BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall cheers on the effort of his team in Saturday's win over No. 3 Oklahoma. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
ENDING AN 18-YEAR DROUGHT
The last time BYU beat a nonconference team ranked in the Top 10 was its 28-21 win over No. 1 Miami on Sept. 8, 1990. The win on Saturday gave the Cougars their first win over a ranked nonconference opponent since it defeated No. 14 Arizona State, 26-6, on Sept. 12, 1998. Since that day, BYU had lost 12 consecutive games to ranked nonconference opponents. The last time BYU beat a ranked nonconference opponent on a neutral field was the Cotton Bowl game of Jan. 1, 1997, when BYU beat No. 14 Kansas State, 19-15.
MENDENHLL TEAMS DEFEATING RANKED FOES
Under Bronco Mendenhall, BYU is now 2-6 vs. ranked foes, with its other win a 31-17 victory over No. 15 TCU on Sept. 28, 2006.
LEADING A RANKED TEAM
The Cougars took their first lead of the night with 3:03 remaining in the game, giving them a 14-13 lead, their first over a ranked team since Sept. 28, 2006 when BYU defeated No. 15 TCU, 31-17.
BYU has a tradition of selecting a player before each game to run the team flag onto the field, as well as a former Cougar to carry out the alumni flag. Each member of the team has signed the team flag, while former BYU players have signed the alumni flag. 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.
As part of the 25-year anniversary celebration of BYU’s national championship, each alumni chosen to carry out the flag this year will be a member of the 1984 team. Carrying the team flag today was senior defensive lineman Brett Denney, with former BYU quarterback Robbie Bosco carrying the alumni flag. Bosco played for the Cougars from 1981, 82-85, leading them to the National Championship his junior season.
Today BYU won the toss and elected to defer. Last season the Cougars won the toss seven times, going 5-2 in those games.
AGAINST THE BIG 12
With tonight’s win the Cougars now have a 15-22 overall record against Big 12 opponents. BYU has faced every team in the conference except Nebraska, and has a winning record against Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M.
The last Big 12 vs. BYU matchup was on Jan. 1, 1997 when the Cougars defeated Kansas State, 19-15, at the Cotton Bowl.
The Cougars’ first game against a current Big 12 opponent was the University of Colorado, which handed BYU a 41-0 loss on Oct. 20, 1923.
Tonight’s win marked the third consecutive season BYU has opened with a win. The Cougars defeated Arizona, 20-7, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in 2007 and Northern Iowa also at home, 41-17, in 2008. Since 1922, the Cougars have posted a 49-35-2 record in season-opening games. The last time BYU opened the season with a road win was back in 1994 when it defeated Hawaii, 13-12, in Honolulu.
COMPETING AS A RANKED TEAM
With tonight’s win, the Cougars are 149-44 when nationally ranked in the Top 25. A ranked BYU team has won 18 of its last 21 games, dating back to 2006.
All-American tight end Dennis Pitta caught his first pass of the game with 3:51 remaining in the first half. Pitta has caught a pass in 31 consecutive games dating back to Oct. 23, 2004 (at Air Force), prior to his mission. He finished with a game-high 90 yards and seven catches.
HE WHO SCORES FIRST...
Oklahoma was the first to score today with an eight-yard pass from Sam Bradford to Ryan Broyles. In 2008 BYU was the first team to score in eight of 13 games, marking 31 times in the last 39 games. The Cougars are 29-2 in those 31 games.
Today’s game against Oklahoma marked senior defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen’s 40th straight career start. During that streak, Jorgensen has started every game of his collegiate career and set a new MWC all-time career sack record at 22.5. His first career start came against Arizona on Sept. 2, 2006.
PAPER OR PLASTIC?
Senior linebacker Terrance Hook’s sack against Oklahoma’s Landry Jones marked the first of the season for BYU.
HOLDING THE SOONERS
When facing an offense that averaged 51.1 points per game in 2008, the Cougar defense successfully held Oklahoma to 13 points tonight. In the first half alone, BYU forced three-and-outs on four of OU’s first six possessions.
Senior linebacker Shawn Doman recorded BYU’s first fumble recovery of the 2009 season after the Sooners lost possession on BYU’s 16-yard line with 2:15 remaining in the first quarter. Doman recovered two fumbles in 2008 against Colorado State and San Diego State. Senior defensive lineman Brett Denney recovered a fumble of his own in the second quarter, to start what would become BYU’s first scoring drive of the game.
HELD SCORELSS IN THE FIRST QUARTER
The Sooners held BYU scoreless in the first quarter for the Cougars’ second consecutive game. Arizona also held BYU scoreless in the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 20, 2008.
In only his second career start, sophomore running back Bryan Kariya totaled 76 yards receiving on four catches and 42 yards rushing to lead the team. His receptions included a 49-yarder to set up the Cougars’ first score of the game.
FIRST CAREER STARTS
Saturday marked the first career starts for several Cougars, including, linebacker Jordan Pendleton, defensive back Brian Logan, and offensive linemen Braden Hansen, Terence Brown and Nick Alletto.