PROVO -- With Bronco Mendenhall leading the way, the BYU Cougars will start the 2005 season at home against No. 22 Boston College. Under first-year head coach Mendenhall, BYU is looking to bounce back after three losing seasons and return to the top of the Mountain West Conference. The Cougars return a total of 13 starters from last season's 5-6 team that finished third in the conference at 4-3. Seven offensive starters return including senior receiver and All-America candidate Todd Watkins and Preseason All-MWC quarterback John Beck. Watkins led the MWC with 1,042 yards in 2004 and is one of 15 receivers in the country that had 1,000 or more yards in 2004. Beck averaged a conference best 261.0 yards per contest against league foes in 2004. Returning to anchor the defense is junior linebacker Cameron Jensen, who led the team in tackles with 103 last season.
FAN FRIENDLY SCHEDULE
After playing several games that started at 7 p.m. or later in 2004, the Cougars have two games with 1:30 p.m. kickoff times (vs. Boston College and at Notre Dame) and two others that will start at 1 p.m. (vs. Eastern Illinois and vs. TCU). Two other game times have been announced, including at San Diego State (7:05 p.m. PST) and at New Mexico (6 p.m. MST).
SEASON OPENING SUCCESS
The Cougars have opened the last four seasons at home, going 4-0 over that stretch. After winning the openers from 2001-03 by an average margin of 24.3 points, BYU escaped the 2004 opener with a 20-17 win over Notre Dame. Watkins made his debut in that game and came up big, catching five passes for 115 yards, including a 50-yard grab that set up the Cougars' first touchdown and a 37-yard catch that helped BYU run out the clock. The last time the Cougars lost a season opener was in 2000 against Florida State, 29-3. Including 1999, BYU has won five-straight season openers at home. The Cougars last lost a season opener at home in 1997, 42-20 against Washington.
BYU in season openers at home: 5-0 since 1999; 26-10-1 overall
BYU in season openers: 5-1 since 1999; 47-31-2 overall
COUGARS ON TELEVISION
Three of BYU's games are already scheduled for regional or national broadcast. The season opener will be 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.
THE RANKED TEAMS
BYU has not defeated a ranked opponent since beating No. 23 Colorado State, 34-13, on Sept. 16, 1999. Since that victory over the Rams, the Cougars are 0-10 against ranked opponents, including a record of 0-2 at Edwards Stadium. Interestingly, BYU has not defeated a ranked opponent on the road since beating Arizona State, 13-10, on Sept. 20, 1997.
Nearly 351,000 fans attended six different home games at Edwards Stadium during the 2004 season, averaging 58,475 fans per game. The Cougars finished the season ranked as the top team in the Mountain West Conference in average attendance. BYU finished ranked sixth overall in the west behind USC (77,804), Washington (64,737), California (64,019), Arizona State (62,641) and UCLA (60,515).
BYU, which boasts the largest on-campus home stadium in the Mountain West Conference, has led the MWC in home attendance in all six years of the league's existence, averaging 61,401 fans per game since the 1999 season. In fact, Edwards Stadium has been the site of the leagues all-time top-seven crowds.
Since 1982, BYU has consistently ranked among the top-three programs in average attendance in the west, averaging 63,810 fans per game.
COMPLETE BROADCAST PLANS
Television: ABC Sports will broadcast BYU's game against No. 22 Boston College in 20 different states across the country, representing 32 percent of the nation. Kickoff from Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah will be at 1:30 p.m. (MST) on Saturday, Sept. 3.
Fans living in Utah will be able to watch the game on KTVX, Ch. 4. ABC affiliates in Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York (with the exception of Buffalo), New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia (southern Virginia only), North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida will also carry the live broadcast.
Saturday's game will not be broadcast on the West Coast, in Washington D.C. or in the Philadelphia area.
Fans living outside the designated coverage areas may order the game on pay-per-view via ESPN's Game Plan.
Paul Page will call the action with former NFL linebacker Ray Bently (Buffalo Bills) lending expert analysis, and Vince Welch reporting from the sidelines.
Radio: Fans can also catch the game by tuning into KSL Radio - the 50,000-watt home of the Cougars - and follow the game live as Greg Wrubell calls the action, Mark 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
Saturday's matchup marks only the second meeting between BYU and Boston College. When the schools met in 1985, the Cougars defeated the Eagles 28-14 in Giants Stadium in New York in front of 51,227 fans. Robbie Bosco led the BYU attack that accumulated 535 yards of total offense by throwing for 508. Bosco completed 35-of-53 attempts and threw three touchdown passes and four interceptions. Glen Kozlowski was Bosco's top target as he caught 10 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown. His 241-yard performance ranks him fourth all-time in school history for most receiving yards in a game. Boston College's Mike Ruth had an incredible day, recording 13 tackels (12 solo), four quarterback sacks, one caused fumble and one interception.
BYU BY THE RECORDS
vs. ACC (current members): 3-5 overall; 2-1 home
vs. Boston College: 1-0
In home openers: 5-0 since 1999; 26-10-1 overall
In season openers: 5-1 since 1999; 47-31-2 overall
All-time Record: 456-359-26 (.558)
All-time Home Record: 247-123-6 (.665)
All-time Road Record: 190-218-19 (.467)
All-time Neutral Record: 19-18-1 (.513)
All-time MWC Record: 25-17-0 (.595)
All-time MWC Home Record: 12-9 (.571)
All-time MWC Road Record: 13-8 (.619)
While Mendenhall has 16 years of assistant coaching experience, he is now a head coach for the first time in his career. Despite his extensive experience, he is the fourth youngest coach in NCAA Division I-A football at the age of 39. Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State is 38 and is one year, five months and 22 days younger than Mendenhall.
Coach School Birthday
Mike Gundy Oklahoma State 08/12/67
Shane Montgomery Miami (Ohio) 03/14/67
Greg Schiano Rutgers 06/01/66
Bronco Mendenhall BYU 02/21/66
Mike Shula Alabama 06/03/65
ROOKIE HEAD COACHES
Bronco Mendenhall became BYU's 14th head coach, the 13th man to hold the job, on Dec. 13, 2004. The coaches have had varied levels of success in their first year on the job. Head coaches have enjoyed winning records at the beginning of their tenures, including twice by Eddie Kimball. Two coaches won half of their games while the rest had losing seasons. The following is a list of BYU football coaches' first year records.
Alvin Twitchell (1922) 1-5
C.J. Hart (1925) 3-3
G. Ott Romney (1928) 3-3-1
Eddie Kimball (1937) 6-3
Floyd Millet (1942) 2-5
Eddie Kimball (1946) 5-4-1
Chick Atkinson (1949) 0-11
Hal Kopp (1956) 2-7-1
Tally Stevens (1959) 3-7
Hal Mitchell (1961) 2-8
Tom Hudspeth (1964) 3-6-1
LaVell Edwards (1972) 7-4
Gary Crowton (2001) 12-2
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.
SOMEBODY'S WATCHING YOU...
Six members of the 2005 BYU football team - John Beck, Daniel Coats, Cameron Jensen, Jake Kuresa, Lance Reynolds and Todd Watkins - have been named to various "watch lists" for postseason awards.
John Beck, 6-2, 210, Quarterback: John Beck has been selected to the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award watch list, which honors the nation's best quarterback. Beck started 10 of 11 games his sophomore year and threw for 2,563 yards and 15 touchdowns. He averaged an MWC best 261.0 yards per game against league opponents. Beck earned second-team All-MWC honors as a sophomore.
Manaia Brown, 6-4, 310, Defensive Line: Manaia Brown has been named to the Lombardi Award watch list. Brown started eight of 11 games in 2004, registering 26 tackles, nine for a loss of 48 yards. He also registered 4.5 sacks. He was named All-MWC Honorable Mention.
Daniel Coats, 6-3, 250, Tight End: Daniel Coats has been selected to the John Mackey Award watch list. He all 11 games for BYU as a sophomre, catching 13 passes for 160 yards. He had a season-best four receptions for 42 yards against Air Force. As a freshman in 2003, Coats earned freshman All-America honors from The Sporting News.
Jake Kuresa, 6-5, 330, Offensive Line: Jake Kuresa has been named to the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award watch lists. He has started every game (23) in his two year career. As a freshman, he played both guard and tackle and played exclusively at tackle as a sophomore. Kuresa helped anchor an offensive unit that averaged 24.3 points, 105.8 yards rushing and 279.5 yards passing per game in 2004.
Cameron Jensen, 6-5, 330, Linebacker: Cameron Jensen has been named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award and Lombardi Award watch lists. He started all 11 games in 2004 and leaded the team in total tackles with 103, solo tackles with 49 and assisted tackles with 54. His 12.0 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries tied him for first on the team and he added two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown against UNLV.
Lance Reynolds, 6-3, 293, Offensive Line: Lance Reynolds has been named to the Rimington Trophy watch list. He started every game in 2004 at center. He helped anchor an offensive unit that averaged 24.3 points, 105.8 yards rushing and 279.5 yards passing per game in 2004.
Todd Watkins, 6-3, 194, Wide Receiver: Todd Watkins has been named to the Biletnikoff watch list. He led the Mountain West Conference with 1,042 yards receiving in 2004 and set a league single-season record, averaging 94.7 yards per contest. He also caught 52 passes and six touchdowns, four of which were for 68, 69, 70 and 79 yards. His combination of size and speed earned him the label of nation's top deep threat from Sports Illustrated.
GET BACK ON THE WINNING SIDE
The Cougars have endured three-consecutive losing seasons 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 23. John Mackey Award candidate Daniel Coats is not far behind, having started every game except one 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. Senior linebacker Paul Walkenhorst leads the team with 29 career starts and 35 career games played.
IT'S AUTOMATIC ... ALMOST
BYU, known traditionally for its high-octane offenses, rarely gets shutout. Until the Cougar's 3-0 loss to the University of Utah to end the 2003 season, BYU had scored in 361-consecutive games, which remains an NCAA record, dating back to the 1975 season. The Cougars started a new streak in 2004, scoring in every game and extending the streak to 11 games. Since October 3, 1975, BYU has scored in 372 of 373 games.
IN GOOD COMPANY
Through his freshman and sophomore years, John Beck has 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 5,812 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.
AWAY FROM HOME
Only once in BC football history have the Eagles opened their season farther from home - at Hawai'i on August 31, 1996. BC will travel 2,384 miles to Provo from Boston on Friday. The distance is only half the story. The elevation in Boston is 11 feet, while it is 4,549 in Provo. This is the Eagle's first game in Utah.
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 a Boston College defensive line that weighs an average of 285 pounds. The Eagles' offensive line weighs on average of 317.2 pounds while BYU's defensive line weighs an average of 317.3.
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. This season, there will be a set of brothers starting on the offensive line, the brothers Reynolds. Lance is a senior and came to BYU as a linebacker. He is now the starting center and is on the Rimington Trophy watch list. His brother Dallas is a freshman and will also start on the o-line. Lance and Dallas also have the opportunity to play for their father, Assistant Head Coach Lance Reynolds, Sr.
ON THE AIR
The exclusive radio home of BYU Football and flagship of the Cougar Sports Network is 50,000-watt KSL Newsradio 1160 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/locker room 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 Cougar baseball team.
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 Lockerroom 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 4:15 p.m. The "Bronco Mendenhall Show" airs Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m., while the "Coordinators' Corner" with coaches Barry Lamb and Robert Anae hits the air Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. KSL's Tom Kirkland co-hosts the "Bronco Mendenhall Show" on Wednesdays.
KSL also airs Cougar Sports programming exclusively online at ksl.com, including "CougarRadio," Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:00 p.m. 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 and can be downloaded and formatted for podcasting.
Stations on KSL's Cougar Sports Network include:
KSL-AM - 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
PARTY LIKE ITS 1999 ... or 98
Several Cougars started their BYU football careers before the start of the 21st century, including Spencer White, Fahu Tahi, Nate Soelberg, Brian Sanders, Chris Hale and Matt Berry, who joined the team in 1999 before serving missions. But they aren't the oldest Cougars. That honor belongs to T.J. Sitake, who redshirted in 1998. Hale and Tahi both made big impacts in 1999. Hale caught four pass for 55 yards, including the game-winning 38-yard touchdown reception in the season opener against Washington at home. Tahi led the team in rushing yards that season, totaling 445 on 102 carries. To put in perspective how long these players have been associated with the program, the newcomers who joined the 2005 straight out of high school were 11 or 12-years old and still playing pickup football in their backyards.
CALLED TO SERVE
There are currently 62 returned missionaries (59 percent) on the BYU fall camp roster who have served full-time, two-year missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in over 21 different countries around the world. All totaled members of this year's team have served missions in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, Germany, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Samoa, Spain, Tonga, United States and Uruguay. Members of this year's team can communicate fluently in at least 12 different languages.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints operates more than 330 missions around the world with approximately 56,000 missionaries. There are four lettermen from last year's team who are currently serving missions, including Matt Bauman (Harrisburg, Pa.), R.J. Willing (Albuquerque, N.M.), Dennis Pitta (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) and Freshman All-American receiver Austin Collie (Buenos Aires, Argentina).
A FAMILY TRADITION
The Reynolds brothers aren't the only ones that followed in the footsteps of a family member to play for BYU, several members of the football team have a relative that played a sport for the Cougars. The following is a list of players and their relative:
Player Relative (Relation) Sport
Dallas/Lance Reynolds Lance Reynolds (father) Football
Shawn Doman Brandon Doman (cousin) Football
Scott Tidwell Shawn Tidwell (brother) Football
David Tafuna Vai Sikahema (cousin) Football
Peter Tafuna (uncle) Football
Mark Staffieri Mike Staffieri (father) Baseball
T.J. Sitake Kalani Sitake (brother) Football
Kelly Poppinga Brady Poppinga (brother) Football
Philip Niu Vai Sikahema (cousin) Football
Adam Nelson Tyler Nelson (brother) Football
Bryan Kehl Ed and Brandon Kehl (brothers) Football
Eddie Keele Ryan Keele (brother) Football
Jennie Keele (wife) Basketball
Cameron Jensen Mary Jensen (mother) Cougarette
Chris Hale Amy Steele Gant (cousin) Volleyball
Val Hale (father) Football
Quinn Gooch Gary Gooch (father) Basketball
David Gooch (brother) Football
Erik Freeman Bart Oates (cousin) Football
Zac Collie Scott Collie (father) Football
Austin Collie (brother) Football
Brett Cooper Jason Cooper (brother) Football
John Beck Wendell Beck (father) Track & Field
Matt Ah You Charles Ah You (father) Football