Game Notes: Cougars Open Conference Play Hosting Wyoming

In the Cougars' 35-10 win over Wyoming in 2007, Max Hall threw for 331 yards to go over the 3,000-yard mark on the season and become the MWC's all-time leading sophomore quarterback. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

COUGARS OPEN CONFERENCE PLAY

After posting a 3-0 nonconference record to start the season, the Cougars will open Mountain West Conference play against Wyoming on Saturday. BYU is riding the nation’s longest active winning streak at 13 games and has a perfect 16-0 league record over the past two seasons--a MWC record. The Cougars have not lost a conference game since dropping their MWC finale to Utah in 2005. BYU also has an eight-game home win streak in league contests, eclipsing the old mark of six held by Utah and Colorado State.

THE BYU-WYOMING SERIES

Saturday’s game will mark the 75th meeting between Wyoming and BYU. The Cougars lead the series 41-30-3, which dates back to the 1922 season. The two teams first met in 1922 when BYU handed Wyoming a 7-0 defeat. That first meeting also marked the first win for a young BYU program, a team that until that point in the 1922 season was 0-3. The Cougars have defeated the Cowboys in seven of the last eight meetings, losing only twice since the inception of the MWC. Wyoming’s last win in Provo was in 1987 when the Cowboys spoiled homecoming celebrations with a 29-27 win over BYU.

ON THE TUBE

Saturday’s game will be broadcast live to a national television audience on The Mtn. James Bates will call the action and Todd Christensen will lend analysis, along with Sammy Linebaugh as the sideline reporter. Bates was an All-Southeastern Conference linebacker at the University of Florida and captain of the Gators’ 1996 national championship football team. Christensen was a standout at BYU before launching an NFL career, playing as a tight end with the Cowboys and the Raiders. Linebaugh is a former news reporter for KSL-TV in Salt Lake City and has worked as a freelance reporter before joining The Mtn. as a reporter.

BRIGHAM YOUNG-WYOMING TIES

Rick Wolfley is the lone Cougar on the roster from the state of Wyoming. The sophomore defensive lineman hails from the town of Afton and attended Star Valley High School, the same alma mater as Logan Fitzgerald, a freshman safety on the Cowbow roster.

COUGARS CONTINUE TO WIN

With their 59-0 win over UCLA, the Cougars’ extended their nation-leading winning streak to 13 games. BYU has won 25 of its last 29 games, dating back to the 2006 season. During that season, the Cougars finished 11-2, followed by another 11-2 season in 2007, and they are off to a 3-0 start this season. BYU’s 3-0 record this season marks its best start since the 2001 season.

EDWARDS’ STADIUM STREAK NOW SPANS THREE SEASONS

With BYU’s 59-0 shutout of UCLA, the Cougars have not lost in Edwards Stadium since November 19, 2005. BYU has won 14 straight home games, dating back to September 9, 2006. The last time the Cougars won 14 consecutive home games was 16 seasons ago when the team won 17 in a row from Oct. 7, 1989 to Nov. 23, 1991.

ACTIVE WINNING STREAKS

BYU currently owns the longest active winning streak among FBS (Division I-A) teams, having won 13 consecutive games. The Cougars have put together their longest win streak since winning 12 straight games during the 2001 season.

HOMELAND SECURITY

The Cougars’ victory over UCLA increased BYU’s consecutive home winning streak to 14 games, dating back to the 2006 season. Over that span, the Cougars have beaten their opponents by an average of 28.5 points per game and have allowed just 10.8 points per game. The Cougars have allowed seven points or less in seven of the last 14 home games.

“FAN”TASTIC FANS

The 64,153 fans in attendance for the Cougars’ 59-0 win over UCLA marked the

eighth consecutive sell-out at Edwards Stadium. The current streak marks the longest streak of consecutive sellouts since the 1991-92 seasons. Over 128,000 (128,261) fans have attended the first two home games at Edwards Stadium this season, averaging 64,138 fans per game. After averaging 64,497 in 2007, BYU finished ranked fourth overall in the West behind USC (87,476), UCLA (76,379) and Washington (67,732). BYU has annually been the top school in average attendance for teams from conferences that do not receive automatic BCS bowl bids. BYU has led the MWC in home attendance in all nine years of the league’s existence. In fact, Edwards Stadium has been the site of the league’s all-time top-10 crowds.

COIN TOSS

For the third week in a row, BYU won the opening coin toss. For the second time this season, the Cougars elected to defer. BYU is 3-0 when winning the opening coin toss.

SHUTOUT WIN OVER UCLA

The Cougar’s 59-0 win marked the Cougars’ first shutout since a 38-0 win over Utah State on Sept. 23, 2006. The game ranks third in the program’s list of largest shutouts, behind a 65-0 win over New Mexico on Oct. 29, 1988 and a 63-0 win at UTEP on Dec. 1, 1973.

HALL SETS BYU RECORD

Quarterback Max Hall’s six touchdown passes in the first half broke BYU’s previous record of five, held by Marc Wilson (CSU 1977), Robbie Bosco (Baylor 1984) and Gary Sheide (UNM 1973). Halls seven touchdown passes on the day, matched a program record of seven, shared by Wilson and Jim McMahon (CSU 1981).

VERSUS THE PAC-10

After its 59-0 victory over UCLA, BYU is now 5-1 in the last six meetings with Pac-10 opponents, including back-to-back wins against Washington and UCLA.

LARGEST LEAD OVER PAC-10

The 59-0 final score between BYU and UCLA marked a new BYU record-high lead over a Pac-10 opponent. The Cougars’ largest lead prior to Saturday’s game was 31-0 against Oregon in the fourth quarter of the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl.

FIRST-HALF POINTS

BYU’s 42 points against UCLA in the first half are the most scored by the Cougars since a 42-13 score against Air Force on Oct. 20, 2001. Earlier that same year, on Aug. 25, the Cougars recorded a BYU stadium-record 49 points in the first half against Tulane.

HALL BREAKS MWC TOUCHDOWN RECORD

With his seven touchdown passes on the day against UCLA, junior quarterback Max Hall set a new Mountain West Conference record. His six touchdown passes in the first half alone broke the previous record of five. The previous record has been tied several times over the past nine years—most recently by TCU’s Jeff Ballard in 2006 and SDSU’s Kevin O’Connell in 2007. BYU’s John Beck also reached the five touchdown passes mark as a junior in 2005.

SECOND QUARTER BREAKS BYU SCORING RECORD

The Cougars’ set a new program record of points scored in the second quarter against UCLA with 35. BYU’s 35 points also rank as the second highest point total ever in any quarter, behind the 36 points scored against Washington State on Sept. 15, 1990 in the fourth quarter.

PAYNE TIES SOPHOMORE MWC RECORD

Kicker Mitch Payne connected on a perfect 8-of-8 PAT attempts in BYU’s win over UCLA, tying the number of extra points made by a sophomore in a single game.

UNGA FINDS SUCCESS THIS TIME AROUND

With just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter against UCLA, running back Harvey Unga’s surpassed his rushing mark against the Bruins in the Las Vegas Bowl with a 2-yard pickup. Unga ran for just 16 yards on 17 carries in the bowl game, but finished today with 72 yards on the same 17 carries.

SCORING HALL PASSES

Quarterback Max Hall’s touchdown pass to senior Michael Reed on BYU’s first possession against UCLA marked the fifth consecutive game Hall has recorded a touchdown pass, dating back to Dec. 1, 2007 at San Diego State. In fact, Hall has thrown a touchdown pass in 15-of-16 career games.

PAPER OR PLASTIC

Two Cougars recorded sacks against UCLA’s Kevin Craft on Saturday, including Ian Dulan and Jan Jorgensen. With his sack, Jorgensen is half a sack behind the MWC career record of 20.5, currently held by New Mexico’s Michael Tuohy, TCU’s Chase Ortiz and former Cougar Brady Poppinga.

SCORING IN NO TIME...

BYU’s 2nd-quarter scoring drive of six seconds agaisnt UCLA, marked the shortest Cougar scoring drive since a three-yard touchdown run by Harvey Unga against TCU on Nov. 8, 2007 knocked four seconds off the clock.

ANOTHER BLOCKED KICK

With Russell Tialavea’s block on UCLA’s Kai Forbath’s field goal attempt in the second quarter, the Cougars have recorded a block on a kicking attempt in three of the past four games, including a blocked PAT against Washington last week, and Forbath’s game-ending field goal attempt at the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl.

COLLIE HITS CENTURY MARK

Junior Austin Collie surpassed the 100-yard receiving mark with 10 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns against UCLA. This marked the first time Collie has caught over 100 yards since facing the Bruins in the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl.

HALL OF MAX

Heisman Trophy candidate Max Hall turned in another standout performance in the Cougars’ 59-0 victory over UCLA. Hall completed 27-of-35 attempts for 271 yards and seven touchdowns. During the opening drive of the game, Hall led the Cougars on an 11-play drive, for 75 yards. During the drive he was 6-for-6 for 51 yards, including a 10-yard pass to Dennis Pitta for the early 7-0 lead. Hall came out of the game with 6:28 remaining in the third quarter.

CONSECUTIVE STARTS

The UCLA game marked senior offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds’ 41st straight career start. During that streak, Reynolds has started at every position on the offensive line, including tackle, guard and center. Reynolds’ younger brother Matt started at left tackle in the 2008 season opener. His father, Lance, is the associate head coach for the Cougars. Reynolds is currently tied at second for the most consecutive starts by an active Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) player. Reynolds has started in every game of his BYU career, beginning with the Cougars’ 20-3 loss to Boston College on Sep. 3, 2005.

TALE OF THE TAPE

BYU’s starting five offensive linemen weigh in at an average 326.4 pounds and average 6-feet-6. The front five will be going up against a Wyoming defensive front that measures an average 6-feet-3, 283 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars’ front three average 6-feet-3, 278 pounds, while the Wyoming offensive line tips the scales at an average 6-feet-5, 300 pounds per man.

DON’T LOOK BACK

In the Bronco Mendenhall era, BYU is 29-4 when leading at halftime and 28-1 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.

FIRST HALF DOMINANCE

The Cougars held a 42-0 lead at halftime against UCLA, marking the 13th time in the past 14 games BYU has held the lead at intermission. The Cougars have held their opponent to seven or fewer points in the opening half nine times in 14 games. During those 14 games BYU is 13-1.

MOVING THE CHAINS

BYU continued its ability to convert on third down, going 13-of-17 on third-down conversions against UCLA, including 8-of-9 in the first half. The Cougars are now 32 of 41 (.781) on third-down conversions on the year.

TOP-30 IN THE NATIONAL STATISTICAL CATEGORIES

TEAM RANKINGS

Category National Rank Actual

Passing Offense 5 387.00

Total Offense 10 521.33

Scoring Offense 14 42.67

First-Downs Per Game 5 27.67

Scoring Defense 26 14.67

Kickoff Returns 12 28.25

Passing Efficiency 3 187.02

Tackles for Loss T-22 7.00

Sacks Allowed T-1 0.00

3rd Down Efficiency 1 78.10

INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS

Category Player National Rank Actual

Passing Efficiency Max Hall 7 186.82

Total Offense Max Hall 4 370.33

Total Passing Yards Max Hall 3 1095.00

Completions per Game Max Hall 4 30.33

Passing Yards per Game Max Hall 4 365.00

Pts Respon For per Game Max Hall T-3 26.00

Receptions per Game Dennis Pitta T-4 8.67

Austin Collie T-15 7.33

Receiving Yds per Game Dennis Pitta 2 136.00

Kickoff Returns O’Neill Chambers 17 28.25

Scoring Harvey Unga T-27 10.00

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