Senior Michael Reed finished his BYU career with 117 yards receiving in the Cougars' 31-21 loss to Arizona. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
The 2008 Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl marked the Cougars' 27th overall bowl appearance. With the loss to Arizona, BYU now has a post-season bowl record of 9-17-1.
FEELS LIKE HOME
Including the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl, the Cougars have played a total of 13 times at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, including six times in the past four years. The Cougars are 10-3 when playing at Sam Boyd Stadium, including a record of 7-0 against UNLV, 2-2 in the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl and 1-1 in the WAC Championship.
VERSUS THE PAC-10
After its 31-21 loss to Arizona, BYU is now 5-2 in the last seven meetings with Pac-10 opponents. Overall the MWC has a 6-2 record against Pac-10 foes this season.
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 team flag is signed by current players, 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 today was senior running back Fui Vakapuna, with former Cougar defensive lineman Rich Kaufusi carrying the alumni flag. Kaufusi played defensive tackle for BYU from 1989-90.
The bowl game marked the sixth time this season BYU lost the opening coin toss, with the Wildcats electing to defer to the second half. BYU is now 4-2 when losing the opening toss.
COMPETING AS A RANKED TEAM
After Saturday’s loss to Arizona, the Cougars are 148-44 when nationally ranked in the Top 25. With the loss, a ranked BYU team has won 17 of its last 20 games, dating back to 2006.
COLLIE TIES NCAA RECORD
With 119 yards receiving on the night, Austin Collie ties the NCAA record for most consecutive 100-yard receiving games in a single season with 11—a record set by Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree. Collie’s 11-consecutive games also extends a MWC record he broke in October against UNLV. The record was previously held by SDSU’s J.R. Tolver (2002) with five.
REWRITING THE RECORD BOOKS
With his kickoff return in the first quarter, freshman O'Neill Chambers set a new BYU and MWC record for kickoff returns in a single season at 34, surpassing the previous record holder Mike Rigell who recorded 33 in 2001. By the end of the night Chambers had two returns for a season total of 35.
Coming into the night Austin Collie needed only one reception to set a new program career record. His 11 receptions on the night give him 215 in his three years as a Cougar. The previous record was 204, set by Matt Bellini (1987-90). His 11 receptions against the Wildcats also gave him the most single-season catches in BYU history. With 106 in 2008, Collie surpassed Jay Miller’s 100 receptions in 1973.
With 119 yards receiving against Arizona, Collie now has 3,255 career-receiving yards, extending the BYU record. As BYU’s all-time single-season leading receiver, he improved to 1,408 yards on the season.
The junior now has 17 career 100-yard receiving games—a BYU record. He also holds the MWC record, four game ahead of the old leader, SDSU’s J.R. Tolver.
Quarterback Max Hall’s 328 passing yards against the Wildcats gives him seven for the season, tying a MWC record also held by BYU’s John Beck, Kevin Feterik and Wyoming’s Corey Bramlet. Hall’s 328 yards also makes him the MWC leading junior quarterback, with 4,020 yards this season.
The bowl game marked senior offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds’ 51st 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 leads the country with 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.
For only the third this season, two BYU players accumulated 100 receiving yards in the same game, as both Austin Collie and Michael Reed recorded 119 and 117 yards, respectively. The last time a duo accomplished this feat was on Nov. 15 at Air Force with Collie and tight end Dennis Pitta.
HE WHO SCORES FIRST...
Nic Grigsby’s one-yard touchdown run with 6:23 remaining in the game marked the fifth time this season BYU has failed to score first. The Cougars previously gave up touchdowns to New Mexico, TCU, CSU and Utah. BYU is 2-3 when failing to score first.
TRAILING AT THE HALF
For only the fourth time this season and third consecutive game the Cougars found themselves down at the halfway mark, entering the locker room behind the Wildcats 10-7. The Cougars last trailed 27-17 heading into the break at Utah, as well as 14-10 at Air Force. In October they trailed 23-0 at TCU. BYU is now 1-3 when down at halftime.
On his career, Unga has scored 25 rushing touchdowns along with 8 receiving, for a combined 33 touchdowns. With that number he is fourth on BYU’s all-time touchdown list, surpassing Lakei Heimuli and Waymon Hamilton who each had 32. Combined with a two-point conversion, Unga has scored 200 points for BYU over the past two years, currently placing him seventh on BYU’s all-time list of points scored in a career.
PAPER OR PLASTIC
Senior linebacker David Nixon’s crucial fourth-quarter sack against Arizona’s Willie Tuitama marked his second of the season, bringing up second-and-18. The Cougar defense recorded 22 sacks through the 2008 season.
Junior linebacker Matt Bauman’s fumble recovery with 12:43 remaining in the second quarter marked his second of the season. Junior linebacker Coleby Clawson recovered an Arizona fumbled snap early in the third quarter—his first of the season. O'Neill Chamber’s fumble recovery on BYU’s kickoff with 3:34 remaining in the fourth quarter was the first of his career. BYU has recovered 21 fumbles this season.