Home Win Streak Extended to Eight Games

Matt Allen goes airborn to haul in this 9-yard touchdown pass from Max Hall. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

COUGAR TOWN, Utah (Sept. 22, 2007) BYU quarterback Max Hall threw for 293 yards and led his team to a 31-6 victory as the Cougars handed the Air Force Academy (3-1 overall, 2-1 Mountain West Conference) its first loss of the year. The Cougars (2-2 overall, 1-0 MWC) extended their home win streak to eight games.

BYU running back Manase Tonga recorded two rushing touchdowns on the afternoon bringing his season total up to four, which is the same amount of rushing touchdowns he had all of last year. The Cougars were led defensively by linebacker Kelly Poppinga who recorded 10 tackles against the Falcons.

"The work that [the players] put in, starting first thing Monday morning until 10 o'clock last night, gave them a great chance to win the football game," said BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall. "It is to their credit and their willingness to work and try to improve that we were successful."

The Cougars were able to get on the scoreboard first for the 15th time in their last 16 games when the team took advantage of an early turnover and scored six plays later on a one-yard run by Tonga. BYU safety Quinn Gooch came up with the interception, his first of the year, on Air Force's first drive of the game to give his team the ball on the Falcons' 43 yard line.

BYU's stout defense was able to keep Air Force off the scoreboard for both the first and second quarters, the second time the defense has recorded a first half shutout this season.

The Cougars went into the locker room up 17-0 after a second quarter that saw a nine-yard connection from Hall to Matt Allen and a Mitch Payne field goal from 42 yards out. BYU has led at the half in 16 of its last 17 games dating back to the start of the 2006 season.

A 29-yard completion to Harvey Unga in the third quarter opened up BYU's largest lead of the season, 24-0. This scoring drive took 10 plays and had three passing plays of over 18 yards. BYU tight end Dennis Pitta had one of the long receptions to take his game total up to 114. This was his second straight game with over 100 yards receiving, and he is the first Cougar to do that since Jonny Harline did it against Utah and Oregon last season.

The Falcons scored their only points of the game with 3:13 left in the third quarter when quarterback Shaun Carney ran the ball in from eight yards out. The Cougars stopped Air Force's two-point conversion attempt after the touchdown.

"I think the defense played solidly; they were confident and anxious to play assignment football, which is what today took," Mendenhall said. "I think this will be indicative of how I think it will continue to go if they are prepared correctly. I think they are playing how they are capable of playing."

BYU's final score came on the back of Tonga once again, as he ran in from two yards out in the fourth quarter. During the Bronco Mendenhall era, the Cougars are 15-3 when they rush for at least 100 yards.

The Cougars will next be in action on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. against New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M. That game will be televised live on CSTV.

Box Score (Final)

Air Force vs BYU Cougars (Sep 22, 2007 at Cougar Town, Utah)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- -----

Air Force........... 0 0 6 0 - 6 Record: (3-1,2-1)

BYU Cougars......... 7 10 7 7 - 31 Record: (2-2,1-0)

Scoring Summary:

1st 11:02 BY - TONGA, 1 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 6-43 2:57

2nd 14:54 BY - ALLEN, 9 yd pass from HALL, (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 12-56 5:58

01:14 BY - PAYNE, Mitch 42 yd field goal, 9-55 3:44

3rd 10:54 BY - UNGA, 29 yd pass from HALL, (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 10-80 0:00

03:31 AF - CARNEY, 8 yd run (SMITH, rush failed), 5-67 2:09

4th 13:51 BY - TONGA, 2 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 11-80 4:40

AF BY

FIRST DOWNS................... 12 25

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 32-133 44-159

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 98 293

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 21-10-1 33-23-1

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 53-231 77-452

Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0

Punt Returns-Yards............ 0-0 2-14

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 5-109 0-0

Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-0 1-1

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 6-35.2 3-41.0

Fumbles-Lost.................. 1-0 2-1

Penalties-Yards............... 2-17 8-65

Possession Time............... 22:50 37:10

Third-Down Conversions........ 3 of 13 8 of 16

Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 2 2 of 2

Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 1-1 3-3

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-10 2-12

RUSHING: Air Force-SMITH, Chad 2-47; OLLIS, Jim 7-30; WILLIAMS, Ryan 4-19;

HALL,Chad 2-19; BYRD, Brenton 7-14; CARNEY, Shaun 9-5; MOFFETT, Mike 1-

minus 1. BYU Cougars-UNGA, Harvey 22-111; TONGA, Manase 14-41; HALL, Max 6-

9; SEMANOFF, Joe 1-0; TEAM 1-minus 2.

PASSING: Air Force-CARNEY, Shaun 10-21-1-98. BYU Cougars-HALL, Max 23-33-1-

293.

RECEIVING: Air Force-HALL, Chad 6-80; QUINTANA, Sean 1-10; DEKKER, Travis 1-

7; SMITH, Chad 1-1; ROOT, Mark 1-0. BYU Cougars-TONGA, Manase 6-69; PITTA,

Dennis 5-114; UNGA, Harvey 4-49; REED, Michael 3-38; ALLEN, Matt 3-22;

SO'OTO, Vic 1-2; SEMANOFF, Joe 1-minus 1.

INTERCEPTIONS: Air Force-BIRD, Carson 1-0. BYU Cougars-GOOCH, Quinn 1-1.

FUMBLES: Air Force-HALL, Chad 1-0. BYU Cougars-MAHUIKA, Bryce 1-0; HALL, Max

1-1.

SACKS (UA-A): Air Force-RABOLD, John 1-0. BYU Cougars-JORGENSEN, Jan 1-0;

MANUMALEUNA,Eth 1-0.

TACKLES (UA-A): Air Force-THOMAS, Chris 10-4; SHANOR, Aaron 8-5; RABOLD, John

5-2; RYBAK, Garrett 4-1; RANDLE, Austin 3-2; BIRD, Carson 2-3; KIRCHOFF,Aaron

4-0; MORRIS JR, Andr 3-1; FOWLER, Drew 2-2; GIANNINI, Bobby 2-2; LARSON,

Stephen 2-1; PAULSON, Jake 0-2; MARVIN, Jared 0-2; SMITH, Nathan 0-2;YEAGER,

Luke 1-0; KEUCHLER, Willi 1-0; DEKKER, Travis 1-0; KEMP, Ryan 0-1. BYU

Cougars-POPPINGA,Kelly 2-8; JORGENSEN, Jan 3-6; BOLDEN, Chris 3-2; NIXON,

David 1-4; STAFFIERI, Mark 0-5; KEHL, Bryan 2-2; MANUMALEUNA,Eth 1-3;

CRIDDLE, Ben 1-3; DULAN, Ian 1-3; NELSON, Grant 1-3; BUCHANAN, Kayle 1-2;

SULLIVAN, Sean 1-2; GOOCH, Quinn 0-3; HODGKISS, Corby 0-3; HOOKS, Terrance 1-

1; WOLFLEY, Rick 0-2; JOHNSON, Scott 1-0; REYNOLDS, Dalla 1-0; ANDERTON,Judd

0-1; HOWARD, Brandon 0-1; BAUMAN, Matt 0-1; JORGENSEN, Aste 0-1.

Tags: Results