PROVO, Utah – Paul Lasike recorded a career-high three touchdowns while leading BYU football to a 42-23 blowout win over UNLV Saturday at Lavell Edwards Stadium.
"I'm really pleased with the win,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “This has not been an easy season, and the games aren't easy, but I believe we'll finish strong. It was a nice football game for our team. A lot of good things and certainly a lot we'll try to work on. I'm looking forward to the next two games of the regular season to improve our team and culminate it with a bowl game."
Lasike totaled 70 yards and two touchdowns on the ground along with one reception for 26 yards and a touchdown. Christian Stewart passed for 325 yards and three touchdowns, completing 18 of 32 passes. Mitch Mathews led all receivers with six catches for 120 yards and a touchdown.
The Cougars broke the game wide open in the third quarter, scoring three touchdowns. The first score came on BYU’s opening drive capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Stewart to Devin Mahina.
Later in the quarter, Lasike scored his third touchdown of the game when Stewart faked a handoff in the backfield and found Lasike down the seam for a 26-yard scoring strike to extend the Cougar lead to 35-16.
Mathews scored BYU’s third touchdown of the quarter on an 8-yard reception from Stewart that was set up one play earlier by a 35-yard pass to Jordan Leslie.
“It's really humbling to get a career-high three touchdowns,” Paul Lasike said. “I didn't really do much. They were kind of walk in touchdowns. Most of the credit goes to the offensive line.”
Both teams started slowly to begin the game. BYU got on the board with 1:43 left in the first quarter when Leslie scored on a rush after a lateral pass from Stewart. The touchdown tied the longest rushing touchdown of the year for BYU.
Lasike extended the lead to 14-3, taking a handoff from Stewart and rushing off-tackle for an 8-yard touchdown. After another touchdown and field goal from UNLV, BYU closed the half with a 5-play, 65-yard drive and another Lasike touchdown to lead 21-13.
The Cougars totaled 592 total yards of offense with 325 through the air and 267 on the ground.
Bronson Kaufusi led the defense with 9 tackles including two sacks. His two sacks marked the third game in a row he has recorded at least one sack. Kai Nacua forced a turnover when he picked off the UNLV quarterback for his second interception this season.
BYU’s last home game of the season will be next Saturday, Nov. 22, against Savannah State. The game will kickoff at 1 p.m. MST and will be broadcast live on BYUtv and KSL 1160/102.7.
BYU hosts UNLV in blackout game
PROVO, Utah – BYU football seeks bowl eligibility Saturday against UNLV on ESPNU.
Kickoff is slated for 5:02 p.m. MST on ESPNU. Live radio broadcast will be provided by the Cougar IMG Sports Network with Greg Wrubell, available on byucougars.com, KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM and the BYU Cougars app. Coverage starts at 3 p.m.
BYUtv will broadcast the Countdown to Kickoff starting at 4 p.m. MST. Its postgame show begins right after the end of the game.
Saturday's game is a blackout game. Fans are encouraged to wear black to the game. The team will wear its alternate black jerseys.
UNLV (2-8, 1-5 MW) at BYU (5-4)
Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 at 5:02 p.m. MST
LaVell Edwards Stadium
Last meeting. BYU last played UNLV as a conference opponent in the Cougars’ final year in the Mountain West. BYU defeated the Rebels 55-7 at home Nov. 6, 2010.
BYU vs. MW. BYU has 275 wins against Mountain West opponents. Its last victory against a team from its former conference was the 2013 win against Nevada. Its last matchup with a MW opponent was the Oct. 24 loss to Boise State.
10 seasons. Bronco Mendenhall is now in his 10th season as head coach of the Cougars. Mendenhall has an 87-38 record, and BYU ranks 12th in total wins nationally during his tenure.
Beating the best. Since 2003, BYU has 17 wins against Power 5 schools, which ranks second among non-Power 5 schools behind fellow independent Navy. BYU has the longest season streak, with nine straight seasons with a Power 5 win.
No. 1. BYU punter Scott Arellano recorded the longest punt in BYU history and in the NCAA this season with an 81-yarder vs. Middle Tennessee. He broke former NFL punter Lee Johnson’s BYU record set in 1983 vs. Wyoming.
10 weeks in the spotlight. BYU’s game Saturday will be its 10th straight on national TV. BYU has been on ESPN six times, ESPN2 once, Fox Sports 1 once and CBS Sports Network once. Saturday’s game will be the Cougars’ first time on ESPNU this season.
Blackout. Saturday’s game is a blackout game. The team will wear black alternate jerseys.
Monday Media Briefing
Quite a bit. They're certainly anxious to play. They're certainly anxious to win. They're certainly anxious to finish the season the right way, and they're working really hard. I think hungry is the right word from where I see them.
New coach...Different styles of offense and defense than when we played, but there's still some explosive athletes and they've always had that.
To me it's each game are we improving? Are we getting better? I think I have a great gauge of that. Really an interesting dynamic–most teams have our next two games at the beginning of the season. As an independent, we're basically the opposite…we're switching basically our opponents that traditionally most people have at the beginning and as an independent, we have them at the end. I'm anxious to play well. We're certainly anxious to play postseason. We're anxious to win as many games as possible.
I sure hope so. I can't imagine how not every conference won't have to have a championship game, for parity. It doesn't make any sense. If I were one of the four teams that had a championship game and that extra risk and/or opportunity, I would certainly want every team to be doing it.
There was an ESPN head coaches vote and the question was, which team that's not currently one of those teams is deserving and belongs in the Power Five and BYU was the first choice. I think it's been an oversight already to this point.
We haven't lost a single player that was already committed, nor have we lost any interest from others that have. BYU is a really unique choice. The kids that are interested, they know we're always going to win, which we have. They know that that will continue, which it will. And they know that there's only one BYU. There's only one school in the world that's owned by the Church that plays football. That's what it was designed for so I'm anxious for that. I anxious for everyone to see how that continues to play out recruiting-wise because it hasn't changed anything.
A lot of rest, progression, being deliberate in our practices and working on our technique throughout the whole week is our focus as a team and what we'll focus on this week.
Just staying together as a team, being good teammates toward each other and going out and winning every game. Every game that we play from here on out is winnable. Every game that we've played is winnable. We just have to go out and just win. Go out and have that mentality to go out and win this game and win this snap and win this opportunity to go to a bowl game and go to the postseason.
Scheme-wise, it's not really different...Christian is not as fast as Taysom, but he can sling the ball. That kid can throw the ball. It's not that much of a difference. We stick to our usual plays, our usual strategy. Nothing is really different, it's just a different name back there, a different guy.
Just win every game. Just come out and practice hard and win every game and be deliberate and work on our technique and study our opponents, study their tendencies and come to LaVell Edwards Stadium this week and just win this game.
It was awesome. It was a much, much needed rest. I got to kind of relax over the weekend and not have to worry about football. I was able to watch a few games. I was been able to watch a few games. It was the first time I've done that in a long time. It was a great week, a great weekend and I'm ready to get back at it.
I thought we played extremely well. We stopped them on a ton of three-and-outs…it was huge to get our aggressiveness back for that game. We handled it really well. Coach Mendenhall was really proud.
We're coming at UNLV hard. We've been studying their film the past week. That's why this bye week has been beneficial because we can know what to do against UNLV. We'll have two weeks to prepare for them. We cannot wait to get back on the field and face the opponent, no matter who it is.
They have a quarterback that can run. He's going to like to run…They have a good receiver No. 83--I think he's their biggest target. We just have to keep the quarterback in the pocket and keep our lanes so he doesn't want to take you up the field and run with it.