Game Notes: BYU vs. Eastern Illinois

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

EASTERN ILLINIOS UP NEXT FOR COUGARS

After last week's loss to No. 22 Boston College, the Cougars will play Eastern Illinois, Saturday, Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. (MT) in LaVell Edwards Stadium. Last weekend, BYU lost to the Eagles, 20-3, while the Panthers picked up a 24-13 win over Indiana State. The Cougars are 0-1 while the Panthers are 1-0. This will be the first meeting between BYU and Eastern Illinois.

A LOOK AT THE PANTHERS

Eastern Illinois opened its season with a 24-13 win against Indiana State. The Panthers got a big game from quarterback Mike Donato, who was making his first collegiate start. Donato completed 12-of-20 pass attempts for 158 yards and two touchdowns while running twice for 67 yards. His 44-yard scamper set up the Panther's second score, a 19-yard field goal. Donato's touchdown passes went for 17 and 40 yards to Charles Owens. The Eastern Illinois defense was credited with three interceptions, including Tristan Burge's pick that he returned 76-yards for a touchdown. Eastern Illinois, which returns nine offensive starters and eight defensive starters, has been to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs nine times, including three-straight appearances from 2000-2002. The Panthers have posted eight winning seasons in the last 11 years. Eastern Illinois has played 25 games against I-A opponents since the 1982 season. Over that span, the Panthers have registered six wins, including victories over Akron (three times), Western Michigan and Northern Illinois. Last season, EIU edged Eastern Michigan, 31-28, to record its sixth all-time victory over a I-A opponent.

COMPLETE BROADCAST PLANS

Television: SportsWest will broadcast BYU's game against Eastern Illinois. The game can be seen in Utah on KSL-TV, Ch. 5. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. (MT). The Church Satellite System will also broadcast the game.

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

BYU AGAINST DIVSION I-AA

The last time BYU played against an NCAA Division I-AA opponent was September 29, 1998 at LaVell Edwards Stadium against Murray State of Murray, Kentucky. The Cougars dominated the Racers, winning 43-9. Drew Miller and Kevin Feterik split time at quarterback that day. Feterik started and completed 8-of-13 pass attempts for 141 yards and one touchdown, while Miller came on in relief to complete 12-of-19 for 172 yards and one touchdown. The Cougars, while limited on total running yards, had four rushing touchdowns, including two by Ronney Jenkins and one each by Feterik and Reno Mahe.

PLAYING AGAINST DIVISION I-AA

Under NCAA provisions, I-A member institutions are permitted to play I-AA teams once every four seasons without affecting a team's bowl eligibility. With 11 games on the 2005 schedule, including eight league games, the Cougars will need to win at least six games in order to become eligible for a post-season bowl invitation. Over the past two seasons, five of the eight current Mountain West Conference teams have played a combined 10 games against NCAA Division I-AA opponents, posting a perfect 10-0 record.

COUGARS ON TELEVISION

Three of BYU's games are already scheduled for regional or national broadcast. The season opener was on ABC and broadcast to a regional audience. The San Diego State game, slated for Oct. 1, will be broadcast nationally on ESPN Classic. It will be a sequel of sorts as the 1991 game between the teams ended in an epic 52-52 draw, and is often replayed on the station. The second nationally televised game is against Notre Dame, scheduled for Oct. 22 in South Bend, Ind. NBC will broadcast the game from Notre Dame Stadium. This Saturday's game (Sept. 10), will be broadcast by SportsWest at 1 p.m. (MT) and will be shown on KSL Channel 5.

HOME OPENER ATTENDANCE

Saturday's Labor Day-weekend game at LaVell Edwards against No. 22 Boston College drew a crowd of 58,108. It was the highest attended home game for the Cougars since they played Wyoming, Oct. 16, 2004, when 58,737 were in attendance. The attendances of the following two home games were 53,435 and 53,618 against San Diego State and New Mexico.

FIELD DESIGN

Fans coming to home games this season will notice the Cougars' helmet decal has been painted in the center of the field.

"It's a symbol that represents tradition," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "To add incresed value to what we're returning to, the symbol will be in the middle of the field."

Before the 2005 season, the start of the 2001 season--the BCA Classic vs. Tulane--was the last time a design had been painted on the center of the field.

ROOKIE DEBUTS

With the Cougars losing in Mendenhall's debut Saturday against No. 22 Boston College, BYU head football coaches are 7-7 in their premiers. Eddie Kimball, who had two tenures at the reigns, was 2-0 in his first games.

HOW'D THE YOUNGINS DO?

Three of the five youngest head coaches in the nation had their debuts as head coaches this past weekend, including BYU boss Bronco Mendenhall. Mendenhall lost to No. 22 Boston College, 20-3, in his debut. Montgomery at Miami Ohio fell 34-14 against No. 6 Ohio State while Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State, the youngest coach, defeated Montana State, 15-10.

FIRST CATCH AS A COUGAR

Several Cougars made the first catch of their BYU career against No. 22 Boston College. Juniors Nathan Meikle and Jonny Harline, both starters, caught their first passes during the Cougars' first drive. Other BYU players making their first catch included Michael Reed and Zac Collie.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

The BYU coaching staff leads the Mountain West Conference with five members of its coaching staff who have played football in the National Football League or the old USFL. Associate Head Coach and running backs coach Lance Reynolds was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1978 and also played for Philadelphia. Offensive coordinator Robert Anae was drafted in the third round by the New Jersey Generals of the USFL. Quarterbacks coach Brandon Doman was drafted by the San Francisco 49'ers in 2002 and also played with the Washington Redskins. Cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons where he played for three seasons. He also played for the Dallas Cowboys.

300 YARD EFFORT

John Beck completed 41-of-60 passes for 330 yards against No. 22 Boston College in the season opener, his fifth-career 300 yard game. He is now tied with Gary Sheide and Sean Covey for the 10th most career 300-yard games.

CAREER HIGH COMPLETIONS

Beck's 41 completions against the Eagles were a career high for the junior quarterback. He completed 34-of-67 against UNLV at home in 2004, setting an MWC record for most pass attempts in a game.

SPREADING THE WEALTH

Davey O'Brien Award candidate Beck used all of his weapons Saturday against no. 22 Boston College. In the first half, he completed 24-of-33 passes for 184 yards to nine different receivers, seven of which had multiple receptions. For the game, Beck was 41-of-60 for 330 yards, throwing to nine different receivers.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT

Jonny Harline made his presence known early against No. 22 Boston College, recording three catches for 42 yards in the fist quarter. He finished the game with 4 receptions and 44 yards.

REPLAY PUT TO THE TEST

No. 22 Boston College used the new instant replay option on its first possession with 9:40 left in the game. Eagle quarterback Quinton Porter threw to Larry Lester on third down but Vince Feula broke up the pass. The ball popped out and Feula picked it up and ran, fumbled and the ball was picked up by BYU. The Eagles challenged the play and it was ruled that the pass actually hit the ground. Boston College punted on the ensuing play. The Eagles challenged later in the quarter when they thought the Cougars had fumbled. The challenge was denied and Boston College lost a timeout.

UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY

When the No. 22 Boston College Eagles scored with 29 seconds left on Porters' 14-yard pass to Chris Miller, it was only the third time in 12 games an opponent scored before BYU. In 2004, the Cougars scored first in 9-of-11 games.

SCORELESS FIRST

The Cougars failed to score in the first half against No. 22 Boston College. It was the first time BYU was shutout in the first half since losing to Utah, 3-0, November 22, 2003. The Cougars had scored in the first half in 11-straight games.

BLOCKED KICKS

At the end of the first half against No. 22 Boston College, sophomore kicker Jared McLaughlin attempted the first field goal of his career, a 48-yarder that was blocked by Boston College's Karim El Nokali. It was the first time a BYU field goal had been blocked since 1999 against Utah. After the Eagles failed on third down on their third drive of the second half, Johnny Ayers' punt was blocked by BYU sophomore linebacker Bryan Kehl. It was the first punt BYU had blocked since 2004 against Air Force.

GET BACK ON THE WINNING SIDE

The Cougars endured three-consecutive losing seasons from 2002-04 for the first time since BYU had six-straight losing seasons from 1959-64. The Cougars last had two-consecutive losing seasons in 1970-71. An interesting parallel is that legendary coach LaVell Edwards joined the staff in 1962 as a defensive coach when the team was struggling but took over in 1972 and took the team to 22 bowl games. Mendenhall joined the team in 2003, BYU's second-consecutive losing season as the defensive coordinator.

NOT GONNA GET THESE GUYS OFF THE FIELD

Several Cougars have been mainstays in the lineup for the last few years. Outland Trophy and Lombardi award candidate Jake Kuresa has started every game since 2003, a total of 24. John Mackey Award candidate Daniel Coats is not far behind, having started every game except two since 2003 for a total of 22 starts. Brian Sanders, Lance Reynolds and Cameron Jensen started all 11 games in 2004, while John Beck, a Davey O'Brien Award candidate, and Todd Watkins, a Biletnikoff candidate, each started 10-of-11 games in 2004. Each of those players start in the season opener against No. 22 Boston College. Senior linebacker Paul Walkenhorst leads the team with 30 career starts and 36 career games played.

AWAY FROM HOME

Eastern Illinois' trip to Provo measures 1,472 miles. While the Panthers will make a trip to Florida that will measure over 900 miles, this is Eastern Illinois' longest trip to play a game this season. BYU's longest road trip will be a hair longer. The Cougars will travel 1,497 miles when they go to South Bend to play Notre Dame. The Cougars won't play their first road game until Oct. 1, 2005 at San Diego State.

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.

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 started on the offensive line against No. 22 Boston College for the Cougars. 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 a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Seattle, Washington.

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.

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. They will be going up against an Eastern Illinois defensive line that weighs an average of 260 pounds. The Panthers' offensive line weighs on average of 289.8 pounds while BYU's defensive line weighs an average of 317.3.

CAREER 300-YARD GAMES

BYU has traditionally focused on the pass, leading to 19 different Cougars throwing for 300 yards in at least one game for a combined 174 games. Junior John Beck has made a contribution of five games to that list. He entered the 2005 season with four but threw for 330 yards against No. 22 Boston College, giving him five. Beck is currently tied with Gary Sheide and Sean Covey for 10th most. Ty Detmer tops the list with an astronomical 34. Cougars with 300-yard passing games:

Player 100-yard Games

Ty Detmer 34

Jim McMahon 17

John Walsh 16

Robbie Bosco 15

Marc Wilson 14

Steve Young 13

Steve Sarkisian 12

Kevin Feterik 11

Gifford Nielson 9

Sean Covey 5

Gary Sheide 5

John Beck 5

Ryan Hancock 4

Brandon Doman 3

Bob Jensen 3

Steve Lindsey 3

Charlie Peterson 2

Bret Engemann 2

Matt Berry 1

SURPASSING THE CENTURY MARK

With five 100-yard rushing games, junior Curtis Brown is already tied for eighth in Cougars history for the most career 100-yard rushing games. 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 100-yard rushing games:

Player 100-yard Games

Luke Staley 10

Lakei Heimuli 10

Brian McKenzie 8

Jeff Blanc 7

Ronney Jenkins 6

Pete Van Valkenburg 6

Kalin Hall 5

Casey Tiumalu 5

Steve Young 5

Curtis Brown 5

Marcus Whalen 4

Tom Tuipulatu 2

Robert Parker 2

Stacey Corley 2

Eric Lance 2

Curtis Brown isn't the only one threatening to move up the rankings. Senior receiver Todd Watkins, who has five career games with over 100 yards receiving is tied for 11th most. His 211 yards against Boise State were the most receiving yards registered by a Cougar since Ben Cahoon had 219 against Arizona State in 1997. Cougars with 100-yard receiving games:

Player 100-yard Games

Eric Drage 12

Chris Smith 11

Margin Hooks 10

Andy Boyce 9

Mike Chronister 9

Matt Bellini 8

Gordon Hudson 8

Mark Bellini 7

Lloyd Jones 6

John Van Der Wouden 6

Reno Mahe 5

Glen Kozlowski 5

Dan Plater 5

Todd Watkins 5

Ben Cahoon 4

Brent Nyberg 4

Chuck Cutler 4

David Mills 4

Mike Johnston 3

Micah Matsuzaki 3

Neil Balhom 3

Clay Brown 3

Scott Phillips 3

Jay Miller 3

Jonathan Pittman 2

Dustin Johnson 2

K.O. Kealaluhi 2

Itula Mili 2

Chad Lewis 2

Otis Sterling 2

Jeff Frandsen 2

Darren Handley 2

Vai Sikahema 2

Trevor Molini 2

Kirk Pendleton 2

Steve Harper 2

Scott Collie 2

Horner Jones 2

Tod Thompson 2

Todd Christensen 2

THE RANKED TEAMS

With BYU's loss to 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.

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