(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
COUGARS TO TAKE ON WYOMING
The Cougars are above .500 after defeating UNLV 55-14 Saturday in Las Vegas. It is the first time they have been above .500 since they were 5-4 last season. They are 5-4 overall and second in the Mountain West at 4-2. The UNLV game was BYU's second-consecutive game scoring 50-or-more points. The Cougars used a balanced attack to top the Rebels as John Beck passed for 267 yards and three touchdowns and the team racked up 224 rushing yards. Wayne Latu had a career-best 93 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries while Fahu Tahi had 62 yards and one touchdown. Curtis Brown scored one on the ground and one receiving. Jonny Harline was the leading receiver with six receptions for 80 yards and one score. Justin Maddux dominated the UNLV offensive line, recording 3.0 sacks for a combined loss of 22 yards. Justin Luettgerodt, Kayle Buchanan and Spencer White each recorded picks.
A LOOK AT THE COWBOYS
Wyoming is coming off a 43-13 loss to Utah and is currently 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the MWC. The Cowboys have now lost four-consecutive games, all in the conference, after starting the season at 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the league. Wyoming defeated Air Force and UNLV in conference action but has lost to TCU, New Mexico, Colorado State and Utah during the four-game skid. The Cowboys led 6-3 against Utah after the first quarter but could not contain the Utes the rest of the way. Wyoming was succcesful running the ball against Utah, totaling 146 yards on 32 carries. Corey Bramlet averages 224.8 passing yards and has thrown 15 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. Wynel Seldon averages 79.9 yards rushing and has scored seven touchdowns. Receiver Jovon Bouknight has a conference best 11 touchdown receptions. He also averages 98.4 receiving yards per game. He also returns kicks for Wyoming and averages 29.4 yards per return, second in the conference.
COMPLETE BROADCAST PLANS
Television: BYU's game against Wyoming will be broadcast by SportsWest. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. (MST). The game can be seen locally on KSL-TV Channel 5. 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://wyomingathletics.collegesports.com/. In addition to the webcast, a live audio stream will be vailable on the following URLs: http://ksl.com and http://www.byuradio.org
Saturday's game will be the 72nd meeting between BYU and Wyoming. The Cougars lead the series 38-30-3 overall but trail 13-18-3 in Laramie. The Cougars defeated the Cowboys 24-13 in Provo in 2004. BYU struck first when Curtis Brown hit Austin Collie for a 40-yard touchdown pass. The Cougars led 10-3 in the second after a Matt Payne field goal but fell behind 13-10. After the score, BYU answered when Brown scored on a nine-yard run, capping a nine-play, 80-yard drive. Fahu Tahi scored late in the game to seal it for the Cougars. Brown finished the game with 159 yards on 24 carries while Tahi added 70 yards on 12 carries.
BYU IN THE STANDINGS
With Saturday's 55-14 victory over UNLV, BYU improves to 5-4 on the season and 4-2 in the Mountain West Conference action. With the win, the Cougars moved into a tie with Colorado State for second place in the league standings after the Rams lost to TCU. With the victory on Nov. 5, the Cougars improved to 5-4 on the season and moved one game over the .500 mark for the first time since Nov. 6, 2004 (364 days). BYU has won its last four conference games, defeating New Mexico, Colorado State, UNLV and Air Force during the streak. It is the Cougars' first four-game conference win streak since 2001, when BYU went undefeated in the MWC.
With five wins on the season, the Cougars must reach the six-win mark in order to become bowl eligible. BYU must win one of its final two games in order to be eligible for bowl consideration. BYU will next travel to Wyoming on Saturday, Nov. 12. (The Cowboys have lost four straight.) The Cougars will wrap up the season in Provo against in-state rival Utah.
PAPER OR PLASTIC
In the third quarter against UNLV, Justin Maddux recorded back-to-back sacks for a combined loss of 12 yards on first and second down to put the Rebels in a 3-and-21 situation. He finished the day with a game-high 3.0 sacks for 22 yards. Maddux now has 5.0 sacks for a combined loss of 29 yards on the season. All totaled, the Cougars sacked UNLV quarterback Jarrod Jackson five times for a combined loss of 40 yards, while the Rebels sacked BYU quarterback John Beck twice for eight yards.
Justin Luettgerodt picked off UNLV quarterback Jarrod Jackson in the second quarter and returned it 28 yards to the Rebel 24-yard line. It was the second-consecutive game he recorded an interception. Against Air Force, he had an interception that set up a 12-yard touchdown run by Nathan Meikle. Kayle Buchanan recorded his first-career interception in the second quarter. He picked off a Jackson pass intended for Donell Wheaton. Spencer White added one of his own on UNLV's first drive of the second half when he snagged the ball out of the air after a Rebel receiver tipped it. Saturday's game marked the Cougars' second-consecutive game with three interceptions. BYU has recovered 17 turnovers this season, and given up 17 for a 0 turnover margin.
THE 50-POINT PLATEAU
By scoring 55 points against UNLV, the Cougars scored 50-or-more points in consecutive games for the first time since 2001. BYU scored 62 against Air Force, for a total of 117 points in two games. The last time the Cougars scored at least 50 in back-to-back games was in 2001 when they had 59 at San Diego State and 56 versus Colorado State for a total of 115 points. The last time BYU had at least 117 points in two games was in 2001, when the Cougars had 63 against Air Force and 59 at San Diego State for a total of 122 points. BYU's 117 points is the most scored by any team in the nation during the past two weeks. Texas has scored 109, USC 106 and Boise State 105 over the past two weeks. The 117 points is also the third most scored in a two-week period in conference history. The top two are 122 point totals and were acheived by the Cougars in 2001. The first was came when the Cougars defeated Tulane (70-53) and Nevada (52-7). The second was against Air Force (63-33) and San Diego State (59-21).
John Beck and the Cougar offense are among national and conference leaders. Beck currently ranks fourth nationally in passing yards per game (318.8 p/g) and is third in total passing yards (2,869). He leads the Mountain West Confernce in both categories. He is tied for the conference lead and is ninth nationally with 20 touchdown passes. BYU's passing offense is 8th in the nation and first in the conference while its total-offense average of 463.6 yards per game is second in the conference and 12th in the nation. Beck is second in the conferenece and is ninth nationally in total offense (315.3 yards p/g). Jared McLaughlin is second and Curtis Brown is third in the conference in scoring (7.7 and 7.6 pts/g, respectively). As a team, the Cougars lead the conference in points per game and are 25th in the nation at 33.2. Brown is fourth in the conference in rushing yards per game (87.7). Jonny Harline is fifth in the conference in receiving yards per game and 44th nationally (78.0).
With 746 yards on the season, averaging 87.7 yards per game, Curtis Brown is on pace to run for over 964 yards this season. Should Brown eclipse the 1,000 yard mark, it would be the first time since the 2001 season a BYU running back had ran for 1,000 yards in a season.
SECOND ALL-TIME IN THE MWC
With 267 yards passing against UNLV, John Beck has amassed 6,296 career yards, the second most in Mountain West Conference history. Entering the game, he was 136 yards behind former Wyoming quarterback Casey Bramlet. He now needs 3,388 yards to claim first all-time in the conference. Beck is ninth in Cougar history for most career yards with 6,296. Beck is tied with Gifford Nielsen for ninth most 300-yard games in Cougar history with nine.
CAREER TOUCHDOWN PASSES
John Beck threw three touchdown passes against UNLV, including scoring strikes to Curtis Brown, Todd Waktins and Jonny Harline. Beck now has 20 touchdown passes for the season and 40 in his career, moving him into third place in the Mountain West for most career touchdown passes.
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, while John Walsh had 4,678 yards from 1991-93, He threw for 857 in 1992 before going down with a shoulder injury and being granted a medical redshirt. Eight games into his junior season, Beck has thrown for 6,296 career yards, including 2,869 yards this season. Following lists each players' total yards through nine games as a junior.
Player Through nine games, junior year
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 Wyoming defensive line that weighs an average of 261.75 pounds. The Cowboy offensive line weighs on average of 305.2 pounds while BYU's defensive line weighs an average of 290 pounds.
NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER
Since 1972--LaVell Edwards first year as a head coach at BYU--the Cougars have posted an impressive 90-25-1 (.780) record in the month of November. There have been a total of 17 times over that span that BYU has gone undefeated during the month of November, including a stretch of seven straight seasons where the Cougars did not lose a single game in the month of November (1979-1985). Throughout his 29 seasons, Edwards won over 81 percent of his games during the month of November, including a record of 84-19-1 from 1972 until his final season in 2000. During that span, the Cougars had only three losing records during the month of November.
Since Edwards' retirement in 2000, the Cougars have tallied a 6-6 (.500) record in the month of November. During Gary Crowton's first season as head coach, BYU went 3-0 in November to finish as the first MWC team to sweep its league schedule. Since that time, the Cougars have gone 3-6 over the next three seasons during the month of November. Entering November this year, BYU needed to win two of its final three games to become bowl eligible. The Cougars defeated UNLV 55-14 and now need one win in their last two games, against Wyoming and Utah. Since 1922, BYU is 16-12-1 against Wyoming during the month of November, and has registered a mark of 25-20-1 against Utah during November. The Cougars have not been to a bowl game since the 2001 season.
For the first time this season, BYU outscored its opponent in all four quarters. The Cougars posted a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, a 20-7 advantage in the second quarter, a 14-0 spread in the third quarter and posted a 14-7 margin in the final quarter against UNLV.
COMING OUT PARTY
Freshman Wayne Latu led the Cougars with 15 carries for 93 yards and scored the Cougars' final touchdown at UNLV. Latu had one carry for five yards prior to that game.
After 16 seasons as an assistant coach, including the past two years as the defensive coordinator for the Cougars, Bronco Mendenhall was promoted to head football coach at Brigham Young University on December 13, 2004. Mendenhall becomes the 14th head coach since the University first officially recognized football as an intercollegiate sport in 1922.
Mendenhall (38)--one of the youngest NCAA Division I-A head coaches in the country--has served the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach for the Cougars. During his first season in Provo, Mendenhall engineered the nation's 14th-ranked defense, holding opponents to just 307 yards per game. Under Mendenhall's direction, the Cougars ranked eighth nationally in passing defense, giving up just 176.17 yards per game.
In 2004, the Cougars ranked third in the Mountain West in rushing defense, allowing 149.3 yards per game. The Cougars also ranked second in the league, with 34 sacks for a combined loss of 232 yards.
A native of Alpine, Utah, Mendenhall began his coaching career as a graduate assistant in 1989 at his alma mater, Oregon State. After earning his master's degree in 1990, he moved to Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, where he served as the secondary coach and defensive coordinator from 1991-92 under current BYU assistant coach Paul Tidwell. Following two seasons with the Badgers, Mendenhall became the secondary coach at Northern Arizona, where the Lumberjacks boasted the top-ranked defense in the Big Sky Conference. He was elevated to co-defensive coordinator for the 1994 season.
In 1995, Mendenhall returned to Oregon State to become the defensive line coach under then defensive coordinator Rocky Long. When Long left to become the defensive coordinator at UCLA, Mendenhall was promoted to defensive coordinator for the 1996 season. At just 29 years of age, Mendenhall was the youngest defensive coordinator in Pac-10 history.
In 1997, Mendenhall became the secondary coach at Louisiana Tech where he helped the Bulldogs to a remarkable 9-2 record as his defensive unit was credited with 17 interceptions, allowing just 15 touchdowns on the season.
In 1998, Mendenhall moved to Albuquerque, N.M., to become the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at the University of New Mexico. Over the next five seasons, the Lobos improved from just three wins in 1998 to seven wins and an invitation to the Las Vegas Bowl in 2002. In the Lobos' 27-13 loss against UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl, the Mendenhall-led defense held the Bruins to a season-low 167 yards.
Under Mendenhall, the Lobos led the Mountain West Conference in rushing defense for three straight seasons. In 2001, New Mexico gave up just 87.4 yards per game over the season. In his final season in Albuquerque, Mendenhall led the Lobos to a top ranking against league opponents in total defense, allowing just 316.4 yards per game. The Lobos also led the MWC in sacks in both the 2000 and 2002 season, totaling 46 and 38, respectively.
At New Mexico, Mendenhall played a valuable role in the development of the 1999 Mountain West Player of the Year, Consensus All-American and first-round NFL Draft pick Brian Urlacher. The ninth overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft, Urlacher was voted the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year and was a Pro Bowl selection. Urlacher was one of two rookies to play all 16 games, starting at middle linebacker the final 14 games to establish a team record for starts at the position by a rookie. He shattered Bears rookie records with 165 total tackles and eight sacks, making him the second Chicago first-year player to lead the team in tackles. Urlacher finished his collegiate career ranked third on New Mexico's all-time list with 442 tackles.
As a player, Mendenhall was a two-year starter at cornerback for Snow College from 1984-85. In his second season, Mendenhall captained the Badgers to a perfect 11-0 record and the NJCAA National Championship. That same season, he earned many accolades, including first-team all-conference, all-region, second-team NJCAA All-America and JC Gridwire Academic All-America honors.
Mendenhall transferred to Oregon State and was a two-year starter, playing free safety, strong safety and linebacker for the Beavers. Mendenhall was a team captain as a senior and received the Leo Gribkoff Memorial Award, given to the team's most inspirational player.
Mendenhall was raised in Alpine, Utah, and graduated from American Fork High School in 1984. He received a bachelor's degree in education from Oregon State in 1988 and a master's degree in education with an emphasis in exercise physiology also from OSU in 1990.
His older brother, Mat, played football at BYU from 1975-79, before spending four years in the NFL with the Washington Redskins. Another brother, Marty, was a former Mr. Utah bodybuilder. Mendenhall's father, Paul, was a defensive end at BYU from 1953-54.
Mendenhall, who resides in Alpine, Utah, is married to the former Holly Johnston of Missoula, Mont. The couple has three sons: Cutter (5), Breaker (3) and Raeder (18 mo.).
-With 267 yards against Air Force, Beck moved into second all-time in the MWC for the most career passing yards. He has 6,296 yards.
-With 383 yards passing against Air Force, Beck has nine career 300-yard games.
-With 40 career touchdown passes, Beck is in third 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.
-Beck has passed for 2,869 yards this season, averaging 318.8 yards per game. Beck is on pace to pass for over 3,507 yards in 2005. While that total would not crack the single-season top-10 for a Cougar quarterback, it would give Beck over 7,000 career passing yards and rank ninth on BYU's all-time passing list with one year remaining.
Fahu Tahi broke free for a 31-yard run in the second quarter against UNLV to put the Cougars in scoring position. It was his longest run of the season and the second-longest run by a BYU player this season.
The Cougars led 27-7 at the half against UNLV. It was the fifth time this season BYU led at the half. The Cougars are 4-1 in games when leading at halftime. In those five games, BYU's average lead at the half is 18.8 points.
BYU held UNLV to just two yards rushing on the day, tying Air Force for the best performance by a rush defense this season. The Falcons held the Rebels to two yards. That total is a season-best and marks the fourth time this season the Cougars have held an opponent to 70 yards (or less) rushing. The Cougars held Notre Dame to just 44 yards rushing, gave up just 30 yards against Colorado State and 70 against Eastern Illinois. The two yards rushing by UNLV is the least allowed by BYU since 1988 when the Cougars held Colorado State to minus 26.
CLOSING THE GAP
Prior to the Air Force game, BYU had turned the ball over 15 times and forced nine, good for a -6 turnover margin which ranked 101st in the nation. The Cougars have closed the gap in the last two games, forcing five turnovers against Air Force and three versus UNLV. BYU only turned the ball over twice in that span, both against Air Force. The Cougars have now given the ball away 17 times while taking it away 17 times.
SECOND-MOST POINTS, LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY VS. UNLV
BYU's 55 points in Saturday's game against UNLV was the second most scored by the Cougars against the Rebels. In 1996, BYU scored 63 at home against UNLV and in 1980, the Cougars put 54 on the board in Vegas. The 41-point margin of victory was the largest by BYU against the Rebels. The Cougars won the 1980 game by 40, 54-14. BYU is now 6-0 in Las Vegas.
DOUBLE DUTY IN THE ENDZONE
Curtis Brown and Fahu Tahi both scored two touchdowns against UNLV. Tahi's TD's came on the ground, while Brown scored one rushing and one receiving. Tahi now has six touchdowns on the year, while Brown has 11. Brown scored four against Air Force to give him six in two games.
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.
In BYU's win over UNLV, the Cougars scored 21 of its 55 points off three Rebel turnovers. All three turnovers were interceptions.
Against UNLV, BYU led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. It was the fifth time this season the Cougars have shut out their opponent in the opening frame and the fifth time they have led after the first quarter. BYU is 3-2 when leading after the first quarter. The Cougars also shut out the Rebels in the third quarter, giving BYU 10 quarter shutouts on the season.
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 nine 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, 317 at Notre Dame and 383 against Air Force. Beck is now tied for ninth place. Ty Detmer tops the list with 34. Cougars with 300-yard passing 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
John Beck 9
Gifford Nielson 9
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 nine 100-yard rushing games to his credit, junior Curtis Brown has the second most career 100-yard rushing games in BYU history. Against Eastern Illinois, he had 110 yards and scored one touchdown. 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. Brown set career highs against Air Force with 219 yards and four touchdowns. Cougars with five-or-more 100-yard rushing games:
Luke Staley 10
Lakei Heimuli 10
John Ogden 10
Jamal Willis 10
Curtis Brown 9
Pete Van Valkenburg 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:
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
BYU jumped out to a 7-0 lead over UNLV when Fahu Tahi scored on a one-yard run in the first quarter. It was the fifth consecutive game the Cougars scored first and the seventh time in nine games this season. BYU is 5-2 in those seven games.