GAME NOTES: Cougars Take Long Trip to Boston

Fui Vakapuna was part of a 1-2 rushing combo against Tulsa that accounted for over 200 yards on the ground. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Riding the high from a home-opening drubbing of Tulsa, BYU heads back out on the road for its longest road trip of the season to take on No. 23/25 Boston College. The Eagles, who spoiled Cougars' head coach Bronco Mendenhall's head coaching debut last season, mark the first "revenge game" opportunity for BYU this season. Boston College beat BYU 20-3 last season in Provo.

LAST WEEK RECAP

BYU's high-powered offense was back to form Saturday as six different Cougars found their way into the end zone, leading the team to its first win of the season, 49-24, over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

BYU had put the game away long before a 53-minute lightning scare threatened to end the game with six minutes still remaining in the fourth quarter. Offensively, BYU racked up 467 total yards including 240 passing yards from quarterback John Beck. The Cougars took advantage of their scoring opportunities going 4-for-4 in the blue zone. Running backs Curtis Brown, Fui Vakapuna, Manase Tonga, Harvey Unga and wide receivers Zac Collie and Matt Allen each scored touchdowns in the victory.

"Our plan was to have good balance and to be better at what we were already doing," said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. "Basically, we need to simply execute what we're currently doing at a higher level."

SERIES INFORMATION

BYU and Boston College meet for just the third time. The trip will be the Cougars first to Chestnut Hill, Mass. The Cougars and Eagles have split the two previous match ups between the two schools. BYU won the first game, 28-14, in 1985 on a neutral field (The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.). After a 20-year hiatus, the two teams met again last year with Boston College taking the 20-3 victory.

LONG ROAD TRIP

BYU will be making the long trip to the Eastern Time Zone. The estimated 2,090 miles to Boston is the Cougars longest road trip since 2001, when BYU traveled to Honolulu, Hawai`i (2994 miles). The trip will be the longest BYU has taken within the continental United States. The longest trip the Cougars have ever taken was Dec. 5, 1987 when BYU played Colorado State in Melbourne, Australia.

COMPLETE BROADCAST PLANS

TELEVISION: The Cougars will be playing on ESPN2 on a split national broadcast. Sean McDonough will do the play-by-play with Chris Speilman offering commentary and Rob Stone handling the sideline reports.

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, Marc Lyons offers expert analysis and James Dye reports from the sideline.

INTERNET: A live audio stream will be available on the following URLs: http:// ksl.com and http://www.byuradio.org/streaming

TALE OF THE TAPE

BYU's offensive line checks in at an average 6-foot-4, 316.8 pounds. The Cougars' front line will be going up against a Boston College defensive front that averages just over 6-foot-3, 302.5 pounds. (Advantage: BYU +14.3 pounds per man.) BYU's defensive line weighs 6-foot-2, 271.3 pounds. Boston College's offensive line averages over 6-foot-5, 306.2 pounds. (Advantage: BC +34.9 pounds per man.)

PACKED HOUSES

The Cougars played in front of their third-consecutive sold out crowd against Arizona. BYU also played in front of sold-out crowds against Utah (home) and California (Las Vegas Bowl). The ninth-largest crowd in Arizona Stadium history (58,450) was on hand for the BYU game. The game was the first sellout for Arizona since the 2000 season. It is estimated there were between 10,000 and 15,000 BYU fans at the Arizona game.

BYU's streak of games playing in front of sold-out crowds ended against Tulsa when 56,627 fans attended the Cougars 49-24 victory over the Golden Hurricane.

DEFENSIVE EFFORT

BYU's new look (3-4) defense held Arizona to just 253 total yards including 186 passing and 67 rushing yards. The defensive output was the best since the Cougars held Division IAA Eastern Illinois to 126 passing yards and 196 total yards last season. It was also the most stingy a BYU pass defense has been against a Divison IA team since allowing just 143 yards to New Mexico Nov. 13, 2004. Nov. 22, 2003 was the last time a BYU defense gave up less than 253 total yards to a Division IA opponent when the Cougars held Utah to 220 yards in blizzard-like conditions.

Last week, the Cougars held Tulsa to just 303 total yards. The 303 yards is 99 fewer than Tulsa averaged in 2005 and the fewest yards Tulsa picked up since Nov. 27, 2004 when Tulsa had 284 total yards. BYU only surrendered 182 passing yards to seasoned starter Paul Smith.

QUARTER-BECK NOTES

BYU quarterback John Beck threw for 240 yards against Tulsa, connecting on 16-of-21 attempts. The senior had three touchdowns, including a 62-yard pass to Curtis Brown, a 16-yard pass to Zac Collie and a 3-yard pass to Matt Allen. With his 240-yard performance, Beck moved past Steve Sarkisian and Marc Wilson for seventh place on BYU's all-time passing list with 7,665 yards. He needs just 69 yards to pass Steve Young for sixth place on that list. On the season, Beck has completed 44-of-58 attempts for 529 yards and four touchdowns. Completing 75.8 percent of his attempts, Beck has not thrown an interception in 58 straight attempts.

GOOD GRIEF, CURTIS BROWN

BYU running back Curtis Brown ran for 125 yards on 21 carries to improve his school record to 12 career games with at least 100 yards rushing. He has totaled 2,359 career yards, needing just five yards to pass John Ogden for sixth on BYU's all-time rushing list. Brown racked up 207 combined yards in the Cougars' 49-24 win over Tulsa.

VARIETY OF RECEIVERS

All totaled, 10 different receivers have at least one reception for the Cougars this season. Curtis Brown leads all receivers in receptions (nine), yards (121) and long reception (62 yards).

CAN'T MOVE THESE GUYS...OFF THE FIELD

BYU's Jake Kuresa and Dallas Reynolds have started or played significantly in every game that they have dressed in their respective careers. Kuresa, a senior, is playing right guard this year. He has started in 36 of 37 games but has played in all 37 games. Reynolds, who plays right tackle, is in his sophomore season and has played in 13 consecutive contests.

Left tackle Eddie Keele has played in every game the last three years. Keele, who plays left tackle has started 14 consecutive games and has seen action in all but two games in his collegiate career (35 of 37 total games).

BOSTON COLLEGE CONNECTION

Paul Peterson, a BYU undergraduate student assistant, quarterbacked Boston College from 2003 to 2004. Peterson, who hails from Salt Lake City, Utah, transferred to Boston College from Snow College in Ephraim. Peterson is the younger brother of former BYU quarterback Charlie Peterson.

SCORING DEFENSE

In the first two games of the 2006 season, BYU has allowed just 40 points. With an average of 20.0 points per game, the Cougars currently rank tied for 59th in the country in scoring defense. Interestingly, the defense is off to its best start (through the first two games against Division I-A opponents) since the 1994 season. BYU's current average is the lowest scoring defense mark over the first two games of a season (against Division I-A opponents) since allowing just 16.5 points per game back in 1994.

TOUCHDOWNS: TAKE YOUR PICK

In the first two games of the 2006 season, BYU has scored eight touchdowns (one against Arizona, seven against Tulsa). Seven different Cougars have found their way to the end zone for the eight touchdowns with only Fui Vakapuna scoring multiple touchdowns. In addition to Vakapuna, each of the following players have scored one touchdown in the early season: Daniel Coats, Manase Tonga, Matt Allen, Curtis Brown, Zac Collie and Harvey Unga.

EAST VS. WEST

When the Cougars and Eagles face off, it will truly be an East vs. West battle. Not only will BYU be making its longest trip within the continental U.S., the Cougars have no players from Mass. and only have six players on their current roster from locations east of the Mississippi River. Boston College has only seven players hailing from west of the Mississippi.

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 0-11 against ranked opponents, including a record of 0-3 at Edwards Stadium. Interestingly, BYU has not defeated a ranked opponent on the road since beating Arizona State, 13-10, on Sept. 20, 1997.

TWO TEAMS, A DOZEN QUARTERBACKS

Since 1980, BYU and Boston College have each had six quarterbacks in the NFL. BYU quarterbacks Marc Wilson, Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Robbie Bosco, Ty Detmer, John Walsh and Brandon Doman have gone on to play on Sunday. Boston College has sent Doug Flutie, Glenn Foley, Mark Hartsell, Matt Hasselbeck, Brian St. Pierre and Tim Hasselbeck to the NFL.

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