PROVO -- Coming off a tough loss at Arizona, BYU will look to rebound against reigning Conference USA champion Tulsa as the Cougars open their 2006 home schedule. The game will be BYU's first appearance on the recently launched Mountain Sports Network-The mtn.
For the second consecutive week, BYU will play an old WAC foe. Tulsa became a member of the 16-team, expanded WAC in 1996. The Cougars hold an undefeated 5-0 record all time against the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa is coming off a Conference USA championship and Liberty Bowl win as it visits Provo for the first time since 1997. The Cougars won in 1997, 49-39. BYU first played at Tulsa in 1971, beating the Golden Hurricane, 25-7. The Cougars also beat Tulsa in 1984, 38-15. The two teams played three straight years (1995, 1996 and 1997)
COMPLETE BROADCAST PLANS
TELEVISION: BYU will make its debut on The Mountain Sports Network - The mtn. against Tulsa. James Bates will handle the play-by-play story with father son combo Todd Christensen offering analysis and Toby Christensen handling 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
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 Tulsa defensive front that averages just over 6- foot-2, 274.66 pounds. (Advantage: BYU +42.14 pounds per man.) BYUýs defensive line weighs 6-foot-2, 271.3 pounds. Tulsaýs offensive line that averages over 6-foot-5, 305.8 pounds. (Advantage: Arizona +34.5 pounds per man.)
Last season's 20-3 loss to Boston College was the first time BYU had lost a home-opener in five years. Previous to last season's home-opening defeat, the last time BYU lost a home-opener was in 2000 when the Cougars fell 44-28 to Mississippi State. BYU beat Tulane, Syracuse, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame in rescpective home openers between 2001 and 2004.
LAST WEEK RECAP
Despite out-gaining Arizona by 60 total yards and holding a halftime lead, BYU dropped a tough game, 16-13, to the Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Arizona's Nick Folk hit three field goals, including a decisive 48-yarder with six seconds remaining to seal the victory for the Wildcats. BYU had a third-quarter touchdown negated by a controversial offensive pass interference call and missed another opportunity with a special teams miscue in the third quarter.
John Beck had a string of 14-consecutive completions on his way to an efficient outing. His string was broken on a deep pass attempt to Jacobson which was broken up at the last second. Beck finished the game completing 28-of-37 (.756) attempts for 289 yards and one touchdown.
John Beck was sacked three times and BYU rushed for negative yards in the first half. The Cougars were held to -17 yards rushing in the half. The Cougars finished the game with a total of 24 yards rushing, including a game-high 23 yards by senior Curtis Brown. Fui Vakapuna added six carries for 21 yards, averaging a team-best 3.5 yards per carry.
All totaled, nine different receivers had at least one reception for the Cougars. Curtis Brown led all receivers with six receptions for 39 yards, while Jonny Harline had a team-high 71 yards on five receptions.
Senior quarterback John Beck threw for 289 yards against Arizona. All totaled, Beck has thrown for 7,425 yards over his career and needs just 40 yards to pass Steve Sarkisian for seventh-place on the Cougars' all-time passing list. Beck added 274 yards of total offense to his career total, moving into eighth place on BYU's all-time total offense list with 7,456 yards. Senior running back Curtis Brown entered Saturday's game needing 27 yards to pass Eldon Fortie for fourth on BYU's all-time rushing list. Brown finished the game with 23 yards rushing, leaving him just just four yards shy of passing Fortie's mark of 1,149 yards.
Tucson native Quinn Gooch led BYU with seven tackles on the evening, including three solo tackles and four assisted takedowns. Ben Criddle recorded a team-leading five solo tackles. Linebacker Bryan Kehl was credited with a team-best 2.5 tackles for a combined loss of 10 yards. Linebacker Cameron Jensen had two interceptions on the evening; however, one was negated by a holding penalty. Defensive linemen Jan Jorgensen and Hala Paongo were each credited with a sack.
The BYU defense did not allow a third-down conversion during the entire first half at Arizona. The Wildcats were 0-for-7 during the first two quarters. Overall, the Wildcats converted just 3-of-14 third-down attempts on the evening.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
BYU was forced to start 9-of-13 drives in its own territory during the game. Six of those nine drives failed to enter Arizona territory, including four straight drives during the second quarter. In the second quarter, the Cougars' average field position was their own 16-yard line. BYU's longest drive of the evening covered 68 yards on 11 plays during the third quarter.
SOLD OUT CROWDS
The Cougars played in front of their third-consecutive sold out crowd. 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 Saturday's game.