POSTGAME NOTES: BYU at Utah State

Junior defensive lineman Brett Denney recorded four tackles for a loss and one sack for a Cougar defense that forced four turnovers. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

FLAG BEARER

BYU has a tradition of selecting a player before each game to run the team flag onto the field. In 2008, the team implemented a new tradition—an alumni flag. The team selects a former Cougar to carry out the alumni flag, along with the chosen current player who runs out with the current team flag. Both flags are white with a blue “Y” logo. The flag is signed by current team members, while the alumni flag is signed by former BYU players. Their signatures reflect their commitment to uphold the tradition, spirit and honor of the BYU football program and to be a flag bearer of the University. Carrying the team flag was senior defensive lineman Brock Richardson, with former Cougar Mike Tanner carrying the alumni flag.

COMPETING AS A RANKED TEAM

After Friday’s win, the Cougars are 143-41 when nationally ranked in the Top -25. Dating back to 2006, BYU has won 12 consecutive games while being nationally ranked, its longest win streak as a ranked team since winning 12 straight in 1996.

COIN TOSS

For the first time this season, BYU lost the opening coin toss, with Utah State electing to receive. BYU is now 1-0 when losing the opening coin toss.

UNANSWERED POINTS

The Cougars put together a run of 137 unanswered points over the past three games, before the Aggies scored a touchdown with 13:47 remaining in the fourth quarter. Over that time BYU held its opponents scoreless in 11 straight quarters.

COLLIE BREAKS CENTURY MARK

Junior Austin Collie broke the 100-yard receiving mark for the third straight game with 132 yards on eight catches. The last time Collie accomplished this feat was over a four games in 2007 (Nov. 3-Nov. 24). He has also caught two touchdown passes in each of the last three games (UCLA, Wyoming, Utah State).

CLIMBING UP THE BYU RECORD CHARTS

With his 132 yards receiving against the Aggies, Collie now has 2,235 career receiving yards, surpassing Glen Kozlowski as No. 8 on BYU’s all-time record list. The junior needs only 133 more yards to pass Chris Smith with 2,367 yards and claim the No. 7 spot.

With his two touchdowns against the Aggies, Collie now has 22 career touchdowns, needing only four more to make it into BYU’s top 10. Pete Van Valkenberg and Eric Lane currently hold the No. 10 spot with 26 career touchdowns.

SCORING AGAINST THE AGGIES

Over the past two meetings, BYU has outscored Utah State 72-14. Including today’s 34-14 win, the Cougars defeated the Aggies 38-0 in Provo in 2006.

SCORING HALL PASSES

Quarterback Max Hall’s touchdown pass to junior Austin Collie with 11:51 in the first quarter marked the seventh 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 17-of-18 career games.

HE WHO SCORES FIRST...

Junior Austin Collie’s 76-yard touchdown with 11:51 remaining in the first quarter against Utah State gave BYU the early 7-0 lead. BYU has scored first in every game this season, marking the 27th time in the last 30 games. The Cougars are 25-2 in those 27 games. BYU has also scored an opening drive touchdown in 13 of its last 16 games.

COUGARS CONTINUE TO WIN

BYU currently owns the longest active winning streak among FBS (Division I-A) teams, having won 15 consecutive games. The Cougars have put together their longest win streak since winning 15 straight games during the 1983-85 seasons. BYU’s 5-0 record this season marks its best start since the 2001 season.

DON’T LOOK BACK

In the Bronco Mendenhall era, BYU is 31-4 when leading at halftime and 30-1 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.

FIRST HALF DOMINANCE

The Cougars held a 24-0 lead at halftime against Utah State, marking the 15th time in the past 16 games BYU has held the lead at intermission. The Cougars have held their opponent to seven or fewer points in the opening half 11 times in 16 games. During those 16 games BYU is 15-1.

TAKE YOUR PICK

Linebacker David Nixon’s interception for a two-yard return on Friday marked his second pick in as many games.

FUMBLE RECOVERIES

BYU has recovered 11 fumbles throughout the first five games of the season, combining for 9 against UCLA, Wyoming and Utah State. The Cougars recovered only four fumbles the entire 2007 season.

AFTER A BYE

After their 34-14 win over the Aggies, the Bronco Mendenhall coached Cougars are now 4-1 when coming off a bye week.

REYNOLDS MAKES 43RD CONSECUTIVE CAREER START

Senior offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds made his 43rd straight career start for the Cougars. The center is currently tied at first for the most consecutive starts by an active Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) player.

FUMBLE FOR THE SCORE

In the first half, sophomore defensive back Brandon Bradley recovered the first fumble of his career, returning it for a 38-yard touchdown. The touchdown marked the second straight game the Cougars have scored off a fumble recovery, as fellow defensive back Scott Johnson returned a loose ball for a touchdown in BYU’s 44-0 victory over Wyoming on Sept. 20.

KICKING GAME

After attempting only two field goals in the first four games of the season, the Cougars kicked four FG attempts on Friday. Sophomore kicker Mitch Payne helped put the Cougars up 17-0 with 1:46 remaining in the first quarter thanks to a 45-yard field goal, a new career long. He also connected on 21-yarder with 11:21 to play in the third quarter.

CAREER FIRSTS

Freshman wide receiver O’Neill Chambers made his first career start on Friday, after seeing the majority of his playing time on kick returns. Friday also marked kicker Justin Sorensen’s first PAT attempt, which he made with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

Friday marked BYU’s first night game of the 2008 season. The Cougars will play its second night game when it visits Fort Worth and the TCU Horned Frogs on Oct. 16.

PAPER OR PLASTIC

Three Cougars recorded sacks against Utah State, including, Brett Denney, Coleby Clawson and Matt Putnam. The last time BYU recorded three or more sacks against an opponent was at Washington when the Cougars claimed four.

SCORING IN NO TIME

Forced and recovered turnovers have resulted in fast scoring drives for the Cougars, who have put together eight scoring drives of a minute or less so far this season, including two against Utah State. In only five games, this number beats the total of seven recorded in 2007.

DENNEY BRINGS THE HEAT

Junior defensive lineman had a strong showing against Utah State, recording four tackles for a loss and one sack. Denney had only one tackle for a loss throughout the first four games of the season.

QUARTER REPORT

All totaled, BYU has recorded 13 shutout quarters thru the first five games of the season, including 11 scoreless quarters in the past three games. BYU has outscored or tied its opponent in every quarter except two.

GOING FOR IT

BYU attempted its first fourth-down conversion attempt of the season, on fourth-and-one with 3:30 remaining in the third quarter against the Aggies. The Cougars were successful, with Harvey Unga running for a four-yard gain.