Game Notes: Cougars Visit In-State Rival Utah State

Running back Fui Vakapuna ran for three touchdowns in the first half against Utah State in 2006, helping BYU to a 38-0 shutout victory. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

GAME ON...

BYU (4-0, 1-0 MWC) returns to action after a bye week to take on Utah State (1-3, 1-0) at Romney Stadium in Logan on Friday. The Cougars have won 14 straight games, the program’s longest win streak since the 2000-01 seasons. A win on Friday would give the Cougars a 5-0 start to the season, their best since 2001. The Aggies recorded their first win of the season two weeks ago against Idaho in their WAC opener. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MT) and will be broadcast regionally on KJZZ and nationally on BYU-TV.

THE BYU-UTAH STATE SERIES

The Cougars will complete their non-conference schedule in Logan on Oct. 3, taking on in-state rival Utah State for the first time since the 2006 season. One of the state’s oldest rivalries, the Cougars and Aggies have met 77 times, with BYU owning a 41-33-3 record in the 84-year-old history. The two teams met every year from 1946 through 1994 and then played every year except 1995 and 1998 before the series stopped after 2002. BYU has won eight straight since the Aggies posted a thrilling 58-56 victory in 1993. In their last meeting in 2006, the Cougars recorded the program’s first shutout in seven years, defeating Utah State 38-0 in LaVell Edwards Stadium.

ON THE TUBE

Friday’s game will be broadcast live to a regional television audience on KJZZ and to a national audience on BYU-TV. Steve Brown will handle play-by-play duties with Mike Norseth providing analysis. Alema Harrington will serve as sideline reporter. In addition to being the play-by-play announcer for college football and basketball on KJZZ, Brown has also served as play-by-play announcer for several Jazz games over the years. Brown was the voice of the Utah Blaze Arena football team during their inaugural season in 2006. He has also hosted numerous studio shows including; “Jazz Tonight” and “Jazz Fever.” A former running back at BYU, Harrington currently co-hosts “Powerhouse” with Dave Fox on KFAN.

A LOOK BACK: BYU 44-WYOMING 0

No. 11 BYU continued its quest for perfection with another shutout victory, defeating Wyoming 44-0 at LaVell Edwards Stadium to begin Mountain West Conference play. With the win the Cougars extended the nation’s longest active winning streak to 14 games, and remained perfect on the season at 4-0. BYU’s 44-0 victory against Wyoming and the previous week’s 59-0 win over UCLA marked the Cougars’ first back-to-back shutouts since 1985 and mark only the second time since 1938 that the Cougars have held opponents scoreless in consecutive contests. BYU has scored 103 unanswered points, holding its opponents to eight consecutive scoreless quarters. A large factor in the team’s performance, the BYU defensive unit rolled over Wyoming, forcing six turnovers and allowing the Cowboys to convert on only 4-of-13 third-down attempts. Linebackers David Nixon and Daniel Sorensen, along with defensive back Jordon Pendleton picked off a combined three interceptions against Wyoming. The Cougars allowed the Cowboys to see the red-zone only once during the game. On the offensive end junior quarterback Max Hall passed for 189 yards and three touchdowns, going 16-for-27. Among Hall’s highlights was a 62-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Austin Collie in the second quarter. Collie finished the game with 122 yards over eight receptions.

COUGARS CONTINUE TO WIN

With its 44-0 win over Wyoming, BYU currently owns the longest active winning streak among FBS (Division I-A) teams, having won 14 consecutive games. The Cougars have put together their longest win streak since winning 14 straight games during the 2000-01 seasons. BYU’s 4-0 record this season marks its best start since the 2001 season.

COMPETING AS A RANKED TEAM

Entering Friday’s game against Utah State, the Cougars have been ranked 234 weeks (incuding preseason, in season and postseason rankings), going 142-41 in those games. Dating back to 2006, BYU has won 11 consecutive games while nationally ranked, its longest win streak as a ranked opponent since winning 12 games in 1996.

AFTER A BYE...

BYU and Utah State will meet with a bye week under both their belts, with the Cougars having last faced Wyoming on Sept. 20. Over Mendenhall’s career as head coach, the Cougars are 3-1 coming off a bye week.

UNANSWERED POINTS

Including their win over Wyoming, the Cougars have scored 103 unanswered points, holding their opponents to eight consecutive scoreless quarters.

HE WHO SCORES FIRST...

Junior defensive back Scott Johnson’s fumble recovery for a 59-yard touchdown with 11:10 remaining in the first quarter against Wyoming gave BYU the early 7-0 lead. BYU has scored first in every game this season, marking the 26th time in the last 29 games. The Cougars are 24-2 in those 26 games. BYU has also scored an opening drive touchdown in 12 of its last 15 games.

SCORING HALL PASSES

Quarterback Max Hall’s touchdown pass to junior Austin Collie with 4:03 in the second quarter marked the sixth 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 16-of-17 career games.

QUARTER REPORT

All totaled, BYU has recorded 10 shutout quarters thru the first four games of the season, including four scoreless quarters against UCLA and Wyoming. BYU has outscored or tied its opponents in every quarter except one against Norther Iowa.

DON’T LOOK BACK

In the Bronco Mendenhall era, BYU is 30-4 when leading at halftime and 29-1 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.

CONSECUTIVE STARTS

The UCLA game marked senior offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds’ 42nd 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 first 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 Utah State defensive front that measures an average 6-feet-2, 262 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars’ front three average 6-feet-3, 278 pounds, while the Utah State offensive line tips the scales at an average 6-feet-4, 301 pounds per man.

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