Game Notes: BYU vs. Air Force

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

COUGARS SET TO BATTLE THE FALCONS

The Cougars, coming off a 49-23 loss to No. 9 Notre Dame, will return to Provo for a conference matchup with Air Force. BYU is now 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the Mountain West Conference while the Falcons are 3-5 and 2-4. The Cougars were competitive with the Irish for three-and-a-half quarters, pulling within five at 28-23 when John Beck completed a 10-yard scoring pass to Todd Watkins on fourth-and-six. From there, the Irish scored three-consecutive touchdowns to put the game out of reach. Beck completed 26-of-45 attempts for 317 yards and threw for two touchdowns while Jonny Harline had 100 yards and one touchdown on eight receptions. Fahu Tahi also had a solid game for BYU, running for 63 yards on 14 carries and catching five passes for 73 yards.

A LOOK AT AIR FORCE

Air Force is coming off a 42-10 loss to conference-leading TCU. The Falcons ended a four-game losing streak the week before with a 42-7 win over UNLV but fell behind early against the Horned Frogs and never recovered. Air Force is led by quarterback Shawn Carney, who has thrown for 999 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 476 yards and eight scores. Seven Falcons have run for over 100 yards on the season, including Jacobe Kendrick (355 yards and four touchdowns) and Chad Hall (281 yards). As a team, Air Force averages 250.5 rushing yards per game. The team's top receiver is Jason Brown, who has recorded 551 yards and two touchdowns on 31 receptions. The Falcons' conference wins have come against UNLV and San Diego State.

COMPLETE BROADCAST PLANS

Television: BYU's game against Air Force will be broadcast on KJZZ. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. (MT). The game can be seen locally on KJZZ-TV Channel 14.

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.

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: http://www.byucougars.com/football. In addition to the webcast, a live audio stream will be available on the following URLs: http://ksl.com and http://www.byuradio.org

SERIES INFORMATION

Saturday's game will be the 26th meeting between BYU and Air Force. The Cougars lead the series 19-6 overall and 9-2 in Provo. BYU defeated the Falcons 41-24 in 2004 in Colorado Springs despite trailing 10-3 at the half. The Cougar offense came to life in the second half as John Beck hit Todd Watkins for a 70-yard score on their first possession. Later in the quarter, Beck found Pitta on an 11-yard scoring pass to give BYU the lead at 17-10. Gary Lovely returned a blocked punt for a score, Beck threw two more touchdowns and Matt Payne hit a 53-yard field goal to round out the scoring. Beck threw for four touchdown passes on the day while Curtis Bown ran for 128 yards and Watkins had 153 yards receiving. The last time the teams played in Provo was in 2003 and Air Force won 24-10.

BECK CLOSING IN ON MWC PASSING RECORDS

John Beck threw for 317 yards and two touchdowns against Notre Dame. He now has eight career 300-yard passing games, 5,646 career passing yards and 34 touchdown passes. He is now just 41 passing yards from taking sole possession of third in the MWC for career passing yards and two touchdown pass from tying for fifth in the league for most career touchdown passes.

GOOD GRIEF CURTIS BROWN

Curtis Brown carried the ball 31 times for 147 yards and scored two touchdowns against Colorado State, 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 562 yards and five touchdowns on 118 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 their 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.

STAT WATCH

John Beck and the Cougar offense are among national and conference leaders. Beck currently ranks fourth nationally in passing yards per game (317.0 p/g) and is fifth in total passing yards (2,219). He leads the Mountain West Confernce in both categories. BYU's passing offense is 10th in the nation and first in the conference while its total-offense average of 426.6 yards per game is third in the conference and 30th in the nation. Beck is second in the conferenece and is ninth nationally in total offense (312.6 yards p/g). Jared McLaughlin is seventh in the conference in scoring (6.0 pts/g). Curtis Brown is fifth in the conference in rushing yards per game (75.3). Jonny Harline is fifth in the conference in receiving yards per game and 43th nationally (78.6).

IN GOOD COMPANY

Through his freshman and sophomore years, John Beck compiled 3,427 passing yards. 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. Seven games into his junior season, Beck has thrown for 5,646 career yards, including 2,219 yards this season. Following lists each players' total yards through seven games as a junior.

Player Through Seven Games of Junior Year

Detmer 8,789

Walsh 6,700

Beck 5,646

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 an Air Force defensive line that weighs an average of 275 pounds. The Falcon offensive line weighs on average of 294.6 pounds while BYU's defensive line weighs an average of 290 pounds.

'HODG' TYIN' THOSE QUARTERBACKS

Corby Hodgkiss dropped Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn for a four-yard loss with the Irish facing third-and-seven in the second quarter. It was the second consecutive game the sophomore safety recorded a sack.

SCORING FIRST

BYU struck first against Notre Dame on a 44-yard field goal by Jared McLaughlin. It was the fifth game this season the Cougars have scored first. BYU is 3-2 in those games earning wins against Eastern Illinois, New Mexico and Colorado State and losing to TCU and Notre Dame.

MR. 100

Jonny Harline caught eight passes for 100 yards against Notre Dame. It was the third time in four games he had at least 100 receiving yards. Against San Diego State, he caught seven passes for 123 yards and then the next week, he had 10 receptions for 123 yards versus New Mexico. Harline leads the team with 37 receptions for 550 yards, good for an average of 78.6 yards per game.

FIRST SCORE

In the first quarter against Notre Dame, Jonny Harline caught his first career touchdown pass as he leaped to grab a 12-yard lob from Beck in the corner of the endzone. He caught a 27-yard pass on the drive that moved the Cougars to the Irish 22.

BECK NOTES:

-With 317 passing yards against Notre Dame, Beck moved within 41 yards of third all-time in the MWC for the most career passing yards. He has 5,646 career yards.

-With 317 yards passing against Notre Dame, Beck has eight career 300-yard games.

-With 34 career touchdown passes, Beck needs two 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 101st nationally in turnover margin at -0.86 per game and -6 overall. Interestingly, the offense has turned the ball over 15 times, fourth in the MWC. However, the defense has produced nine takeaways, four less than any other team in the conference.

EDWARDS STADIUM

LaVell Edwards Stadium, with its 64,045-seat capacity and immaculate surroundings, is home to BYU football. Originally Cougar Stadium was built in 1964 and seated 45,000. It was expanded in 1982 to seat 65,000. In 1982, 1988 and 1997, the Football Writers Association of America cited BYU for its "outstanding pressbox working area."

Stadium Record: 177-60 (.747)

Stadium Record (since 1982 expansion): 108-38 (.740)

Stadium Record (since renaming in 2000): 17-12 (.586)

Last Six Home Games: 3-3 (.500)

Last 12 Home Games: 5-7 (.417)

Last 18 Home Games: 7-11 (.389)

Last 24 Home Games: 12-12 (.500)

Last 30 Home Games: 18-12 (.600)

BROTHERS DON'T SIT, BROTHERS GOTTA PLAY

BYU has a long tradition of several members from the same family suiting up to hit the gridiron. Brothers Lance, Jr. and Dallas Reynolds have started all seven games this season. Lance, a senior, is on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, awarded to the top center in the nation. Dallas, a freshman, was heavily recruited out of high school and joined the Cougars this season after serving an LDS mission in Seattle, Washington.

CAREER 300-YARD GAMES

BYU has traditionally focused on the pass, leading to 21 different Cougars throwing for 300 yards in at least one game for a combined 182 games. Junior John Beck has made a contribution of eight games to that list. He entered the 2005 season with four but threw for 330 yards against No. 22 Boston College, 517 against TCU, 371 at New Mexico and 317 at Notre Dame. Beck has now taken sole possession of 10th place. Ty Detmer tops the list with an astronomical 34. Cougars with 300-yard passing games:

Player 300-yard Games

Ty Detmer 34

Jim McMahon 17

John Walsh 17

Robbie Bosco 15

Marc Wilson 13

Steve Young 13

Steve Sarkisian 12

Kevin Feterik 11

Gifford Nielson 9

John Beck 8

Gary Sheide 5

Sean Covey 5

Ryan Hancock 4

Brandon Doman 3

Bob Jensen 3

Steve Lindsey 3

Virgil Carter 3

Bret Engemann 2

Charlie Peterson 2

Matt Berry 1

Marc Lyons 1

SURPASSING THE CENTURY MARK

With eight 100-yard rushing games to his credit, junior Curtis Brown is already tied for fifth in Cougar history for the most career 100-yard rushing games. Against Eastern Illinois, he had 110 yards and scored one touchdown and versus New Mexico, Brown had 104 yards and one score on 20 carries. In the 24-14 win over Colorado State, he had 147 yards and two scores on 31 carries. In 2002, Brown had 217 against Utah State, the most by a BYU player since 1998 when Ronney Jenkins had 259 versus San Jose State. Cougars with five-or-more 100-yard rushing games:

Player 100-yard Games

Luke Staley 10

Lakei Heimuli 10

John Ogden 10

Jamal Willis 10

Pete Van Valkenburg 8

Curtis Brown 8

Jeff Blanc 7

Eldon Fortie 7

Brian McKenzie 7

Ronney Jenkins 7

Marcus Whalen 5

Kip Jackson 5

Kalin Hall 5

Senior receiver Todd Watkins, who had 176 receiving yards in BYU's 51-50 loss to TCU, now has six career games with over 100 yards receiving and is tied for ninth most. His 211 yards against Boise State in 2004 were the most receiving yards registered by a Cougar since Ben Cahoon had 219 against Arizona State in 1997. Cougars with four-or-more 100-yard receiving games:

Player 100-yard Games

Eric Drage 12

Chris Smith 11

Margin Hooks 10

Phil Odle 10

Gordon Hudson 9

Matt Bellini 9

Andy Boyce 8

Mike Chronister 8

Mark Bellini 7

Lloyd Jones 7

John Van Der Wouden 6

Todd Watkins 6

Glen Kozlowski 5

Dan Plater 5

Reno Mahe 5

Ben Cahoon 4

Brent Nyberg 4

Chuck Cutler 4

David Mills 4

Jay Miller 4

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