The Cougars will look to rebound against Air Force on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- After two straight losses on the road, the Cougars (1-2) return to Provo where they team has won its last seven in a row. BYU will face undefeated Air Force (3-0) for the Cougars' first taste of conference competition this season. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:06 p.m. (MT). The game will be broadcast regionally on The mtn.
Today's contest marks the Cougars' 2007 Homecoming game. BYU is 39-20 in Homecoming games since 1947. During the LaVell Edwards' era (1972-2000), the Cougars posted a record of 21-8. Current head coach Bronco Mendenhall is 2-0 in homecoming games, winning by an average 27.5 points per game. The last time BYU played Air Force in a Homecoming game was during the 2001 season. The Cougars prevailed 63-33, scoring a Homecoming game record nine touchdowns. In 1990, Ty Detmer threw for a Homecoming game record 464 yards and five touchdowns against New Mexico. In the same game, Andy Boyce caught nine passes for a Homecoming game record 235 yards receiving. In 1983, BYU posted 66 points against New Mexico to set the Homecoming game scoring record. Last season, BYU defeated UNLV 52-7 in the Homecoming contest.
THE BYU-AIR FORCE SERIES
BYU opens its Mountain West Conference schedule against undefeated Air Force. The Cougars hold an all-time record of 21-6 against the Falcons, most recently taking a 33-14 victory at Falcon Stadium in 2006. Beginning with the first time the two teams played in 1956, BYU won 16 out of its first 17 match-ups against Air Force. The Cougars won 12 in a row from 1983-94 but have gone just 5-5 against the Falcons since the 1995 season. BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall is 2-0 all-time against Air Force, winning both games by an average of 20 points per game. Both victories came against former Air Force head coach Fisher DeBerry. After 23 years at the helm, DeBerry retired after the 2006 season and was replaced by Houston Texans offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Troy Calhoun. Air Force finished the 2006 season with a 4-8 overall record, losing six of its final seven games.
IMPORTANCE OF THE RUNNING GAME
Entering Saturday's game, the Cougars own a record of 91-18 when rushing for 100 (or more) yards since the 1991 season. The Tulsa game marked only the fifth time since 1991 that the Cougars had gained over 150 yards rushing in a game and lost. (BYU is 72-5 since 1991 when rushing for 150 or more yards.) During the Bronco Mendenhall era, the Cougars are 14-3 when rushing for 100 or more yards.
HOME WIN STREAK
The Cougars enter today's game riding a seven game win streak at Edwards Stadium. The streak began with a 49-24 victory over Tulsa on September 9, 2006 and was extended to seven straight wins with a 20-7 victory over Arizona on September 1, 2007. Eight straight home wins would give the Cougars their longest home winning streak since collecting 10 straight wins from October 26,2000 to September 6, 2002.
SECOND STRAIGHT SELLOUT
For the second consecutive game, BYU ticket office officials have announced today's game against Air Force is sold out. A crowd of over 64,045 is expected for the Cougars? Homecoming match-up against league leading Air Force. The game will mark the second consecutive sell-out at Edwards Stadium and the first time since November 20, 1999 the Cougars have had a sell-out in back-to-back games during the same season. A capacity crowd of 64,525 attended the Cougars? season-opening victory over Arizona on September 1. Since 1999, the Cougars are 8-4 in games with a sell-out crowd.
TALE OF THE TAPE
BYU's starting five offensive linemen weigh in at an average 318.4 pounds and average 6-feet-5. The front five will be going up against an Air Force defensive front that measures an average 6-feet-3, 265 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars' front three average 6-feet-2, 270 pounds, while the Falcons' offensive line tips the scales at an average 6-feet-3, 277 pounds per man.
According to ksl.com, today's forecast calls for mostly cloudy and breezy conditions. There is a chance of widespread showers and thunderstorms later in the day. Highs should be in the low 70?s with southwest winds from 15 to 25 mph. There is an 80 percent chance of precipitation.