POSTGAME NOTES & QUOTES: BYU vs. UNLV

The BYU defense shut out UNLV until the closing minutes of the Cougars' 55-7 win on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

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Game notes and quotes from BYU's 55-7 win vs. UNLV on Saturday, Nov. 6, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.

Freshmen Strikes

BYU true freshman running back Joshua Quezada scored the first, second and third rushing touchdown of his career on two separate runs of 13 yards and one run of four yards. His 13-yard scores are the longest rushing touchdowns for BYU this season. Quezada is the first BYU freshman to score three touchdowns in a game since Harvey Unga scored four (3 rush, 1 receiving) in 2007 against San Diego State and the first BYU true freshman to score three in a game since Curtis Brown’s three rushing touchdowns against Utah State in 2002.

Redshirt freshman Cody Hoffman caught his second touchdown and longest reception of his career in the second quarter, hauling in a 37-yard pass from true freshman quarterback Jake Heaps.

Largest Lead, Longest Drive

BYU took a three-touchdown lead for the first time this season, posting 38-straight points to begin the game--the most points in a half for BYU this season. The 38 points are the most by BYU in a first half since BYU’s 42 points against UCLA in the third game of 2008. BYU’s 55-0 lead is the Cougars’ largest since the same game against UCLA in a 59-0 win. In addition, the Cougars’ third touchdown drive of 86 yards was also the longest scoring drive of the season for BYU.

Defensive Denials

BYU’s defense had two interceptions for the first time this season. Senior defensive back Brian Logan intercepted UNLV’s Omar Clayton on the Rebels’ first play of the game at the UNLV 41-yard line for his first interception of the season and fourth of his career. In the second quarter, senior defensive lineman Vic So’oto’s tipped ball at the line of scrimmage led to linebacker Jameson Frazier’s first career interception.

Heaps More Records

Starting at quarterback for the Cougars, true freshman Jake Heaps became the first freshman in BYU history to start at quarterback in three wins. He also tied the record for most starts at quarterback as a freshman now with six (equaling Matt Berry). Heaps also recorded new career highs with 294 yards and two touchdowns on 19-of-31 passing. The freshman also passed Ty Detmer and Matt Berry on the BYU freshman passing yards list, taking the top spot at 1,351 yards.

Payne Sets New BYU PAT Attempted Record

Senior kicker Mitch Payne set a new BYU career record for most PATs attempted, breaking Kurt Gunther's old record on his sixth PAT of the day. Payne now has 181, two more than Gunther's record of 179.

Rush Defense

After holding its last three opponents to first quarter rushing totals of minus-10 (SDSU), 20 (TCU) and minus-31(Wyoming) yards, respectively, the BYU defense stiffed UNLV for zero rushing yards in the first quarter.

Odds Are Good

BYU is 46-4 when leading at halftime and 46-1 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. The Cougars have also won 29-straight games when leading by at least 14 points at the half dating back to 1987.

Don’t Cross the Line

UNLV did not earn a first down until 12:07 left in the second quarter. In BYU's last outing the Cougars did not allow Wyoming to gain a first down until just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Yardage Equals Wins

When BYU has passed for 300 yards and run for 200 yards, the Cougars are 39-0 since 1972 when LaVell Edwards took over as head coach and 5-0 under current head coach Bronco Mendenhall. BYU finished with 300 passing yards and 216 rushing yards against the Rebels.

Running Over the Rebels

BYU scored five rushing touchdowns, the most since scoring six rushing TDs last year against UNLV in a 59-21 win in Las Vegas.

On a Lark

BYU sophomore quarterback James Lark saw his first action of the season in the fourth quarter and completed his first pass as a Cougar on a six-yard throw to BJ Peterson. Lark led the Cougars down to the Rebel 8-yard line to set up Mitch Payne’s second field goal of the game on a 25-yarder.

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, reflecting 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 running back Curtis Brown (2002, 2004-06) carried out the alumni flag. Brown, a two-time first-team All-MWC selection, finished his career as BYU’s all-time leading rusher with 3,221 yards and is currently second on the list behind Harvey Unga. He was the first BYU rusher to record back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Senior middle linebacker Shane Hunter brought out the team flag. Hunter has started every game for the Cougars this year and had a career-high 13 tackles at Utah State.

BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall

“I think we played probably our most complete game today from an offensive perspective. We had more balance than what we have had in terms of running the ball and throwing it. We caught the ball more cleanly in critical moments than we have before. Overall, it was a solid team perform on both sides.”

“I think the team is eager and anxious to improve and finish the season strong. They are looking forward to next game.”

“I don’t know if we needed it or not (a blowout win). What I liked is having so many players get a chance to play that have been laboring from behind the scenes. That is always fun as coach to see that happen. It’s nice to have the win but I wouldn’t say (a blowout) was needed.”

“I think the protection was also to be commended. When there was pressure Jake stepped up and delivered the football accurately. It was just the next step in him improving. There have been steps forward and not back. It was just more visible today.”

“I love JD [Falslev]; he has no fear and makes great decisions. He has great heart and the team loves him. He is a completely trustworthy player. He’s not tall but he plays big.”

“If you were watching the sideline closely, you could see how hard the other guys were pulling for each other. You can see that all these guys respect each other and want each other to succeed. Some of them got to play a quarter or just a few minutes, but it’s a great opportunity for us to see them play and evaluate them.”

“The players were anxious to play. It didn’t take them two or three series, they were ready from the beginning.”

“I love Josh [Quezada] and the way he runs the football. He runs hard and is a complete young player and unselfish. He has a bright future and I enjoy having him on our team.”

UNLV Head Coach Bobby Hauck

“Bronco and his staff did a great job. They had their team ready to go and they dominated us any way you look at it. They dominated us in terms of numbers and they dominated us out on the field.”

“I’m really disappointed with the way we played and frankly, I don’t think that we have enough toughness on our football team and that starts with the head coach not being tough enough. I’ve got to improve myself. So we’re going to spend the next 10 months developing toughness on our football team because when things go wrong we have a tendency to snowball and that’s not good.”

“We don’t have the ability, so that when things stop going our way. We are able to pull ourselves up by our own bootstrap and make things happen. We’re going to spend the next 10 months working on that and this will be a tough football team.”