Bronco Mendenhall and Greg Wrubell," Mondays and Thursdays at 8:45 am and "Cougar Matchup," Thursdays and Fridays at 8:15 am and 4:15pm. The "Bronco Mendenhall Show" airs Wednesdays at 7:00pm, while the "Coordinators' Corner" with coaches Barry Lamb and Robert Anae hits the air Thursdays at 7:00pm. KSL's Tom Kirkland co-hosts the "Bronco Mendenhall Show" on Wednesdays, while Rod Zundel host the "Coordinators' Corner" on Thursdays.

KSL also airs Cougar Sports programming exclusively online at ksl.com, including "CougarRadio," Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:00pm. The weekly "Bronco Mendenhall Press Conference," live from Legends Grille, is heard live online Wednesdays at noon. In addition, Greg Wrubell will provide a weekly look inside Cougar Football on "Cougar Tracks." All online programs are archived, download-able and formatted for podcasting.

Stations on KSL's Cougar Sports Network include:

KSL-AM - Salt Lake City, UT

KSL-FM - Salt Lake City, UT

KDXU-AM - St. George, UT

KMGR- FM - Delta, UT

KSLJ-AM - Idaho Falls, Blackfoot & Pocatello , ID

KSSL-AM-Idaho Falls, Blackfoot & Pocatello, ID

Games can also be heard on ksl.com, byuradio.org and on BYU Radio on channel 980 of Dish Network.

THE BRONCO MENDENHALL SHOW

The Bronco Mendenhall Show hosted by Tom Kirkland airs live, Sundays at 11:00 p.m. on KSL-TV, Channel 5. Join Mendenhall and Kirkland as they review the previous weekend and discuss the Cougars' upcoming game.

HARLINE EARNS NATIONAL TIGHT END WEEKLY HONOR

After totaling over 100 yards receiving in back-to-back games, and helping BYU to a come-from-behind win over New Mexico, BYU tight end Jonny Harline has been named the national John Mackey Tight End of the Week by the Nassau County Sports Commission. Harline grabbed a career-high 10 receptions and equaled a career-high 123 yards. A week earlier he had seven receptions for 123 yards against San Diego State. Harline is the first BYU tight end to record 246 yards over two games since Chris Smith totaled 284 yards over two games in 1990. Smith had 125 yards on eight receptions against Utah and eight receptions for 159 yards against Utah State. Gordon Hudson holds the tight end record for receiving yardage over a two-game stretch, posting 396 yards in two straight games during the 1981 season. He totaled 137 yards against Colorado State, followed by 259 yards against Hawaii the following week.

TOUCHDOWN DROUGHT ENDS

When Daniel Coats scored with 10:27 left in the first quarter against New Mexico on an 11-yard pass from John Beck, it was a reunion with the endzone more than two years in the making. The last time Coats scored a touchdown was September 20, 2003 against Stanford. The Cougars lost that game, 18-14, in Provo. He also added a score against Colorado State on a two-yard reception in the second quarter.

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