POSTGAME NOTES & QUOTES: BYU at Utah State

Freshman JD Falslev returned the first kickoff of his career 34 yards to help set up BYU's first score. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

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Game notes from BYU's 31-16 loss at Utah State on Friday, Oct. 1, at Romney Stadium in Logan, Utah.

Heaps Taking Up the Ranks

After the Cougars’ game at Utah State, quarterback Jake Heaps moved up the BYU freshman quarterback ranks. Heaps is now second all-time in starts with two and moves into third all-time with 81 pass completions, three from passing Ty Detmer for second all-time among freshmen quarterbacks. For the game, Heaps had 271 yards on 27-of-54 passing.

Throwing Deep

BYU quarterback Jake Heaps’ back-to-back 32-yard passes to Marcus Mathews and JJ Di Luigi tied for the second-longest BYU receptions of the season after Di Luigi’s 48-yarder at Air Force.

Falslev Returns

Freshman specialist JD Falslev, returning to his hometown of Logan, returned the first kickoff of his career 34 yards to the BYU 46-yard line, setting up the Cougars’ first points of the game on a Mitch Payne field goal. Falslev, who prepped at Sky View High, finished with three returns for 64 yards.

Perfect Payne

BYU senior kicker Mitch Payne converted his sixth field goal of the season against Utah State, giving him field goals of 22, 29, 28, 27, 29 and 23 yards this season. Payne has never missed a field goal of 30 yards or less in his career, converting all 21 of his attempts.

Payne’s extra-point conversion in the third quarter tied Kurt Gunther’s BYU career PAT mark of 162 conversions.

New Career Highs

Freshman Joshua Quezada rushed six times for 20 yards, the highest totals of his young career. Cougar sophomore fullback Zed Mendenhall and freshman tight ends Devin Mahina and Austin Holt each caught the first passes of their careers. Mahina had a 21-yard catch while Mendenhall and Holt each had two-yard receptions.

Kariya Scores Again

Running back Bryan Kariya’s 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was his first touchdown since a 2-yard score in a 52-0 win over Wyoming on Nov. 7, 2009.

Injury Bug Bites

The Cougars began today’s game with three defensive starters (Romney Fuga, Jameson Frazier and Steven Thomas) out of the game due to injury. During the contest, BYU’s top two tacklers, Andrew Rich and Jordan Pendleton, also were injured and did not return to the game.

Starting Slow

BYU’s 31-16 loss to Utah State marks the Cougars’ first four-game losing streak under Bronco Mendenhall and the first such occurrence since BYU lost the last three games of 1999 and the season opener of 2000. BYU last lost four-straight games in a single season in 1993. It’s the first 1-4 start for BYU since 1973.

Halftime Deficits

BYU’s deficit of 21 points at halftime (24-3) was the second-largest lead at halftime by a BYU opponent under Bronco Mendenhall. BYU fell behind 24 points, 23-0, at TCU in 2008 before losing 32-7.

Flag Bearers

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.

Today, former BYU linebacker Colby Bockwoldt carried out the alumni flag. A native of Sunset, Utah, Bockwoldt had 85 tackles and three sacks his senior year before becoming a seventh round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2004. Bockwoldt led the Saints in tackles in 2005 with 100, after which he saw time with the Titans, 49er’s and Brown. Carrying the team flag was defensive lineman Vic So’oto, a tight end-turned-linebacker-turned-lineman for the Cougars, who is currently fifth on the team with 19 tackles while also earning one sack and an interception.

POSTGAME QUOTES

Bronco Mendenhall BYU Head Coach

“From a comment standpoint, I want to congratulate Coach Andersen. It is a nice win for their program and fans. I think their football team played a good game tonight.”

ON PROBLEMS...

“Just execution. In mulitple situations, over and over again. We continue to need to play more clean and precise. We need to be able to move the football and make the critical stops when we need to.”

ON UTAH STATE’S SUCCESS MOVING THE BALL IN THE FIRST HALF...

“I think it was a myriad of a couple things. It was not one particular player, or scheme. It was a mistake here or there in four or five different places. The big play early in the game (79-yard touchdown pass), the short field after a long kickoff return. It was execution driven not in one particular play, or in one particular aspect of the game. Just exectution overall.”

USU Head Coach Gary Andersen

“A tremendous victory for us. It was something we have been looking for, obviously, for a long time. Against a quality team, in a packed house, on ESPN, I guess we can call it a rivalry now huh, we finally got a victory. I am very proud of the coaches, they were extremely prepared. Bill Busch and the defense did an unbelievable job. I think Coach (Dave) Baldwin and the offense prepared very well for this game.”

“We still have a long ways to go. Tonight we are going to enjoy this victory. This is a great opportunity for these kids to experience a victory like this, and especially at home, especially with the crowd like that in front of us.”

“Derrvin Speight was physical and solid. He played very well. Rajric Coleman and Chris Randle, this was a very important game for these two. It was great to have them back for this.”

“We have made tremendous strides, to come and beat BYU. This gives kids belief.”

ON DIONDRE BOREL ...

“Diondre Borel was very solid, and he was solid with a very good supporting class. That is what we have been waiting for. The last two games we have lacked that as a whole group. Diondre has had to try to do too many things by himself.”