With their 10th straight victory of the season - a 41-34 win over Wyoming - the eighth-ranked Cougars will return to the friendly confines of LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, taking on arch rival Utah (7-2, 4-1) in a game that has much at stake. With the Cougars' win at Wyoming, BYU clinched at least a share of the MWC title - their second league crown in the past three seasons. With a BYU victory against Utah, the Cougars would claim the outright MWC title and would keep their BCS hopes alive. If Utah wins, the two teams would share the league crown, at least for a week. Utah has yet to play at Air Force. (If Utah wins this week, but loses next week at Air Force, the Cougars would then win the title outright.)
Saturday's game will be broadcast live to a national television audience on ESPN2 - the Cougars' fourth appearance on ESPN2 this season. Dave Barnett will call the action with Bill Curry and Mike Golic lending expert analysis from the booth. Michele Tafoya will report from the sidelines. Kickoff is slated for 5:06 p.m. (MST).
The BYU-Utah Rivalry (The 77th Meeting)
Depending on who you ask, the Cougars and Utes will be meeting for the 77th time on Saturday, dating back to Oct. 14, 1922. In the early years, Utah dominated the rivalry, posting a 38-5-4 record against the Cougars. Then, beginning in 1972, the tides began to change. Enter LaVell Edwards. During his 29 season at the helm of the BYU program, the Cougars posted a 22-7 record, including a 34-27 win over the Utes in Edwards' final game. The Cougars have not defeated Utah in Provo since the 1991 season. Since BYU does not officially recognize its football program prior to 1922, the Utes own a 45-27-4 record in the series, rather than the series record of 48-29-4 the University of Utah recognizes. During the early years, BYU was known as the Brigham Young Academy with many of the school's players consisting of high-school age young men. Near the turn of the century, a BYA player was killed and the sport was eliminated. In 1922, BYU returned to the grid iron, officially recognized the University as an intercollegiate sport. To make the rivalry even more interesting, the University of utah, founded in 1850 (just three years after the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley), is the only university in the state actually founded by Brigham Young. (BYU was established under the direction of Karl G. Maeser in 1875.)
Utah Three-Dot Data
The Utes enter Saturday's game having won the last four meetings between the two teams in Provo ... With the Utes' win over San Diego State on Saturday, Utah became bowl eligible ... The Utah defense ranks ninth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 15.8 points per game ... The Utes also rank 13th in the nation in total defense, giving up just 296.22 yards per game ... The Utah offensive line has allowed just five sacks on the season, while the Utes' defense has racked up 19 sacks ... The Utah defense has recorded two shutouts this season, including a 35-0 win over Wyoming and a 42-14 victory at UNLV ... The Utes are averaging 424.0 yards of total offense per game, including a balanced 206.4 yards rushing and 217.6 yards passing ... Senior running back Dameon Hunter ranks third in the MWC and 16th nationally, averaging 118.2 yards rushing per game ... Hunter has 208 carries for 1,064 yards.
Security at Edwards Stadium
BYU will maintain and enforce all existing stadium safety guidelines, particularly the rules regarding bringing large containers or coolers to the game. Coolers and large containers will not be permitted, while other items, such as large bags, are subject to search.
Head-to-Head With the Cowboys
On the season, BYU and Utah have played six common opponents. The Cougars have posted a 6-0 record against those teams, while UU has recorded a mark of 5-1.
BYU in the BCS
BYU remained in the top-15 of the BCS rankings for the third straight week, holding firm at No. 13. The Cougars ranked 13th with a combined point total of 28.03. Nebraska leads the rankings with a total of 2.2 points. With a wins on Saturday, both Michigan and Maryland both jumped over BYU to land in 11th and 12th place. The Cougars need to finish the season ranked in the top 12 in order to be considered for a BCS at-large bid. BYU would need to finish in the top six in order to be guaranteed a BCS Bowl invitation. Alan Young, chair of the Fiesta Bowl selection committee was in attendance at BYU's game at Wyoming. Additional members of the Fiesta Bowl will be on hand at Edwards Stadium for the Cougars' in-state clash against Utah.
Renewing a Winning Tradition
During the 1980s, BYU ranked as one of the winningest programs in the country, posting a combined record of 102-27, including seven WAC titles and 10 straight bowl appearances. After posting a record of 32-17-2 from 1990-1993 (including four straight WAC titles), BYU has went on to post a record of 70-28 since the 1994 season, ranking as the 10th winningest program in the country.
A Tradition of Champions
Since winning its first conference title in 1965, BYU has won a total of 21 league titles, including 10 straight championships from 1976-1985. With a win at Wyoming on Saturday, the Cougars won at least a share of the MWC title, marking the programs 21st conference championship, including their second Mountain West title in the past three seasons. A win against Utah would give the Cougars their first outright league title since the 1996 season.
Chasing the Outright Title
A win on Saturday would guarantee the Cougars their first-ever outright MWC title. The Cougars, 10-0, have already clinched at least a share of the league title - their second in the past three seasons. (Should the Cougars lose to Utah, BYU would have to hope for Air Force to beat Utah the following week in order to claim an outright title.) Including the 2001 title, the Cougars have won 21 league championships since the 1974 season, including a stretch of 10 straight WAC Championships from 1976-1985. Of the 21 conference titles, BYU has won the championship outright 12 times. The Cougars have not won an outright title since the 1996 season.
Cougars Continue to Climb National Polls
Following the Cougars' 41-34 victory over Wyoming, BYU climbed to No. 8 in both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and the Associated Press top-25 poll. The Cougars' 8th-place rankings marks the highest BYU has been ranked in either poll since the 1996 season. The climb in the polls will allow the Cougars to shed 1.0 points in the important BCS Rankings. After entering both polls on Sept. 9, following a 44-16 win at Cal, the Cougars climbed to No. 20 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll on Sept. 23. The Sept. 9 polls marks the first time BYU had been ranked nationally since the final game of the 1999 season - a 21-3 loss to Marshall in the Motor City Bowl. BYU entered the Motor City Bowl ranked 25th in the coaches poll, while it had dropped from the AP poll on Nov. 21. Nov. 14, 1999 marked the last time BYU was ranked in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. BYU was ranked 19th in each poll that week, but dropped out of the AP poll and fell to 25th in the coaches poll on Nov. 21. BYU has now been ranked in the Top-20 or Top-25 polls in 22 of the last 26 years. The only years in which BYU has never been ranked during the season since 1976 were 1978,1987, 1998 and 2000. The Cougars, along with Nebraska and Miami (Fla.), are the only three undefeated teams in the country.
Week USAToday/ESPN AP
Aug. 26 NR NR
Sept. 2 NR NR
Sept. 9 25th 24th
Sept. 16 No Polls No Polls
Sept. 23 20th 20th
Oct. 7 17th 18th
Oct. 14 13th 18th
Oct. 21 10th 16th
Oct. 28 8th 13th
Nov. 4 9th 9th
Nov. 11 8th 8th
Defense Leads BYU to Tough Win at Wyoming
BYU clinched at least a share of the MWC Championship and continued its undefeated season on Saturday, but not without a little fight from a well-rested Wyoming team. The No. 9 Cougars improved to 10-0, 6-0 on the season by defeating Wyoming, 41-34 in Laramie, but it took some late-game heroics from another unsuspecting star. Brandon Heaney picked the perfect time to make his first interception of his BYU career. With the game tied late in the fourth quarter and Wyoming facing a third and 24, Heaney cut off a Casey Bramlet pass and made the play of the game. On BYU's ensuing possession, Luke Staley took the ball in for one of his four touchdowns with just over two minutes remaining in the game. The BYU defense was called upon again with less than one minute remaining in the game, stopping the Cowboys on a fourth-and-goal situation. With the win, the Cougars claimed at least a share of the Mountain West Conference title. A victory next week against Utah would give the Cougars the title outright. Staley provided another heroic effort, finishing the game with four touchdowns and 172 yards on 31 carries, marking his seventh 100-yard rushing game of the season. Even after Staley's final touchdown, the game still wasn't over. Wyoming drove the ball all the way to the BYU four-yard line, but Levi Madarieta batted the ball down on Wyoming's final play with 23 seconds left in the game. While BYU's defense made the big plays near the end of this game, BYU's offense has been doing that all year. But today, the offense struggled holding on to the ball. Four costly turnovers gave Wyoming every opportunity to stay in the game. Brandon Doman threw his fourth interception of the season, and fumbles by Mike Rigell, Toby Christenson and Reno Mahe gave Wyoming the ball with good field position. But as they have all season, the Cougars did enough to win the game. Doman, after a sub-par first half, finished 23-38 for 268 yards passing, one touchdown and the one interception. Ned Stearns also took a fake punt for 42 yards and a first down in the first half to spark the Cougars. But even after giving up 34 points, the defense buckled down and won the game for BYU.
Cougars Clinch 28th Straight Non-Losing Season
Following a 63-33 win over Air Force on Oct. 20, the Cougars improved to 7-0, ensuring their 28th straight non-losing season. BYU has not had a losing season since posting a 5-6 mark in 1973-former head coach LaVell Edward's second season as head coach. The Cougars' streak of 28 straight seasons ranks 11th all-time at the NCAA Division I-A level and is currently the third longest non-losing streak in the nation. (Nebraska leads with an impressive 40 straight seasons without a losing record.)
A Perfect 10
Satuday's win at Wyoming marked the Cougars' 10th win of the season. BYU has produced 170 nine win seasons since 1976. The Cougars recorded their first 10-win season in 1976, marking the most wins in BYU football history. The Cougars have posted three straight 10-win seasons two different times (1979-1981; 1983-1985). BYU's 10-game win streak is the longest since recording 12 straight victories during the 1996 season. Interestingly, when BYU finishes the season with 10 wins, all three times the record has been 10-3. BYU has three games remaining during the regular season.
After picking up its seventh victory of the season (vs. Air Force), BYU became the first team in the Mountain West Conference to become eligible for post-season bowl consideration. Should the Cougars earn a bowl bid, it will mark the 23rd bowl game since the 1974 season. BYU last went bowling during the 1999 season. A bowl game would mark the third post-season appearance for the Cougars in the past four seasons and the first-ever for head coach Gary Crowton.
Staley Sets Career Touchdown Record
Junior running back Luke Staley recorded five more touchdowns on Thursday (vs. Colorado State) to become BYU's all-time, career touchdown leader. Staley, who has tallied 22 touchdowns on the season, broke Waymon Hamilton's 20-year-old single-seaso record (16) on one of his more spectacular touchdown carries to date. Staley caputred the record on an eight-yard run, dragging two SDSU defenders into the endzone, giving the Cougars a commanding 52-21 lead midway through the fourth quarter.A week later, Staley became the career touchdown leader after tying the record (40) on a 44-yard run to give BYU a 28-21 lead in the second quarter against Colorado State. One quarter later, Staley broke loose for a 20-yard score to set the record. With 22 touchdowns on the season, Staley has totaled 42 throughout his career. The 6-foot-2, 225 pound running back currently leads the nation in both scoring, averaging 16.2 points per game. Staley has tallied at least one touchdown in every game he has played this season and with his first TD against Colorado State, has produced at least one touchdown in 20 of the 27 games he has played at BYU, including multiple-scoring games in 12 different outings. Staley has twice turned in career-high five-touchdowns this season, equaling the BYU record for most TDs scored in a game. Staley turned in 207 yards rushing against Utah State to become the first BYU back to total 200+ yards rushing in a game since Ronney Jenkins posted 250 yards against San Jose State in 1998.
STALEY QUICK FACTS
* Leads the nation in scoring, averaging 16.5 points per game
* Leads the nation in rushing yards per carry, averaging 9.1
yards per touch
* Ranks 8th nationally in yards per game, averaging 136.5
yards per contest
* Has tallied 12 multiple-scoring games over his career
* Has produced at least one touchdown in 20-of-27 career games.
* Named MWC Player of the Week after posting 207 yards and five
TDs against USU.
* Named MWC Player of the Week after posting 196 yards and five
TDs against CSU.
* Has 2,003 career rushing yards
* Has 1,092 yards rushing this season - a career high.
* Has produced 252 career points
STALEY RECORD WATCH
* Tied BYU single-game record with 30 points
(vs. Utah State; vs. Colorado State)
* Tied a school record with five touchdowns
(vs. Utah State; vs. Colorado State)
* Set BYU single-season touchdown record with 22 TDs (2001)
* Set BYU single-game record with 14.2 yards per carry
(vs. Tulane; 10-for-142)
* Set BYU single-season (non-kicker) scoring record with
132 points scored
* On pace to set single-season yards per carry record,
averaging 9.1 y/c
* Needs just 294 yards to become BYU's single-season
* Needs just 967 to become all-time leading rusher
* Became BYU's first 1,000-yd rusher since 1998 (Jenkins; 1,411)
* Needs 81 points to become BYU's all-time leading scorer
* Became BYU's all-time (non-kicker) leading scorer (252)
BYU CAREER TOUCHDOWN LIST
Player Years TDs Rushing Receiving
Luke Staley 1999-Present 42 36 6
Jamal Willis 1991-94 40 35 5
Lakei Heimuli 1984-86 32 30 2
Waymon Hamilton 1981-83 32 29 3
Eric Drage 1990-93 29 0 29
Ronney Jenkins 1996,98 29 24 5
Scoring Defense Busters
Through 10 games, the Cougars have paid little attention to their opponents scoring defense average. On the season, BYU has surpassed its opponent's previous scoring defense average by 37.9 points per game. The Cougars' largest point differential came against Air Force, putting up 43.8 points more than the Falcons had previously allowed. Against San Diego State, BYU posted 33.6 points over the Aztecs' previous scoring defense mark of 25.4 points per game. The potent BYU offense continued its scoring ways against Colorado State, cruising past the Rams' scoring defense average of just 20 points per game, racking up 56 points. Utah enters Saturday's game allowing just 15.8 points per game, while the Cougars lead the nation in scoring offense, averaging 49.8 points per contest.
Single-Season Scoring Record in Sight
Through the first 10 games of the season, BYU has produced 498 points, averaging a nation's best 49.8 points per game and the best scoring average through 10 games in BYU football history. During the 1980 campaign, BYU logged an average 39.0 points per game over the first 10 games, then went on a mid-season scoring barrage, averaging a school single-season record 46.6 points per game at season's end. Averaging nearly 50 points per game, the 2001 Cougars are on pace to clip the 21-year-old single-season scoring record. Army holds the NCAA scoring average record, posting 56.0 points per game during the 1944 season. Nebraska holds the NCAA record for most points scored in a single season with 624 over 12 games during the 1983 season.
A Look At The Rivalries
Since 1922, BYU has maintained several long-standing rivalries. BYU will face each of its oldest rivals during the 2001 season. The Cougars own a winning record against four of the five rivals. This week's opponent, Utah, is the only long-standing rival the Cougars do not have a current winning record. Following is a look at the Cougars' five oldest rivalries:
School No. Games Series Record First Game Last Game
Utah 76 Utah leads, 45-27-4 Oct. 14, 1922 Nov. 24, 2000
Utah State 75 BYU leads, 39-33-3 Oct. 7, 1922 Oct. 5, 2001
Wyoming 68 BYU leads, 36-29-3 Nov. 14, 1922 Nov. 10, 2001
Colorado St. 60 BYU leads, 32-25-3 Nov. 25, 1922 Nov. 1, 2001
New Mexico 51 BYU leads, 38-12-1 Nov. 17, 1951 Oct. 13, 2001
Margin of Victory
Throughout the season, the Cougars have tallied 498 points, averaging a nation's best 49.8 points per game. BYU has allowed 265 points, giving up an average 26.5 points per contest. Overall, the Cougars have tallied a +23.3-point margin of victory.
Scoring by Quarters
BYU racked up 21 points in the first quarter against Colorado State, marking the third time on the season the Cougars have scored 21 points in a single quarter, and the ninth time the Cougars have scored 21 or more points in a single quarter.
Red Zone Review
The Cougars have scored on an amazing 53-of-57 trips to the Red Zone (.930), including a season-high nine of nine trips inside the Red Zone against Air Force. After scoring on six-of-six trips inside the Red Zone against Colorado State and Wyoming, the Cougars have scored at least six times inside the Red Zone in six different games this season. Prior to a BYU fumble on the eight-yard line against UNLV, the Cougars were a perfect 20-for-20 inside the Red Zone. 47 of the Cougars' 53 Red Zone scoring drives have been touchdowns, while just six have been field goals. The BYU defense has held its opponents to 32-of-44 Red Zone scores on the season, including an impressive 1-for-4 against SDSU. The Cougar defense forced two missed field goals (including one blocked attempt) and an interception to prevent the Aztecs from scoring on three of their four trips inside the Red Zone. BYU also forced an interception and a fumble, haulting two CSU Red Zone drives. The Cougars have scored 47 Red Zone touchdowns, which is more TDs than BYU scored during the entire 2000 season (32).
Fast Times at BYU
On the season, BYU has produced 11 scoring drives of under 1:00 or less. The Cougars began the 2001 campaign with a season-high four scoring drives under 1:00 against Tulane. The quickest drive came at San Diego State, when Brandon Doman connected with Gabe Reid for a four-yard touchdown pass, completing the scoring drive in just one play. Equally impressive, the Cougars have 33 scoring drives of under 2:00. Against Tulane, BYU produced a season-high six scoring drives under 2:00. BYU closed out the second quarter (against the Green Wave) with four straight scoring drives of :55, :47, :46 and :33. A week later, the Cougars posted five scoring drives of 1:58 or less. Against Cal, the Cougars recorded five scoring drives of 1:50 or less, including two scoring drives under 1:00. On the Cougars' six scoring drives against Cal, two totaled three plays or less. On the season, BYU has totaled 29 scoring drives of five plays or less, including three against Colorado state. Against Air Force, the Cougars racked up four scoring drives of under 2:00 and added three more scoring drives under 2:20. All totaled, all nine scoring drives were produced under 3:48.
THE STREAK IS STILL ALIVE ... 333 Games And Counting
With Matt Payne's 40-yard field goal in the first quarter against Wyoming, BYU extended its NCAA record streak to 334 games without being shutout. BYU was last shutout during the 1975 season (Sept. 27, 1975 vs. Arizona State.) The Cougars have only one player on its 2001 roster who was alive the last time BYU was shutout. Offensive lineman Aaron McCubbins was just two days old.
Another Streak of Note
Dating back to last season, BYU has won a total of 12 straight games, marking the third longest winning streak in the country. Miami (Fla.) leads the nation with 19 straight wins, followed by Nebraska with 13.
Cougars Re-Schedule Mississippi State, Switch Hawai'i
In cooperation with the University of Hawai'i and Mississippi State University, BYU announced it has re-scheduled its contest against Mississippi State for Saturday, Dec. 1. The game, originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15, was postponed after the terrorist attacks on the United States. In order to play the Bulldogs on Dec. 1, Hawai'i generously agreed to switch its game with BYU from Dec. 1 to Saturday, Dec. 8. The SEC announced it would re-schedule the SEC Championship game from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8, allowing for games scheduled to be played on Sept. 15, to be played on Dec. 1. With this move, BYU and Mississippi State were able to re-schedule, only after Hawai'i had agreed to play BYU on Dec. 8, as opposed to Dec. 1.
Compare The Stats
STATS BYU UTAH
Scoring 498 261
Points Per Game 49.8 29.0
First Downs 264 189
Rushing yardage 2,451 1,858
Average Per Game 245.1 206.4
Rushing TDs 39 17
Passing Yardage 3,050 1,958
Att-Comp-Int 347-231-4 274-152-8
Average Per Game 305.0 217.6
Passing TDs 27 16
Total Offense 5,466 3,816
Total Plays 738 677
Average Per Game 546.6 424.0
Kick Returns: #-yards 32-715 13-250
Punt Returns: #-yards 35-324 32-296
INT Returns: #-yards 18-264 9-168
Kick Return Average 22.3 19.2
Punt Return Average 9.3 9.2
INT Return Average 14.7 18.7
Fumbles-lost 30-10 9-4
Penalties-yards 66-569 63-568
Punts-yards 31-1,263 49-1,974
Time of possession/game 28:39 34:07
3rd-down Conversions 54/124 60/145
4th-down Conversions 13/18 9/16
Sacks by-yards 23-165 19-116
Touchdowns 68 34
Field Goals-Attempts 8-13 8-14
PAT-Attempts 64-67 33-34
Attendance 421,456 172,288
Average Attendance 42,146 34,458
Pick A Receiver; Any Receiver
Throughout the 2001 season, the Cougars have used a single-season record 20 different receivers, including a season-high 12 different receivers against Nevada. The BYU receiving corps has accounted for 3,050 of the Cougars'5,466 (55.8 percent) total yards on the season, including a season high 408 yards against Air Force. Reno Mahe ranks nationally with 62 receptions for 747 yards and four touchdowns. The Cougars rank 11th in the nation in passing offense, averaging 305 yards per game. 10 different receivers have over 100 yards on the season, including six receivers with 200 or more yards. Nine receivers have 10 or more receptions. Mahe and tight end Doug Jolley leads all receivers with four touchdown receptions, while Luke Staley, Mike Rigell, Rod Wilkerson and Spencer Nead each have three touchdowns on the season. All totaled 11 different receivers have scored at least one touchdown, including Soren Halladay and Toby Christensen, who both recorded their first-ever career touchdowns receptions at San Diego State.
In the Trenches
The experienced BYU offensive line, which includes three seniors and two juniors-all of which started last season, weighs in at a beefy 1,479 pounds, averaging 295.8 pounds per man. The O-line will be squaring off against a Utah defensive front (one senior, one junior and two sophomores) that tips the scales at an average 279.0 pounds per man. On defense, the Cougars' line (two seniors, a junior and a sophomore) weighs in at 279.5 pounds per man, while the Utes' offensive line (two seniors, one junior and two sophomores) average 301.8 pounds per man. Four of the Cougars' five starting offensive lineman received All-Conference honors last season, including Aaron McCubbins, Dustin Rykert, Jason Scukanec and Ben Archibald. The BYU offensive line has allowed just 10 sacks on the season. The BYU defense has produced 23 sacks, while the Utah defense has tallied 19 sacks over nine games.
BYU tight ends Doug Jolley and Spencer Nead racked up 226 of the Cougars'408 receiving yards against the Air Force, including Jolley's 10-for-177 yard, three touchdown performance. Jolley became the first BYU receiver to score three touchdowns in a single game since Eric Drage picked up three TDs during the 1992 season. Jolley also set a MWC single-game record with 177 yards receiving. For his performance, Jolley was named the MWC Offensive Player of the Week, becoming the first tight end to earn the weekly honor. With four tight ends listed on the BYU roster, the foursome have combined for 46 reception for 666 yards, averaging 66.7 yards per game. The BYU tight ends have produced 10 of the Cougars'27 touchdown receptions.
Dating back to 1980, the Cougars have appeared on national television an average three times per season, including last year's single-season record six national television appearances. Since its first national television appearance in 1974, BYU has posted a 45-28-2 (.613) while playing on national television, including a 23-15 mark on ABC and a 27-16-2 mark on ESPN. Current assistant coach Robbie Bosco led the Cougars to a 20-14 win over Pittsburgh in the first live ESPN College Football broadcast in 1984.
Still Perfect After Ten
The Cougars' 41-34 win at Wyoming on Saturday gave BYU its 10th straight win of the season, marking the best single-season start since 1984. (BYU went undefeated in 1984, winning the National Championship with a 13-0 record.) BYU's Gary Crowton became the first head coach in BYU football history to win the first 10 games of his career. With the Cougars' victory over Wyoming, the former Louisiana Tech head coach has posted a 31-13 career coaching record. With BYU's win over Nevada, Crowton became the first BYU coach to win the first two games of his career at BYU since G. Ott Romney in 1928. After winning the first game of his career, defeating Kansas, 32-9, former head coach LaVell Edwards lost to Utah State in his second game, 42-19. With a 35-point victory over Tulane to kickoff the Gary Crowton era, the Cougars are 6-7 in the opening game of a coach's tenure at BYU.
The Crowton File
Gary Crowton, a native of Orem, Utah, takes over a BYU program that has been under the direction of college football's sixth all-time winningest coach, LaVell Edwards. Edwards took over the program in 1972, coaching the Cougars to a 257-101-3 (.716) record. Crowton, 44, comes to BYU with a long and proven list of coaching accomplishments. Prior to serving the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator with the NFL's Chicago Bears, where his offense ranked third in the NFL in passing yardage during the 1999 season, Crowton was head coach at Louisiana Tech from 1996-1998. There he guided the Bulldogs to a 21-13 (.618) record over three seasons, including a 9-2 mark in 1997. Competing as an independent for three straight years, Louisiana Tech recorded wins over the likes of Mississippi State, Cal and Alabama. Using its Crowton-designed, high-powered offense, the program also recorded impressive wins by scoring 50-or-more points against eight different opponents, including games of 60-or-more points in five different games. Crowton's offense ranked third in the nation, both in passing and total offense, while the Bulldogs racked up 12,746 yards passing in three years, an average of 4,249 yards per season. The prolific Tech offense also produced 115 touchdown receptions, averaging 38.3 TDs per season. Under Crowton, Louisiana Tech engineered 22 different 300-yard passing games, including a school-record 10, 300-yard outings during the 1998 season. In 1998, Crowton's final season at Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs combined for a school-record 4,943 yards passing. Crowton's coaching career actually began in 1982 as a student assistant under Edwards at BYU. While at BYU he worked with current Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren and future NFL Hall of Famer, Steve Young. From BYU, Crowton moved on to Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, where he coached from 1983-86. While at Snow College, Crowton moved from defensive backs coach to offensive coordinator. Under his offensive leadership, the Badgers won the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship in 1985. From Snow College, Crowton moved to Western Illinois for one season, before taking over as the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire. In 1991, Crowton was hired as the quarterbacks coach at Boston College under head coach Tom Coughlin. There he helped develop quarterback Glenn Foley as a candidate for the Heisman Trophy. After three successful seasons with the Eagles, Crowton was hired as the co-offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, where his offense led the Yellow Jackets to a No. 21 national ranking in his first and only season in Atlanta. In 1995, Crowton was hired as the offensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech, where he would become the head coach the following season. Crowton, who is the first-ever head football coach at BYU to serve an LDS Church mission, is married to the former Maren Peterson of Bountiful, Utah. The couple was married on August 3, 1985. The Crowtons have six children. NOTEABLE: Crowton is the first coach in BYU history to start his career 7-0 with the Cougars ... In only his fourth year as a Division-IA coach, Crowton recorded his 25th career victory - a 35-31 victory over future Hall of Fame coach John Robinson and the UNLV Rebels.
BYU began the season using a new hi-tech video-editing system to help coaches break down film and prepare for upcoming opponents. Since switching over to the Knowledge Inc., Interactive Play Book, the Cougars are a perfect 10-0. In fact, of the two other schools in the country that use the system, the teams have compiled a combined record of 27-3 on the season.
Following the announcement that Gary Crowton would replace LaVell Edwards as the head coach at BYU, Crowton went to work on filling some holes in the coaching staff. Paul Tidwell was hired from Louisiana Tech as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator, along with Mike Borich, from the Chicago Bears, as the offensive coordinator. Borich, 33, ranks as one of the 10 youngest coordinators in I-A college football.
Paper Or Plastic
After 10 games, BYU has allowed just 11 sacks on the season. Nevada got to Brandon Doman in the first quarter for the first sack allowed on the season. UNLV picked up two more sacks against the Cougars. BYU has allowed at least one sack in eight of the 10 games it has played this season. In the first 10 games last season, BYU had already given up 32 sacks, including five against Air Force and four more against Syracuse and three against San Diego State. During the 2000 season, BYU allowed 36 sacks, averaging 3.0 per game. However, the BYU offensive line did not allow a sack in back-to-back games, including the Colorado State and New Mexico games and allowed just one sack against Wyoming as the line began to gel. On the defensive side of the ball, BYU has already sacked its opponent 23 times, including a season-high five sacks against Cal. In the 2000 season, the Cougars had 26 sacks after 10 games. Senior defensive end Ryan Denney ranks second in the MWC with six sacks on the season, averaging .60 sacks per game. Denney has twice produced two sacks in a game this season, including the Tulane and Cal games. Senior Brett Keisel recorded two of his three sacks this season against Utah State.
Fourth-And-Go For It!
After a successful fake punt that went for 42 yards on a fourth-and-six situation, the Cougars improved to 13-of-18 (.720) on fourth down conversions this season. Three of the fourth-down conversions have gone for touchdowns, including Luke Staley's 37-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-three in the third quarter against Utah State. Against New Mexico, Brandon Doman converted a crucial fourth-and-11 situation that led to an eventual go-ahead, game-winning touchdown.
Wyoming's touchdown at the 1:01 mark of the first quarter marked the first touchdown the BYU defense has allowed since the 1:02 mark of the third quarter against Colorado State last week. The shutout streak covered a total of 30:01 on the clock -- just over two quarters.
During the first half of today's game, the Wyoming defense forced BYU to punt on back-to-back drives, marking the first time since the fourth quarter of the Air Force (Oct. 20) game that the Cougars have had to punt on consecutive drives. The Cougars have punted on only five back-to-back drives (only four games) this season.
Kicker Matt Payne connected on a field goal in both the first and second quarter, marking just the second time this season Payne has made two field goals in a game.
The 20-20 tie at the half marked only the second time this season BYU has been tied with its opponent at the half (10-10 at New Mexico; Oct. 13). BYU has only trailed once at the half this season -- a 27-21 deficit against Utah State.